Aside from tomatoe plants...what would be the typical vegetables or fruits to grow. Finding that curve between practicality and worth your time.
Well on the profit hopeful, I think strawberries are a good choice for me because people around here will come to pick them and the lack of good places to pick makes it more attractive. Plus they won't be down on their hands and knees or bending over forever to pick. Many of them can be grown efficiently in as little space possible in the vertical tubes so I think it's a good choice.
My brother has successfully operated a u-pick for muscadines over the last few years since they started producing. All you have to do is plant something people like and let them know where you are. They will come and if they like you and what you offer they will come back!
Take the difficulties normally associated with picking in nature out of the way and I doubt you can beat berries for profit.
That is a great idea! Someone (maybe it was you) posted links to these grow towers http://www.growpots.com/price.html and hydrostackers. Both look like excellent choices for a upickem. I may be wrong but I think these products would support larger plants and therefore a higher yield than the DIY PVC vertical pipes. Placed an order for 24 of the grow pots to try out and should be getting them any day now. If you look at the sites for these products they have pictures of commercial stawberry setups. SWEET!!
Hydroponics requires growing crops that have a greater profit margin because not only is hydroponics more expensive to setup/opperate than soil based agriculture, it also has a much higher risk of crop failure.
In addition to berries, I think fresh herbs could be a very profitable hydro crop.
In addition to selling your crop to consumers, there is an industry called Pharmaculture; growing a crop to be used in the manufacter of pharmaceuticals. If I were starting a hydro production facility today, that is where I'd try to establish myself.
That's interesting sdrawkcab. Hydroponics does seem to cost a good deal, when u talkin on large mass scale. But as the great bill nye would say. CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING.. Think about pests, frost, too much rain, soil erosion, oh yeah the ever climbing fuel prices to put into those farm tractors and maintence on those things. U start to quickly find yourself standing up to your neck in the CREEK, without a paddle. Im not sure about being able to find a local or demand for herbs. Most people don't use them in there cooking enough to want to get out and by them. It's all to easy to just go to the season and herb isle at the market. Get back to me on that please.
you almost always see sage, thyme, and rosemary in the common food markets around the holidays. It's just a matter of learning how to market to the big chains.
Quote: "Think about pests, frost, too much rain, soil erosion, oh yeah the ever climbing fuel prices to put into those farm tractors and maintence on those things."
With hydroponics you don't eliminate all problems, you trade one problem for another...
You save money on tractor fuel but you spend money on advanced computer monitoring systems.
You don't risk frost dammage inside a greenhouse but if the pump fails the results are equally devistating to the crop.
On a commercial level where you may have a greenhouse covering many acres growing a single crop- you are still very much at risk of pest/disease outbreaks if propper IPM practices are not followed. The lack of soil can affect the lifecycles of certain pests but hydroponics does not guarentee a pest-free growing environment.
Quote: "Im not sure about being able to find a local or demand for herbs. Most people don't use them in there cooking enough to want to get out and by them. It's all to easy to just go to the season and herb isle at the market."
Most commercial farmers do not market their own produce directly to the public, they sell it to somone who does the marketing for them. (Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Wal-Mart, Pathmark, Food City, Winn Dixie, etc.)