By Sheri Lupoli for Trella Technologies
New Englanders have an above-average tolerance for the cold. I’m not saying we can hang out in the Tundra wearing flip flops, or even that we have the highest tolerance for cold temperatures of any folks in the country. It is reasonable to say that we do get our fair share of below-freezing days and below-zero nights, though.
Despite a few scorching days in the summer, cooler to cold temperatures mixed with various forms of precipitation dominate the yearly climate. To the point, I think most of us are used to wet and/or cold weather.
What I can’t get used to, however, is the speed at which the seasons change and the temperatures begin to plummet. One October afternoon can be sunny and in the low 70’s Fahrenheit (about 20𝆩Celsius) during the day, and in 20 minutes, the sun has set and it is 28𝆩F (-2𝆩C).
I’m sure this is not usual, nor is climate change a phenomenon unique to the northeastern United States. I can distinctly remember 4 seasons growing up, each one’s unique climate lasting just as long as the others’. But climate change is just that. Our climate has indeed changed, with heavier and more frequent rains, more powerful winds, shorter spring times, and icier winters. From warm to hot to cold again before you have the chance to get used to anything, before you have the chance to adapt and adjust.
Now imagine what climate shock does to outdoor crops.
Imagine trying to sustain year-round outdoor crops despite flooding, frost and tornadoes? The simple truth is that you can’t. You move it indoors.
What are the options?
Wintering your outdoor garden and setting up an indoor grow requires a bit of planning. Certainly, you can grow microgreens on your windowsill and herbs in a pot, and this may be more than sufficient for you! But if you are interested in maintaining a variety of crops indoors, or if you are looking for a way to grow taller fruiting and flowering plants throughout the year, you may decide to create an indoor vertical farming system utilizing controlled environment agriculture.
Your setup can be as basic or as technical as you wish, depending upon your space, your crops, and your budget; but the one thing that any farmer should have is a plan. What questions should you be asking yourself? What options should you consider? Where do you even begin?
What to consider when planning your indoor grow
We recently asked our friend, Jason Carrier, for some thoughts on preparing your indoor grow setup. Trained chef and founder of Local Food Champions in Montreal, Canada, Jason has lots of experience with setting up indoor grows in unconventional places. Jason is no stranger to portable gardens and freight farms and he shared with us a few points to consider when setting up your indoor grow. Click on the video below to hear what Jason has to say:
In a nutshell...
Innovations in the indoor growing industry are plentiful. We are able to transform small spaces like freight containers and large spaces like parking garages into places of nourishment and abundance. Before you invest your time and financial resources, ask yourself:
- What am I trying to grow?
- How much do I need to grow? (How much is too much?)
- What is my goal? (grow for the homestead? The community? Provide a model of innovation and education? Generate a source of income?)
- What space do I have for my indoor grow? (closet? van? tent? commercial space?)
- How can I stack more than short crops?
- To what extent do I want to automate environmental and growth controls?
- What is my budget?
And as always, we here at Trella Technologies are ready to help you maximize your indoor vertical grow setup with stackable, automated, low-stress training technology. Reach out if you have any questions about our technology, or even if you'd just like to say hi. Find us on Instagram or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, stay well, stay warm, and keep growing strong!