A Charlottesville Senior Living facility created a hydroponic farming program that is turning heads. It has received the 2020 Argentum Best of the Best Award for its work. The program teamed up with Babylon Microfarms to create the program. The residents now have 45 varieties of leafy greens, and other produce to choose from and it is also fresh from the garden as implied.

Key Takeaways:
A senior living facility in Charlotte has created a hydroponic farming program.
The program supplies fresh food for the people in its care.
It works with Babylon Microfarms to help it with the program.

Quote: “According to the release, in 2016, the Farm to Table program was expanded and introduced seasonal seafood from the Chesapeake Bay.” (Dailyprogress.com, 2020)

Link to article: https://dailyprogress.com/business/local/commonwealth-senior-living-awarded-for-hydroponic-farming-program/article_a46cfbf1-bd0b-5ceb-a804-f62ee7c8462f.html

If you are trying to make a mobile hydroponic farm then wood is a major concern for you. A lot of companies want to use wood-based products for a variety of reasons. Whatever the case may be it is not a good idea for your product. The reason why is that wood can attract a lot of pests. The pass can come in the form of insects or they can come in the form of fungi and bacteria. Any of those three will be a problem for your mobile hydroponic farm because those are the types of things that people do not want in their product. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to avoid them as much as possible.

The other problem with using what it is that wood absorbs water. It is even true of wood that is pressure-treated. An article by the University of Massachusetts 1 says that these treatments are good at resisting pests that are attracted to wet wood. What it does not protect against is the absorption of wood as it relates to water. Wood expands and contracts as it gains and loses water over time. It is the reason that pressure-treated decks do not last the number of years that some of the products claim they will. There have been many projects, like porch decks, where treated wood was used, that do not last more than a couple of years. It is because of what the University of Massachusetts said in their article. It means that you, as a hydroponic farmer, will have problems using wood as your structural component for your main growing apparatus. It will weaken over time and cost you more money then a metal-based structure would over time.

Of course, metal does not absorb water as wood does. In fact, if you get galvanized metal then it is mixed with zinc which is known to react faster than the metal with water. Therefore, the zinc oxidizes before the metal which leaves the metal structurally strong. We also have to mention that metal tends to be stronger than wood. Therefore, a pallet rack or decking made of metal lasts longer and is stronger than wood-based products.

We do have to talk about the fact that you want a mobile hydroponic growing apparatus based on what you are looking for right now. You may be thinking that the non-industrial versions of growing racks feature the wheels that make products mobile. However, you can add wheels to a pallet rack or growing rack to make it just as mobile as their consumer counterparts. In fact, you can get the full 360° of movement that the smaller consumer-level products have with their wheels. You still get the full 2500 pounds of uniform distributed weight possible from a larger industrial growing solution like a pallet rack. What you do need to keep in mind is that you should not grow any higher than two or three levels for stability’s sake. You do not want a load of product coming down on you or your employees.

Finally, you may want to consider where you are taking your mobile rack. If you have to cross some rugged round to get to where you are going then you may not like how unstable the more consumer versions of mobile rack are going to feel. The truth is that you can look on Amazon for these chrome looking mobile racks to see that most people feel that they are very unsteady. However, if you take a look at a pallet rack used as a growing rack then you can see that they look and feel very stable. They also are stable when they are mobile depending on what kind of bump you encounter. Obviously, if the bumps are big enough anything will feel unstable because the ground is unstable. You will have to use your common sense but you also have to remember that the industrial versions of growing racks can hold more and be just as mobile as the more consumer versions of the products.

If you are looking for a mobile growing rack or a vertical growing rack then you can click those links otherwise you can call us and we will help you figure out what you need. Call us by dialing 503-536-7218.


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


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/

The FDA has found a genetic match to the E Coli strain they were investigating and found that it was present in Chicago Indoor Garden products containing red clover sprouts. The products with the “best buy” dates of 12/1/19 to 3/12/20 may be affected by E Coli. You should return them or throw them away instead of using them. Chicago Indoor Garden says that they believe the seeds were the cause of the E Coli and is now growing seeds from a different supplier.

Key Takeaways:

  • E Coli was found in Chicago Indoor Garden products specifically ones containing red clover sprouts. 
  • Products with the “best by” dates of 12/1/19 to 3/12/20 may be affected and should be discarded or returned from which they were bought for a refund.
  • The company says that they believe that the seeds they used are the culprit and are growing their produce from different suppliers.

