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Old 03-19-2017, 06:56 AM
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Cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are a popular vegetable confetti combo.
Micros are quite profitable when you find the right venue.
Farmer's markets can be a hit and miss, while restaurants are gold.
We grow ours in coir from start to finish.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:39 AM
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Cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are a popular vegetable confetti combo.
Micros are quite profitable when you find the right venue.
Farmer's markets can be a hit and miss, while restaurants are gold.
We grow ours in coir from start to finish.
LCG... how are you liking the coir? I switched my grow bags to coir, for tomatoes and peppers, and so far im really liking it. They dont seem to dry out the way peat-lite mixes do. The coir re-hydrates easily. It drains very well, yet stays moist. I no longer have to add in perlite and lime.

I just wish I could find it in a bale the size of peat moss. With that being said I know Promix has some options, but I would have to price it.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:16 AM
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We use it mostly for micros, green onion, sprouts, and as sowing medium for herbs and certain vegetables.
We use a long distance supplier (Coco Agro), who has up to 130kg bales in various grades.
I've visited the plant, and it is a wonderful operation.
They can mix any type of recipe, and at a large volume.
I cannot say much about the country itself, but this company has been top notch to deal with.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:00 AM
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I'd like to evolve into aquaponics eventually. Can you explain how a soil based system works if Chad doesn't object. Maybe even a thread of your own.

<snip
The soil based system works pretty much the same way a chemical based system does. The only big difference is that the plants are in pots filled with soil rather than supports with holes in them suspended in nutrient solution. Check out Growing Power in Milwaukee and Farmory in Green Bay for more details.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:20 AM
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What I found in the microgreens is the huge variety and how well they tasted. Something I had never tried before the seminar. The 'healthy food' reputation should help them sell too.

I'm not into market gardening yet but the micro green production is what impressed me most. Quick growth, no diseases and tasty.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:07 AM
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The soil based system works pretty much the same way a chemical based system does. The only big difference is that the plants are in pots filled with soil rather than supports with holes in them suspended in nutrient solution. Check out Growing Power in Milwaukee and Farmory in Green Bay for more details.


OK I searched both of these and found bunches of information about the philosophy and politics of the organization but nothing at all on soil based hydroponics (oxymoron).

Are the plant roots submerged in water beneath a stata of soil or are the soil rooted plants occasionally irrigated with fertilized water?

I'm hoping this is information that will add to Chad's thread rather than derail it. Chad please inform.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:48 AM
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OK I searched both of these and found bunches of information about the philosophy and politics of the organization but nothing at all on soil based hydroponics (oxymoron).

Are the plant roots submerged in water beneath a stata of soil or are the soil rooted plants occasionally irrigated with fertilized water?

I'm hoping this is information that will add to Chad's thread rather than derail it. Chad please inform.
It's soil based aquaponics, not hydroponics. The plants live in pots with soil in them. They're watered by the irrigation method, and more than occasionally. The fertilized water is circulated through the system similarly to other aquaponics systems. The plants are grown in soil rather than a nutrient solution. The difference in taste is phenomenal, and both orgs are producing quite a lot of food. The soil-based aquaponics works very well.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:09 PM
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Ok, if yall want to discuss the Aquaponics thing, be my guest. I only have a slight interest in it, so I dont think I would be of much help.

With that being said, lets talk about whats been going on around here. The weather is getting better, closer to where it should be. The next 2 nights I can leave GH#2 wide open. No need for heat. Then Wed. and Thur. back to needing heat. Then after that we should be good to go. So Friday it looks like the tomatoes will get moved to GH#1. Im excited to get them situated.

Inside GH#1 I went ahead and set up some grow bags. I need to remove some of these, and set up a center trellis. I plan to use this center section to grow some cucumbers. Originally I was going to do some pole beans, but decided that cucumbers would be better served.



In GH#2 I moved in a bunch of grow bags. Im planning to try for an early crop of Roma II beans. My families absolute favorite variety. Having these bags in the GHs helps to get the soil up to temp. in a hurry. Ill probably wait to plant seeds until Friday morning.



Im not much of an "in-ground" gardener, but Im really wanting to give it a better shot. This particular plot is between the 2 GHs. Its about 16x50. I till this area back around Thanksgiving, and started on it again today. Ran out of gas. So Ill be back at it tomorrow. Hoping later this week to pick up a load of compost.

My current plan is a row or 3 of pole beans, then squash.

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Old 03-20-2017, 05:26 PM
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With that being said, lets talk about whats been going on around here. The weather is getting better, closer to where it should be.
Lookin' good, FC. We had a 34 low sneak in here this morning but it didn't hurt anything. I'm thinking this year might be one of those years when you can get stuff in early with fewer "covering up" times.

Is there any demand at your market for snow peas? You can grow a ton of them on not much trellis.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:36 PM
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Lookin' good, FC. We had a 34 low sneak in here this morning but it didn't hurt anything. I'm thinking this year might be one of those years when you can get stuff in early with fewer "covering up" times.

Is there any demand at your market for snow peas? You can grow a ton of them on not much trellis.
Yeah, about 32 this AM. As far as snow peas, the first day of my Market isnt until the 1st Sat. in June. So I dont think I could hold them that long. I am considering getting into earlier markets. I really want to.

On a side note, I might still plant some. We like to snack on them ourselves. Sometimes I get in the mindset that if I can't sell it, why bother grow it. I forget that we like to eat the stuff too.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:08 PM
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Yeah, about 32 this AM. As far as snow peas, the first day of my Market isnt until the 1st Sat. in June. So I dont think I could hold them that long. I am considering getting into earlier markets. I really want to.

