The Ultimate Grow System Showdown at GreenReach

15 Apr, 2024

Diving headfirst into the GreenReach initiative, we were adamant about getting things off on the right foot. We bypassed the dizzying maze of social media for our research, opting instead for the wisdom of industry experts, and engaged directly with manufacturers and suppliers of growing systems. Our initial thought? Selecting the right equipment would be a breeze, a matter of crunching numbers through statistical models.

However, reality threw us a curveball. The world of hydroponic agriculture is like the Wild West:

  • There are no universally accepted standards.
  • A hodgepodge of units for measuring success.
  • A landscape where manufacturers tout their strengths while playing coy about their weaknesses.

This made any attempt at straightforward comparison an exercise in futility, with sales pitches often shining a selective light on the positives, leaving us to wonder about the rest.

This challenge led to a pivotal shift in our approach at GreenReach. To confidently select our grow systems, we embarked 

on a journey of hands-on testing. We aimed to establish our benchmarks and create a common language of measurements across the board.

Here’s what we’ve gleaned so far:

  • The ideal growing system reflects a farm’s unique goals. Berries, herbs, and greens each demand a slightly different touch.
  • There’s no silver bullet system that excels across all types of produce.
  • The specifics of a farm’s location, infrastructure, and available facilities are crucial in the decision-making process.

In our quest, we’ve decided to examine three distinct growing styles: high-pressure aeroponic towers, low-pressure aeroponic towers, and vertical NFT (Nutrient Film Technique). We’re also eyeing the potential addition of a tray fogponic system. Each will operate under the same nutrient management regime and nurture the same variety of crops, setting the stage for an even playing field.

We’re not in search of a one-size-fits-all champion. Instead, we aim to unearth each system’s strengths and limitations and assess how well they align with GreenReach’s objectives. Success, in this context, is subjective, depending on how each system serves our vision. Yet, the data we gather—on everything from crop yield to system efficiency—will speak volumes.

We’re excited to share this journey with you. Once GreenReach is in full swing, expect a treasure trove of data alongside narrative-rich updates detailing our experiences with each growing system, the fruits (and vegetables) of our labour, and the insights we’ve harvested along the way. We’ll also unveil the standardized metrics and benchmarks we’ve developed.

Stay tuned! Detailed insights on each growing system, the crops they nurture, their input and output, and our hands-on assessments are on the horizon.