Author Topic: So I built this thing.  (Read 3690 times)

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Offline Chino

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So I built this thing.
« on: February 22, 2016, 11:11:52 AM »
Next step... Exploit the healthy desires and local support of wealthy people in Litchfield CT.



Here's a video of me fireing it up for the first time.
https://youtu.be/Wlx37zY44O8

Offline TioJorge

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 12:08:46 PM »
My favorite part was when you slid your finger into the wet hole.

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Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 12:19:04 PM »
I thought you lived in Connecticut, not Colorado?  :lol

Cool stuff even if I don't really understand it or how it works.

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 12:22:41 PM »
I thought you lived in Connecticut, not Colorado?  :lol

Cool stuff even if I don't really understand it or how it works.

 :lol I should have specified that this is a lettuce factory.

My favorite part was when you slid your finger into the wet hole.

I like how after it gets warmed up, fluids just start gushing out of all the holes.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 02:15:44 PM »
Next step... Exploit the healthy desires and local support of wealthy people in Litchfield CT.



Here's a video of me fireing it up for the first time.
https://youtu.be/Wlx37zY44O8
I'm not clicking the video here at work, but looking at the picture, I'm just trying to figure out where you put your dick.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2016, 02:29:25 PM »
Yeah, "lettuce".  That's what my friends and I call it too.  ;0 

Offline TAC

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2016, 02:35:40 PM »
Of course it turns to cabbage in the morning.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline El Barto

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2016, 03:29:55 PM »
What are you going to do with that much lettuce?
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Offline kingshmegland

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2016, 03:48:22 PM »
Sammiches and dry up the rest and roll it up. 

My wife would love this to grow vegetables in the winter.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2016, 05:18:59 PM »
Yeah, "lettuce".  That's what my friends and I call it too.  ;0

I call it "spinach"

Offline black_biff_stadler

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2016, 06:19:22 PM »
Next step... Exploit the healthy desires and local support of wealthy people in Litchfield CT.



Here's a video of me fireing it up for the first time.
https://youtu.be/Wlx37zY44O8
I'm not clicking the video here at work, but looking at the picture, I'm just trying to figure out where you put your dick.

I spent more time trying to figure out where not to put my dick.
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Offline Calvin6s

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2016, 10:01:29 PM »
So how are the Yelp reviews?
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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2016, 10:15:38 PM »
Just curious how someone in there mid 20's decides to up and spend a ton of cash and time on a hydroponics system and NOT grow weed. :dunno:
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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2016, 10:42:39 PM »
Yeah, that^^^
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Offline Anguyen92

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2016, 11:01:40 PM »
Hydropolis.  Har har. 

Can anyone give me the short summary on what this thing does and how it is possible to do it?

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2016, 12:24:56 AM »
:corn

(Reminds me- I literally ate popcorn while watching people argue today. Win.)
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2016, 06:00:26 AM »
Just curious how someone in there mid 20's decides to up and spend a ton of cash and time on a hydroponics system and NOT grow weed. :dunno:

Whoa whoa whoa... I'm 27. I'm in my late twenties, thank you very much.

Hydropolis.  Har har. 

Can anyone give me the short summary on what this thing does and how it is possible to do it? Also, 96 cannabis plants would get me some nice jail time.

It's a hydroponic NFT (nutrient film technique) system. You can grow vegetables inside without soil. The plants are rooted and held in rockwool cubes, and then the cubes are placed in those holes in the channels. Water cascades through the channels coating the roots with a film of nutrient rich water (hence NFT). When the plants are mature, you just pull them out of the holes and replace them.

As for the Hydpopolis, there's a story behind that. My aunt's family is hardcore Greek. Her parents recently died and my aunt got control of their estate in Rhode Island. She sold everything and sent my sister and I each a $1000 check saying that her parents really liked us and they'd would have wanted us to have something. I used a portion of that $1000 to buy some of the equipment for this. The "opolis" part of the name is a nod to them.

Here's an example;



What are you going to do with that much lettuce?

