Recent Bright Agrotech Articles

Free Webinar: Get Farm Funding Through Kiva Zip

Free Webinar: Get Farm Funding Through Kiva Zip

Funding is one of the biggest constraints to small farmers Even though small businesses around the US create two thirds of the jobs in the country, getting capital is almost always reported as one of the top three constraints to growth. Can you believe it? We can.... read more
FFA and Hydroponics: An Interview with Jay Super

FFA and Hydroponics: An Interview with Jay Super

  The World of High School Hydroponics A few weeks ago we got a glimpse into the world of high school hydroponics and had the opportunity to examine the impacts that one hydroponic garden had on a high school in Maize, Kansas. During this post, we got to know... read more
What Indoor CO2 Enrichment Can Do For You

What Indoor CO2 Enrichment Can Do For You

What does CO2 do? We’re  all familiar with CO2. To farmers, the most important role of CO2 occurs after the gas molecules have entered the photosynthesizing tissues of plants via passive diffusion through pores in the leaves. The passivity of this movement into... read more
What Happens When You Combine Hydroponics and STEM?

What Happens When You Combine Hydroponics and STEM?

Teaching STEM with Hydroponics STEM is a hot topic in the educational world these days. As we discussed in the last post Why Every Teacher Should Be On Pinterest, it can be difficult to come up with new ways to teach STEM concepts in the classroom. However,... read more
The Atlantic: Vertical Farming Is On the Rise

The Atlantic: Vertical Farming Is On the Rise

  “Farming in the Sky” The Atlantic recently published a great article that gives a survey of vertical farming during this awkward growth spurt it’s undergoing. It’s one of the most dynamic growth spurts in agricultural history, largely... read more
Why Every Teacher Should Be On Pinterest

Why Every Teacher Should Be On Pinterest

Education is a difficult task that is growing more complicated and less appreciated. Educators have a big challenge in front of them. They are becoming subject to an increasing number of standards that require change on two fronts: what is taught in the classroom... read more
How to Conduct Market Research for Upstart Farmers

How to Conduct Market Research for Upstart Farmers

Market Research Matters for Local Farmers The challenge of choosing markets can cause the most confident farmers to stagger. What if you choose the wrong one? A poorly made decision may result in loss of revenue, a stunted business, and inability to expand your... read more
How and When to Clone Plants for Your Vertical Farm

How and When to Clone Plants for Your Vertical Farm

The What, When and How of Cloning Plants Haydn Christensen has an interesting planting method for his many towers of mint.   If you were to walk through his greenhouse, you would notice that in the shallow gutters which run underneath the rows of towers, dozens of... read more
Save Time and Money By Seeding a Wicking Tray

Save Time and Money By Seeding a Wicking Tray

The Vertical Food Blog welcomes some great tips from Rob Torcellini from Bigelow Brook Farms, whose innovation is apparent in his clever growing techniques.   As with most businesses, we to try to reduce waste as much as possible. This ranges from cutting costs in... read more
8 Fun Ways to Use Hydroponic Produce in Your School

8 Fun Ways to Use Hydroponic Produce in Your School

Insight from Educators Recently, I followed up with educators all over Wyoming using ZipGrow towers for classroom gardening. During this time, I was able to gather a little insight into how schools are using their produce grown in the ZipGrow towers. In today’s post,... read more
Quick Tip: Growing Microgreens for Upstart Farmers

Quick Tip: Growing Microgreens for Upstart Farmers

What are microgreens? Microgreens are densely planted seedlings (bigger than a sprout, smaller than a mature plant) that are usually a leafy green or crops with dramatic flavors like radishes or peas. Typically grown in fodder systems, seeds are planted in an even... read more
Crowdfund Your Farm Successfully [Free Webinar]

Crowdfund Your Farm Successfully [Free Webinar]

Crowdfund Your Farm Successfully [Free Webinar] If you’ve heard of some of the crazy success stories of crowdfunding, you might be considering trying it out on your farm. (If you haven’t considered it, read this article on why it might be a good idea.) ... read more
How A Hydroponic Garden Transformed This Kansas School

How A Hydroponic Garden Transformed This Kansas School

Students enjoying themselves while getting ready to start some seeds in peat pellets. Students observing and participating in the planting process which involves sandwiching seedlings in a matrix media strip to be placed in a ZipGrow tower. A group of students work... read more
Women in Ag: Why aren’t there more?

Women in Ag: Why aren’t there more?

It’s time to shift women’s role in modern farming. If I say farmer, what do you think of? If you’ve been following Bright Agrotech for awhile, maybe it’s Farmer Joe. More likely, it’s an image of a similarly masculine figure, maybe... read more
11 Farms Worth Watching

11 Farms Worth Watching

    The Upstart Farmers: Expanding Food Frontiers The food system is changing texture on a global scale. For the past several decades, the world has been producing and distributing food with a “big distributor” approach. A small number of... read more
Quick Tip: How to Tell if a Market is Worth Attacking

Quick Tip: How to Tell if a Market is Worth Attacking

For beginning small farmers, choosing which markets to approach can be a daunting task. If you’re having difficulty knowing whether or not one of your market options is worth your efforts, check out this quick tip from Dr. Nate. Don’t know what your... read more
Ask Dr. Nate Episode 12: Lighting for Vertical Farms

Ask Dr. Nate Episode 12: Lighting for Vertical Farms

Ask Dr. Nate Episode 12: Lighting for Vertical Farms In the final episode of Ask the Doc, Dr. Nate addresses questions about lighting for vertical farms. Although this is the last episode of Ask the Doc, our team continues to answer questions and produce helpful... read more
Ask Dr. Nate Episode 11: Carbon Dioxide for Indoor Growers

Ask Dr. Nate Episode 11: Carbon Dioxide for Indoor Growers

Ask Dr. Nate Episode 11: Carbon Dioxide for Indoor Growers CO2 is a hot topic for indoor growers; it can be a great tool if you understand how to use it, and a great detriment if it’s overlooked. Today Dr. Nate will be going over the basics of carbon dioxide for... read more
What to Expect From Your Classroom Garden

What to Expect From Your Classroom Garden

So you’ve planted your Spring System… Once seedlings have been transplanted into the Spring, many growers get anxious for the plants to grow big and strong like you see in the pictures. But like anything else, you have to give it time. Don’t panic if... read more
Is Monocropping Rewarding or Risky?