Quote: “If you have purchased any of these products with those best by dates and in those package sizes, don’t eat them. Throw them away in a sealed container in a secure garbage can, or take them back to the place of purchase for a full refund. The company has held the are material that may be contaminated, and is growing their sprouts with seed from a different supplier.” (Larsen, 2020)

Link to article:

North Bud Farms Inc. applied for and received a cultivation license for a 24,500 sq. ft. indoor cannabis cultivation farm. They said they will also apply for an amendment so that they can have another million sq ft outdoor space to grow their product. If that succeeds then they plan to achieve the goal of growing 20 million grams annually. They will be focusing on growing mother plants along with clones so that they will be ready with outdoor growing season begins.

Key Takeaways:

  • North Bud Farms Inc. successfully obtained a cultivation license for a 24,500 sq. ft indoor cannabis cultivation farm.
  • They plan to apply for an amendment for the right to create a million sq ft outdoor space as well.
  • They also are planning to focus on making mother plants and clones with the space.

Quote: “In the beginning, GrowPros MMP will concentrate on creating an inventory of mother plants and clones to get ready for the outdoor growing season, the company said.” (Zdinjak, 2020)

Link to article:


Williamstown has two bylaw proposals that may conflict with each other. Many places are concerned with the amount of odor coming from marijuana grows that are done outdoors. One bylaw is to ban it all together within city limits. The other has written it so tightly that the grows are restricted only to an acre of plants. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Williamstown has two bylaws that could compete with each other in order to be ratified.
  • One bylaw would make it illegal to grow cannabis outdoors inside the city limits.
  • The other would restrict it to only an acre of plants.

Quote: “The Planning Board this week advanced a proposal that would update some of the language in a 2017 town bylaw, establish guidelines for odor control at indoor pot growing facilities and ban outdoor commercial cannabis production in town. Meanwhile, the Agricultural Commission is going forward with a plan to propose a competing bylaw amendment that would allow outdoor production by special permit and with more restrictive setback requirements than currently in place.” (Dravis, 2020)

Link to article:


The City of Medford has had concerns over the growing of hemp in its city. The City Council has heard these complaints and is mulling over making hemp illegal to grow in the city. The code already states that growing marijuana is illegal within city limits. The article gets a little unclear as it states there is indoor cannabis grows in the city. It states there are no indoor grows of hemp in the city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Medford City Council is looking at code changes that would make growing hemp in the city limits illegal.
  • It already has a code that says that growing marijuana in city limits is illegal.
  • The concern seems to stem from the strong odor emitted by the flower according to the article.

Quote: “The city doesn’t have any language in its ordinance that restricts hemp production or processing, though the city passed a number of ordinances from 2015 to 2018 related to marijuana, with councilors expressing concern about the impact on neighbors, particularly because of the flower’s strong odor.” (Mann, 2020)

Link to article:


medford, hemp, growing ban, cannabis

Scotts Miracle-Gro experienced a great increase in sales. However, COVID-19 has also affected the business and taken away some of the growth. It has, however, managed to regain some of that momentum by garnering a 1.6% rise as of March 12, 2020.

Key Takeaways:

  • Scotts Miracle-Gro segment, Hawthorne Gardening Company, focuses on indoor growing operations and also experienced a 41% increase in sales.
  • COVID-19 accounts for some of the downturn as it became apparent that the virus would take root and affect many industries.
  • Scotts Miracle-Gro has experienced somewhat of a rebound with a 1.6% gain as of March 12, 2020.

Quote: “There are certainly companies that are going to take a significant hit — at least in the near term — from the coronavirus outbreak, but Scotts is arguably not one of them.” (Samaha, 2020)

Link to article:


“A lot of people know that they are going to be selling their wares commercially and go for the bigger items first. You want to make sure that you are ready for commercial/industrial grade systems before you get them.”

Capacity is a massive divide between beginner growers and seasoned veterans of the industry especially if you are talking about commercial vertical farming systems. If you are just starting out then you will not know that there are things that can trip you up in the industry. A lot of people do not know how to cost out their product because there is no reason to do so in the beginning. If you are just dipping your toes into the water to see what kind of market and sales you can generate then it is better to run out of supply then to have too much of it. You may as well figure out what you need to know with small amounts of a product before you start increasing your overhead. If you have a lot of capacity to grow then you should be ready to grow to that capacity. Otherwise, you will have to sell it off or store your rack or shelving unit later. A lot of people know that they are going to be selling their wares commercially and go for the bigger items first. You want to make sure that you are ready for commercial/industrial grade systems before you get them.

If you know that you want a farming system and what type then the next thing to think about is how mobile you need that solution to be when you get it. There are tons of mobile products in the marketplace but you should know that the consumer items you find in places like Costco or Target will only handle around 800 lbs max. You can get industrial grade systems that will handle up to 2500 lbs per level. You need to keep in mind that making those systems mobile will remove some of the capacity that is available because they are mobile. In fact, if you make a rack mobile then you should only go up 2 or 3 levels high for stability’s sake. 

