Despite the abbreviated business week there’s was still a ton of action on the farm this week. We started on the farm install by getting the lights in place over where the grow beds will be placed, we’re officially in summer mode with the Arc of Meriden-Wallingford, we’ve got two new blog posts this week and finally, we will check in on news from the industry.
In this week’s harvest:
1. Client Spotlight
This week we are checking back in with the Arc of Meriden-Wallingford. The Arc just transitioned to full summer mode and the first crops are starting to be harvested. In their greenhouse system, they are now growing Malabar spinach, Callalou, Thai peppers, rosemary, Genovese Basil. tomatoes and lettuce. The inside systems are also sporting summer plants. Inside the Arc is growing lettuce, kale, Genovese basil, Thai and jalapeno peppers, nasturtiums, tomatoes, cabbage, Callalou, rosemary, swiss chard and tat-soi an Asian green similar to spinach. Even though they have indoor systems, it is not in a climate controlled facility, so they farm with the seasons both in their warehouse and in their greenhouse. They’ll be selling their fine produce at the Meriden Farmer’s market this Saturday from 830-12. If you’re looking for some great produce and are in the Meriden area it’s a fantastic market with a host of farm and value-added vendors, kids activities, and local area businesses.
2. Company Updates
The buildout of the farm continues to go well. This week we put up our lights for the pilot farm area. These lights will be suspended above the Deep Water Culture (D.W.C.) grow bed. DWC beds are essentially framed troughs that have a 12inch depth for the roots to hang into the water. We’ll be using L.E.D. lights for energy efficiency and minimal heat generation. This will allow us to grow year round with uninterrupted production. This model is what sets indoor urban and controlled environment farming apart from traditional agriculture. We can get more crop cycles which is one of the factors that make urban farming so much more productive than field farming. We released our monthly space update blog on our buildout that shares our vision for this pilot Sprout Food Hub in Meriden. Click here to read more.
3. Blog Updates
In addition to our update on the Sprout Food Hub Buildout, we had one other blog post on the site this week. This post was aimed at readers who are new to, beginning or considering aquaponics. In 5 mistakes to avoid in aquaponics, we cover the rookie mistakes we see newcomers make time and time again. Mistakes that are completely avoidable and unnecessary but if made can be extremely costly or time-consuming to a new operation. Whether you want to grow at home or commercially, learn from others who came before you and set yourself up for success by avoiding these five common mistakes.
4. Industry news
The trend for interesting stories and innovative collaborations in our industry continues this week. On Monday we reported on how a Hospital is partnering with a local urban aquaponics farm to provide fresh produce for all the meals it serves to staff and patients. Recognizing the importance and significance of fresh and local food for health they committed to providing fresh salad greens year round in area hospitals. Check out the full story to learn more.
Wednesday’s blog story showcased the 10x expansion of Urban Aquaponics with a second facility in St. Paul Minnesota. With this second facility, they are looking to validate the Urban Aquaponics model they piloted with their first facility. Going from 8,000sqft to 80,000sqft is certainly a large leap but with 4 years under their belt with their first facility, they have the model and the experience to make the jump. To check out all the details on this new project hop over to the blog here.
5. Featured Product
Continuing on the theme for beginning and new growers our featured product this week is a fishless cycling kit for new systems. One of the challenges of getting started with aquaponics is cycling a new system. It can take up to 30 days for a system to fully cycle and for a lot of folks that’s a barrier to entry. With the fishless cycling kit, you can get your system cycled in as little as 7 days and can plant out your systems as soon as you add the kit. The kit provides seaweed extract to feed the plants while the system cycles and readies itself for fish. This is a huge time saver and will get you growing to your fullest potential right out the gate. Grab your kit today and get growing tomorrow!
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