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Old 03-08-2011, 07:00 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,855

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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