Tag Archives: hydroponics

9 facts about Agrow Cube!

Learn more about Agrow Cube, the new self-contained agriculture system, with nine interesting facts!

1. 2000 cubic feet!

A standard 10’ x 20’ Agrow Cube is a closed system with 2000 cubic feet of space inside. It is small enough to fit in most places, such as crowded urban areas, in the back alley of a restaurant, or on school premises, but provides you with plenty of room to grow.

agrow-cube-missouri-state-fair
Agrow Cube is small enough to fit most places.
2. 1000 plants!

You can grow up to 1000 plants at a time in the Agrow Cube despite the small size! Agrow Cube uses vertical farming to grow more plants in a small space.

agrow-cube-rockwool-cube-seedlings-seed-station-hydroponics
A variety of seedlings is ready to be transplanted into the grow tubes.
3. 68 degrees F all year round!

Agrow Cube is an insulated box, which means the temperature stays the same all year round, and is not affected by summer or winter. The best temperature to grow plants such as lettuce and herbs is 68 degrees, and with Agrow Cube, you can maintain that perfect growing temperature all year long.

4. No soil!

Plants don’t need soil to grow! They only need water, oxygen, and sunlight. Agrow Cube provides all those elements in a hydroponics farming system.

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Plants in clay pebbles to provide support for their growth and permit water circulation.
5. Environmental friendly!

Because there is no soil, and it is a closed system, pests aren’t an issue unless you bring them inside. There’s no need for pesticides even if you do! Simply use environmentally friendly organic means of removal. Agrow Cube can also be powered by a solar power system. However you power your Agrow Cube, you’ll have an environmentally friendly space to grow plants all year long.

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The red basil is ready to be harvested after growing hydroponically!
6. Less water!

Agrow Cube is a closed loop water system, and water recirculates through the tubes and the water tank. There is no water run-off, and therefore no water wasted! Though hydroponics is a water-based farming system, it uses less water than traditional soil farming. The Agrow Cube uses around 110 gallons of water a month!

7. No nitrogen run-off!

Because there is no water runoff with Agrow Cube, there is no wastewater to contaminate the water table with pesticides or fertilizers. Traditional soil farming can release nitrogen and phosphorous and contribute to nutrient pollution in local water sources. Not with Agrow Cube!

agrow-cube-hydroponics-water-pipes-grow-spaces
The water recirculates through the tubes, there is no water lost to runoff.
8. Faster growth

Agrow Cube gives you control over light, water, nutrients, and temperature, enabling you to supercharge plant growth. Plants grow faster in a hydroponics system like the one in Agrow Cube.

9. Low electricity use!

Because Agrow Cube uses an energy efficient heating and cooling system and LED lights for plant growth, it uses minimum electricity each month.

Agrow Cube is a new efficient agriculture product to provide a steady supply of food all year long! To learn more about Agrow Cube, visit our website www.agrowcube.com or call us today at (800) 356-8351.

Follow us on social media to see Agrow Cube in action and to receive regular updates about what we’re doing and where we will be: FacebookTwitter Instagram.

Too Cold to Grow? Not with Agrow Cube! Hydroponics Inside an Insulated Box

In our last post, we talked about several benefits of hydroponics. These benefits are increased when you combine a hydroponics system with technology to protect your plants for year round growing. Agrow Cube does just that: it combines vertical farming and hydroponics with a weather-proof insulated box that enables you to benefit from growing in a hydroponics system 365 days of the year.

365 days of the year? How is that possible?

Agrow Cube is a self-contained agricultural system; it is a hydroponics system inside an insulated box. Because the insulated box is designed to keep its internal temperature steady during extreme weather, it is possible to grow every day of the year.

The Insulated Box

Render of an Agrow Cube hydroponics vertical farming system.
Render of the Agrow Cube insulated box and interior hydroponics system.

Agrow Cube uses the same technology that we have perfected for industrial coolers that must be kept at -20 degrees F  internally in extreme 100+ degrees F heat. Each box is protected from outside weather by a dense polyextruded composite foam shaped to the exact size of each panel, which provides far better insulation than spray foam. The 4” thick insulated panels securely interlock using a double sealed gasket and latch system. Agrow Cube is designed to protect your plants from extreme weather, hot and cold temperatures, and storms.