Is Monocropping Rewarding or Risky?

Single-crop cultivation is a common plan-of-attack Which crops are best to grow in commercial ZipGrow systems? If you have read through our crop list and production estimates resources you know that just about anything will grow in a ZipGrow tower, but the crop that... read more
How to Grow Seeds in a Greenhouse

How to Grow Seeds in a Greenhouse

Today Noah Newman walks you through the process to grow seeds in your greenhouse. Check out the video and the steps below to learn more! Steps to Grow Seeds in a Greenhouse 1) Decide what crops you will be growing and where you will be planting them.  2) Order seeds... read more
Insights from Indoor Ag Con 2015

Insights from Indoor Ag Con 2015

Indoor Agriculture is about to explode! Last week several of our team and a dozen Upstart Farmers attended the 3rd Annual Indoor Ag Con in Las Vegas. In addition to great time with the Upstart Farmers, we also got to hear from those active in the indoor ag industry. A... read more
Farm Tech, Indoor Ag Con, and Accelerated Innovation

Farm Tech, Indoor Ag Con, and Accelerated Innovation

A few photos from Indoor Ag Con 2015 The ZipGrow Green Wall made it's debut at Indoor Ag Con 2015. Cowboy Trail Farms, a local Las Vegas Upstart Farmer supplied some beautiful towers of lettuces, basils and other herbs for the main stage. Dr. Nate and Perry of Bright... read more
Ask Dr. Nate Episode 9: Growing Indoors

Ask Dr. Nate Episode 9: Growing Indoors

Ask Dr. Nate Episode 9: Growing Indoors This week, Dr. Nate and Noah answer your questions about humidity and lighting indoors. Timestamps: 0:35 – How to deal with humidity indoors 3:28 – How much light do I need for proper growth indoors? 6:05 –... read more
How and When to Plant Your Spring System

How and When to Plant Your Spring System

It’s planting time! So your seeds have made the glorious transition from seeds to seedlings thanks to your care and nourishment. Essentially, your preschoolers have become big kids, and are ready to leave the comfort of preschool and experience the new... read more
Why You Should Think About Crowdfunding Your Farm

Why You Should Think About Crowdfunding Your Farm

What is Crowdfunding? How does it work? Crowdfunding is all the rage these days, and for good reason; it has helped bring forth some innovative and high-impact products and services. One that’s been on everyone’s mind lately is the Flow Hive from the Cedar... read more
Quick Tip: Foliar Sprays to Treat Deficiencies

Quick Tip: Foliar Sprays to Treat Deficiencies

If you’re dealing with potassium, calcium, magnesium, or iron deficiencies, it might be time for you to familiarize yourself with foliar sprays. Foliar sprays can be a great way to get a fast response to a nutrient deficiency. Most sprays are as simple as mixing... read more
We’d Love to See You at Indoor Ag Con 2015

We’d Love to See You at Indoor Ag Con 2015

March 31st is the first day of Indoor Ag Con, a conglomeration of “farmers, growers, chefs, produce buyers, tech geeks, entrepreneurs, industry suppliers, investors, and advocates” who come together to discuss the future of indoor agriculture, make... read more
Should I plant Multiple Crops in My Classroom Garden?

Should I plant Multiple Crops in My Classroom Garden?

I’ve had many educators ask me “What order should I use to grow my plants for my classroom garden?” But the real question should be, “Should I put multiple plant varieties in the same tower?” The answer to that one is pretty easy: in a perfect world, you shouldn’t.... read more
How To Grow Seeds For Your Classroom Garden

How To Grow Seeds For Your Classroom Garden

Growing seeds for your classroom is easy! You may be thinking,  “Whoa, whoa, whoa, seed starting?! I didn’t know I had to have a green-thumb to get my Spring up and running.” The good news is, you don’t. Seed starting is simple and easy, and can be done by just about... read more
Testing Hydroponic Nutrients

Testing Hydroponic Nutrients

Nutrients in Hydroponic Systems Hydroponic systems use a formulated nutrient mix to fertilize plants. Although nutrients are formulated in ratios that reflect the needs of the plant, transpiration and crop differences mean that nutrient levels can drift away from the... read more
Control of Basil Downy Mildew

Control of Basil Downy Mildew

The What and Why of Controlling Downy Mildew Peronospora is one family among five families of pathogens that cause downy mildews. Peronospora’s specialty is basil downy mildew, a destructive pathogen which, if uncontrolled, may cause complete crop loss. Basil is... read more
Spring System Maintenance

Spring System Maintenance

In this post we will cover the basics of how to manage your Spring System. The Spring System is designed to allow anyone to garden, regardless of experience or ability, by growing and watering itself with minimal maintenance. It does require some routine management to... read more
ZipGrow at the World’s Fair 2015 U.S. Pavilion

ZipGrow at the World’s Fair 2015 U.S. Pavilion

Vertical Farming at the 2015 World’s Fair The world is discovering vertical agriculture in it’s many forms, from the sci-fi-esque skyscraper farms to the Upstart Farmers. The potential of vertical ag is expanding rapidly in various degrees of rationality.... read more
Growing Strawberries Indoors with ZipGrow

Growing Strawberries Indoors with ZipGrow

A while ago we published a post on the decline of the strawberry industry. We predicted that the problems with growing techniques like the use of methyl bromide would drive the industry indoors. Aside from the pesticide problem and the complicated techniques for... read more
Beyond beauty: a living wall for today’s food landscape

Beyond beauty: a living wall for today’s food landscape

In addition to providing free information, this particular post highlights the launch of a great new product. Be warned: we talk about how cool our technology is. The living wall isn’t a new idea. Dreams of living walls have enchanted the peoples of the world... read more
Announcing Upstart Farmers Radio

