“If a company works primarily in an area where seismic calculations are not needed then they probably do not have the calculations to give you because… The company also lacks the experience or knowledge that will guide you through a successful process of procuring permits…”

Every grower has to start out somewhere and most of the growers out there start out by ordering something on Amazon. They figure, correctly, that they can see if they like growing, if they are capable of doing it, and what it is like overall. It is a smart idea altogether. Why waste time in a profession where it is not going to pan out. However, if you get past this stage and realize that you want more from the industry then you are going to have to start looking at growing vertically in a rack. You are also going to have to figure out how you can do it more efficiently.

One of the biggest problems you face when you go from being a hobbyist into a bigger business is the amount of consumer-level products that will be pitched to you. The truth is that there are a lot more entry-level consumers than there are businesses that make it in this industry. Many of the businesses building rack or shelving tend to focus on this segment which means that you might be out of luck when it comes to finding what you want. You will have to comb through the hundreds of consumer-level products to find a few that are capable of doing the level of growing that you have in mind.

Industrial strength is not industrial strength in the consumer market. Many of the products they have in the marketplace tout “industrial strength”. Much of those products have a limit somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 lbs. The weight sounds impressive until you find out that professional growers can handle up to 2500 lbs per level with their racks. They can also stack their grows vertically to the limits allowed by their local governments. If you are stuck with a rack or shelf that only does 800 lbs and your competition has a shelf that can do 2500 lbs per level while maintaining the ability to grow vertically then you can guess how much bigger of a yield and profit they have above you.

“If you still intend on using it legally in your business then you may have to have it modified. It may end up being more expensive than just buying a vertical farming rack that has seismic calculations already included.”

Money is always a factor and you should do what is profitable for you but you should not cut corners because that is where you start to have trouble. If you start looking into the used vertical farming rack or discount racks that are new then you can run into trouble. It is because not all racks have the necessary documentation that will allow them to be used, legally, in your location. Not all areas have the same seismic activity happening underneath their businesses. It is because of this fact that not all rack or shelving should or can be used in your business. If they do not have a need for seismic calculations in their respective area then it is unlikely they will have the calculations for you. If you need calculations for your permit process then you might be out of luck. You will have to get them so that you can prove that your newly bought used rack is up to code. If it is not up to code then you will have to store it. There are some cases where you might be forced to disassemble it and then store it away. If you still intend on using it legally in your business then you may have to have it modified. Of course, this is all dependent on what your seismic calculations say. It may end up being more expensive than just buying a vertical farming rack that has seismic calculations already included.

Remember, this is also possible with a new rack. If a company works primarily in an area where seismic calculations are not needed then they probably do not have the calculations to give you because it is unnecessary for them or the clientele they deal with on a day to day basis. The company also lacks the experience or knowledge that will guide you through a successful process of procuring permits for your area. You should always ask about seismic calculations before you buy a new or used rack so you know what you are getting into before you buy anything.

If you are looking for a vertical farming rack with seismic calculations and a company that can help you with permitting then you want to talk to us. Give us a call at 503-536-7218. You can also look at this vertical farming rack or mobile grow rack by clicking the respective links.

“If you could get the led lights into the system then it would be tight and you would be risking a fire because the lights would be too close to the plants. Your product and profits would, literally, go up in smoke and so would your building too.”

Looking for a vertical hydroponic system for sale can be frustrating. We get it. It is frustrating because most of the products you get with a search like that are consumer-level products. They are meant for a beginning grower who may have eyes bigger than what their business acumen can handle at that point. However, that is probably not you because you are an experienced grower who has a pretty good idea of what they need and want.

Truth? You have lighting and other pieces of equipment that are much larger than the shelving units they show you on online retailer sites like Amazon. If you could get the led lights into the system then it would be tight and you would be risking a fire because the lights would be too close to the plants. Your product and profits would, literally, go up in smoke and so would your building too. Your landlord, assuming you are renting a spot, would not like that either. Therefore, if you are looking to compete with the big boys in your marketplace then you probably want to upgrade to industrial level gear that will allow you to compete with them.

“If it still fails after that then you will have to modify the shelving unit. All in all, it could end up costing you more than getting a vertical growing rack with seismic calculations already supplied.”

If there are no good vertical hydroponics systems for sale then you are going to have to design and build it yourself. You might be able to find the ballasts, led lights, and other materials you might need pretty quickly but you will not find the vertical growing racks you need very easily. The reason that is a two-fold answer. The first problem is that the industry is focused on the low-end grower or beginner. There are a lot more of them entering the market than there are staying in the market. They are focusing, time, money, and R and D into producing and selling products that sell to that market. The second reason is that most of your grow shops or gardening shops are not in the material handling industry. They are in the retail industry for the most part. They are not going to know the ins and outs of permitting and other small factors that make pallet racks or industrial storage systems, which is what professional growers use, viable for growth in your industry.

If you are growing legally, and we recommend that you do, then you are going to have to adhere to standards set forth by your local government. Unfortunately, your local grow shop and most of the businesses making consumer-level products do not have to deal with the local government for businesses as large as yours. They do not have the experience and know the rules and regulations having due with permitting issues for your new vertical growing rack being turned into a hydroponic system. You will have to procure help from the company that does have experience and that is, hopefully, the one who is selling you the pallet rack.

