It takes time for food to travel from the grower to your grocer. When you factor in storage, processing, and handling, much of the nutrients have left a vegetable by the time you prepare it for consumption.
During the winter, farm to table growth and delivery is impossible. So, how do you sustain a high level of nutrients coming into your home when the growing season is over? The answer is simple: grow your own indoor farm. A.K.A., controlled environmental agriculture, indoor farms allow you to grow and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables regardless of the cold climate outside.
What are some of winter’s best crop? Let’s take a look below.
Chilis (cayenne, jalapeno, habanero, etc.) are easy to grow indoors. The smallest varieties, like cayenne, are the easiest to ripen. Growing chili peppers is similar to growing tomatoes. If you have mastered being an indoor tomato farmer, then chili peppers are the next step.
For best results, keep citrus in pots outdoors from spring through fall. When the nighttime temperature falls below 50 degrees, you can move your citrus plants inside. Although you may find that oranges and grapefruits are challenging to ripen indoors, lemons and limes do quite well in a controlled agriculture environment. Citrus plants require 16 hours of light per day under LED grow lights.
Fruiting plants such as cherry tomatoes require at least 16 hours of LED grow light per day to grow. Cherry tomatoes need consistent temperatures to be kept at 75 to 80 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night to thrive.
Lettuces, arugula, spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are also easy to grow indoors. In a CEA setting, you may want to harvest leafy greens as baby greens, instead of harvesting them when they are full grown. Sow a new batch of seeds every few weeks to maintain a ready supply. Greens require 10 to 12 hours of LED grow light daily.
Basil, oregano, sage, lavender, mint, thyme, rosemary, dill, and other herbs are among the easiest edibles to grow indoors. Of these, mint is the most shade tolerant, though it still needs a few hours of direct light each day to thrive. Basil and dill have the highest heat requirements, so you’ll want to make sure they’re located in a room that stays above 60 degrees at night.
Sprouts are by far the easiest way to grow a little fresh food in the depths of winter. Sprouting kits are your best bet – these are basically a mason jar with a perforated lid. Soak the seeds (mung beans, alfalfa, sunflower, etc.) for a day or two and then leave them to germinate in the jar, rinsing twice per day. Sprouts require minimal LED grow light. Expose the plants to low light over longer periods instead of bright light for shorter periods.
LED Light Grow Systems From GrowFilm™
If you are looking for a viable and sustainable solution for indoor farm or CEA lighting, then contact GrowFilm™. We offer customizable light panels for all types of indoor farm and hydroponic applications.
To find out more about our LED lighting products and services, call today at 952-944-9863, or you can send a message to email@example.com.