Author Topic: So I built this thing.  (Read 2694 times)

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Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2016, 12:56:43 PM »
I would imagine the food is better too.  In the case of lettuce, I am not sure I would notice the difference in taste.

Also, what about the person who buys a home in your town, yet consistently eats "out sourced" foods? 

This reminds me of the South Park episode when Wal-Mart comes to SP.

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2016, 12:59:18 PM »
Lettuce you won't notice much of a difference. The only thing that has going for it is that it would be local and the best in the area come the winter months, so I guess in that regard, it would taste better to some degree.

There's plenty of people like that in town. Can't win them all.

Offline bosk1

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2016, 01:15:24 PM »
The lettuce would likely not taste better in terms of having a noticeable difference in flavor.  But it would taste better in terms of freshness.
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2016, 01:22:14 PM »
The lettuce would likely not taste better in terms of having a noticeable difference in flavor.  But it would taste better in terms of freshness.

That's what I was trying to say, thanks.

You could alter the taste if you wanted, but I'm not that advanced. You can modify the ratio of certain elements in your nutrient baths to get different tastes. I know that giving a larger than usual dose of potassium at the right time to something like Broccoli can make it sweeter. I read a blog a while back from a guy who does that to try and market broccoli to children. He keeps slightly altering his nutrient recipe and feeding schedule in an attempt to make the broccoli taste more like candy. The same could be applied to things like lettuce, but I'm clueless in that regard.

Offline El Barto

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2016, 01:31:16 PM »
You might consider growing asparagus. It has to come from Mexico or Peru normally. While it's a niche vegetable, I suspect you'd see some good demand for it if it were fresh and local.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2016, 01:47:21 PM »
I keep reading and hearing about how the American economy is in the toilet, and families are struggling to make ends meet.

Now we are paying $5 for a head of lettuce?
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2016, 01:48:20 PM »
In Northwest Connecticut in the winter months, yes. People are still buying Mercedes and BMWs, aren't they?

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2016, 01:54:54 PM »
OK, so where do you put your dick?  I must have missed that part.

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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2016, 02:26:04 PM »
Chino,I was just being silly. I wouldn't pay more thanmy usual $0.99 for lettuce, but to me that is what it is worth. Is it green and not moldy? Score. Serve me up.

But if there is a market for this for you, I hope you kill it and rake in the dough.
"Nostalgia is just the ability to forget the things that sucked" - Nelson DeMille, 'Up Country'

Offline El Barto

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2016, 02:58:44 PM »
But that does kind of demonstrate my point about overcharging for it. A restaurant that pays $5 a head for lettuce is going to have to really gouge its customers. God forbid they offer a salad bar. This as opposed to buying the best lettuce possible and letting the market dictate what's affordable and/or acceptable. When I looked into it, I found that the place that makes the pickles for my former go-to burger is charging $15/qt for the damn things.
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2016, 03:56:52 PM »
Sorry, I think the price got lost in translation. If I was selling to restaurants and super markets, I'd be growing in a warehouse and doing semi-serious volume, I would not be getting $5 a head . That $5 is what I could get in Northwest CT winter months at farmer's markes. 

Those markets are huge up here and in winter they move indoors. It's like an indoor flea market for food. At that time there is virtual no leafy stuff. If I were to bring fresh, literally cut that morning lettuce, people up there will pay $5 without flinching.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 07:03:59 AM by Chino »

Offline Stadler

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2016, 08:09:00 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.

He's right.  I don't know those specific places, but I grew up not far from where Chino is now, and there were plenty of places like that.  Now I'm up north of Hartford, and same thing.  Little farms that have their little niche and while it may be in my head, dammit, if I don't think it DOES taste better. 

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2016, 10:00:06 PM »
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline lonestar

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2016, 10:06:13 PM »


 :rollin :rollin :rollin




As to the concept, I keep forgetting that the rest of the country doesn't live in produce nirvana like California does. With how restaurants,especially mid to high level ones are relying on small market farm produce, it does make sense. And on top of that, specialty greens and micro greens are exploding right now. Best of luck man, looking forward to hearing how it progresses.
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2016, 07:31:45 AM »
So I saw this in a local grocery store last night. It's 'living lettuce', which means the root ball is still attached. It helps keep it fresher for a longer period of time. That's an added benefit of hydroponics. You aren't ripping the roots out of dirt. They come out of the channels undamaged.

Indoor hydroponic lettuce for $2.99


Looks kind of crappy.


Granted it was in soil, but this has been what I've been able to produce so far. I expect similar results once I switch over to the NFT system. The seeds I use have been selectively bread for hydroponic growing, so the soil is probably hindering their growth some.

Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2016, 08:25:27 AM »
I don't think I've ever been so interested to head to my local grocery store to look at some heads, of lettuce.  :lol

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2016, 05:08:29 PM »
This reminds me of the employee owned farmers markets that pop up.  They provide a great selection, and unlike what Chino is presenting, at a very fair price.  Sadly, they almost quickly go under.  What makes it really sad is because it is employee owned, you get to know a lot of the people working there, so you really want them to succeed.
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2016, 06:11:26 PM »
This reminds me of the employee owned farmers markets that pop up.  They provide a great selection, and unlike what Chino is presenting, at a very fair price.  Sadly, they almost quickly go under.  What makes it really sad is because it is employee owned, you get to know a lot of the people working there, so you really want them to succeed.

That tends to happen when you don't charge enough to cover operating costs. And not for nothing, there's about $1500 invested in this that I'd like recoupe. Growing indoors is expensive, and buyers are aware of that fact. Charging $5 for a head grown outside in the middle of summer would be a ripoff. $5 for a head grown inside in the middle of winter is completely reasonable.

