Horizen Hydroponics opening new location on Alpine Avenue – MLive.com

Horizen Hydroponics, which has operated on the West Side for 14 years, is expanding to a new location at 2200 Alpine Ave. NW.

The new location gives the company more space and a more convenient location for its customers, according to its owners. A grand opening is being planned at the new location from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, July 29, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 30. The event will feature sales, raffles, food, and samples.

The company was started by John and Bridgette Ujlaky in 1999 working out of their home and online. It carries 22 full lines of plant nutrients, 20 different soils, and horticultural lighting from small T-5 up to commercial grow lights.

Horizen Hydroponics also operates locations in Kalamazoo and Lansing and Growers Outlet in Byron Center.

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A UK Hydroponics Store Able to Ship to Multiple European … – Digital Journal

This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire

Grimsby, England — (SBWIRE) — 07/22/2016 — Easy Grow Hydroponics, UK industry leading retailer of hydroponics systems have extended their services to cover shipping to a high number of European countries – Enabling even more people to benefit from their high quality products and low prices. As this service is still in the development stages however, a number of these countries are currently limited to the amounts in which they are allowed to order, with some being limited to either 30 kg in weight or one singular parcel. The company also reserves their rights to decline orders where they feel necessary.

Presently the European countries that Easy Grow Hydroponics are offering shipping services to are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

A spokesperson from the company was keen to comment saying, “We are delighted to be able to assist so many people throughout Europe by providing them with the high quality equipment that they need to grow hydroponically in the most effective and efficient ways. It is people vital that people from other countries take into consideration that we cannot be held responsible for any delays due to customs checks or also held liable for any custom rejections. We constantly aim to provide the utmost efficient services however, and this can be seen through our amazing customer testimonials.”

About Easy Grow Hydroponics
For the last five years Easy Grow Hydroponics have been a leading hydroponics equipment retailer in Leeds and the North West and have now spread their services further afield to cater for many European countries.

PR Contact:
Company name: Easy Grow Hydroponics LTD
Contact name: Mr Matlub Rehman
Tel: 01132700666
Email: sales@easygrowhydroponics.uk
Website: http://www.easygrowhydroponics.co.uk
Address: 61 Pepper Road Leeds LS10 2RU

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/a-uk-hydroponics-store-able-to-ship-to-multiple-european-countries-708710.htm

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Hydroponics brings gardening to the classroom – Sioux Falls Argus Leader

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A $5,000 grant allowed an Oscar Howe teacher to build a hydroponics system.

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Linda Pinz-Valdez wants all of her fifth-grade students to end the coming year with a salad.

They just need to grow the vegetables first.

Pinz-Valdez, a teacher at Oscar Howe Elementary in Sioux Falls, will have a hydroponics system installed in her classroom, thanks to a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant. The 8-foot structure allows plants to grow without soil.

“The purpose for this is so students can understand that plants get so much more of what they need from the air and the sun than from the dirt,” Pinz-Valdez said.

Her inspiration for the project came from a student, who in a final report this spring explained that “some” plants can grow without soil. The report followed an experiment in which students grew a lima bean plant in a cup of water.

Pinz-Valdez didn’t want her students to think that just the “weird” plant can grow without nutrients. She wanted the experiment to resonate closer to home.

“I wanted that demonstration that many different plants can grow that way (without soil),” Pinz-Valdez said, adding that she wants students to see plants they recognize and eat grow through hydroponics.

Hydroponic Farmers Federation farm tour – Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses

Hydroponic Farmers Federation of Victoiria Biennial hydroponic farmers conference and trade exhibition.

The Hydroponic Farmers Federation (HFF)  farm tour will visit Boomaroo Nursery, a world-class vegetable seedling producer, and Thoang’s farm, a truss tomato, strawberry and Lebanese cucumber hothouse producer. This farm tour option is available to registered delegates of the HFF Conference and Trade Exhibition, to be held at the Mantra Lorne Resort, Victoria, from 8-10 June 2016.

Boomaroo Nursery

Boomaroo supplies around 300 million seedlings to growers across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. The seedling producer is renowned for  high quality commercial seedlings and wholesale greenlife, and its capacity to deliver on time, every time.

The hallmark combination of high quality products, customer service and innovation in seedling production mean that much of the fresh vegetable produce available in supermarkets originates from Boomaroo seedlings, including lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, leek and onions. Located in Lara, Victoria, Boomaroo has 20 hectares under production.

The nursery also specialises in greenlife products, including potted colour (ornamental flowering plants), and are now one of Australia’s largest cyclamen producers.

Beginning as a small family business, Boomaroo was built on the passion of the three Jacometti brothers. Now with over 100 permanent employees, Boomaroo is one of Australia’s largest seedling suppliers and is recognised for its state-of-the-art technology and processes.

