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Support local businesses, support start ups! Like and follow us on social media and learn about the world of hydroponic growing. We post company news, local growing news and engaging articles and research on controlled environment agriculture aka indoor growing and health trends around the country.

The latest in our blogosphere 

Starting an Indoor Farm

Starting an Indoor Farm

So you want to be a farmer. If you had wanted to start farming about 10 to 20 years ago, you would’ve met several tall order obstacles, mainly related to knowledge/skills and capital requirements. Here is a quick synopsis: Looking at larger commodity crop farms in the US, most are a generational product, i.e. family businesses. Skills are past down the lineage, because after all, farming as Zen as it might be, is a complex business. Even if you are working your way in as a first generation farmer, it is likely that an apprenticeship of at least a couple of years (to learn the basics of the business) is required. So to own a farm, not only do you need to fork over large sums to get started, but you need specialized knowledge to make it work. Additionally, in many developed parts of the world (outside the US), farms are becoming more industrialized and consolidated to account for a vastly growing population, leading to the same conclusion. How does one go about starting a farm? The good news is that the prevailing winds in the US maybe blowing in favorable direction for the modern farmer. While the bigger family farms are still around, according to the USDA agricultural census data, the majority of farms are classified as small (based on revenue), and the trend may be moving towards “boutique” style operations, CSAs, urban farming ventures, etc. It is now easier than ever to start high-density farms, whether urban or rural. Another interesting trend is that farming is no longer seen as a backbreaking profession, and many college graduates are flocking towards farming and starting... read more

The New Face Of Hydroponics

Evolution? Maybe. Behavior change – definitely. I have to say that there are lots of new faces in hydroponics these days and they are addressing an emerging and growing new demand – that is delicious and locally grown produce. The latest issue of Produce Business, an agricultural trade magazine, addresses the shifting behavior of consumers towards a more local and fresher food source. Vertical Harvest Hydroponics was asked to contribute to this article and we gladly accepted. Here are some behind the scenes Q&A with Jodean Robbins, a writer for Produce Business and Linda Janes of VHH. A link to the full article is at the end of this blog. Q. What are the benefits of hydroponics production in today’s market? Are there certain areas or markets where it makes more sense than others? A. Alaska is one of the states that can benefit the most from a reliable internal food source  – thus we must be on the forefront of the “growing local” movement. Some things to consider, when it comes to AK agriculture: In spite of growing demand, food security due to lack of locally grown food in Alaska, is a huge problem and has been a topic of conversation among many state leaders. Only 1% of AK’s GDP is agriculture (2012 Alaska Economic Performance Report). This number hasn’t changed much in 2014, 2105. Less than one percent (.24%) of Alaska’s 365 million acres of land is farmed; it is estimated only 15 million acres (4%) is suitable for farming. Alaska has 318 different soil types. Permafrost is more than 2,000 feet deep on Alaska’s North Slope About 95% of Alaska’s... read more

Hydroponics in Alaska – Growing Over 30 Cultivars Of Leafy Greens and Herbs

Development of agriculture has allowed the human race to survive, thrive and build cities, and farming is still a profession that occupies a large part of the world. Since the earliest of civilizations, agriculture has undergone significant improvements. In comparison to cultivating our own food and livestock, modern agriculture has given us higher yields and extra time to put in into development of other enjoyable and needed products such as phones, computers, automobiles, etc. BUT. We are seeing a compelling shift. Simply stated, more and more people are interested in locally grown food and produce. Because food has become less expensive and takes up a smaller portion of our budget, people are looking at it more intently, particularly the quality of our food and the impact it has on our lives: Demand for local food has been rapidly increasing. Number of farmers markets has more than quadrupled over the past two decades (Nation wide from 1,755 in 1994 to 8,144 in 2013) According to The Organic & Natural 2014, national syndicated research by the Hartman Group, ” ’local’ is emerging as a category poised to surpass both organic and natural as a symbol of transparency and trust.” (know your farmer) We’ve seen fundamental behavior changes away from big packaged mass-produced foods to locally grown, artisanal and highly nutritious options. As technology improves even further, the next step in agricultural revolution is growing quality food locally and sustainably on a mass scale. With the rise in environmental consciousness and population growth, controlled environment agriculture (CEA) a.k.a. indoor growing, may be the perfect answer and the next logical step in addressing the latest paradigm shift... read more