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Grow-Tech, a manufacturer of hydroponic and aquaponic growing media, visits Olivia’s Garden at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine to interview owner Scott Howard.
We asked Scott some of the questions we thought would be relevant to someone exploring the possibility of starting a commercial hydroponic or aquaponic farm. Here is a rundown of the interview:
1. Scott first gives an introduction on Olivia’s Garden. Olivia’s Garden is an 18,000 square foot commercial hydroponic farm located at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine. Olivia’s garden grows hydroponic lettuce, basil, tomatoes and microgreens and focuses on integrated pest management.
2. Secondly, Scott discusses how Olivia’s Garden was started. Scott got his start in hydroponic farming in 1997 when he started growing tomatoes at Olivia’s Garden.
3. Thirdly Scott says the biggest challenge in starting a hydroponic farm was adapting to the Maine environment. Also figuring out how to fix a problem in advance instead of reacting to it when it was a bigger problem.
4. Scott’s advice to anyone starting a commercial or aquaponic / hydroponic farm is to start small and make sure you have your distribution markets for produce established. Otherwise you may end up with a lot of hydroponic produce and no where to sell it.
5. Scott says the biggest technical hurdle in starting a hydroponic farm was learning how to control the plants hydroponically while also deterring bad bugs and diseases.
6. Lastly Scott discusses the types of growing media used at Olivia’s Garden. The farm uses a nutrient film technology system, which utilizes Grow-Tech FlexiPlug®, for growing hydroponic lettuce and basil. A dutch bucket is used with coconut to grow tomatoes.
Let us know what questions you want us to ask commercial hydroponic and aquaponic farmers!
Make sure to visit us at http://grow-tech.com