I woke up early this morning from a nightmare about heights and couldn’t go back to sleep. Not being ready to dive back into the pile of grading, I’ve spent the morning researching the crops we’re gonna focus on. So far, we’re strongly leaning towards cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, and lettuce, and most of my research this morning has been on the particular strains of each we want to specialize in. The variety is staggering, but I think I’ve got it narrowed down to 2-3 of each. I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. While I have no delusions about the hard work ahead, I’m looking forward to it.
The prototype is shaping up nicely, too. I’ve got the basic frame and irrigation network put together. Now, I just need a pump, a holding tank, and the lighting unit. The lights will be by far the most expensive component, so I have to get the right unit that will give the best return on overall price and operating expense. I think I’ve found the best choice, but I’ll wait until I’ve tested it before I give any endorsement. On the other end of the spectrum, the water pumps won’t be nearly as expensive as I had originally thought, so that will help out quite a bit.
Also, as we get the aeroponic units operational, we’re gonna work on installing the solar panels. To me, this is the most crucial step of the farm. My goal is eventually to have a 100% self-sufficient farm, and the most important aspect of that is energy consumption. While aeroponic farming is much more efficient, it’s also requires considerable electricity to operate the lights, pumps, fans, and climate control elements, so if we can produce at least as much energy as we consume, the farm will be much more sustainable than if we rely on the grid.
Okay, I’ve stalled long enough. Back to the pile of grading.