For more information on Boomaroo, visit website: http://www.boomaroo.com

Thoang’s farm

Thoang’s farm was established in 1985 by his parents who grew Asian vegetables such as khang kong, mint and bak choi, which were supplied to the Asian grocery shops around Melbourne.

Thoang took over the farming business in 2000. He started to grow tomatoes in a short crop. Along with the tomatoes, he thought he would try growing other crops also, including Chinese broccoli.

In 2012, Thoang decided to try a long crop with grafted plants from Trandos in his low-tech hothouses. The one crop rotation per year has saved him a lot of crop costings and down time.

Thoang's farm Thoang’s farm

This year because of poor tomato pricing, Thoang has invested in growing strawberries in his shade houses and Lebanese cucumbers in his hothouses. This was done because he wanted to diversify his business, in other words, “not to put all your eggs into one basket.” Still, it has been a learning curve for him, but the pricing has been rewarding and he looks forward to the challenge.

For further information and registration, email: eg@asnevents.net.au or visit website: https://members.asnevents.com.au/event/1423   O

Posted 11 May 2016

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Solar Powered Hydroponics – Hackaday

[Dan Bowen] describes the construction of a backyard hydroponics set-up in an angry third person tirade. While his friends assume more nefarious, breaking, and bad purposes behind [Dan]’s interest in hydroponics; he’d just like some herbs to mix into the occasional pasta sauce.

Feel particularly inspired one day after work, he stopped by the local hardware store and hydroponics supply. He purchases some PVC piping, hoses, fittings, pumps, accessories, and most importantly, a deck box to hide all the ugly stuff from his wife.

The design is pretty neat. He has an open vertical spot that gets a lot of light on his fence. So he placed three lengths of PVC on a slant. This way the water flows quickly and aerates as it goes. The top of the pipes have holes cut in them to accept net baskets.

The deck box contains a practically industrial array of sensors and equipment. The standard procedure for small-scale hydroponics is just to throw the water out on your garden and replace the nutrient solution every week or so. The hacker’s solution is to make a rubbermaid tote bristle with more sensors than the ISS.

We hope his hydroponics set-up approaches Hanging Gardens of Babylon soon.

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Arctic Greens sets example for northern hydroponics – The Arctic Sounder

It’s been a month since the first locally-grown leafy greens hit the shelves at Kotzebue’s Alaska Commercial store.

When the heads of lettuce appeared, local residents had high hopes for the certified Alaska Grown produce and the stakeholders behind the hydroponics pilot project had their sights set on building the foundation for a long-term endeavor.

“It’s a sustainable operation,” said Jeffrey Hicks, chief operating officer of Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corp., which spearheaded the project. “We want to expand. This cycle is meant for production.”

Planting the seed

The story of how a hydroponics operation came to Kotzebue began last fall at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage.

Hicks was there representing the corporation and he happened upon a series of presentations by a relatively new Anchorage-based company called Vertical Harvest Hydroponics.

The presenters extolled the virtues of hydroponics, or a method of growing plants in a liquid, gravel, or sand environment, without soil.

Vertical Harvest manufactures large shipping containers designed specifically to contain hydroponic grow operations that Hicks thought his corporation might be interested in.

Back in Kotzebue last October, corporation representatives set up meetings with the local AC store to investigate the potential for selling locally-grown produce. By March of this year, the corporation’s board of directors had approved the acquisition of a growing unit, though Hicks declined to specify the cost.

After a few months of construction, it arrived on a C-130 on May 21. The first planting happened a week later and the first crop was ready for harvest at the end of June.

“I just saw, last night, an example of romaine lettuce you would just not even believe,” said Hicks. “We’re using one-gallon Ziplock bags to put them in. This thing would be lucky to fit in a two-and-a-half-gallon bag. The plants are coming along very well.”

So far, the dozens of varieties of leafy greens, from kale to mustard to chives, lettuce, and basil, have been warmly welcomed into the community.

With a roughly six-week seed-to-harvest turnaround, more than one crop has already made its way out of the store and into local residents’ kitchens.

The process of growing the greens is fairly direct:

“We take a seed and we put it in a product called rockwool,” which is a mixture of basalt and chalk and is a medium for the seed to soak up nutrient-rich water, explained Hicks. “You put [the seeds] in the nursery and they germinate. They stay in that system for two to three weeks depending on how long the germination cycle is.”

Lettuces take about two weeks while many herbs take up to three weeks.

“They’ll be about two to three inches tall at that point,” he said. “Every Wednesday we take plants out of the nursery and transplant them into the growing room and that’s where they’ll be until they are harvested,” which is typically about a month later.

Now that the cycle has run its course a few times, it’s found its rhythm. On Tuesdays, employees harvest the plants, bag them, and drive them around the corner to the AC store.

