The sustainability of cannabis growth comes into question again because of the amount of energy consumed in order to make it. Rules and taxes have been made to encourage cannabis growers to find ways of generating their own power. However, an organization, Resource Innovation Institute is holding a conference to talk about it called the Agriculture Energy Solutions Conference.

Key Takeaways:

  • A group of leaders within the cannabis industry is meeting together in San Diego to talk about how to stem the use of power as it relates to producing cannabis.
  • Energy consumption from the production of the plant has been high which has caused taxes and other incentives to try to get companies to produce their own power.
  • Several people are scheduled to speak on a wide range of topics within the cannabis industry as well as the power consumption problem.

Quote: “Key considerations are the carbon and energy implications of indoor controlled environments. Drawing from the experiences of early models, the conference objective was to explore energy solutions for all forms of indoor agriculture but a core focus for good reason was on the exponentially growing cannabis sector and the implications of increased energy demands and use.” (Miller, 2020)

Link to article:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/global-warming-meets-indoor-agriculture-162526718.html

“You can see the University of Massachusetts article where they talk about this fact in the sources below. Treatments do not protect the wood from water but it does protect it from the pests, fungi, and other things that like wet wood. The treatments are designed to protect you from microscopic or visible pests destroying your product according to that article.1

Looking for garden beams for your vertical grow rack? It is not easy to find because there are not a lot of companies that deal with your type of business. If you try to go to other companies then it might be confusing what you need for your business. There are a lot of choices as far as beam length. The truth of the matter is that you probably do not need the capacities that the longer beams can give you. The beam we will link to in this post has a capacity of 2,700 lbs. Keep in mind that this is the capacity for two beams as you will need two to form the shelf level. The capacities we talk about here are for two beams and not one. If you try to use one beam then you will have an incomplete shelf level and it will not hold 2,700 lbs.

The garden beams you select should be made of steel or some sort of metal. The reason why is that steel or metal does not attract bugs that eat a wood made product. Insects can bring a variety of bacteria and such with them. Therefore, you want to avoid contact with them on your product. Steel and metal also do not attract mold, spores, and/or mildew like wood does. In general, if there is a pest associated with wood then you are going to avoid it by using metal or steel. Pests can ruin your product and make your overhead much higher. You may as well get as much product as you can out of your harvests by using metal or steel. If you have more product then you have the potential to sell more which is what we all want.

“The truth of the matter is that you probably do not need the capacities that the longer beams can give you. The beam we will link to in this post has a capacity of 2,700 lbs. Keep in mind that this is the capacity for two beams as you will need two to form the shelf level.”

Also, remember, you are working around water on these garden beams. Wood tends to absorb water even if you use pressure-treated wood. It also releases that water over time which causes the inner twisting and turning of wood and cracks or distorts it. You can see the University of Massachusetts article where they talk about this fact in the sources below. Treatments do not protect the wood from water but it does protect it from the pests, fungi, and other things that like wet wood. The treatments are designed to protect you from microscopic or visible pests destroying your product according to that article.1 Metal garden beams do not have this problem. The beams we carry also have a powder coat on them. A lot of places mention that they have it too but they never tell you what it does. If you have wondered why you should care then you should know that the powder coat gives the metal, or steel, an extra layer of protection against corrosion, rusting and scratches. Steel and metal also do not interact with water as fast or the same way that wood does. If you get galvanized steel then you have a product that uses zinc to make sure that the interactivity is lessened to an even greater degree. The zinc reacts to the water instead of the steel which means that the steel stays stronger for an even longer amount of time than normal steel. The zinc will corrode or rust first which leaves your steel strong.2

Finally, there is the initial permit process you have to think about and the subsequent inspection processes. You might get away with wood beams in an inspection depending on where you are located. The inspector will not be happy to see it, however. In fact, there are many times where that means that you cannot grow as high in your business. It all depends on where you are located but containment of fires is an issue with products that reach towards the sky. Many of the codes are written in a way where wood-based products are not allowed to store products as high because of their flammable nature. It is something to keep in mind when you are selecting what garden beam you will use in your business.

If you need more help selecting a garden beam for your business then give us a call. You can dial us by calling  503-536-7218. If you are ready to get a steel or metal-based garden beam for your business then click that link and have a look at that product.

Sources:

Contributors, H. S. W. (2000, April 1). How does pressure-treated lumber work? Retrieved from https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-

improvement/remodeling/question278.htm

Wood Myths: Facts and Fictions About Wood: Building and Construction Technology: UMass Amherst. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https:// bct.eco.umass.edu/publications/articles/wood-myths-facts-and-fictions-about-wood/

Tampa Steel. (2020, January 31). What Is Galvanized Steel?: Does Galvanized Steel Rust?: Tampa Steel. Retrieved from https://tampasteel.com/what-is-galvanized-metal/

“You may have a grow tray between the water and the wood but you still may have accidents where water will get on the wood… If you do not catch it soon enough then you may find that you have a very heavy shelf of plants and water coming down on you in a very dangerous way. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid.”

It might seem like this is obvious but sometimes it is not for some people. You have to ask if the hydroponic shelving you are trying or looking to procure is actually water-resistant or waterproof. The fact is that most things that we think of as “waterproof” are actually water-resistant. However, there are varying degrees of water resistance as evidenced by the IP categories you find on some products. We could go into depth about that but most of those ratings do not exist, for the most part, for the industry you are inside of right now. What we are talking about is the water-resistance of the frame of the shelving you want to get for your hydroponic growing system or apparatus.

