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Colin & Karen Archipley

Colin & Karen Archipley

USAID is the U.S. organization that provides aid and outreach to foreign nations in need. In Lebanon, USAID is currently investing $34 billion in support of their agriculture and rural community industries. This aid is aimed at providing financing to business, improving trade relations, and improving productivity. A business partner of ours has visited some of USAID’s efforts in supporting agriculture in Botswana, Africa. The effort there was literally fruitless as she witnessed four failed attempts by AID workers and locals to replant seed and produce crops. The causes were poor soil quality, lack of water and irrigation systems and other reasons, caused by a lack of understanding of crop production.

... in Archi-ponics

The American southwest is home to millions of people. It is also one of the most productive agricultural regions in the word. The west coast provides a temperate climate that is a destination spot for tourist thanks to some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. And the 300 days of sun means growers have longer season to produce crops. What many people do not know is that the southwest is desert, including areas like Los Angeles and San Diego. With the continued population growth in this region, and the reliance on both agriculture and tourism, the limited access to water is inhibiting the economy, and with little political back bone from local, state, and federal governments, these problems do not seem to be going anywhere.

... in Archi-ponics

Hydroponic systems have really evolved over the last several decades. Mediums like rockwool and coco coir have replaced sand and gravel; food grade polyethylene and polypropylene plastics have replaced PVC (polyvinyl chloride); and poor quality fertilizers have been replaced by pharmaceutical grade, easy-to-use nutrients and organic teas.

... in Archi-ponics

Humans have been using hydroponics for food production for centuries now. More recently the industry has revolutionized crop production, pushing the limits of what was thought possible. Now farmers use hydroponic systems to bring fresh product to communities that never had access before and during times when it was otherwise thought impossible. Whether in controlled environmental greenhouses or indoor warehouse, hydroponics can be taken anywhere in the world and provide the best and most efficient results. The integration of today’s technology may allow some of us to forget the roots of hydroponics as wells as how simple it can be.

... in Archi-ponics

Currently the U.S. Department of Agriculture subsidizes corn-based ethanol production at a cost to American taxpayers of $6 billion per year. These subsidies, heavily supported by the Secretary of the USDA and Democrats and Republicans alike, are intended to encourage alternative domestic energy production. On the surface, corn-based biofuels would appear as a key component in our country’s sustainable approach to domestic energy. Most Americans believe (inaccurately) that corn is grown on farms that practice sustainability. They figure that what little energy is used to grow the corn is ”free” because it’s produced by the sun.

... in Archi-ponics

These days, “organic” seems to be slapped on the labels of everything from dish soap to cereals to fruit and vegetables. What really qualifies these products as "organic”? With the growing public demand for organic goods, there's always the threat of companies or individuals taking shortcuts and incorporating synthetic substances into their products. That's why the federal government now regulates the use of the term “organic” through the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). As a result, some consumers have lost confidence in products labeled organic; they mistrust government intervention and regulation. Meanwhile, other consumers are relieved to know that "organic" producers are held to standards in order to be “USDA Certified Organic.”

... in Archi-ponics

Are you considering starting a hydroponic farm to grow food for local or wholesale markets? If your operation is well set up, from the hydroponic systems to the marketing of the product, hydroponic farms are not only great income producers, but are far more sustainable than virtually all other forms of crop production. Yes, there are considerable challenges to meet; the first is covering the start up costs of all the equipment. Another task is figuring the operating costs - the expenses involved with running pumps and lights. But, one of the most important questions to ask yourself, that very well may determine the long-term viability of your business is, “What kind of crops do I plan on producing?” You have to choose the crop that is right for your area.

... in Archi-ponics

The U.S. pays around $20 billion per year directly to farmers in the form of crop subsidies. Crop subsidies are designed to ensure that farms do not go out of business and to make food more affordable.  If food is more affordable, not only does it mean that those less fortunate can afford food, it also means that consumers are spending less money on food and more money in other ways, encouraging overall economic growth. According to a USDA study, lower income Americans increased their spending from an average of 10% of their income on food to almost 25% within a two year period.

... in Archi-ponics

With so many people, perhaps even you, unemployed and worried about their future, this may be the right time to ask, “Is becoming self-employed my best option?” Hydroponic crop production can offer incredible opportunities for self-employment, to utilize abilities you have and want to express. It’s true, many people still think hydroponics are only for producing medicinal crops. We’re here to tell you that there are many more avenues for hydroponic growers. Imagine yourself equipped with the technology to have your own CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) operating out of your garage or back yard or roof top, or the facility to competently grow a crop to market to your local organic grocers.

... in Archi-ponics

The current famine in Africa is leading to the death of people at an astronomical rate, many of whom are young children, losing their lives before they get the opportunity to even experience it. The day they are born, they battle hunger, and unfortunately too many of them lose that battle. Making things worse are the warlords forcibly controlling food sources, even those provided by outside entities such as US AID and other aid organizations.

... in Archi-ponics

Hydroponics is headed to Bahrain! This tiny piece of land surrounded by salt water is making a large investment in a hydroponic facility with the intent to train the locals in hydroponic crop production and encourage them to grow for themselves. This move is a big step and makes complete sense due to the fact that Bahrain is in the desert and access to fresh water is limited, not to mention the fact that global food prices continues to rise. If the Bahrainis have their own access to food, then they will spend their money on other things, which will encourage a healthy economy.

... in Archi-ponics

As hydroponics becomes more mainstream, not only more families, but more crop producers are using hydroponics systems. Compared to conventional farming methods, hydroponics is extremely labor efficient and uses fewer resources. Clearly that reduces the grower’s expense; that’s why hydroponic crop production can be much more profitable than conventional farming.

... in Archi-ponics

Studies show that those who write their ideas and goals down are more likely to achieve them. That is one reason why, when starting a crop production business, it is imperative to create a business plan. Your business plan will ensure that you think of as much as possible prior to investment. It convinces you and others that, if investment is needed, your idea is a viable business. Included in the business plan are the executive summary, mission statement, marketing plan, operational summary and more. But arguably the most important parts of the business plan are the financials, with an emphasis on Profit and Loss (P&L) and cash flow projections.

... in Archi-ponics

The challenge for most growers looking to get into commercial hydroponic crop production is the up front costs of the hydroponic system and greenhouse equipment, as well as the price of land. Then there are operating costs to consider: electricity to power the pumps, lights, water, fertilizer, labor and packaging.

... in Archi-ponics

We were discussing last week that in the near future, the diminishing availability of water and other natural resources will certainly create tension, if not armed conflict between neighboring communities, tribes, nations, and regions. The more stable regions with more viable economies will be those with the greatest access to those resources, and the ability to use them in a sustainable manner.

... in Archi-ponics
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