Announcing Upstart Farmers Radio

There’s a fast-paced movement happening in agriculture. The age of the small vertical farmer is blooming into existence; the amount of technology and resources for small vertical farmers continues to climb, setting records every day, and the number of vertical farmers... read more
Quick Tip: Nutrient Toxicity

Quick Tip: Nutrient Toxicity

Questions about plant toxicities If you’ve gardened, farmed, or grown anything in your life, you’ve probably experienced a nutrient deficiency in your plants. The other side of nutrient levels is a toxicity, and it’s something that many growers are concerned about.... read more
Carbonates in Aquaponics

Carbonates in Aquaponics

If you’re using tap water and having trouble with pH, you might be dealing with a carbonates problem.  Carbonates in aquaponics frequently cause problems with fluctuating pH or difficulty to exit a high pH range. What are carbonates? A carbonate molecule is... read more
The New Lemonade Stand

The New Lemonade Stand

Old fundraising projects are tired. I grew up in a neighborhood flanked on two sides by schools. While having students around kept the neighborhood lively and cheerful, we had so many schoolkid visitors selling wrapping paper, candles, and soup mixes that we started... read more
Tilapia Fry Care

Tilapia Fry Care

Stocking your own fish is cheaper and gives you more control If you’re raising tilapia in an aquaponic system, it can be more convenient to breed and stock your own fry.   Not only will raising your own stock rescue your wallet, but the ability to choose your own... read more
Ask Dr. Nate Episode 2

Ask Dr. Nate Episode 2

  In episode #2, Dr. Nate Storey answers questions about… Best argument for ZipGrow [0:19] Matrix media and media questions [2:22] Live sales [7:25] Compliance and selling  His dissertation Tilapia and Goldfish in AP systems [12:45] Salmon in AP [15:05] pH in AP... read more
Catfish in Aquaponics

Catfish in Aquaponics

  Who is Aleece Landis? Aleece B. Landis, more commonly known as the hands-on aquaponic expert TCLynx, has been enthralled with aquaponics since 2007. TC learned much of her aquaponic know-how engaging in all kinds of forums and online communities and now is one... read more
Ask Dr. Nate Episode 1

Ask Dr. Nate Episode 1

In episode #1, Dr. Nate answers questions about… Freezing aquaponics systems [0:14] Aquaponics vs. hydroponics for making money? [1:10] How Matrix Media made the cut [1:31] Growing outside with towers [2:44] Charts for best nutrient levels [2:54] Getting full... read more
Planning Your Farm: Calculating Farm Expenses

Planning Your Farm: Calculating Farm Expenses

Calculating expenses helps you be realistic about your farm’s potential If you read our post on estimating farm revenue, you may be tempted to stop there. But if you want anything close to a realistic look forward, you must compare that revenue to your farm... read more
Best Fish for Aquaponics

Best Fish for Aquaponics

So you’re planning an aquaponics system… What type of fish are you using? Now that’s an exciting question! There are dozens of exciting possibilities, and raising fish can be fun and rewarding! So.. Let’s talk fish. There are four factors which decide the best... read more
Planning Your Farm: Projecting Farm Revenue

Planning Your Farm: Projecting Farm Revenue

The Importance of Projecting Farm Revenue Now that you have solid goals for your farm (i.e. you want to grow your own food and share it with your community), you’re ready to get these financials nailed down. Keep up that attitude and sit up for the next part of... read more
Sexing Tilapia: An Easy Way to Determine Gender

Sexing Tilapia: An Easy Way to Determine Gender

Why would you sex your fish? Fish are obviously a key component in your aquaponics system and maintaining healthy fish populations means a healthier, more resilient system. There are several reasons for sexing tilapia. Everything from selecting for breeding to... read more
Aquaponics for Hot Climates: Building a Heat-tolerant System

Aquaponics for Hot Climates: Building a Heat-tolerant System

Bright Agrotech operates a 300 tower system in Laramie, Wyoming. What this means is that while we’re good at dealing with extreme cold, dealing with extreme heat isn’t really something we’ve had to face before. The hottest we’ve had to deal with is something around 85... read more
Growing Mint for Commercial Hydroponics

Growing Mint for Commercial Hydroponics

Growing Mint for Commercial Hydroponics Choosing crops for your vertical hydroponic farm can be difficult. First and foremost, you want to grow crops that your markets demand. Otherwise… how will you sell them? You also want to choose crops that work well with... read more
To Build a Farm: Determine Your Timeline

To Build a Farm: Determine Your Timeline

So you’re looking into starting a farm. Awesome! You must have heard about the Upstart Farmer movement… This is going to be HUGE. But, let’s talk logistics for a second. How long will it take for you to build a farm? At what point will your... read more
Breeding Tilapia for Aquaponics

Breeding Tilapia for Aquaponics

So you need more fish… Say you just harvested 100 lbs of your Tilapia for a local restaurant. Maybe a couple died of old age. (Or maybe you accidentally froze one of your fish tanks…cough cough.) Maybe your current stock is getting old and less productive, and... read more
To Build a Farm: Determine Your Break-Even Point

To Build a Farm: Determine Your Break-Even Point

When will your farm pay itself off? This is the second article on small farm financials. We’ve already discussed how to determine how long it will take to go from the planning stages to the implementation stages, but today we’re going to discuss how to... read more
Biochar in Hydroponics or Aquaponics

Biochar in Hydroponics or Aquaponics

“If you got biochar, I feel bad for you, son. I got ninety-nine problems but nitrates ain’t one.” – Concerned Hydroponicist What is biochar? Biochar is charcoal- specifically, it’s charcoal created from plant matter. It’s a great option as a... read more
Unparalleled Support for Vertical Farmers

Unparalleled Support for Vertical Farmers

Support for Farmers Just Got Better For a while now we’ve made it our mission to expand your knowledge of practical (i.e. not a “sky farm skyscraper”) vertical hydroponic growing. Our small team works hard to churn out a ton of high-quality resources... read more
Controlling Powdery Mildew