On a side note, I might still plant some. We like to snack on them ourselves. Sometimes I get in the mindset that if I can't sell it, why bother grow it. I forget that we like to eat the stuff too.



Have you tried selling to restaurants?
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:27 AM
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Have you tried selling to restaurants?
Most of the places within a reasonable driving distance are "chain" style. I can only think of one, that I know for a fact buys local.

Its something I have thought of, but havent pondered it too much.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:22 AM
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You're way ahead of me in the marketing end but from the people I talk to, restaurants are the steady money maker for high quality produce, especially if you can produce it when other people are lacking. Your greenhouses should help.

Good looking soil you're tilling there. Mine's still too wet to plow but maybe by the weekend.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:53 AM
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If there is a prospect restaurant I would pay them a visit first as a diner.
Check out the menu and see what they are pushing as their pride and joy.
Order the meal and take note on what you may grow/offer better.

Thank the cook and introduce yourself as a grower with some ideas.
Bring back some samples and suggested varieties too.

Chefs love the opportunity to inspect a beauty harvest.
And when a grower "has it", he needs to flaunt it.
Even if it is only one restaurant, it can bring a very steady source of income and create word of mouth.

Large chain restaurants would have contractual agreements, but many smaller chain restaurants can negotiate for all or category vegetables.
I wouldn't automatically count them out... if it's going to be a "no", make it them who say so.
A few restaurants as clients can take away the more tedious task of Farmer's Market income.

FC you are doing a GREAT job, don't be afraid to strut your stuff.
LCG
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnairkin View Post
You're way ahead of me in the marketing end but from the people I talk to, restaurants are the steady money maker for high quality produce, especially if you can produce it when other people are lacking. Your greenhouses should help.

Good looking soil you're tilling there. Mine's still too wet to plow but maybe by the weekend.
The "marketing" aspect is a work in progress.

The soil is ok. The last couple of years loads of compost and mulch have managed to get worked in, unintentionally. Sort of a happy accident. It seems to drain well, hoping this will make for a good bean stand.

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Originally Posted by LeftCoast Grower View Post
If there is a prospect restaurant I would pay them a visit first as a diner.
Check out the menu and see what they are pushing as their pride and joy.
Order the meal and take note on what you may grow/offer better.

Thank the cook and introduce yourself as a grower with some ideas.
Bring back some samples and suggested varieties too.

Chefs love the opportunity to inspect a beauty harvest.
And when a grower "has it", he needs to flaunt it.
Even if it is only one restaurant, it can bring a very steady source of income and create word of mouth.

Large chain restaurants would have contractual agreements, but many smaller chain restaurants can negotiate for all or category vegetables.
I wouldn't automatically count them out... if it's going to be a "no", make it them who say so.
A few restaurants as clients can take away the more tedious task of Farmer's Market income.

FC you are doing a GREAT job, don't be afraid to strut your stuff.
LCG
LCG, thanks for the kind words and the advice. Its all food for thought.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:17 PM
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Finally got all the grow bags that I want for now in GH#2. These will be for Roma II beans, which I did plant today. We are expected to have a couple more cold mornings, but otherwise back to normal. I sowed 7-9 beans per bag. I have a total of 80 bags here. I split them into 2 rows, to make harvesting a little easier.

This should make for a nice early harvest, hopefully.



Carrots coming along. I forgot to weed these early on. I might just let them go and see if they become the "slender gourmet" style carrot. I also planted 3 more bags. I used Rainbow Mix pelleted seed. Pelleted seed is so much easier to work with.



The tomatillos are starting to develop their papery husk.





Lettuce rails are starting to fill out. I had to spread the pipes apart to allow more room. If this works out then I plan to make some custom supports. Its rather make shift the way I have it at the moment.





Not sure what happened here. 4 different varieties of lettuce here. The 2 surviving in the back are "Giant Caesar" and "Rouge D'Hiver".

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Old 03-22-2017, 02:34 PM
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Cucumber trellis set up. Also planted a bunch of Marketmore Cucumbers.

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Old 03-23-2017, 08:54 PM
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Todays update. Last night I soaked about half a pound of Sugar Snap Peas. I planted those today. Using the tire marks from the tiller as a guide. I planted 2, 48 foot rows.



I also decided to move a couple of the tomato bags into GH#1. I wanted to see how this was going to work, being I havent done this on a large scale. As you can see, the plants main stem is clipped to a string and allowed to grow upwards. Only caveat is that you must keep the plants pruned. These may look a little sad, but in my expeirence potato leaf varieties always look that way. Eventually drip irrigation will be installed. I have enough drippers, just need some new line.

I put my small backup propane heater in here for tonight to keep the plants from chilling.



The clips here. Dont have nearly enough for all 72 plants, so I order a box of 1000 which should arrive Saturday.

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Old 03-24-2017, 11:19 AM
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What is "pelleted seed?" Are you referring to seed that's wrapped in something, such as a fungicide?
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:40 PM
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Chadster, you've been working hard! Everything is looking so good, especially that lettuce. Empty bags now will soon be filled with plants. The process of "becoming".

Please keep us updated on that tomato string support system. Sure does make sense in a greenhouse and I've seen something similar in field grown tomatoes. Perhaps the pruning will result in less leaves to get funked up. I've been thinking about rigging something like that for the bucket tomatoes grown by the house but it might be just as easy for me to keep doing the double decker cages.

Love the cuke trellis. Is that a twine or poly netting?

7-9 Romas in each bucket? Holy cow, that's *intensive*. or are you gonna thin them out a bit?

Keep on truckin', guy!
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