Learn by Doing: How to Use a Pilot System to Learn Vertical Farming

Posted by Amy Storey on February 21, 2017

Do you need a pilot system for your vertical farming biz?

If you're starting an urban farm, chances are you're currently totally immersed in blog posts, YouTube videos and online courses, trying to learn as much as you can. 

And rightly so!

Starting a vertical farm takes a lot of time and financial investment, and you need to know what you're getting yourself into. 

But learning through listening or reading only gets you so far! To fully understand the details of running an urban farm, you must have real, hands-on experience.

After all, “knowledge without application is like a book that is never read." - Christopher Crawford

That's why it's critical you create a pilot (or test) system as soon as you can. 

What's a pilot farm?

A pilot vertical farm is a small scale version of your future farm that enables you to apply your research, make small mistakes, and demonstrate the quality of your produce to any future customers during your market research phase.

In this post, we'll talk about why you should start a test system, what you'll learn in the process, and the best way to get started today. 

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Topics: How to's, ZipGrow

Modern Hydroponic Production: Why All the Right People Are Wrong

Posted by Nate Storey on February 20, 2017

More to successful growing than just productivity?

After a busy weekend drawing up wiring schematics for several new farms, I came home a little grumpy to a sick baby girl, and half a dozen notifications regarding a LinkedIn thread I’d recently commented on.

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Topics: Indoor Growing, ZipGrow, Industry

The 6 Main Challenges of Classroom Gardens (And How to Overcome Them)

Posted by Juan Valdez on February 14, 2017

 

So you want to start a classroom garden...

Classroom gardens can offer new opportunities for students and can be utilized in ways that make them more affordable. 

We’ve already discussed how classroom gardens are a solution to low resources and other benefits. Now we’re going to talk about the first steps toward building your own classroom garden.

This article will help you overcome common challenges of starting a classroom garden, as well as help you find the right materials you need to make it happen. 

Read on... 

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Topics: In the Classroom

The Top 7 Reasons to Start a Classroom Garden

Posted by Juan Valdez on February 7, 2017

New problems, new tools

While today's educators face their own unique challenges, there has never been a better time to be teaching STEM subjects. Public opinion, movements like the local farming and urban ag movements, and a burst in agricultural innovation are colliding to create the perfect environment for STEM and other learning.

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Topics: In the Classroom

Indoor Hydroponic Farming: Costs and Profits [without the fluff]

Posted by Jason Arnold on January 31, 2017

 

Is hydroponic farming profitable?

Hydroponic farming is experiencing a boom and getting a lot of attention in the press, but many are left with the question, "is hydroponic farming really profitable?"

Hydroponic farms are most commonly built indoors or in greenhouses. Both types of farms have been proven commercially, with dozens of farm operations around the world. These are highly productive facilities that are generating enough revenue to pay overhead expenses and provide healthy wages for farm workers.

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Topics: Industry, Hydroponics

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 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

Gurnee Couple Gains Momentum With Indoor Vertical Farm

Posted by Amy Storey on January 5, 2017

Boy dreams of farming

For Eric Aguilar, the first seed of the farming dream started with a rather far-fetched idea about a high-tech spherical hydroponic farm. He was attracted to the way that hydroponics used science to achieve the goals of farming in more dynamic ways. Fortunately, the impractical part of that dream (the part with the multi-million dollar price tag) was sifted away, and the love for a science-driven farm remained.

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Topics: Spotlights

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

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