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Hydroculture Newbie - UK


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  #1  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:20 PM
watergrower watergrower is offline
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Default Hydroculture Newbie - UK

Just wanted to introduce myself to the forum.

I've been looking at hydroculture for the past few weeks and it's really caught my interest - I'm fascinated by the whole process.

I've picked up a copy of 'HOW-TO Hydroponics' and I'm working my way through that but already I have to say I'm leaning towards aeroponics type systems using mist.

I've already started to wonder if this could be a commercial venture for me :-)

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  #2  
Old 03-01-2011, 06:29 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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Welcome to the Forums. What do you plan to grow?
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2011, 05:40 PM
lighthousehydro lighthousehydro is offline
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Default also newbie michigan

I too am a newbie. I have been thinking about a commercial venture myself here in Michigan. I need help in research ie product per acre. growing times, best floor plans for Michigan weather
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:00 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello lighthousehydro,
I wouldn't recommend going directly into a commercial venture without having experience in hydroponics. There's a lot of things that you will learn by hands on growing, that you just don't get out of books. I call it a learning curve. The things you learn from the small scale growing will benefit you greatly in your large scale commercial venture (which will still come with another learning curve). The small scale experience will save you a lot of money in the long run, and will be well worth the time and effort.

One of the things you will learn is in your question "best floor plans for Michigan weather ." By learning the different type of systems, and getting first hand experience with building them, and dealing with your city's weather, you will be able to make the best use of your space, learn how to make the space more efficient, and making the systems more efficient. As well as learn about the most cost effective ways to deal with the weather in your area (heating, cooling, greenhouse structure). That will be a major factor on deciding to grow year round or not.

Not to mention pollination, bees don't live in greenhouses, nor are they active during winter months. Some plants don't need insects to pollinate, but others do. Starting small also allows you to make assessments on the amount of produce you can expect from so many plants, and in what time frame. That's real important in pricing your produce to be competitive in your area, as well as budgeting your operation (I assume you want a good profit). That will either make or break you. That's hard enough to do in the first place. What happens if you need to re-think, and re-design your entire setup, and will you have the money you will need to do so?

You will also want to make the best profit from your plants and space. So deciding on what to grow is important. Most produce fetches different prices different times of the year, out of season being the best profit margin for "good" produce. Have you decided on what you wanted to grow? That's really the first steep.

P.S. If you know what crops you want to grow, I probably have some infromation on it. If you need infromation on green house structures I have that also. As well as some alternatives to bees for pollination if needed (like bumblebees, and blue bottle flies).
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2011, 09:59 AM
lighthousehydro lighthousehydro is offline
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Thank you for your candor. I would start with the basics. Tomatoes, leafy greens, green peppers, salad items. With the price of fresh vegetables this winter due to the weather, (green peppers at $2.50 per pepper) that did it. Our community has a revolving fund to lend to new business at low interest. I thought I could take advantage of that to get started. I also thought I would take advantage of university students from Michigan state, an agricultural University for some of the labor. We live in a small community in Northeast Michigan. The farmers rely on the weather and as, you know conditions aren't always the best. It would also create year round growing and jobs. I looked at the video from houwelings.com. That is an amazing farm. I don't think we would ever get that large although it would be nice to think someday we could supply at least the state with homegrown veggies. Ours comes from so far away, with hydroponics I think we can finally grow our own. It would be a great undertaking. But I know I need to start small. Our summer is just starting so I won't have much time to work on this project. Any help on the greenhouse design would be welcome.
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2011, 08:46 PM
ovendoctor ovendoctor is offline
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Smile Hi Lighthousehydro

is spring coming down there yet

we are 35 miles south of copper harbor Mi.

and still have snow,, I would suggest going with a ridged green house with at least a 12/12 pitch roof for snow load

there were several hoop houses flattened last weekend with the 12'' of wet snow we got

also welcome to the forum

Doc.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:54 AM
lighthousehydro lighthousehydro is offline
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thanks for the good advice. The snow is gone but for how long? We keep thinking we are done and low and behold, we get dumped on again. So tired of it. Time to get on with spring. Unfortunately, I will be busy on the Island (charityisland.net) for the summer, so I will have to semi shelf the project until the fall. I will continue to do research though. We move to the Island for the summer and at this time we don't have internet out there. Hope to get it this year.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:53 PM
hydrophotobio hydrophotobio is offline
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Video - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

This is the kind of system you would likely need to accomplish your desires. Small footprint, large production capability, flexible crop choices, and highly eficient with regards to resource usage (60-90% decrease in water and nutrient usage, 30-80% energy savings for lighting depending upon crop type.

And it would in turn make a great learning facility for the nearby agriculture students an additional bonus that makes it even more worth while.
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2011, 10:14 AM
lighthousehydro lighthousehydro is offline
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Cool

Thank you, This is quite a bit of information. It will really come in handy. Are you getting ready for the Royal Wedding over there? The US sure is interested over here.

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