Controlling Powdery Mildew

The Do’s and Don’ts of Controlling Powdery Mildew From leaf spot to blight, there are some destructive diseases out there. One that’s constantly battering our crops is powdery mildew, which is especially ruthless to our mustard crops, and... read more
Mixing Hydroponic Nutrients

Mixing Hydroponic Nutrients

So you have a hydroponics system… But how do you fertilize it? It seems like it should be easy. Then you walk into your greenhouse, fertilizer bag in hand, and you realize that you don’t know… Where do I add it? How much to add? Is timing important?... read more
Hydroponic Metrics that Actually Matter

Hydroponic Metrics that Actually Matter

So you’re building a farm… Maybe it’s 200 square feet, maybe it’s 20,000. Either way it’s a big investment, and you want to make sure that it’s going to work out, right? You wouldn’t get engaged to a person without knowing... read more
2015: The Year of the Upstart Farmer

2015: The Year of the Upstart Farmer

New Year = New Opportunities  This year, the opportunities are a bit more tangible than usual for aspiring farmers and gardeners. It’s 2015 – The Year of the Upstart Farmer! What does that mean? It’s a time where cultural values around... read more
Looking Back, Moving Forward: Upstart Farming in 2014

Looking Back, Moving Forward: Upstart Farming in 2014

Do you know the Upstart Farmers? They’re a group of small against-the-grain farmers that are transforming their local markets and communities. They grow with innovative technology and offer produce of such great quality that the markets around them can’t refuse. Each... read more
Looking back on 2014: A Year of Growth

Looking back on 2014: A Year of Growth

  It’s Been Big Year at Bright Agrotech Last January, we were four partners plus an intern, looking forward to a few events that would help us break into markets. Now, we are four partners, four full-time employees, and three interns, looking forward to... read more
Nutrient Cycling and Decomposition

Nutrient Cycling and Decomposition

What is Nutrition? We all know the concept of nutrition for organisms. But did you know that there’s a whole field of study relating to nutrition in agriculture? Don’t worry; you don’t need to be an expert to conduct the orchestra of organisms within your system.... read more
Take a Tour of London’s GrowUp Box

Take a Tour of London’s GrowUp Box

The Upstart Farming movement is spreading. What is Upstart Farming? Over the past few years, new minds have been entering the agricultural scene and recognizing great potential that traditional farming has been under-utilizing for centuries. Some of them have acted on... read more
Insuring Your Upstart Farm

Insuring Your Upstart Farm

What kind of insurance do you need for your farm? Insuring your Upstart Farm is an important step when starting the business. Upstart Farms should carry a general liability or umbrella policy on their farm. You want to have insurance that protects: the product... read more
Harvesting Tools for the Vertical Farmer

Harvesting Tools for the Vertical Farmer

Tools for Harvesting Different crops require different harvesting tools, and having the right tool will make your job easy and fast. Let’s look at the most useful tools for you to use in your greenhouse. At the very least, you’ll need shears and a... read more
Hydroponics Resource Guide

Hydroponics Resource Guide

Your Go-To Hydroponics Resource Guide Building a hydroponics system can be overwhelming at times. Over the years, we at Bright Agrotech have had a lot of time to seek out and test equipment based on costs, needs, and quality, whether it’s hydroponic growing... read more
SmartGreens: Canada’s First Upstart Farmers

SmartGreens: Canada’s First Upstart Farmers

Upstart Farmers at New Latitudes An Upstart Farmer is an innovative farmer who uses efficient, sustainable techniques to grow better food and enrich his or her community.    Let’s learn more about one young Upstart Farm and what they’re doing in Ontario.  ... read more
4 Tips for the Best Greenhouse Workbench Setup

4 Tips for the Best Greenhouse Workbench Setup

Don’t Forget the Workbench! We’ve published a mass of content about vertical farm setup, plumbing, and system configuration. One of the more humble parts of a vertical farm that gets overlooked is the workbench. While we haven’t talked much about it... read more
Tips for Spraying in a Greenhouse

Tips for Spraying in a Greenhouse

Should You Spray? Pest management is an important part of operating any successful hydroponics or aquaponics farm, especially if you’re doing it commercially. After all, an infestation can destroy the hard work and money you’ve put into growing your own... read more
How pH Affects Microbes in Aquaponics

How pH Affects Microbes in Aquaponics

How pH Affects Microbes in Aquaponics In our last post, we discussed the importance of microbes to aquaponics systems. We left off with a question: can human actions affect microbial populations? The answer is of practical importance, because it determines whether or... read more
A Brief Introduction to Microbes in Aquaponics

A Brief Introduction to Microbes in Aquaponics

“Without microbes, we die. Everything dies. We tend to think of fish as being fish, and plants as being plants, and microbes as being microbes. But we should be thinking about fish and microbes being fish, plants and microbes being plants.” In this post, the experts at Bright Agrotech discuss the basics of microbes in AP. Read more.

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Welcome to the 12 Days of Bright Agrotech

Welcome to the 12 Days of Bright Agrotech

Welcome to the 12 Days of Bright Agrotech! A Chance to Look Forward… The last few months here have been exciting for us. What incredible progress we’ve seen among the Upstart Farmers! 2015 is going to be a great year- because of what you are going to do.... read more
Happy Towersgiving From Bright Agrotech!

Happy Towersgiving From Bright Agrotech!

