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Design, setup and production from a Commercial Hydroponic Farm

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Old 10-31-2010, 11:19 AM
NorEastFla NorEastFla is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: North East Florida
Posts: 68
Default Design, setup and production from a Commercial Hydroponic Farm

Whew! That title was a mouthful! haha

Another thread was starting to move this direction, so I thought I'd start one here to get that discussion out of the other thread about lighting.

Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
I am very interested in your progress on your setups and plans, as you know we have very similar goals. It's frustrating for me though right now because I just can't seem to come up with the money I need to get things rolling. I plan to start some commercial systems in the back yard, then when I have things dialed in. I have talked to a local nursery owner who has 9 acres of land that's willing to work something out with me setting up a commercial growing operation there at his nursery.
Hey GpsFrontier, I hear you about the money part. I couldn't get started on mine until after retiring. During my working life, there seemed to always be something else the money was needed for. Now, I live by myself and have almost everything I own paid for now, so I can shift some income into my planned for life hydroponic farm.

The *per/acre* amount of produce from a well run, organized hydroponic farm is truly astronomical. In Dr. Howard Resh's book "Hydroponic Food Production", he shows several farms from around the world. The numbers of plants in an acre, and the produce from those plants within one year is stunning in it's numbers.

For one old guy like me, I doubt very much that I could handle the picking, packing, transporting, unloading and selling of more than one acre of produce.

That will turn my life back into a job oriented existence again and that's something I *don't* want to do.

I have a college near me that has an Agricultural department and a dorm full of young people who need part time work. I think I may be able to invite the Head Professor of the Ag dept over to see my setup and discuss some credit based work for the students. I've heard of this being done elsewhere with great success.

The market side of the operation would have to be done by hired help, because I have no interest in doing it myself. Hell, I'm retired and staying that way! hehe

I love the setting up of hydroponic systems and the growing in them. I also love eating the produce.

If I were to only have one to provide me with veggies, I could do that in a pretty small greenhouse.

I really do want to get a commercial op going tho'. It would be a blast planning it all out, building it and making some bucks from it. Even if I broke even for a couple of years, it would just be fun.

Originally Posted by halfway View Post
I am very interested in you gentlemen's progress toward the commercial side of your hydro efforts.

I am just starting the process, but my 3rd and 4th chess moves ahead have me entertaining the feasibility of not only feeding my family, but commercial ventures as well.

I look forward to seeing your progress and am very interested in what the number crunching turns up.
Hi halfway! Good to see you here posting again! Forums like this one and mine are for casual topic related conversations. Some folks avoid them because they feel *tense* about posting. That's nuts! Kicking back and just yakking it up like you would in your own living room with a glass of your favorite beverage is what it should be looked at like.

That said, there is a reason that most farmers don't convert their farms to hydroponic growing; costs.

The setup costs for a large scale op are pretty large. More than most farmers could handle on a private farming basis. Most farmers live year to year and have no real *extra* money after their kids future education, upkeep on their current farm property and ops and paying their hired help are output.

Most of the large scale hydroponic farms in the world today are new setups and are either government sponsored or built by people who are part of a coop or already wealthy. It takes *Millions* of dollars to setup a huge hydroponic farm.

I'm going a different direction.

My whole life, I've wanted to create a hydroponic garden that is modular and able to be built by a putting a *kit* together and run by a normal family or even a single family member.

The starvation that exists in the world today could be easily ended by using nothing more than world-wide hydroponic farming. I've punched the numbers and done all the math. I'm a retired database professional, so doing that type of *number crunching* was my bread and butter for more than 30 years.

I've combined my database abilities and my love for hydroponic gardening with my mind-numbing understanding of the numbers and cause of millions of people per/year who starve to death in our world in search of a possible solution to the unneeded waste of human life.

My goal is to build a modular system that will be easy to set up, be made of materials easily transported and purchased or made, and be large enough to provide the basic vegetables needed for survival and health of a family of ten.

I believe I've done all the planning needed and this winter, I'm building the prototype of the first version of this system.

In 2011, I'll prove that my system can be built and used by people with no formal education and in any country in the world.

I'm going to find a family here in my own area that fits that description and once and for all find out if this idea I've built in my mind will work or not.

I think it will. By the end of 2011, I'll know for sure. If it does, I'll find backers who will enable me to kick it off in a much, much larger way.

My goal is to have a system that can be carried by shoulder if necessary, setup, used and maintained by a single person and provide enough vegetables for a family of ten.

I'll use PVC and other plastics first, but intend to also make it so that it can be built from normal items available in most countries like bamboo and such.

2011 is going to be an exciting year for me.

The first question most have for me is "What about the pumps?"

Manually filled tanks using gravity fed systems are a way around the electric part of outdoor hydro. Hard work only if gearing isn't used. Even the poorest families can sometimes come up with some pretty ingenious methods of filling a water tank.

Well there you have it. You all know now what I'll be doing in 2011.

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