By Wednesday morning they are on the shelves, said Hicks, a mere 12 hours after they are harvested.

“It’s a safe and secure method. We are not in soil. We are in a contained environment. We control that environment. There are no bugs. There are no pesticides,” he said. “If it’s in the middle of the winter and it’s icy and the wind’s blowing, we don’t have to depend on the airplane landing for us to get vegetables. In that way, it’s a more safe and secure source of nourishment.”

Seeds of change

Finding a way to bring good fruits and veggies to remote northern villages was the impetus behind the creation of Vertical Harvest two years ago.

Dan Perpich, one of the company’s three co-founders, used to be in the military. He first came to Alaska in 2008 and by 2011 had become a training officer. That year, he traveled to Canada as an advisor for their Arctic training program.

“I went up to a small village in northern Canada called Resolute,” said Perpich. “About 130 people live there. I went into the supermarket and saw a head of lettuce that was about the size of my fist and dark brown and cost about $18. [I talked] to people and said, ‘Do you actually buy that?’ And they said, ‘That’s just what it looks like up here.’ It’s really shocking to see it like that.”

He returned to Alaska and found similar produce situations in villages throughout the Interior.

At a party two years ago, he met up with a horticulturist and the two decided to pair up and devise a way to help alleviate the fresh greens problem in rural Alaska. They teamed up with a third partner who has a background in sales and marketing and Vertical Harvest was born.

“You kind of need a mix like that to grow a business because you can’t just have a good technology and you can’t just have numbers, you have to bring it all together,” Perpich said. “I can safely say that no one person can do this alone — it’s got to be a team effort.”

They began designing growing boxes like the one being used in Kotzebue. So far, they’ve developed a box specifically for leafy greens and they’re working on making one that can handle plants like strawberries and cherry tomatoes, though that design isn’t finished yet.

There are many variables that have to be considered when constructing a hydroponic growth chamber from a complex electrical system to an air circulation and ventilation system.

“We’re trying to maximize plants per cubic foot but at the same time, we have to account for the end marketing of the product,” Perpich explained. “For example, if we’re going to put produce into the supermarket, we need more growing space for the plants with fewer plants per cubic foot because the plants need to be larger.”

People buying produce in a store will gravitate toward the larger, heavier vegetables whereas restaurants buying produce will focus on color and overall quality, not size.

“So, that right there is a huge difference — something seemingly small but massively important,” he said.

The design process is constantly being evaluated and tested and improved, he said, and the company is always looking for ways to add value to the final product and reduce overhead.

“Because in the end, what the customer cares about is how much money they’re making and how much it’s costing them,” he said.

The root of the problem

Bringing fresh produce to the Arctic has posed a challenge since markets first made an appearance here.

That’s why, when the corporation approached the AC store proposing locally-sourced veggies, the company’s interest was piqued.

“For us as a corporation and looking at our business model, there’s a lot of positives regarding the dependability and the quality [of local produce],” said Walter Pickett, general manager of the Alaska Commercial Company. “It’s very difficult at times to get fresh product into a market as isolated and remote as Kotzebue. You’re basically taking a lot of the risk out by buying locally.”

The risk comes from the often long and arduous trek from farm to store the food must make.

“For example, if we’re selling stone fruit, peaches or nectarines, we’re getting that product primarily from South America. That product is being shipped from South America to Seattle and then from Seattle it gets put on a ship to Anchorage and then from Anchorage to the market it gets flown,” explained Pickett.

“Then, the piece that is outside our control is the time it takes in the air. If there’s ice fog in Kotzebue, it might have to stay a day or two in Anchorage before it flies. If there are challenges with rough weather on the ocean or if there are mechanical problems, you have to wait. We have our best case from time of order to time of delivery but we really don’t have any control over when it was picked in the field or which field it was picked in or any delays associated with getting it into the market on either the water leg or the air leg,” he said. “All of that, of course, goes away when we’re able to gather it locally.”

The risk of damage to the produce increases the longer it’s in transit. If it’s arriving in winter, just a brief encounter with 40 below temperatures are enough to ruin a batch of lettuce. Likewise, on warm summer days, a delay on a hot tarmac could mean greens arrive wilted and rusted.

“A lot of times we end up throwing product away and, of course, we incur that cost when it happens,” he said. “We let down our customers because they come in to buy a head of lettuce or fresh spinach greens and we don’t have any because it didn’t arrive at the store in sellable condition.”

Homegrown solutions

This is the first time AC has partnered with a locally-run hydroponics operation to provide produce year-round. In Bethel, AC contracts with Meyers Farm for root veggies like potatoes and carrots, but as that is a seasonally-dependent farm, it can’t provide leafy greens in the winter months.

Pickett hopes this partnership in Kotzebue will open the doors for similar relationships around the state in the future.

