The Best Crops For Vertical Farming

Posted by Chris Michael on January 17, 2017

A vital question: "What are the best crops for vertical farming?" 

"Vertical farming is not about how much production you can possibly cram into a space. It’s about growing better food closer to market and maximizing your production as a function of the resources you invest, such as capital, light, water, energy, and labor." - Chris Michael, Bright Agrotech

Vertical farming with ZipGrow is one of the most efficient type of growing in modern farms, but one question that people get hung up on is: 

What can you actually grow on vertical planes?  

It's a vital question! Anyone considering a vertical farm should be planning out their crops as part of the process. As a farmer, you have to make sure that you can actually sell what you grow and that your production costs won't be too high.

Part of that is good crop choices.

Although choosing crops should be part of a whole feasibility study for your farm, we thought a guide on some of the best vertical crops for vertical farming would be helpful to people in the middle of the planning process.

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Topics: Hydroponics

3 Of The Most Inspiring Farm Startups of 2016

Posted by Amy Storey on December 30, 2016

Starting a farm isn't easy. And yet we've seen hundreds overcome the challenges of starting a farm and do it. Now they're providing fresh, nutritious food to their communities in ways that we  truly admire.

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Topics: Upstart Farmers

Considerations for Choosing a ZipFarm Location

Posted by Amy Storey on December 29, 2016

With today’s sophisticated growing equipment, modern farmers can produce local food anywhere there's a market for it, regardless of location or environmental constraints.

The ZipFarm – a turnkey indoor farm solution designed for humans – empowers today's most innovative farmers to grow food anywhere using vertical plane growing techniques.  

This unprecedented freedom is a key ingredient of the rapidly growing urban farming and the local food movement. 

For example, Green Mountain Ranch started a farm in an old school. Others transform gray warehouse spaces into verdant food factories, and still others build vertical plane farms in specially crafted compact containers.

In this post, we're giving you a few tips on what to look for in a building when you're thinking about starting your own indoor vertical farm. 

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Topics: Setup & Plumbing

Green Wolf Vertical Farm: Bringing Freshness to the Texas Panhandle

Posted by Amy Storey on December 23, 2016

Hundreds of years ago, the Texas panhandle was home to thousands of buffalo. After a few centuries of buffalo stomping on the ground, the soil was compacted and dense, leaving a challenge to future farmers.

Now, the land cattle country and home to thousands of acres of corn, wheat, milo, cotton, and other commodity crops grown by large farmers who have to amend the soil to make a living.

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Topics: Spotlights, Upstart Farmers

7 Myths of Social Media Marketing for Small Farmers

Posted by Amy Storey on December 19, 2016

Marketing a farm isn't easy for every farmer, and Nick Burton (the Grower's Coach) understands that better than most.

He has also overcome many of the struggles of social media marketing for small farmers. In fact, Nick is a farmer himself - he grows both hydroponically and in the soil.

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Topics: Business

Farmer Tip: Don’t Expect to Be a Farmer On Day One

Posted by Amy Storey on December 13, 2016

Kate Haverkampf runs Tassinong Farms in Crested Butte, Colorado. Kate started her farm because she was dissatisfied with the amount of time she spent away from her family.

If she could farm with only 20 hours a week, however, she would have time to spend with her husband and three daughters. Her research into container farms told her this was possible.

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Topics: Farmer Tips

Farmer Tip: Know How to Grow Before Hiring a Grower

Posted by Amy Storey on December 12, 2016

Yesterday, Farmer Tyler told us how important it is to balance growing with selling. Most farmers tend to lean towards one side of running the farm more than the other; for Tyler, a self-proclaimed plant science geek, learning to sell wasn’t his first inclination. For others, it might be the other way around.

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Topics: Farmer Tips

Farmer Tip: 2 Things That New Farmers Forget About

Posted by Amy Storey on December 11, 2016

Planning a farm can be an exciting process. Lots of new farmers look forward to farming so much, however, that they forget important parts of the planning process. We can't blame them - we have a hard time containing excitement ourselves - but unfortunately things that new farmers forget can cause problems later on!

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Topics: Farmer Tips

Farmer Tip: How to Avoid Seasonal Lag in Yield

Posted by Amy Storey on December 10, 2016

Lee Spiegel runs a youth training program through her hydroponic and aquaponic farm, Pulaski Grow.

The farm is the epicenter of training programs for business management and farming for youth ages 14-25. By the time they finish, the students at Pulaski Grow are work-force ready. (Learn more about that here.)

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Topics: Farmer Tips

Farmer Tip: Good Farmers Are Willing to Learn All Day, Every Day

Posted by Amy Storey on December 9, 2016

Eric Bergeron is co-founder of Smart Greens, a Canadian food production company that is expanding into a network of farmers across the country.

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Topics: Farmer Tips

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