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Business of Growing Food

Starting a Commercial Greenhouse

Greenhouse manufacturers meet growers early in the process of starting a new business and maintain the relationship potentially throughout the life of the greenhouse. They know a thing or two about starting a greenhouse business and building it from the ground up. Phil Bishop of Stuppy Greenhouse has recently posted...

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Food Safety Plans for Small Growers, Part II

In Food Safety Plans for Small Growers, I wrote about the necessity of some sort of written food safety plan, even for small growers who are exempt from the requirements set forth by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In this blog, I’ll take the food safety plan one step...

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Food Safety Plans for Small Growers

A food safety plan is a necessity for anyone who grows food for sale. This is true whether you grow in a field, a greenhouse, an indoor farm, hydroponically or aquaponically. Contamination sources are not limited to animal manure. Pathogens can travel in water and be transferred by hands and...

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Hydroponic Growers: Improve Your Production by Starting with Clean Water

Water makes things clean, right? Whether you have clean water to start with, though, is uncertain. It may contain particulate matter, pathogens, excessive minerals or chemicals. This is particularly noteworthy when it comes to hydroponic systems. For growers, the quality of your water is of paramount importance. “Poor quality water...

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LED Lights: Research and Grower Testing

LED’s have been shown to be effective for all types of controlled environment agriculture, whether you run a greenhouse or indoor farm, grow annuals or hydroponic lettuce. The use of LED’s as supplemental greenhouse lighting and sole source lighting for indoor operations has received a great deal of press in...

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Choosing a Greenhouse Heating System

In 2008, Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, NH made the switch from heating their greenhouse with fuel oil to wood chips. They received a return on their investment in less than 3 years. Heating with biomass in New Hampshire makes sense because New England and eastern Canada produce a lot...

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What the Plant Industry Is Doing About Its Plastic Problem

First, An Ode to Plastic Ah, plastic! It really is a miracle substance that is so much a part of our everyday life and so integral to the agriculture and horticulture industries, it’s hard to imagine life without it. The evolution of the container seems to have peaked with plastic....

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Cultivate ’15: Trends, Tips and Takeaways

Cultivate ’15, American Hort’s horticulture trade show, drew to a close this week. Hundreds of exhibitors, from tray and container manufacturers to fertilizer companies to growing media producers such as Grow-Tech, displayed their products in a riot of color and enthusiasm. In this blog, I will review the highlights from...

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What is the Financial Future of Farmers?

Nobody ever said growing food is easy or that it pays well. However, while the number of new farmers across the U.S. may be down, interest in starting farming ventures of all types seems to be high. The number of new farmers in Maine who are 34 or younger, for...

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