I'll be making even more than pictured here. I have 12 channels in total, and my buddy has 14. He'll be growing peppers and strawberries in his. We'll be hitting (hopefully) the farmers' market in Litchfield this summer. We're not looking to make a killing, or even a profit for that matter (profit comes with greater volume). This is more of a proof of concept. Our goal is to eventually have a setup in a 5000-8000 square foot facility that could produce between 1500 and 2000 heads of lettuce a week that could be sold to restaurants and local grocery stores. People in this region will happily pay $5-$6 a head for fresh lettuce in the winter months as produce is absolute shit this time a year.

Yeah, "lettuce".  That's what my friends and I call it too.  ;0

I call it "spinach"

I can't emphasize enough that this is not for weed  :lol

Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2016, 06:06:08 AM »
Is this your idea you had mentioned before for a way to make a living to get away from your desk job?

And would people really pay 5-6 dollars for a head of lettuce?

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2016, 06:28:20 AM »
Is this your idea you had mentioned before for a way to make a living to get away from your desk job?

And would people really pay 5-6 dollars for a head of lettuce?

Yes.

and in Litchfield, Goshen, Salisbury (basically all of northwest CT), yes. Well, at least in winter. I worked in Salisbury for a few summers in a grocery store and the prices people pay up there would make you shit yourself.


It's proving to be profitable all over the place. Here's a facility in Chicago called "Farmed Here". They export 10,000 heads of lettuce a week.




There's a company called Freight Farms that sells re purposed semi-trailers for $75K a piece that come turn key. I've followed a guy in Boston who bought 4 of them and makes $10K-$11K a month.

« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 06:35:01 AM by Chino »

Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2016, 06:39:00 AM »
Interesting, hope your proof of concept works and this becomes a real thing for you then

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2016, 06:51:06 AM »
Interesting, hope your proof of concept works and this becomes a real thing for you then

Me too. We're pretty serious about it. There's plenty of space for cheap out this way too. WWII left a lot of abandoned factories that you can get for less than $2 per square foot per year. Electrical power and water wont be an issue as many had infrastructure to run hundreds of lathes and other equipment. Waterbury was referred to as "The Brass City" for a reason.

I mean, there's a lot of factors that would have to go into this, I don't deny that. One thing I'm banking on is increased temperatures and diminishing water supplies out west. Farmers lost a ton of money the last few seasons because their fields are no longer ideal for farming. A closed system such as one of these uses only 3%-4% of the water required for an outdoor equivalent, and you have complete control over the sun. You're also not dealing with variables in the soil, storms, animals, heat waves, or anything else that will damage your crops and reduce your yields. It does cost more to grow in doors, but if I'm keeping everything in CT/New England, that premium will be offset by the fact it's not getting shipped by truck for 2500 miles.

I had a warehouse picked out. I had a buddy that rented an office in it as a studio a few years back. It was used to store phone books for a New England distributor. It would have been absolutely perfect, but some guy who makes custom skis and snowboards bought it. Realistically, I'd like to be seriously considering warehouse space within the next 18-24 months.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 06:59:25 AM by Chino »

Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2016, 06:55:26 AM »
Driving through Connecticut this past weekend, I definitely noticed the large amount of abandoned warehouses you speak of. 

Maybe once marijuana is legalized in Connecticut, you can also use the same system for that

 :corn

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2016, 06:58:42 AM »
Driving through Connecticut this past weekend, I definitely noticed the large amount of abandoned warehouses you speak of. 

Maybe once marijuana is legalized in Connecticut, you can also use the same system for that

 :corn

That's crossed my mind for sure. It's actually one of the reasons I want to get into this now. Switching over to cannabis would be pretty easy for the most part. The only adjustments you'd have to make would be the lighting height, light timing, and the nutrient make up of the water sources. And even if I weren't going to farm it myself, if the lettuce wasn't working out, someone might be willing to buy all my shit outright just to be one of the first farms up and running. It'd be an easy out of the business. I think.

Offline Nekov

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2016, 07:02:04 AM »
Maybe once marijuana is legalized in Connecticut, you can also use the same system for that

 :corn

I'm with the other guys, I can't believe you're not using this for growing weed.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2016, 08:03:20 AM »
In all seriousness, Chino's on to something.  I don't know about "$5-$6 a head", but there is a premium, and not just in Litchfield.   The whole "farm to table" thing is hot as a steaming pile of crap here in CT, and there WILL be a market for this. 