Happy Thanksgiving (Towersgiving)! For Bright Agrotech, Thanksgiving is not just about counting our blessings (although we are very blessed); it’s about acknowledging the great movements that are happening in agriculture and among the growers that we’re... read more
ZipGrow Living Green Walls at ASLA 2014

ZipGrow Living Green Walls at ASLA 2014

Living Green Walls at the 2014 ASLA Expo! We’re super excited to introduce Bright Agrotech products to the landscape architects at the ASLA Conference. Bringing the unlimited possibilities of ZipGrow technology to this year’s expo may be one small step for... read more
Best Gifts for Aquaponic Growers

Best Gifts for Aquaponic Growers

Best Gifts for Aquaponic Growers It’s almost our  favorite time of the year! As anticipation for the season of pine boughs and silver bells rises, we are scheming more and more about what we will be getting for the growers in our lives. We figured we’d put... read more
Best Temperatures for Tilapia in Aquaponics Systems

Best Temperatures for Tilapia in Aquaponics Systems

What are the Best Temperatures for Tilapia in Aquaponics Systems? Before we begin, keep in mind that Tilapia are definitely warm water fish. But there are a few reasons they are the most common fish in aquaponics. Tilapia are Feed Tolerant For starters, they’re... read more
How to Use Wicking Strip

How to Use Wicking Strip

Why Wicking Strip? The need for a wicking material was determined when ZipGrow Towers were still in their infancy. Because the Matrix Media inside the towers has such high percolation and air movement, tender plant roots, especially on seedlings, were at risk of... read more
Why We Love Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Why We Love Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Why we like Baker Creek Well… Just look!    What makes a seed company stand out? Over the years, the Bright Agrotech team has tried seeds from several different seed companies, each one different than the next. There’s one seed company that stood out... read more
SpringUps: Urban Farming in New York

SpringUps: Urban Farming in New York

Innovative Vertical Growing in NYC There’s no doubt that urban farming has grown in popularity over the last few years. Thanks to new, innovative technologies, we’re able to grow in areas where you never imagined farms before – like shipping... read more
Planning a Greenhouse: Structures and Heating

Planning a Greenhouse: Structures and Heating

 Planning a Greenhouse: Structures and Heating The structure that you choose to build will be decided by foundation, covering, and heating needs. I’m going to walk you through each factor, and by the time we’re done, you will know what kind of greenhouse... read more
What is the Live Sales Model?

What is the Live Sales Model?

Live Sales: A Better, Healthier Model The way we grow food isn’t the only thing that needs to be changed. Almost anyone can tell you a story they’ve heard about how traditional agricultural practices are unsustainable – using ever-more land, over... read more
Aquaponics Resource Guide

Aquaponics Resource Guide

Not sure where to get quality materials for the best price? What is really important when buying a greenhouse? Learn more in our Aquaponics Resource Guide!

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Getting Started with Classroom Hydroponics

Getting Started with Classroom Hydroponics

While the versatility and customizable nature of hydroponics is an engaging characteristic, it also makes it hard to plan. And planning is one of your most crucial tools as an educator. Without the ability to plan, your funding requests remain vague, lesson plans can’t be written ahead of time, and there’s the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what challenges you might face.

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Cooling a Greenhouse

Cooling a Greenhouse

While we here at Bright Agrotech are fortunate (or unfortunate?) enough to not have to worry about extreme growing temperatures for long periods of time,  for many of our Upstart Farmers this is not the case. Therefore, maintaining a climate controlled greenhouse is a... read more
City Planet Farms: Redefining New York Urban Farming

City Planet Farms: Redefining New York Urban Farming

Taking on the Concrete Jungle, One Farm At a Time Upstart Farmers aren’t just located in rural greenhouses. Since they use ZipGrow technology, the vertical farm can grow anywhere. City Planet Farms is one example growing around New York City. Farmer Teryl Chapel... read more
Commercial hydroponics: Writing a Business Plan (Part 1)

Commercial hydroponics: Writing a Business Plan (Part 1)

Business planning for any start-up is challenging. In an industry which is undergoing rapid change, predicting and planning for the future can be even more difficult. So let us lend a hand. Our farmers have been asking us for a sample business plan to follow and... read more
Upstart Farmer Fresh with Edge Featured by Seedstock

Upstart Farmer Fresh with Edge Featured by Seedstock

“Rochester, Minnesota Aquaponic Startup Takes Farm-to-Fork to a Whole New Level” If there’s one common trait of all Upstart Farmers, it’s that they are constantly growing and improving. As we discussed in What is an Upstart Farmer?, this... read more
What is an Upstart Farmer?

What is an Upstart Farmer?

Young farmers [really, any new farmers in general] are being priced out of the market by increasing land costs. Resources are limited, and those they can access are expensive. Old methods and equipment aren’t suited towards small, local farms, despite ever-increasing demand for fresh, high-quality local foods. The work is hard, to say the least, and traditional returns aren’t very high. But in the face of these challenges, a new breed of farmer has emerged: the Upstart Farmer.

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Classroom Gardening: Hydroponics or Aquaponics?

Classroom Gardening: Hydroponics or Aquaponics?

Hydroponics or Aquaponics? 5 Differences to Help You Choose We’ve already discussed how hydroponics can amplify your teaching techniques and boost creative student thinking. I haven’t spoken to a single educator yet who wasn’t thrilled about the... read more
What is a Living Green Wall?

What is a Living Green Wall?

Living Green Walls: A Future Not So Far Away

Imagine walking through your town and seeing entire city blocks covered in fresh greens, herbs and even flowers.

What used to be bare, boring walls are now lush, verdant farms.

Local restaurants, grocery stores and even government buildings are all growing their own food without taking up any space…

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6 Reasons to Teach Hydroponics in the Classroom

6 Reasons to Teach Hydroponics in the Classroom

While growing plants hydroponically is not a new idea, only recently have teachers around the globe implemented this Soil-Less Science technique into their classroom curriculum. It’s producing great results. [Just a reminder: Hydroponics means growing plants... read more
Educator Spotlight: Bob Hooper and the Farm on Wheels

Educator Spotlight: Bob Hooper and the Farm on Wheels

Inspiring Creativity with the Farm on Wheels As you read in our previous post on Teaching Hydroponics in the Classroom, there are a lot of passionate educators out there instilling creativity and innovation in their students. But educators aren’t just using... read more

Teaching Hydroponics in the Classroom

Using Hydroponics as a Teaching Tool Do your students know where their food comes from? Or even how it’s grown? Do they know about the sustainable farming practices that went into growing our food, or lack thereof? Our children today, like many Americans, are... read more
ZipGrow Towers Reduce Waste, Add Value

ZipGrow Towers Reduce Waste, Add Value

If there’s one thing our Upstart Farmers know, it’s that using ZipGrow towers in their commercial farming operation not only empowers their ability to grow more in a smaller space, it also turns them into the superman of their local food landscape. This is... read more

Choosing Crops for Vertical Farming

What Crops Should You Start With? Choosing crops can be a daunting task, but anything can be grown if it’s in the right conditions for that crop. Understanding which crops grow in various conditions is a good first step in growing successfully in aquaponics and... read more

How to Supplement Magnesium With Epsom Salt

Magnesium deficiency is arguably the most common deficiency. Luckily, it is also one of the simplest nutrients to supplement- you can supplement magnesium with Epsom Salt. This article will discuss how to supplement magnesium with Epsom Salt.