“The first problem is that the industry is focused on the low-end grower or beginner. There are a lot more of them entering the market than there are staying in the market. They are focusing, time, money, and R and D into producing and selling products that sell to that market.”

We say hopefully because not every local government has rules and regulations pertaining to seismic activity. If they do not have that natively to their area then the rack they sell probably will not have it either. They will also, likely, lack the knowledge of what the permitting process looks like in areas where it does matter. If you are in an area that does matter then this is critical. If you manage to pick up a pallet rack that lacks seismic testing and/or calculations then you will have to pay to get the seismic calculations it needs. If it still fails after that then you will have to modify the shelving unit. All in all, it could end up costing you more than getting a vertical growing rack with seismic calculations already supplied. If you are going to get one, new or used, then you should ask if this is supplied and have someone check if it fits the requirements of your local government before you purchase it.

Want a vertical grow rack that can be the base of your vertical hydroponic system? Click that link and have a look at the product. You can also call us at 503-564-4064 and get more information if you need it.

A planning board in Hatfield is planning to make amendments to its zoning ordinances for marijuana production. Cronin Hill and Depot residents were worried about a 6.8-acre development being spearheaded by a company named Urban Grown Inc. It brought to light that it might have to make changes such as the proposed zoning ordinance changes.

Key Takeaways:

  • A planning board in Hatfield has a plan to place restrictions on how close marijuana crops can be grown in residential zones.
  • The zoning amendment says that no marijuana can be grown within 500 ft of a pre-existing residential use, not in the same lot.
  • The plan came together because of a grower’s plan to use a 6.8-acre area that was near Depot and Cronin Hill. The residents had concerns about the development for various reasons not cited in the article.
  • Quote: “The bylaw changes wouldn’t affect the indoor grow category, which is allowed in business, industrial and light industrial zones. It also doesn’t prohibit a farmer or an employee from living at a dwelling on site that is next to the crops. ” (Merzbach, 2020)

    Link to article:

    https://www.gazettenet.com/Hatfield-considers-changes-to-marijuana-growing-bylaw-32817565

80 Acres Farms is growing produce as part of an art show in New York. It is on one of the busiest streets, Fifth Avenue. It will grow tomatoes continuously for the next six months. New Yorkers will be able to look in on the crop during the exhibition which will run through August. It is another step towards indoor gardening/farming as a mainstay of crop production in the future.

Key Takeaways:

  • 80 Acres Farm is producing crops of tomatoes for an art show in New York.
  • The crops will grow continuously for six months until the end of the exhibition in August.
  • The production of tomatoes will be visible on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

Quote: “For the Guggenheim exhibition, 80 Acres Farms, Infinite Acres, and its Priva partners have collaborated on the 700-square-foot grow center, which is expected to grow 50,000 tomatoes in six months. ” (Schwartzberg, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.journal-news.com/news/hamilton-acres-farms-grow-tons-tomatoes-new-york-city-fifth-avenue/tlJWQYQ5R7giNTSgDO80aP/

A new indoor growing facility has caught the attention of some in Long Island. It is a business growing produce and it is named Urban Fields Agriculture. It is part of a movement that is starting to gain traction and that is indoor farming and gardening techniques. It is using hydroponic growing methods to grow its wares. The owner used to grow at home with 15 plants. He is set up to grow 1800 plants now thanks to good stewardship of his business.

Key Takeaways:

  • Indoor farming/gardening is an emerging technique that is gaining more and more traction and attention.
  • Urban Fields Agriculture has grown from an in-home 15 plant venture to one that is growing 1800 plants.
  • It uses hydroponic techniques to grow its produce.

“The farm is carefully curated and controlled through lighting, humidity and temperature. There are seeds that sprout in a controlled environment (mostly with humidity levels) and then are moved to a larger bed to grow to full size. ” (Long Island Advance, 2020)

Link to article:

http://www.longislandadvance.net/stories/theres-a-new-farm-in-town-and-its-indoors,85263

One of the more famous indoor farms is opening a new location in Baltimore. The Bowery has opened a new facility in Baltimore and is working on getting the farm up to speed with the rest of the farms they operate. It also has two farms in Kearney, New Jersey. They believe that this newer farm will allow them to serve a 150-mile radius or 25 million people. It should create about 80 jobs in the area.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bowery has opened a new facility in Baltimore.
  • It is expected that this facility will allow them to reach a 150-mile radius or 25 million people.
  • They also have two farms in Kearney, New Jersey.

“With the expansion to Baltimore, the company is seeking a wider foothold in the mid-Atlantic. Seawell said the White Marsh location will open up distribution into a 150-mile radius where it can reach a potential 25 million people.” (2020, Babcock).

Link to article:

technical.ly/baltimore/2020/02/20/bowery-new-automated-indoor-farm/

“You should consider leaving an ample amount of space for fire code reasons and other permitting issues. A knowledgable company can help you through the process and guidelines so you do not have to worry about it or get shut down for an indeterminate amount of time.”