As for the weed, well, to each his own, but I imagine that once CT does legalize it (it's in committee right now, actually, and with our budget shortfalls making headline news almost every day, and a very Democratic governor who is thirsty - nay, PARCHED - for national exposure) those that have an existing infrastructure will have the advantage under any licensing scheme the state chooses to take.   

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2016, 08:16:51 AM »
Please feel free to tear this idea to pieces. Like I said, I'm completely serious about this and it's going to need to be run through the gauntlet. THe more questions and criticisms the better.

In all seriousness, Chino's on to something.  I don't know about "$5-$6 a head", but there is a premium, and not just in Litchfield.   The whole "farm to table" thing is hot as a steaming pile of crap here in CT, and there WILL be a market for this. 

As for the weed, well, to each his own, but I imagine that once CT does legalize it (it's in committee right now, actually, and with our budget shortfalls making headline news almost every day, and a very Democratic governor who is thirsty - nay, PARCHED - for national exposure) those that have an existing infrastructure will have the advantage under any licensing scheme the state chooses to take.   

You could get that much in the middle of winter up here. Come summer time, when you can get lettuce from anywhere, that price drops, no doubt.

As for the weed, I swear that wasn't my plan or drive to do this. It's really only crossed my mind as a possible way out if the business wasn't working or wasn't profitable enough. This is something that could possibly get me out of corporate America and create a couple of jobs in a city that desperately needs it. I understand that it'd be a lot of long hours and possible weeks without a day off, but I'd rather do that under my own terms than have to spend my life sitting in a 7'X7'.


Offline El Barto

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2016, 08:18:59 AM »


There's a company called Freight Farms that sells re purposed semi-trailers for $75K a piece that come turn key. I've followed a guy in Boston who bought 4 of them and makes $10K-$11K a month.


Now this is brilliant.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2016, 08:27:56 AM »
In all seriousness, Chino's on to something.  I don't know about "$5-$6 a head", but there is a premium, and not just in Litchfield.   The whole "farm to table" thing is hot as a steaming pile of crap here in CT, and there WILL be a market for this. 
The farm to table nonsense is really screwing things up down here. Restaurants are retooling everything so they can tell you who made every ingredient on their menu. This naturally increases the price 50% and often times isn't as good. My gold standard burger down here got "re-tooled," and now it no longer comes with bacon and costs $3.5 more. But the pickles are locally produced!
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2016, 09:06:21 AM »
In all seriousness, Chino's on to something.  I don't know about "$5-$6 a head", but there is a premium, and not just in Litchfield.   The whole "farm to table" thing is hot as a steaming pile of crap here in CT, and there WILL be a market for this. 
The farm to table nonsense is really screwing things up down here. Restaurants are retooling everything so they can tell you who made every ingredient on their menu. This naturally increases the price 50% and often times isn't as good. My gold standard burger down here got "re-tooled," and now it no longer comes with bacon and costs $3.5 more. But the pickles are locally produced!

I can see the frustration in that, but there are times when I think that's good. There's a local place in Watertown called The Rock Garden. They try to source as much local stuff for their menu as they can. All of their rolls and bread come from a local bakery in town, certain cuts of meat from certain local farms, greens from one farm, tomatoes from another, etc.. I actually kind of like that. They don't go out of their way to source every ingredient on their menu, but you know where a lot of the stuff comes from. I I like knowing that I'm going out to eat at a non-chain restaurant that's putting 20+ people to work in Watertown, and everything on their menu is from other non-chain places that employ other people in Watertown. All the businesses help each other stay afloat, and there's actually a really awesome feeling of community when I eat there. I'd happily spend an extra $10-$20 there than go to a Chilis and get chicken that was probably processed in China.

We might be talking about two different things though. In my scenario, I know all the places the restaurant sources, and I know many people who work at the locations that provide the restaurants. So when the menu says the ciabatta bread is from La Palet bakery, I know I'm in part helping Carlos (co-owner of the bakery) feed his two kids. If the menu said the ciabatta was coming from some small bakery a few towns away, or even in another state, I definitely wouldn't care as much.