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Planting a ZipGrow Tower

Planting a ZipGrow Tower

How to Plant a ZipGrow Tower   As Noah explains in the video below, planting a ZipGrow tower is quick and easy. To make it even easier, we’ve put together a planting graphic that’s also easy to understand (see below). Here’s a graphic to help you... read more
The CSA Contract

The CSA Contract

Thinking of starting a Community Supported Agriculture program for your hydroponically-produced fresh greens and herbs? Great idea, but don’t get started too fast! With you in mind, Bright Agrotech has recently published a CSA Grower’s Packet. This is blog post number... read more
Wiggle Wire and Temperature Control in a Greenhouse

Wiggle Wire and Temperature Control in a Greenhouse

If you’re constructing a greenhouse in a hot or cold area, temperature regulation can cause roadblocks. Here in Wyoming, we have had to get creative about how to efficiently manage temperatures in the easiest, most cost effective way. After much trial and error,... read more
Matrix Media: Productive and Safe

Matrix Media: Productive and Safe

Why Matrix Media? There are a lot of different aquaponics and hydroponics medias out there. Some work better than others and each performs best within a specific application. So what’s so special about Matrix Media, and why did we design it for our ZipGrow... read more
Announcing the Aquaponics Academy Podcast

Announcing the Aquaponics Academy Podcast

As you know, we’ve been striving for years to give you the world’s highest quality information on aquaponics. Not just because we have fallen in love with our online community (you), but also because there is SO MUCH CRAP out there on aquaponics as a... read more
The Best Hydroponic Nutrients For Your System

The Best Hydroponic Nutrients For Your System

How to Choose a Hydroponic Fertilizer Hydroponics systems require a carefully crafted fertilizer, or nutrient solution, to grow optimally. If you are just starting out in hydroponics, or if you’re experiencing some issues with your current hydroponic production,... read more

ZipGrow Flow Rates in Hydroponics

Flow Rates in Hydroponics Systems What’s the right flow rate for your application? As we’ve discussed in the past, there are many different types of hydroponic growing techniques out there (e.g. NFT, grow beds, etc.). Each of these techniques will differ... read more

Mechanical Pest Controls

What are Mechanical Pest Controls? Another element of IPM, mechanical pest control includes any physical or hands-on control methods.  Mechanical control is most valuable when you have acute pest problems- when pests are abundant enough that you can quickly remove or... read more
ZipGrow Towers in Australia

ZipGrow Towers in Australia

ZipGrow towers have made the journey across the sea to Australia! We relish the opportunity to empower the innovative Australian aquaponic and hydroponic growers. As the birthplace of aquaponics, Australia hosts some expert growers and great system setups and we are... read more

Water Use Efficiency in Hydroponics and Aquaponics

Water conservation an increasing concern Especially in the drought-ridden west, water conservation is a topic of increasing concern. You’ve recently heard about water in the news, across social media, and among friends – not just from farmers. Drought... read more
Biological Control

Biological Control

What is Biological Control? Biological control is the manipulation of a pest’s natural enemies to reduce a pest’s impact. In other words: controlling pests using other living organisms. 3 Way to Implement Biological Pest Controls    1- Release Enemies from an... read more
What is Hydroponics? A Brief Introduction

What is Hydroponics? A Brief Introduction

What Is Hydroponics? Hydroponics is simply the production of crops without soil. Hydroponics is also an answer to two of the world’s growing concerns: diminishing soil quality, and water scarcity. As those concerns grow, so does the world’s interest in... read more

Sulfur in Aquaponics

Sulfur is one of the secondary macronutrients and is very important to plant production.  In aquaponic systems sulfur is rarely deficient.  It’s one of the reasons you hear about it so often.  In fact, sulfur is more often present in larger-than-necessary quantities,... read more

Magnesium in Aquaponics

The Importance of Magnesium in Aquaponic Systems Magnesium is a very important plant nutrient and is up with Potassium when it comes to common plant deficiencies in aquaponic systems. Magnesium is an important part of enzymes, proteins and the machinery of... read more

Calcium in Aquaponics

Calcium in Aquaponic Systems – A Very Important Nutrient Calcium is one of the most important plant nutrients- in fact there are some who argue that it should be one of the primary plant nutrients, up there with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A Common... read more

Community Supported Agriculture Webinar

Finding Your Markets: “Starting a CSA” Community Supported Agriculture Webinar In our previous webinar, Dr. Nate Storey discussed how to begin selling your produce at Farmer’s Markets. Our next webinar in this series is all about starting your own... read more

ZipGrow Tower Flow Rates

Today we’re talking about flow rates for your ZipGrow vertical farming towers. Just to be clear, when I say “flow rate” all I’m referring to is the specific rate or velocity at which the volume of your aquaponic or hydroponic system solution... read more
Get Excited About Vertical Farming

Get Excited About Vertical Farming

Sure, the Sky is the Limit in Vertical Farming… But are we trading today’s present opportunities for tomorrow’s preposterous hypotheses?  You’ve probably noticed, “Vertical Farming” is all the rage these days… And for good... read more
Solids Removal in Aquaponics

Solids Removal in Aquaponics

Solids removal is an important part of any aquaponic system, especially systems like raft systems. In a raft system, you have to use some type of filtration to remove solids, or your raft beds will accumulate waste, your dissolved oxygen will crash, and your plant... read more

