Monthly Archives: August 2016

First trip to the Missouri State Fair

We were so excited when the Missouri State Fair Commission invited us to display the Agrow Cube at the Missouri State Fair this year. We designed a box just for this special occasion that featured both hydroponics and aquaponics growing systems, and planted a ton of seeds in preparation. The state fair Agrow Cube held more than 500 plants, and allowed visitors to actually walk through the box and see the growing systems up close.

seeds
One of the many days we spent planting seeds in rockwool cubes. Rockwool cubes are made by melting rock and sand and spinning that mixture into fibers.

Agrow Cube’s insulated box is based on the Snowman Cooler custom walk-in coolers, and has a panel construction that enables it to be set up onsite. In the days before the state fair opened, we drove north to Sedalia, Missouri, and assembled the Agrow Cube inside the Agriculture Building which would be our home away from home for the length of the fair.

We faced an interesting challenge when it came to hauling plants to the fair. They weren’t too happy to be in a hot box truck for several hours outside of their temperature-controlled Agrow Cube, but it was the only available option for moving plants that were growing in the Agrow Cube before we took it to the fair. Good thing most of the plants were hardy enough to recover quickly once we placed them into the grow spaces and their roots returned to the nutrient-rich water.

Agrow Cube was live and ready to welcome visitors when the fair opened Thursday morning!

One of our employees assembles the grow spaces inside the Agrow Cube.
One of our employees assembles the grow spaces inside the Agrow Cube.
Our plants were glad to be back in the nutrient solution after that hot trip in a box truck!
Our plants were glad to be back in the nutrient solution after that hot trip in a box truck!
The Agrow Cube is all set and ready to welcome state fair visitors!
The Agrow Cube is all set and ready to welcome state fair visitors!
team smile
Our team welcomed state fair visitors with a smile!

Agrow Cube attracted quite a crowd of visitors over the 11 days of the state fair. Most kids loved our goldfish display in the aquaponics system, and tons of people wanted to talk to us about hydroponics! Though the basic idea of growing plants without soil has been around for centuries, hydroponics is still not a common growing method, and plenty of our visitors never had the opportunity to see a live system before. We were happy to show them around and answer their questions.

Fun fact: The number one question we were asked was what were the little brown pebbles that we used as a growth substrate in the grow spaces. Though the most popular guess was goat or rabbit dung, they’re actually baked clay pebbles that are highly porous and hold water for the roots. Lots of wide eyes when one of our staff tasted them to test what they were.

Clay pebbles, not rabbit or goat dung. Or Cocoa Puffs, as one visitor joked.
Clay pebbles, not rabbit or goat dung. Or Cocoa Puffs, as one visitor joked.

We were pleased to see the state government take an interest in Agrow Cube, too. Chris Koster, gubernatorial candidate, stopped by to talk about agriculture in schools and how Agrow Cube can be used to benefit Farm to School programs.

Company president, Chris Peters, was happy to give a tour to Governor Jay Nixon and Richard Fordyce, Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, who were quite curious about the Agrow Cube and where it fit into Missouri agriculture.

governor visit
Prock Operations President Chris Peters (foreground) explains the Agrow Cube to Governor Jay Nixon (left) and Richard Fordyce, Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture (right).

 

We also had a visit from Simon the Soy Bean of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Counsel, who posed for a picture with us! We had such friendly neighbors in the Agriculture Building, including the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Counsel, the Missouri State Beekeepers Association (who had the best honey ice cream!), and The Berry Nutty Farm out of Independence, Missouri (who let us sample their amazing fruit spread – best use was as a topper on the honey ice cream).

soybean
Thumbs up for agriculture!

 

We had an absolute blast in Sedalia! Many thanks to the Missouri State Fair Commission for inviting us, all of you for showing interest in our big cube, and our team members for putting so much time into the display! You can next tour this Agrow Cube at Pete’s Pumpkin Patch in Rolla, Missouri, starting September 24. We’ll be there throughout October to celebrate National Farm to School Month. Pete’s Pumpkin Patch is open to the public on weekends, and available to schedule school tours on weekdays. Come check out our hands-on display, and see what new things we have growing! For more information, visit petespumpkinpatch.net or call 573.724.PETE (7383), or like the page on facebook and join the opening day event. 

Come see us at Pete's Pumpkin Patch!

For more information about Agrow Cube and pictures of various boxes in action, visit our website agrowcube.com. You can also reach us by email at info@agrowcube.com or by phone at 573.265.5191. We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow Agrow Cube on social media: @agrowcube!

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