Shoot Vegetables 101: Salad Mixes

March 7, 2023

This session has held as part of the vegetable track during the 2023 MI Ag Ideas to Grow With virtual conference. This virtual conference held February 27-March 10, 2023, is a two-week program encompassing many aspects of the agricultural industry and offering a full array of educational sessions for farmers and homeowners interested in food production and other agricultural endeavors. Sessions were recorded and can be found online at

Video Transcript

Good morning everybody. It's about 09:00. And we're in the vegetable track of Ag ideas to grow with. We have a few sessions this week. This one is about shoot vegetables and we're going to talk about some salad mixes and leafy greens and some herbs. So this presentation is, it's a big one and it's comes, it comes from a larger set of educational stuff that I put together for a college class that I've had to cut down to fit. And it remains to be seen if it will fit within an hour. But I'm gonna do my darren dust in. Here we go. So here's what we're planning to go today. We're going to talk about the types of leafy greens that tend to get used in things like salads. Were talking about how they're packaged and sold. We're going to talk about that first because marketing is important before you jump into any big venture. And then we'll talk about how they're grown, including some of the indoor methods and the outdoor methods. On the super vegetable over here. We're not going to be talking much about the fruiting stuff, like corn or eggplants and pumpkins were talking about the chutes, which are the leafy things and the stems. These are the shoot vegetables. I came up with this little rhyme for third graders once roots, shoots and fruits, that kinda covers all the vegetables. And because this might be a quick presentation in terms of how quickly I move through it. I thought I would give you some tips on how to take screenshots. So if you're using a Windows computer and you want to take a screenshot of the slide that's being presented to you right now. Then you can push the Windows logo button, which is it's to the left of the Spacebar. Usually it's shaped like a couple of windows. You push that along with a button that says print screen. And that'll take a picture and it'll save it in your pictures folder and a sub folder called screenshots. There's another way to do it too. If you don't have a Print Screen button where you push the Windows logo key plus function, and then Spacebar, those three together and we'll take a screenshot. And then for Mac users, the way that you would do that is Shift Command three. You put up, you click all, you push all at the same time and it takes a screenshot. And I don't remember where that saves on your Mac, but you can take as many screenshots as you want and try to find them later. Okay. So why might you do leafy greens to make salads and such? Well, one of the reasons is that they don't take up as much space as other vegetables. So in this square foot gardening model here, it's an easy way to see how much space things, how much space things take up. So the smallest plants over here include radishes, carrots, and onions. The next step up, we start working into some leafy greens here. Spinach is a plant that you can pit. You can fit about 9/sq ft. Beets. If you want to trim the greens, you wanna do beet greens, 9/sq ft. Basal gets a little bigger. Let us get a little bigger for heads. Okay? And then you could also see parsley fits into this medium category. Alright? So that gives you a quick visual of the relative amount of space that these things take up. It's less than the bigger plants, like tomatoes. Another reason you might be interested in growing the leafy greens is that they have a relatively shorter time to maturity. So I apologize for the size of the text on this slide. I tried to put as many vegetables as possible on here. So you can see how they compare. All the way over at the end. For the longest, we've got celery onions and celery root. They take up almost 200 days from seeding. And this includes seating at the tray for greenhouses all the way to the end, all the way to harvest in the fall and those take the longest. But most of our leafy greens are on the left side, where they take less than 80 days usually, and many of them are less than 50. So that's pretty quick. Let's just over a month before you can harvest them and put some more in. So it's a rapid turnover in time and small amount of space. So you can really economize the space that you're working with and make a return on it a lot, a lot faster than things that take longer times and take up more space. An important feature of the Greens is that they're part of the plant that's conducting a lot of photosynthesis and a lot of liquid transfer within the plant. They hold all of the blood vessels, if you will. Okay. Once they've been removed from the main stock, they they basically, they can bleed out. Essentially, they lose their stiffness. And so it's really important when you set up a market for leafy greens that you have an idea of where it's going and how to keep that peak freshness. And oftentimes what that entails is putting them in plastic somehow so that they maintain humidity. Okay. Oftentimes greens are bunched or they're completely wrapped like in the case of this head lettuce here. Sometimes they're put into clamshells, and typically they're over 5 oz in weight. There are neutral flavor and neutral flavors for greens tend to move more. Now the more powerful flavored stuff like herbs, leafy herbs are not sold in as high of a volume because a little goes a long way for these. So they're typically bunched and packaged in smaller size quantities. And there's all sorts of ways to do it. You can get, you can get fancy with some rubber bands and a stylish look here. These happened to be plants that are woody, sage, rosemary, time woody and they tend to hold their quality a little better outside of a plastic packaging, a little bit better. But the last longer if you can maintain humidity like something like a clam shell or a bank. There's also a hydroponic way of growing some of these crops that changes the way you can package them because they don't have a bunch of dirt around their roots. The roots are relatively clean. You can harvest the whole plant roots and all for maximum shelf life because then you're not cutting anything. You're not making it