Wiggle Wire and Double Layer Greenhouses

Winter Winds and Wiggle Wire Greenhouse Designs This time of year the wind is whipping, the temperatures are plummeting and folks are asking about double layer poly coverings- the coverings of plastic film that we have on our greenhouses here at Bright Agrotech. We’ve... read more

Diagnosing Potassium Deficiencies in Aquaponics

Recognizing Potassium Deficiencies Part #1) Introduction to Potassium Part #2) Potassium in Your System Part #3) Diagnosing Potassium Deficiencies in Aquaponics Part #4) Managing Potassium Deficiencies   Potassium deficiencies can be difficult to diagnose,... read more

Potassium in Your Aquaponics System (Part 2)

Potassium in Your Aquaponics System Potassium is almost always deficient in mature aquaponic systems unless it is supplemented. Plants, and especially flowering and fruiting plants, consume potassium at rates significantly higher than rates of input. This basically... read more

Commercial Aquaponics Webinar

Are You Ready to Grow Commercially? Bright Agrotech has been putting on free webinars for some time now. Why? The answer is that we want to support our growers as much as possible. It is our greatest desire to see you succeed! We believe that with the right equipment... read more

Potassium in Aquaponics

Potassium in Aquaponics:  N-P-K Potassium is hands down the most interesting and frustrating nutrient to manage in aquaponic systems. When there is a nutrient deficiency in aquaponic systems, 9 times out of 10, it is a potassium deficiency. Not only is there typically... read more

One Pump vs. Two Pump Aquaponics Systems

The problem with pumps One pump is a good thing.  Two pumps are a bad thing. Twice the chance of failure, twice the maintenance and twice the headaches. I’ve received a lot of questions about two-pump systems lately- enough so that I decided to do a video response on... read more
Lowering pH in Aquaponics

Lowering pH in Aquaponics

Lowering pH in Aquaponics Many beginners and intermediate aquaponic growers are often concerned about their high pH and want a quick fix to bring it down. This post will be short and sweet because my philosophies on lowering the pH in system with high pH are... read more
Algae in Aquaponics

Algae in Aquaponics

Algae commonly occurs in aquaponic systems.  Over time, algae populations stabilize in systems, but when systems are just getting started, algae can be very frustrating, locking up valuable nutrients and causing pH values to swing wildly throughout the day. The Issues... read more
ZipGrow Tower Spacing

ZipGrow Tower Spacing

Proper ZipGrow Tower Spacing It’s no secret that ZipGrow towers are helping hundreds of home growers and commercial producers across the world grow more in a smaller space. Not only do these vertical farming towers produce 3x as much as traditional horizontal... read more

Cold Weather Aquaponics Questions

As winter continues to creep closer, Dr. Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech is answering a few of your questions about cold weather aquaponics. More specifically, he’ll take questions on: Fish response to colder temperatures Appropriate temperature ranges for... read more

Phosphorus in Aquaponics

Phosphorus in aquaponics Phosphorus is one of the primary plant nutrients: the “P” in NPK ratings. It is often overlooked in aquaponic systems simply because it is seldom truly deficient. However, many aquaponic practitioners are not getting the best possible yields... read more

Nitrification- The Motor of Aquaponics

Nitrification is the process that drives most aquaponic systems, and yet, it is oftentimes poorly understood- even by experts. Nitrogen in Aquaponics Nitrogen is one of the most important plant elements, but making it available depends very closely on the ability of... read more

Introducing Fish Into a New Aquaponic System

It’s time for a little Q&A with Dr. Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech   Question #1: “How long do I have to wait before introducing fish into a new aquaponic system?” Answer #1: Dr. Storey: On every new system you have to wait until you are... read more

Nitrogen in Aquaponics

Why Nitrogen First? In the world of human economy, politics and society, there are many different currencies, all of which are traded for goods.  This could be oil, US dollars, Facebook Likes or Grandmas cookies.  The natural world has similar currencies- trading in... read more

Aquaponics Webinar: A Live Q&A with Dr. Storey

Aquaponics Webinar: A Live Q&A with Dr. Storey Bright Agrotech’s webinars are given as an effort to enrich the growing community and support a brighter future of food. Aquaponics expert Dr. Nate Storey leads participants through a discussion of relevant... read more
BayBerry Fresh in Whole Foods Market

BayBerry Fresh in Whole Foods Market

“Today is a big day for Local Food.”   Dear Friends and Readers, When I first designed ZipGrow towers, I was concerned with the state of the slowly-dying American greenhouse herbs industry. It was such a great industry- providing communities with... read more

Low Grade Geothermal Heating and Cooling for Greenhouses

Low Grade Geothermal Heating and Cooling for Greenhouses   If you’ve watched our most recent video, we interview JD Sawyer from Colorado Aquaponics at the Grow Haus in Denver, Colorado.     We were down there interviewing JD about the work they were... read more
Aquaponic Drainage Systems: Return Lines

Aquaponic Drainage Systems: Return Lines

Aquaponic Drainage Systems Planning a drainage system for any aquaponic system can be a daunting task, but planning a drainage system for ZipGrow Towers can sometimes be even more daunting, simply because they are so new, and most folks are unfamiliar with how they... read more
Lemon Juice in Aquaponics Systems

Lemon Juice in Aquaponics Systems

Lemon Juice in Aquaponics Systems Lots of people do it, and all live to regret it. Everyone wants to run their system in a pH range that is ideal for nutrient availability to their plants, however, most systems end up having a rather high pH on the front end, during... read more

Plant Nutrients in Aquaponic Systems

Plants are funny things. We’re surrounded by them, whether in the food that we eat, making up the lawn that we walk across, or the cactus on our desk at work. If you’re a commercial hydroponic or aquaponic producer, plants the most economically important part of your... read more
Solids Lifting Overflows for Aquaponics

