Rhode Island Greenhouse to by Hydroponic Greenhouse

Hydroponic greenhouse putting down roots in R.I.

Thursday’s unveiling of 8,400-square-foot West Kingston facility is first step for Atlantic Produce

Original Source: Providence Journal
By Paul Grimaldi
Journal Staff Writer Posted Sep. 16, 2015 at 11:47 amUpdated Sep 16, 2015 at 5:34 PM

A Massachusetts entrepreneur has staked out territory in Rhode Island for a new agricultural business he said will help Americans change the way they grow and consume produce.

The hydroponic greenhouse operated by Atlantic Produce near the University of Rhode Island in is the first commercial one in the state, according to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.

Lewis Valenti, the founder of Atlantic Produce, is working with URI on the prototype for a hydroponic growing facility that can grow lettuce and other greens, in a chemical-free environment, year-round.

On Thursday, state officials will join URI administrators as they unveil the 8,400-square-foot facility in West Kingston, near the URI campus.

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Hydroponic Grow Tips


Far too many hydroponics enthusiasts end up failing for making mistakes that can be easily avoided by educating yourself. As long as you observe the following tips below, you should have pretty much little to no issue when it comes to growing your plants in a hydroponic system. These tips aren’t just focused on hydroponically grown plants; they can be applied to pretty much any other method of growing plants as well.

#1 Check your pH levels often due to plant growth phases
Plants, similar to humans, have different stages of growth that requires them to have different requirements for optimal growth. The most fundamental aspect to understand about hydroponic gardening is the soil or nutrient enriched water’s pH level, which indicates how acidic it is. Different plants have different pH level requirements, but as a general rule of thumb, keeping your pH levels around 6 would be the most ideal. The easiest way to find your hydroponic system’s ph level is to use a ph level meter (buy it now). The most common methods of adjusting pH levels is to apply potassium hydroxide if you wish to raise the pH, or to apply phosphoric acid if you wish to lower it – kits are sold to make it very easy (buy it now). Food grade citric can also be used if you want to go the organic route.

#2 Test soil or water often to make sure you have the right amount of nutrients and don’t forget your water temperature
As a general rule of thumb, you want to keep the temperature of your plant’s water grown in a hydroponic system somewhere around 70 degrees, with a margin of 5 degrees. It’s common for water to change its temperature, and you don’t want your plant to end up withering because you failed to keep its water at the right temperature. It’s important for you to keep testing your hydroponic plant’s water and ensure that the temperature is right. If it’s far too low, you may want to consider adding a heater or a cooler if it you find it warm.

#3 Use a liquid nutrient solution to ensure adequate amounts of food
All plants have a specific requirement for nutritional intake that has to be met. Having a quality liquid nutrient solution in your arsenal of hydroponic plant maintenance equipment will go a long way in taking out all the guess work when it comes to mixing the right liquid nutrient solution. Having this solution ready at your disposal will certainly make your life so much more convenient, and it will allow your hydroponic plant to get the appropriate amount of food and nutrients that it requires. After all, liquid nutrient solutions are pretty much what hydroponics are all about (buy it now).


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How to grow indoors

How to grow plants indoors.

Living in an urban environment, apartment or high rise condo makes it very limiting when it comes to gardening unless you learn hydroponics, and begin to grow indoors. With housing developments in city areas becoming increasingly smaller, most of us gardening enthusiasts end up feeling constrained in terms of our hobbies. However, none of that has to be the case any longer. Growing plants indoors has become as easy and as convenient as any other outdoor garden, especially if you have the appropriate knowledge and systems to do so. This guide will equip you with the fundamentals that you need to know about how to grow plants indoors.

#1 Starting seeds indoors
The absolute first step that you have to take for growing plants indoors is to start the seeds growing. For this process, you can pretty much use any container size. If you intend to get a multiple number of seeds going, it’s advisable for you to separate the seeds into separate rectangular containers that provide the plant with a sufficient amount of space for their roots. After all, you don’t want your plants to end up getting overcrowded.  And for those who think this sounds like too much work, you can also purchase a seedling plant at the local nursery and remove all the soil from the root system.

#2 Transitioning outdoor plants to indoors
If you already have a plant or a few herbs that you want to shift indoors, it’s important for you to be aware about allowing your plant to make the transition smoothly. Doing otherwise would cause your plant to fall into a poor state of health, and it might not make it through the sudden transition. Typically, you’ll want to shift your plants early on during fall into an area that’s brightly let and cool in temperature, preferably your daylight garage or somewhere that’s enclosed and protected from the cold temperatures. After your plants have become accustomed to the change in temperature, you can pretty much place them anywhere you want that has a daytime temperature of around 67°F.

#3 Hydroponic water culture bucket systems
The most significant thing about hydroponic water culture bucket systems is that they allow you to grow your plants at literally any time of the year and the plants grow fast. These hydroponic bucket systems are designed specifically to be able to grow plants indoors, allowing them to be protected from harsh climates, bugs and poor weather. These hydroponic deep water culture buckets provide your plants with nutrients that you add to the water, the air from a pump and photosynthesis from the sunlight or your indoor LED grow lights. These hydroponic water bucket systems can easily be made in a DIY fashion from your local hardware store items or purchased in an easy to start hydroponic system kit.  There are many indoor hydroponic garden kits on the market today and many available for under $40 – and some on sale!