There are several kinds of wheels you could use for your business and your vertical growing solution. One of the most popular is the rigid caster. If you have no idea what a rigid caster is then you should know that it is a wheel mechanism that allows movement from the front to the backside. There is no steering available as they only allow movement in a straight line. A lot of people use this type of caster when they are putting their racks close together and they do not need a full 360 degrees of access. It would be similar to opening and shutting curtains except the racks are the curtains in that example. If you are looking for a high-density solution for your vertical racks then that might not be a bad idea. You would have to be cognizant of your wires as far as lights are concerned and other electrical items for fire purposes but it could be done. You should consider leaving an ample amount of space for fire code reasons and other permitting issues. A knowledgable company can help you through the process and guidelines so you do not have to worry about it or get shut down for an indeterminate amount of time.

There are also v-groove casters which sound like a lot of fun but are really just wheels that move along a track. They are great at keeping your racks in a defined amount of space. There is some maintenance required, however, because if you have a track that is depressed into the ground, similar to mass transit tracks, then you will have to keep those tracks clean or have a hard time moving the rack from one place to another. It is one of those things that the companies who sell the larger hand crank or mechanical crack products do not talk about often. It really is not one of the more glamorous parts of owning a system like that but it happens especially if you are dealing with soil. If you are a hydroponic grower then you may have to deal with water getting into the system and rusting if the wheels or components are not galvanized or resistant to water in some way.

“…if you have a track that is depressed into the ground, similar to mass transit tracks, then you will have to keep those tracks clean or have a hard time moving the rack from one place to another.”

Finally, you have the swivel-based wheels that do give you the freedom to move your vertical growing solution as you please. They are also popular to use because they allow you to adjust your workflow to how you want it to be instead of having to walk around a rack to get the plants you need to work on that day. They also allow you to check on the plants quickly because you can turn the whole apparatus as you please.

There are a few things to keep in mind, however, such as 4,000 lbs is all you will want to put on these wheels per bay. You also should not grow over 10’ if you are planning to use these wheels. Things will get dicey in amounts exceeding those values. They will not be as sturdy as they should be if you ignore those rules and, frankly, it will be dangerous for anyone around the racks. If you keep those things in mind and select which wheels sound best for you then you should be in good shape for the future.

If you want to make your grow rack a movable vertical growing solution then have a look at the caster wheel and mounting plate for growing racks there. You can learn more about a mobile grow rack solution by clicking that link. If you still have questions then call  503-536-7218.

An article contends that millennials are helping the boom in house plants. House plant sales are up 2% a year and have reached 1.3 billion dollars in retail sales. The largest section of the increase is coming from people from 18 to 35. It is such a large increase that it has allowed a new job to appear which is plant stylist. It is a hybrid of an interior decorator and a person with knowledge of the appearances of house plants.

Key Takeaways:

  • A new job has emerged out of the growth of house plant sales.
  • A plant stylist is a hybrid position of an interior decorator and house plant specialist as it relates to their overall appearance.
  • The house plant industry grew by 2% and reached 1.3 billion dollars. It is growing in the 18 to 35 demographic.

“Now, fitting out homes and commercial spaces with carefully designed plant placement is a key part of their business.” (Black, 2020)

Link to article:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/home/2020/02/20/indoor-plants-subscription-stylist/

New products are being released all the time to help people grow their own food or other recreational plants. One aims at being helping high-class people enter the hydroponic growing world while not doing very much. It is designed to be filled with water once a week and then it follows the recipe for whatever you tell the app. It also reminds an owner when to prune if necessary. It does not allow much room for the craftsmanship of the product since it follows set recipes and schedules an owner would tell it to follow.

Key Takeaways:

  • The world of indoor growing is moving more and more towards automation every day.
  • A consumer item is aimed at the high-end clientele. The machine eliminates most of the work by following a recipe put forth via selection in the app.
  • The user does not have to do much more than add water once a week and follow the app’s instructions on when to prune the plant if necessary.

Quote: “All you have to do is add seeds, water, and nutrients, then select the appropriate “grow recipe” on the app.” (Futurism Creative, 2020)

Link to article:

https://futurism.com/grobo-automated-grow-box

Investors, understandably, have been gun shy since the cannabis investment market has been full of disappointments. However, there are four companies that are in the industry or adjacent to it that are still solid stocks according to the article. They include Innovative Industrial Properties Inc, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, PerkinElmer, and The Cannabis ETF. Most of these companies gave out a dividend or increased in value.

Key Takeaway:

  • 2019 was a hard year for cannabis investors as several companies made bad decisions which turned investments sour.
  • People still want to be involved in the industry and the article recommends investors to get stocks with dividends.
  • The four companies that article focuses on are Innovative Industrial Properties Inc, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, PerkinElmer, and The Cannabis ETF.

“A small group of cannabis stocks actually pays dividends. So, investors can earn some money while they are waiting for the industry to recover.”(Borchardt, 2020)

Link to article:

https://realmoney.thestreet.com/investing/stocks/grow-some-green-dividends-as-cannabis-stock-recovery-drags-on-15242267