Offline El Barto

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2016, 10:38:16 AM »
I'd honestly prefer to help my own wife and kids by not spending an extra 50% to feed Carlos'. But that's not really my point. The problem is that restaurants are overcharging for it because it's clever marketing. There is no way that using locally sourced pickles and bread increases the cost by $3 and two strips of bacon.
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2016, 10:45:10 AM »
To be fair it's more like a 15% increase compared to the chain places, and you can make the argument that it's just as important to raise your family in an economically thriving town. Can't have good public schools and parks without citizens and businesses to pay taxes.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 10:59:46 AM by Chino »

Offline Stadler

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2016, 12:03:02 PM »
For the life of me, though (and let's just put it on the table: I have an MBA from a top ten business school, so this isn't idle musing) I can't figure out how it's not CHEAPER.  Yeah, volume, yeah, quality, yeah, yeah yeah, I get it, but I don't.   The agri-companies are cutting those corners to make the produce last longer in the store (so Wal-Mart doesn't have to restock twice a day) and to allow for shipment, but you're not talking the difference between a BMW and a Yugo.  There's no sales cost. No marketing cost.  No shipping cost.   ESPECIALLY when you talk about local cooperatives (which were big in Philly; I don't know about CT). 

I know a guy ("I got a guy...") who is managing a place like this in Hartford; I may ask him.

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2016, 12:13:09 PM »
Understand how what's not cheaper? Growing produce inside, or sourcing locally?

I think a lot of it has to do with the cost of raw materials. We'll use the local baker I was referring to earlier. They buy everything in bulk to get stuff cheaper, but they still need a supplier. They have to go to a distributor and say "I need 1000 pounds of flour". They have next to no control over the supply chain. Take Bimbo, the largest bread company in the world. They don't need to get flower from anyone. They own their own flour farms and have full control over every element of their supply chain. Taking out the middle man (or several middle men) saves a ton. Grocery stores will also partner with large manufactures and work out deals to get stuff way cheaper. Smaller operations don't have such a luxury.

I'm sure there's more to it than that, but I think that's a huge part of it. Also, in CT, farmland is prime. It's expensive as shit and a lot of towns if given the chance would probably happily pave them to make way for retail establishments. Go out west a little ways and you can find land everywhere for a fraction of what you pay here.

Also, it might be important to note that in CT, unless you're a Christmas tree farm, you're only generating revenue about six months of the year. Whoever owns the farms probably has to jack up their prices to avoid going broke in the slow months.

Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2016, 12:27:15 PM »
I was going to say "bulk" would be my guess as to why it is not as cheap locally, can't produce as much and purchase as much at once without having a major operation to bring down the costs.

I got to say though, Chino, you seem to think differently than many.  I think it is righteous to buy local produce and whatnot to support your neighbors.  I'm not 100% sure I would pay a 15% increase on my food with the only different being that it was sourced locally.  Now if we are saying the locally grown food has better taste (is a better product) then I can understand and accept a price increase on my end.  Which it may very well be, but that wasn't part of your discussion. 

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2016, 12:37:17 PM »
I was going to say "bulk" would be my guess as to why it is not as cheap locally, can't produce as much and purchase as much at once without having a major operation to bring down the costs.

I got to say though, Chino, you seem to think differently than many.  I think it is righteous to buy local produce and whatnot to support your neighbors.  I'm not 100% sure I would pay a 15% increase on my food with the only different being that it was sourced locally.  Now if we are saying the locally grown food has better taste (is a better product) then I can understand and accept a price increase on my end.  Which it may very well be, but that wasn't part of your discussion.

It often times is noticeably better. In my opinion, apples from Gustafson's Orchard, corn from Logue Farm, milk from Arethusa Dairy, and smoked meat from Nodines Smokehouse flat out trample anything you can find in your average supermarket. Also, eating out might cost a little bit more, but when you have a town filled with and surrounded by so many successful businesses, you'll see it in the price of your home. If people are willing to pay another $50k-$100K to live in a nice town like that, you're kind of recouping that 15% extra you're paying when you go out to eat. At least that's how I see it.