Nanue’s Farm produces leafy greens using vertical hydroponic growing.
All of our plants are grown in an organized vertical panel. This Controlled Environment Agriculture, CEA, uses an enclosed space (in our case, a container) to provide control over components such as lights, heating, ventilation, AC, pumps, etc. to create the perfect growing environment in any climate, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Hydroponics use nutrient enriched water to replace soil. Here at Nanue’s Farms we use hydroponic techniques because they’re extremely water-efficient and can be adapted to many environments and crop varieties.
Our controlled environment means our greens are free of environmental forces. We don’t have outside pressures like barren fields, pests and volatile climate, or conditions which effect taste, reliability and plant health. Rather, our non-GMO crops are grown without soil, in better conditions then found in the field, with no runoff, herbicides, fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. Literally, the plants can be eaten “fresh from growing”, no washing required.
Simply put, hydroponics is “soil-less farming”: Instead of having plants draw nutrients from the soil, they get all their vitamins and minerals from water. There are multiple types of hydroponics. We use two systems in Nanue’s Farm: ebb-and-flow and vertical drip irrigation. These two hydroponics systems make the farm super water efficient. The farm uses less then 5 gallons of water a day,
In order to recreate the sun indoors, we expose our plants to over 50,000 LEDs spread across 120 LED boards. Of these, 112 boards are found in the cultivation area, and 8 are found in the nursery station. We specifically chose red and blue because plants are picky about the type of light they absorb and have special, color-specific receptors and hormones that serve different and important functions. The blue light stimulates stem growth while the red light helps the plant grow dense and produce healthy leaves.
We create the perfect environment inside the farm with a series of climate control components. One of the key components is the 36,000 BTU AC unit, which maintains 60º-70ºF year around. On top of cooling capabilities, the integrated economizer and dehumidifier create ambient moisture and cooler dried air. This is an important part of the climate control system because lack of airflow can lead to microclimates, stagnant air, and plant disease. Finally, there is CO2 regulation which keeps levels high enough to facilitate photosynthesis while also ensuring levels are safe for the operator in the enclosed space.