“The reason why is that wood can attract mold, pests, and other irritants that will ruin your crops. Metal does not have the same problem.”

Finally, if you are building a commercial vertical farming system then you want to make sure that it is made of metal and not wood. You might be confused about this fact because there are a lot of products out there that are made out of wood. However, it is not the best type of material for anyone who is trying to grow a crop. The reason why is that wood can attract mold, pests, and other irritants that will ruin your crops. Metal does not have the same problem. There are few animals to none that eat metal. Infestations are a massive problem when it comes to growing anything because you have to clear them out before you sell the product. They can also remain on the product which is not going to look good for you when you sell it to someone. Remember that word of mouth is very powerful in business especially when it is negative. No one wants to find bugs in their product. It will look bad on you and your processes if you ever think about selling the business or getting investors to help your business grow.

If you want a commercial vertical farming system that will scale with your business then have a look at the vertical grow rack there. If you want a more mobile version then have a look at this mobile grow rack. If you want a consumer version of those products then have a look at this grow light shelving unit. You can also call us at 503-536-7218 and ask us questions. We would love to help you and your business grow to the levels you want.

The Colorado Hemp Institute, known for being one of the first research and treatment facilities using medical hemp, is on the market for $6,875,000. It was designed to be a one-stop-shop for everything that a person needs for hemp. They are hoping the new owner or owners will continue working in the hemp industry.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Colorado Hemp Institute has been placed up for sale. It is 70 acres.
  • The current owners and founders want to retire after running the institute for four years.
  • It is listed for $6,875,000.

Quote: “And after four years of running the Institute, the Lyonses are ready to retire for good this time. It’s unclear what their plans are for retirement or what led them to it, as they weren’t available for comment — but they hope that future owners of the property continue working in the hemp industry.” (Petrovic, 2020)

Link to article:


“You could order more things from Amazon that come with all the fixings and allow you to dip your toes into the waters of growing your product. However, why would you do that when you are already running out of space?”

Space is always an issue when you are trying to grow your crops. If you rent your location then you only have so much room between your walls. If you are at home then you only have so much space you can allocate to your business before it starts interfering with your life. It is at this point that using consumer-level products stops making sense. You could order more things from Amazon that come with all the fixings and allow you to dip your toes into the waters of growing your product. However, why would you do that when you are already running out of space? You need to reallocate the space you are already using and somehow make it hold more than it does now. The way to do that is to start growing vertically so it no longer is a question of how much space you have between the walls. You want it to become a question of how much space you have been the walls and how much space you have between the floor and the ceiling combined.

What you want and need in your business is a garden rack for plants. Luckily, there are products like that out there. You will not be reinventing the wheel if you start looking for one. You also, for the most part, will not be looked at too funny if you ask for one depending on where you ask. If you walk up to your local grow shop then they might be hard-pressed to find you something that is not consumer level or mid-consumer level. If you ask the internet for this product then you will find a lot of consumer-level products. As you can see, as explained previously, it can be hard to find industrial level growing applications. A look into the first page of Google does not turn up very much in the way of industrial-sized grow racks. Therefore, the question to ask is what level of growing are you planning to do in your business. Are you a consumer-level grower or are you a business on the move and one that needs to have more product. If you are then skipping the consumer level might be smart. The big difference is the amount of product you can grow. A consumer-level product can grow up to 800 lbs of product. An industrial version of the product can grow 2500 lbs per level. A lot of products or plants you can sell later. Obviously, there is a cost difference but there is also a profit level difference. The question is if you think that you can sell enough products to make buying an industrial level shelving unit a no-brainer.

“There are things like seismic calculations you need for racks in certain areas that you probably would not know about as a layperson. It is good for you, as a person not in the industry of material handling, to get the help of someone who is knowledgeable about the products.”

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that many locations have a limit on how much you can grow vertically. You, also, may not reach a level that would be concerning to them but it is best to talk with a business who has dealt with the permit process before. Usually, that means the company from which you are buying a pallet rack or pallet racking system as your garden rack for your plants should be the ones helping you. There are things like seismic calculations you need for racks in certain areas that you probably would not know about as a layperson. It is good for you, as a person not in the industry of material handling, to get the help of someone who is knowledgeable about the products.

Ready to get a garden rack for your plant growing needs? You can have a look at our products by clicking the vertical grow rack and mobile grow rack links. If you feel like you need a consumer-level product then you can click this link for a grow light shelving unit. You can also call us at 503-536-7218 to talk about your needs.