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How much nutrient to use in hydroponics system?

How much nutrients to use in a hydroponics system?

There is no question that hydroponics is a good alternative to growing plants in an outdoor soil based garden. However, it takes more than basic knowledge to growing hydroponically. Items such as the appropriate amount and feeding of hydroponics nutrients should also be taken into consideration. If you are new to hydroponics, you may have be consumed with researching whether or not you are feeding the proper amount of nutrients to your deep water culture hydroponic system.


The point here is to keep the balance of nutrients as it is very important in the promotion of proper development and growth as your plants enter the various growth phases. The first thing you can do is either purchase a quick start nutrient kit and identify the type of nutrients that your plants are already receiving. Oxygen and carbon are among the essential hydroponics nutrients needed for vegetation; however, they are generally supplied naturally through water and air, and absorbed through the plant’s roots. Therefore, you no longer have to include them in your list of nutrients that you will be feeding to your plants since in a deep water culture hydroponic system, your oxygen is supplied by an air pump and you are growing the plants in a large water supply.  This leaves the nutrients needed to feed your plants during the growth phases.  Many company’s make liquid nutrients and plant food, however we recommend a liquid nutrient made for growing plants hydroponically (here is one we tried and like).


Familiarize Yourself with Hydroponics Nutrients


The basic hydroponics nutrients that should be included in your list include potassium sulphate, calcium nitrate, monopotassium phosphate, potassium nitrate, as well as magnesium sulphate. Sulfur and nitrogen are very important in the overall supply of proteins and amino acids. Phosphorus is very important in the overall growth and photosynthesis of plants. Magnesium and potassium serve as catalysts in the production of sugars and starch. Nitrogen and magnesium play a very important role in chlorophyll production. And of course, calcium contributes to the strength of the cell walls of the plants, boosting its overall growth.  Or, simply purchase a starter kit and enjoy watching your plants grow — fast!


The amount of hydroponics nutrients that you will be feeding your water culture highly depends on the type of plant that you will be planting in a hydroponic system. While you can mix the nutrients on your own, the safest way to go is by purchasing pre-mixed nutrient solutions that are available in local garden shops or in our hydroponic nutrients for sale online.

The good thing about these nutrient solutions is that the amount of hydroponics nutrients are already pre-calculated in order to suit the needs of the plants that you are trying to grow. With expert advice from a local gardener, you do not have to worry about being a newbie in this field and there are many guides that you can read or simply purchase some liquid nutrients and read the label – it can be that easy.

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Why grow plants hydroponically?

Why grow plants hydroponically?

The 21st century has seen rapid urbanisation and the global population is now expected to grow to more than 8.3 billion by 2050. Currently, 800m hectares – 38% of the earth’s land surface – is farmed and we’ll soon need to give over another 100m hectares if we continue to use current agricultural methods. That’s not additional fertile land that actually exists though, so some are investigating the potential of vertical farming.

It has been suggested that a 30 storey 27,800,000 m2 vertical farm could be achieved within one New York City block. That farm could feed 50,000 people, providing 2,000 calories for every person each day. With results like that as a prospect, it’s easy to see why enthusiasts see vertical farms as the future.

Growing up

Vertical farms are still very much at the conceptual stage. The idea is to cultivate crops on multiple levels within high-rise buildings in urban areas. It’s not an entirely new proposition, with architect Ken Yeang suggesting a vision of high-rise plant cultivation in mixed-use skyscrapers as early as the 1980s. Professor Dickson Despommier, the leading international advocate of vertical farms, describes them as “a global solution” to the world’s urban food needs.

Vertical farms do indeed have many advantages. They would enable us to produce crops all year round using 70% less water. We wouldn’t need to use agro-chemicals and could avoid the adverse environmental factors that affect yield and quality in more traditional farming. And if food were grown in urban areas in the first place, we could eliminate the financial and environmental costs of importing food into towns and cities. Read more here.

This story is sourced from http://theconversation.com/vertical-farms-offer-a-bright-future-for-hungry-cities-26934


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One University’s Commitment to Hydroponics

Believe it or not, The Commons, Kennesaw State University’s state-of-the-art dining hall, feeds more than 5,000 guests each weekday! The facility opened in August 2009 and coincided with the introduction of the campus meal plan program. The staff of Culinary & Hospitality Services took advantage of an incredibly unique opportunity to incorporate industry-leading sustainable practices in a new building from the ground up.


Did You Know?

The Commons has more than 10 hydroponic units. Hydroponics refers to the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients and without soil. Rainwater run-off from our buliding is used as a water source.

The process consists of three steps: germination, propagation, and cultivation.

The Commons will produce 600 heads of lettuce every three weeks, which will result in about 9,600 heads of lettuce per year for use in the dining hall.

[button_icon href=”http://www.kennesawstatedining.com/sustainability/index.html” icon_path=”” icon=”arrow” sense=”ltr” target=”_blank” ]Read More[/button_icon]

Source from http://www.kennesawstatedining.com/sustainability/farm.html