To learn more about insulated walk-in coolers, visit Snowman Coolers.

The Hydroponics System Inside the Agrow Cube

Perfect temperature

Agrow Cube gives you complete control over the internal environment through a split-system heating and cooling climate control unit, air pump and distribution manifold, water pump, and airstone and supply line. It captures the best growing day of the season — perfect sun, perfect temperature, perfect CO2 levels — and recreates it 365 days of the year even through hot summer days and cold winter nights.

Variety of plants growing in a hydroponics vertical farming system inside an Agrow Cube insulated box.
The hydroponics system inside the Agrow Cube
Perfect water

Agrow Cube uses the nutrient film technique (NFT) hydroponics water system in which a continuous flow of nutrient-rich water runs over the plant roots, but the roots are not fully submerged. It uses a custom pipe and pump system to produce the continuous flow: the water cycles through the pipes, over the plant roots, and back into the water tank where you easily add nutrients and control the oxygen levels in the water. This system eliminates water and nutrient loss due to wastewater runoff, and gives you control of the nutrients, oxygen levels and pH of the water. The system is designed for easy maintenance.

Perfect light

Agrow Cube uses LEDs in its hydroponics system. LEDs provide the most control over the light spectrum and use less energy than halide or fluorescent lights. For lettuces, herbs, and leafy greens, Agrow Cube uses full spectrum LEDs. The lighting system enables you to set light and dark cycles to create the perfect growth environment for your plants.

Agrow Cube: A Self-Contained Agricultural System

Agrow Cube combines the benefits of hydroponics and vertical farming with a weather-proof insulated box to create the perfect growing environment 365 days of the year. With Agrow Cube, you can provide fresh, locally grown produce to schools, restaurants, and farmers’ markets all year long.

To learn more about how Agrow Cube can help you take advantage of the benefits of hydroponics, visit our website www.agrowcube.com and follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

No Dirt? No Problem! Better, Faster Growing with Hydroponics

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a farming method that doesn’t use soil. Instead, plants grow in a mix of water and nutrients. If you’ve ever regrown lettuce by putting the base plant and roots in a cup of water, you’ve seen hydroponics in action. Hydroponics systems bring gardening indoors. Systems vary, but include a grow space, a water system with nutrients added, and a light system to replicate sunlight.

Plants in various stages of growth in a hydroponics system.
Hydroponics system in action in the Agrow Cube

There are major benefits to using a hydroponics system:

Faster growing!

Plants in a hydroponics system grow significantly faster than plants grown in soil. This is in large part due to the efficiency of the hydroponics system. In a closed-loop hydroponics system, there is no wastewater runoff, and therefore no loss of nutrients. Steady access to water, nutrients, and oxygen supercharges plant growth. When plants are grown in soil, there is always some loss of water and nutrients, which slows plant growth.

Bigger plants!

The same control that enables faster growing plants also increases plant size. Because you control the water levels and nutrients, you can ensure that all your plants have the right nutrients to grow to larger sizes. In some instances, lettuces have grown 150% bigger than the same type of lettuce traditionally grown in soil.

Cabbage leaves grown hydroponically.
Our cabbage grown with hydroponics has grown a lot!
No weeding, fewer pests!

Hydroponics is lower maintenance than traditional farming and gardening. Because there is no soil, there is no space for weeds to grow, and no weeding is necessary to maintain your grow space. Your plants are better protected from pests when grown in an indoor hydroponics system. This reduces the time you will spend dealing with bugs, and enables you to avoid toxic chemical pesticides.

Year round growing!

In the right environment (such as an insulated Agrow Cube), you are no longer limited to certain growing seasons and can grow a wide variety of plants year round with a hydroponics system. This is possible because you control water, nutrients, light, and temperature.

Control over the growing process!

Having a hydroponics system at home is like playing scientist. You have control over the water in the irrigation system, the amount and type of nutrients, the intensity and length of the light, and, in the right environment, the temperature. You control how fast or slow you want your plants to grow, and you have ample opportunity to make changes that affect plant growth in real time.

Up next, how Agrow Cube combines a weather-resistant insulated box with hydroponics to create an easy-to-use growing space. To learn more about hydroponics, visit our website www.agrowcube.com and follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

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.

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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.

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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).

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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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