Solids Lifting Overflows for Aquaponics

Solids Lifting Overflows SLOs or Solids Lifting Overflows are a wonderful resource for aquaponic and hydroponic growers, aquaculturalists and anyone with a koi pond.  A SLO combines the benefits of an overflow (setting a constant water height) with the benefits of... read more

Spotlight on Oshkosh North High School Aquaponics

Bright Agrotech Spotlight Series Our Spotlight Series seeks to highlight innovative and creative projects in aquaponics, vertical farming and sustainable agriculture. A few times a month we’ll be featuring these types of projects on both our blog and YouTube... read more

Aquaponics Mistake #1: Designing An Unusable Farm

Aquaponics Mistake #1: Designing an Unusable Farm This is more of a mistake of inexperience than anything else. Many growers haven’t grown before (at least on a large scale), therefore, they don’t think about work flow and efficiency. That is, beginning growers don’t... read more

Pesticides for Aquaponics

Pesticides in Aquaponic Systems The use of pesticides in aquaponics is a very touchy subject. There are many opinions on the subject with varying degrees of validity.  Over all of these opinions rules a single fact: Chemical pest management in aquaponic systems must... read more

Aquaponics Stocking Density

Stocking density is a major consideration for anyone starting out in aquaponics. As so many people have asked about the best density for crop production, Dr. Nate Storey has given us an introduction to stocking density and some great advice that applies to starting,... read more

Summer Market Garden Update (June 2013)

Market Garden Update (June 2013) Here’s another update from the Bright Agrotech summer market garden. In this video, Dr. Nate Storey shows you around the outside of our greenhouses where we are growing all kinds of great leafy greens, squash, potatoes and... read more

A Typical Morning at the Vertical Farm & Soil Greenhouse

A Typical Morning at the Vertical Farm & Soil Greenhouse Since we don’t have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) pickup this week and thus not too many photos from around the vertical farm, we thought we would give you a look at a typical morning around... read more
Sizing a Pump for Aquaponics or Hydroponics

Sizing a Pump for Aquaponics or Hydroponics

Sizing a Pump for Aquaponics or Hydroponics Variables For Calculating Pump Size Figuring out the correct size of pump for you aquaponics or hydroponics system is a tough task that beginning growers run into when starting out. In order to determine the best pump for... read more

Companion Planting

Companion Planting Understanding how plants interact is crucial to successfully growing multiple crop varieties and for successful farming and gardening in general. The Importance of Understanding Plant Interactions  Successful farmers and growers are well aware of... read more
What is a ZipGrow Tower?

What is a ZipGrow Tower?

What is a ZipGrow Tower? ZipGrow Towers are top of the line, high density vertical farming or gardening towers developed by Dr. Nate Storey at the University of Wyoming. History of ZipGrow ZipGrow towers are the product of seven years(!) of research on highly... read more

Understanding Ammonia in Aquaponics

Ammonia in aquaponics Ammonia, along with iron, is an important player in any aquaponic system. Being one of the primary fish products and an engine of your system’s ecology, ammonia is important to understand.  Hopefully this post will help you understand... read more

The Best Crops For Vertical Farming

Once folks make the decision to begin their journey with vertical aquaponics or hydroponics, they usually have a few questions: What crops grow the best? What should I grow first? What crops should I avoid? The Possibilities Are Endless With the right set-up, you can... read more
Heating a Greenhouse With Wood

Heating a Greenhouse With Wood

Heating with Wood: What’s the hype about? Heating a greenhouse here in Wyoming is not an easy task. In a place that consistently gets winter temperatures below -20 and howling winds roaring at 40-60 mph sustained, there’s a reason why we’re really... read more
Understanding Biological Surface Area in Aquaponics

Understanding Biological Surface Area in Aquaponics

Growing with aquaponics can be a fantastic way to experience higher yields, better efficiency and healthier plants. One aspect of this type of production method that often gets overlooked is biological surface area (BSA) in aquaponics. This post is to help you better... read more
Understanding Iron in Aquaponics

Understanding Iron in Aquaponics

Iron in Aquaponics *** Fair Warning: This post gets little technical! *** UPDATE: See the bottom of this post to find out what chelated iron products you can use in your AP system! Why is Iron Important? By mass, iron is the most plentiful element on the planet, and... read more
The Best Way to Plant Seeds

The Best Way to Plant Seeds

The Best Way to Plant Seeds It’s time to get those seeds started and ready for planting in your backyard farm or garden. Planting seeds is the first step in any garden, farm, or aquaponics system. As you may well know, there are several different ways to plant... read more
Vertical Farming vs. Farming Vertically

Vertical Farming vs. Farming Vertically

What’s the Difference Between Vertical Farming and Farming Vertically? It’s a great question and relatively simple to answer. “Vertical Farms” in the News Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably seen the recent headlines... read more
Earth Day and Vertical Farming (Vertical Gardening)

Earth Day and Vertical Farming (Vertical Gardening)

Earth Day – A Case for Vertical Gardening & Farming Today is a day for reflecting on how much value our natural surroundings brings to our lives. A Brief History of Earth Day Earth Day came about in 1979, when peace activist John McConnell presented the idea... read more

A Blog for a Brighter Future of Food

Real vertical farming looks nothing like sci-fi’s fantasy farms. We see the sun rising on vertical farming as a viable option for food production. Unfortunately, many others see the sun rising on a “neat concept.” And even more unfortunate is the... read more
The Many Benefits of Living Walls

The Many Benefits of Living Walls

This discussion of green walls was written primarily by Lois Downing and reformatted for this post. Are green walls just a fad? Green walls are a growing attraction to farmers, businesses, cities, restaurants, grocery stores, and more. Since we entered the green wall... read more

About Us

Innovators.
Status quo disruptors.
Farmers.

We research, design, test, redesign and retest our high quality, American-made vertical growing products. Dr. Nate Storey and the Bright Agrotech team are committed to helping large commercial and small hobbyist growers alike grow more with less.

Aquaponics Academy Podcast

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“Please stop blowing my mind! Are you people human?  Thank you for all the inspiration and motivation!!” – Emilio Gagliardi

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