Pressure-treated wood is not as water-resistant as you think it is or should be. The University of Massachusetts has an article about pressure-treated wood and why you see so many decks with the compound used on them being thrown away after a few years instead of the 40 years it is supposed to be able to last. The reason is that the treatment protects against mold, fungus, and other pests but not water. The article says that the treated wood still absorbs and releases water which causes the wood to move and crack over time.1 It is the reason you see many water pressure treated decks go away because of this constant movement eventually wears down the wood. If you apply this knowledge to the fact that you are going to be growing hydroponically then you might see the problem. You may have a grow tray between the water and the wood but you still may have accidents where water will get on the wood. You may find that one of your trays has worn down over time and started to leak. If you do not catch it soon enough then you may find that you have a very heavy shelf of plants and water coming down on you in a very dangerous way. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid.

“You may find that one of your trays has worn down over time and started to leak. If you do not catch it soon enough then you may find that you have a very heavy shelf of plants and water coming down on you in a very dangerous way. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that wood is not as strong as metal. You could have hydroponic shelving made out of wood but it is not going to be an optimized shelving unit for the future. It will have the problems we mentioned in the previous paragraph and it might not handle the weight very well either. You could have the same problem from the previous paragraph where the shelf falls on you which could injure you or your workers. Wood, being an organic living compound, for the most part, has weaker strength properties than metal which is, obviously, much more solid. If you intend on growing up to an industrial scale then you want to have a system that can grow to that level and with your business. Of course, profitability and money are an issue. However, if you have the money then you should go with the metal option for your hydroponic shelving units.

“The last thing you should be aware of for your hydroponic shelves is, if you want to have a legal shelving unit, then you need to consider, if the company selling you the product has seismic calculations available for the particular unit you are trying to buy.”

We should mention that you will have to make a choice between consumer-level products and industrial level products. Many consumer-level products say that they are “industrial strength” products. Most “industrial strength” consumer-level products hold up to 800 lbs. If you are just a beginner then this might be more than enough. If you are an intermediate to advanced or experienced grower then you want true industrial strength which would be 2500 lbs per level. Keep in mind that a lot of the 800 lbs products will grow vertically but only to that level. You can have a shelving or rack system that can hold 2500 lbs per level and can grow vertically up to the legal limits as defined by your local government.

The last thing you should be aware of for your hydroponic shelves is, if you want to have a legal shelving unit, then you need to consider, if the company selling you the product has seismic calculations available for the particular unit you are trying to buy. Local governments vary from place to place based on the seismic activity underneath them, however, most people do have these calculations as a necessary component of the permit process. You need to make sure that you are getting this for your business or else you may face a situation where you cannot use your hydroponic shelving unit. You may have to store it or disassemble it. You may have to have it modified to fit the parameters of the rules. It might even end up being cheaper to purchase a new unit instead of having the seismic calculations and modifications done to the unit so you can use it.

If you want to have good shelving you can use for your hydroponic shelving, at an industrial level, then you have come to the right business. You can call us at 503-536-7218 to talk about your needs. You can also click the links to see vertical grow racks or mobile grow racks you can use for your business.

Sources:

Contributors, H. S. W. (2000, April 1). How does pressure-treated lumber work? Retrieved from https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-

improvement/remodeling/question278.htm

Wood Myths: Facts and Fictions About Wood: Building and Construction Technology: UMass Amherst. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https:// bct.eco.umass.edu/publications/articles/wood-myths-facts-and-fictions-about-wood/

“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.

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

“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.

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

“The consumer-level products you find tend to say that they are “industrial grade”. However, that usually means that they can handle up to 800 lbs. A selective rack converted into cannabis racking can hold 2500 lbs per level.”

If you are looking for cannabis racking then that means that you are ready for a higher level of growing. You are passed the point where getting gear you can get on Amazon on Prime does not make sense anymore. You need to get serious equipment that will allow you to make more money by scaling up processes. Not only will you have more room to grow in these racks but you will be able to grow vertically which can help you expand your business exponentially. You deserve it. You have paid your dues and outlasted some of your competition.

Of course, that does not mean that you know what you are looking for just yet. Sure, you know that the product exists but what is it called? Fortunately, much of the industry has made an effort to change the names of things in order to fit in with the existing jargon within your side of the industry. The side effect of that is the consumer level products also change how they talk about the products they make to stay in front of you. Therefore, you could be seeing products that are not up to the level of growing you are looking to do. A smart move is adding racking to your search because that usually denotes a higher level of storage, for those in the material handling field, or growth for your industry. The consumer-level product companies that make grow trays, grow tables and grow supplies generally do not make industrial racks or racking so they avoid trying to advertise on those types of words. It makes it much easier to find what you need.

What do you really need? You will need selective racks as that is what it is called in the material handling industry. Selective racks are just like the shelves you find in your home but much larger. You are not growing on shelves though you might think to yourself. It just so happens that the 4×8 grow trays or tables you see happen to fit perfectly in these apparatuses. They are perfectly designed to allow you to scale up your business out and vertically which is what you want.

“If you are looking for cannabis racking then that means that you are ready for a higher level of growing. You are passed the point where getting gear you can get on Amazon on Prime does not make sense anymore.”

The consumer-level products you find tend to say that they are “industrial grade”. However, that usually means that they can handle up to 800 lbs. A selective rack converted into cannabis racking can hold 2500 lbs per level. If it is stationary then you can grow up to the allowable limit for your area. If it is mobile then you will not be growing above two to three levels just for stability’s sake. Either way, at 2500 lbs per level, you can imagine how much product you could be cultivating and how much profit those levels of production will bring you based on your current profitability ratios.

Ready for your own cannabis racking? You can get a mobile grow rack or you can get a stationary grow rack. It is up to you. If you need more help then you can call 503-536-7218.