“We’re paying close attention to the model,” he said. “Hopefully this will set a precedent for other communities and other remote markets like Barrow or Nome, or smaller markets like Unalakleet or Hooper Bay. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the community of Kotzebue and the business leaders there with the determination to see this through.”

Likewise, Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corp. plans to expand its distribution into the surrounding villages, if this pilot project continues successfully.

“That’s why we did the pilot the way we did it,” said KIC’s Jeff Hicks. “We felt very comfortable knowing that we can expand in a very meaningful way in a relatively short period of time to different villages both with AC stores and without. That’s the whole purpose for how we went about approaching this project.”

As for the people behind the technical side of hydroponics, Vertical Harvest’s Dan Perpich said his company’s vision is to see these modular growing systems go into every community in the north.

“We think there’s a huge impact to be had here to food security and we want to be a part of it,” he said. “I think what excites us most with the deal up in Kotzebue is that’s a direct channel to recognize the vision. I think it’s so cool what we’re doing up there. They’re doing a phenomenal job and they’ve been putting food into the stores and on the shelves and that’s saying to me, hey, we can do this.”

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Discovering soil-less farming – Harvard Gazette

As the world’s population continues to climb, the climate continues to change, and issues of water and food scarcity arise, interest in alternative farming mechanisms is growing. Jiyoo Jye, M.Des. ’16, a recent graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, is attracted to the social and cultural narratives within this agricultural revolution, as captured in her living, open research archive Rooted in Air.

Hydroponic, aeroponic, fogponic, aquaponic, and related systems for growing food require fewer natural resources and can be constructed for as little as $30. A do-it-yourself culture is in full bloom, with more of these methods becoming available to the masses and to the novice farmer. “Rooted in Air” is Jye’s contribution to this blossoming community, an online platform for case studies, idea-sharing, and discussion.

With help from a student sustainability grant from the Office for Sustainability, Jye was able to expand her thesis research into a full-fledged investigation of soil-less farming modules and the urban stewardship that these methods can promote.

Of her research, Jye said, “It’s about growing produce in the absence of soil and investigating ways in which soil-less farming informs plausible solutions for urban food production. In doing so, it reflects upon how the revolution of alternative urban farming practices are engineering new feedbacks within the synthetic ecology of agriculture and considerably influencing the social actors of its domain. The survey of soil-less farming systems offers a framework for comparing how agricultural practices are being aligned with economic viability across scales.”

Jye presented her work at the April 2016 Office for Sustainability showcase. (Photo by Katie Hammer) Jiyoo Jye presented her work at the April 2016 Office for Sustainability showcase. Photo by Katie Hammer

To begin her exploration, Jye turned to research to look at environmental and societal extremes, such as droughts, floods, and food crises, that can move people to these alternative farming mechanisms while also examining the increasingly popular desire to connect more with our food: to know how it’s grown, where it comes from, and often to grow it ourselves.

As part of this “witnessing” phase, Jye gathered case studies on alternative farming, including the MIT OpenAg Initiative, the O’Hare International Airport Aeroponic Garden, Japan’s Granpa Dome, and the underwater Nemo’s Garden in Italy, all of which are archived on her site. From these examples, Jye began to weigh the pros and cons of soil-less agriculture.

She found that these systems save water, often eliminate the need for harmful pesticides (due to their required sterile environments), and offer a higher yield per square foot, thus encouraging the DIY movement of scaling and customizing personal farms.  Additionally, soil-less farming methods are continuously forming new kinds of environments, or rather sealed containers, of synthetic naturalism. However, she also found that most of the systems are still new and rely completely on electricity, and thus are not yet able to be the primary means of urban food production.

Jye’s next step was to “situate.” She immersed herself in the trial-and-error process of creating a personal aeroponic module, which she dubbed “Aeropond.” Before she went too deep into renderings, Jye, who has no farming experience, set out to see if she could grow a seed into a pea. Through this discovery process, she also spent time thinking about containers, moving from growing plants in natural and tradition-steeped terra cotta planters to sterile, synthetic plastic vessels.

Photo rendering by Jiyoo Jye Graphic rendering by Jiyoo Jye

“I’m at a point now where I’m starting to understand their temperaments — how vulnerable plants are, but also how strong they can become,” said Jye, noting also that she has developed a newfound agricultural vernacular.

Ultimately, after successes and failures (she was able to grow the pea), Jye decided that what seemed to be missing was the middle ground. She’s now most interested in bridging the gap between personal experience and communal action, and in urging others to think about their places as social actors in the food system.

Through her research archive, Jye also hopes that the growing number of projects and case studies will not only help build community, but, through dialogue, encourage those who may have felt intimidated to plant some starting seeds.

A thinner, flatter lens By Leah Burrows, SEAS Communications | June 2, 2016

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