It thrills me to no end to officially launch our company tomorrow at First Flight Venture Center. Many thanks to Jim McLean with Learning Machines for inviting us to his First Flight “Itineraries” Company Presentation and luncheon. If you are in town, and you would like to attend, then let me know by the end of the day. I will try to make room if possible. We only have a few people attending, and are meeting in a small conference room.
Leafy Greens Farms, LLC is a collaborative endeavor operated by Jim Ray, an electrical engineer and owner of Neuse Networks, and, Steve Douglass, owner of Turner Family Farms. Together, we are developing innovative LED lighting and environmental control systems combined with old-school floating tray methods to produce year round weekly crops of greens and sprouts. Micro greens and sprouts as well as the indoor agriculture systems are for sale to both retail and wholesale customers, restaurants, and commercial farmers. Indoor agriculture systems connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) with addressable components for lighting and climate control allow us to remotely manage crops, to maximize energy efficiency, and to conserve natural resources.
It is a great article on microgreens and the business plan. Our business plan is similar. We add the manufacturing of hydroponic vertical agriculture systems with Raspberry Pi networked LED lighting and environmental controls.
Here’s a little preview of our third prototype completed this week of the planar LED lighting system that scales out vertically and horizontally from a small supply closet in the back room of a restaurant or home to stacked 40′ steel cargo containers. Our system may operate on 12 VDC completely off the grid, or with a standard ATX computer power supply that is a $30 replaceable commodity. Installation is low voltage, and requires no permits or licensed electricians.
Here’s the system attached to a power supply:
It is exciting to see other sources validate the microgreens business plan, and to dovetail traditional agriculture techniques with technology to control the process. We will be our own case study and will validate our business plan. Shortly thereafter, we will have systems, processes, and supplies available so others may have fresh food to eat that they are able to grow indoors year round.
Leafy Greens Farms, LLC is a collaborative endeavor operated by Jim Ray, an electrical engineer and owner of Neuse Networks, and, Steve Douglass, owner of Turner Family Farms. Together, we are developing innovative LED lighting and environmental control systems combined with old-school floating tray methods to produce micro greens for sale to both retail and wholesale customers.
A lot has happened this month. We officially started the business, launched our new web site, produced our first product, applied for our first grant that may provide $10,000 of capital without diluting equity in the corporation, and started the third prototype of the production system.
The first prototype of our LED lighting system used 60W of power and yielded 12 ounces of micro greens for each of two 14″x28″ trays.
The first batch of completely indoor-grown micro greens tasted awesome, and had absolutely no sprays or dive bombs from birds.
Feeding people, and helping people feed themselves with our systems and methods that continuously produce year round has more karma value than most anything else I have done in life to date.
Critical to our success is the ability of our production system to scale.
The next generation of prototype increased LED power to 120W.
The network addressable environmental control system using Raspberry Pi will allow operators to bring your own device (BYOD) to set temperature, humidity, air flow, CO2 injection, and lighting at a quantum level to optimize photosynthesis while simultaneously minimizing energy. The entire system is built from the ground up to operate off of 12 VDC off the grid.
The Raspberry Pi HAT (hardware attached on top) allows us to have a web server that the operator may access from any web browser or mobile device to control the modular and scalable closed loop plant growth micro tunnels.
Specific red and blue wavelengths of LEDs allow cultivars to get the colors that the plants need the most.
LEDs have waterproof protective coating and operate on 12 VDC so no permits or licensed electricians are required for installation.
We tested our 60W LED system side by side with a 220W fluorescent system and had good results.
We are currently expanding production in the high tunnel at our farm.
The third prototype is under construction now, and has 500W of LEDs in a 16 square foot area that compares nicely to a 1000W halogen lighting system in a 4’x4′ area.