*edit* Just had lunch. I got a turkey, ham, bacon, and cheese on a grinder with nothing else on it. The meat was bottom shelf and the cheese from a 5lb pre-sliced block. It cost $11.00. Prices vary based on location and demographic.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 10:47:22 AM by Chino »

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2016, 10:52:00 AM »
If anyone is interested, this is how the life cycle starts in an NFT system. This stuff is called rockwool and comes with holes already drilled in them. You put your seeds in the rockwool and put them in a humidity dome after soaking. I seeded this 30 count batch three days ago, and they are starting to pop up. In 7-14 days time, roots will begin to protrude from the rockwool. At that point, I'll cut the rockwool into squares and insert one in each hole. The roots will continue to grow in the channels while getting soaked by the flowing water.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 11:22:25 AM by Chino »

Offline Stadler

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2016, 11:14:01 AM »
If anyone is interested, this is how the life cycle starts in an NFT system. This stuff is called rockwool and comes with holes already drilled in them. You put your seeds in the rockwool and put them in a humidity dome after soaking. I seeded this 30 count batch three days ago, and they are starting to pop up. In 7-14 days time, roots will begin to pertrude from the rockwool. At that point, I'll cut the rockwool into squares and insert one in each hole. The roots will continue to grow in the channels while getting soaked by the flowing water.



Hef, there's the answer to your question!  Finally!   You put your seed in the rockwool.  Your root will protrude from the rockwool.   Doesn't sound appetizing for me, and I still don't think I know where the rockwool is, but that's where your dick goes. 

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2016, 12:06:02 PM »
Hef, there's the answer to your question!  Finally!   You put your seed in the rockwool.  Your root will protrude from the rockwool.   Doesn't sound appetizing for me, and I still don't think I know where the rockwool is, but that's where your dick goes.


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Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2016, 12:07:15 PM »
 :rollin

Offline SebastianPratesi

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2016, 09:23:34 PM »
I've just read through this thread, and I find it very interesting, man. I don't have much to add, though - I always buy lettuce at what apparently is the cheapest grocery store in town (I like their tomatos and oranges a lot). They have various types of lettuce, so I go with whichever I think looks the 'nicest' that day. Maybe I should learn a bit more about what I eat.

I hope this small business works out for you - you clearly seem to know (and enjoy) what you're doing.

Also: is $0.80 a normal prize for a (good quality) head of lettuce where you live? Or is it really cheap? That's approximately what I pay (although I live in the south of Argentina, and it's the summer, so this probably is a stupid question).

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2016, 03:50:47 AM »
Not where I live. $0.99 will get you a head of really shitty iceberg, and many types aren't even available in the fall and winter months. In store, $1.79-$2.50 will get you something decent. But again, the prices in a grocery store and the prices at rich town farmers markets are two completely different things.

Offline lonestar

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #59 on: February 26, 2016, 06:58:54 AM »
That's about the price in Cali as well, but our lettuce is guaranteed organic, GMO free, and lovingly air dried by female unicorn queefs.
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2016, 08:46:58 AM »
Just a little update for those interested. These are from the seedlings a few posts above. These photos were taken on day #30





Offline FlyingBIZKIT

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #61 on: March 24, 2016, 09:10:58 AM »
I'm impressed .

Offline bosk1

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #62 on: March 24, 2016, 09:15:49 AM »
Very cool, Chino.  VERY cool.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #63 on: March 24, 2016, 09:16:24 AM »
Interesting that you're putting so much effort into something you're physically incapable of sampling.
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #64 on: March 24, 2016, 10:02:42 AM »
Interesting that you're putting so much effort into something you're physically incapable of sampling.

I sample vicariously through my girlfriend  :lol. She took a head and made a salad the other night. She said it was delicious.

 
Very cool, Chino.  VERY cool.

Muchas gracias


I'm impressed .

Thanks!

Offline cramx3

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #65 on: March 24, 2016, 10:47:21 AM »
Interesting that you're putting so much effort into something you're physically incapable of sampling.

I sample vicariously through my girlfriend  :lol. She took a head and made a salad the other night. She said it was delicious.

And she survived!

Looks good.  Very cool.

Offline SystematicThought

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #66 on: March 24, 2016, 12:17:36 PM »
I gotta say Chino, I admire your dedication, organization, and thought process. I think it's cool what you're doing.

That's all I got so far. Maybe I missed it, but what got you into this venture?
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Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #67 on: March 24, 2016, 01:12:18 PM »
I gotta say Chino, I admire your dedication, organization, and thought process. I think it's cool what you're doing.

That's all I got so far. Maybe I missed it, but what got you into this venture?

I find plants and biology fascinating, and I also like building stuff. This was a project that allowed me to combine all kinds of things (wood working, electrical, plumbing, biology, chemistry, etc). Also, I don't think it's possible for me to hate being in an office any more than I currently do. I'm looking for any business venture that could offer a chance to get out of this environment. As water becomes scarce out west, and flooding becomes more common in the east, I think we're going to see a significantly large transition to indoor growing. It'd be cool to already have an established foothold somewhere before that really takes off. Though, I'll admit it's concerning because the CEO of Farmed Here (super successful indoor farm in Chicago) stated that with just 18 large facilities, he could provide enough produce for every person within 300 miles of those facilities. Some massive corporation is going eventually to take the majority of the market.

Farmed Here

« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 01:24:52 PM by Chino »

Offline Chino

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #68 on: March 25, 2016, 06:48:19 AM »
Size reference.


Offline FlyingBIZKIT

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Re: So I built this thing.
« Reply #69 on: March 25, 2016, 10:20:05 AM »
Yeah like I said, I'm impressed. I've always really been into building stuff but I've never really done it before. I would like to try something