Wyoming might seem an unlikely place for new ground being broken in vertical farming, but it’s home to more than mountains, cowboys, and cattle ranches. Fueled by the desire to produce an income as farmers and spend more time with growing families, the guys at Bright AgriTech in Laramie have devised a unique vertical hydroponic growing system.
In the zone 4 climate of Wyoming, maximizing the output of a heated greenhouse is beyond important if you’re going to be profitable. Partners Nate Storey and Paul Bennick knew they had to come up with a way to make farming less expensive. While the cost of a greenhouse and and it’s equipment isn’t cheap, compared to the price of the land and farm equipment for a traditional farm operation that can bring in a good amount of money, it’s far more feasible and a lot more sustainable than battling the blustery natural weather system in this part of the United States. Additionally, they were concerned about the quality of available food.
The solution they came up with to meet all of these needs is ingenious and very green too. Today you can buy their new patent-pending Zip Grow Towers for home use, hobby growing and commercial vertical farming. Currently manufactured for them, they have plans to produce the Zip Grow Tower themselves when demand reaches a level that makes it feasible. Made from recycled materials, the vertical gardening units have appeal for use in both hydroponics and aquaponics, and offer far more benefit than giving you the opportunity to double, even triple, your harvest per square foot of indoor growing space. The cost of post-harvest labor and packaging, which runs about 60% for any food grower who will sell at market, is also greatly reduced with this system. Paul and Nate simply hang the towers in the truck after washing down the ready to eat produce and they’re off to town where shoppers love picking their chard, herbs and own salad fixings fresh from the source. So not only is it the most productive vertical growing equipment, but it’s a mobile farm at the end of your grow.
Watch how simple it is to plant these nifty tower units, and take a tour of their indoor vertical farm in this video. Heated with wood and hot water, they grow some lovely looking greens all winter, even though it can be 30 below zero Fahrenheit outside.
There’s a lot of interesting information and more videos available on Bright AgriTech’s website. Image courtesy of Bright AgriTech LLC.