bleed, if you will, and losing its moisture, you still would benefit from putting it in a package where when it fires, the moisture remains in the package, but the last longer, the more complete that they are. And this is a unique opportunity to crops like lettuce that can be grown in a hydroponic, a cup, and take up a small amount of space so they're easy to individually packaged. In addition to heads, like I just showed you. Cutting into mixes is very popular. And you can make your own mixes through your own research and understanding the maturities of different varieties. Or you can get them, you can purchase them has a mixed already. And I would say the biggest resource currently that I rely on. When people have questions. Johnny seeds, it's a company that sells seeds of many vegetables and flowers. And they've really taken it upon themselves to put together lots of great educational resources on all the types of leafy greens. From micro greens sprouts up to whole head lettuces and all the resources you need to make it make sense for you, including how quickly they germinate, how slow they germinate, what temperatures they like, so that you can chunk things up and break things up and treat all the seeds that like the same thing, the same way. A common name for mixes. And I should have put it in here. I really common name for a mixture of different leafy greens is called mescaline. And if you've been doing, if you've been doing any reading yourself, you may have found that this book, the market gardener, this might be in reverse for you and I apologize if it is. The market gardener is written by a fellow over in Quebec who is really big on the mesocolon mix. And he talks a little bit about that. If you want to learn more about the mesocolon mix, that book is a good one to refer to. Next, I'm gonna actually talk about the different types of leafy greens and herbs, just enough to differentiate them before we get into some of the production methods. And I'll sprinkle in a couple of production method ideas for the individual types of crops. But I won't go too deep on it until a little bit later. And then I'll then I'll be trying to cover things in a, in a broader way that can apply to many crops. So I've got things broken up here into plant families. Oh, Brenda wants to know the author. It's a French name, Iraq actually typing in the chat. Sean Martine. For T air or T air. He's the author of the market gardener and it's an organic book, but he's an organic grower. But all the concepts that are used there can be used for any style of production, conventional or organic. Okay? So I've got these broken up into plant families, which are scientific names that you may or may not be familiar with. And if you don't know him, we're going to learn them today. So the Amarillo EDC family or all the annuity kind of things. They're all, they all have that kind of flavor ranging from garlic, onion. They taste different, but for people who don't like them at all, taste the same and all tastes disgusting. But you can use all parts of this plant except the roots don't really amount to much, but you can use the stocks, you can leave, use the leaves, you can use the flowers. Here I have a picture of chives. Garlic chives are flat, and onion chives are hollow. That's the main difference. They grow in bunches and you would see them most frequently. They are seated at a high rate. Transplants are a little tough to do it with that density. But they're seated. They grow, you trim them, you trim the trim and you're just mowing the lawn basically. Garlic has a unique feature. This is true garlic that makes bulbs. There are two types. There's soft neck and hard neck. The neck varieties will throw out a flower stock about in June, roughly in our time, in our latitude. And it actually benefits you as a garlic grow or to cut those off because it makes bigger bulbs at the end of the season, which is in July. Otherwise, they put all their effort into making a flower. So you want to cut those off for big bulbs. But there's a market in those flower stalks themselves. They're called escapes. They have this cool curly Q pigtail shape. They have a pretty strong garlic flavor, but they saute really well. It's very common to find this in Asian foods. And then finally, fully opened flowers of chives are delicious on their own. I've made really yummy jellies out of the flowers of tribes. So there's a market even there. Alright, the next crop group is APAC, which is all of the carrot family stuff. They all have taproots. They all have these flowers they call humbles. They're like fireworks. Some of the crops have a market in their seeds. Can anybody think of any coriander? Yeah, you're right. Coriander is a seed deal is another one. Cumin. You can get salary C2. Yeah. Yeah, these are all in the same family. They're closely related. They all have very powerful chemistries, gives them a lot of aroma and flavor. So oftentimes a little goes a long way with these. Some of them are extremely productive. Like dill, they're well known for going to seed, and then their seeds re-grow and you have a whole carpet until others are a little more finicky, but they basically break up into a couple of different categories from the consumer end, okay, there's the flat leaf style. The flat leaf types, which can wilt a little faster. They offer a different mouthfeel. They catch dressing in a different way. If you're mixing them in salads. Those include stuff like cilantro and parsley. If you haven't heard of luggage before, it's basically the easy salary. It's a huge plant, it's a perennial which you have to consider when you're used to an annual system. It's a perennial and you trim it as a powerful celery flavor, it's a lot easier to grow than regular salary. It doesn't make stocks like salary though. It's mostly a leaf. You're going to be harvesting there. Then we've got the final leaf types like deal, alright, also phenol, caraway, cumin, Anna's, all of these things. You can taste them just by saying their names. But those have a final leaf which offer a different mouthfeel from the flat leaf types. And then we have one very specific group that makes a bulb like an onion, which is a compression of leaves all at the base that swells up. And that's called Florence phenol. Lawrence phenol is an acquired taste. I would say it's a strong black licorice flavor. I've used it a few times for different things. And the licorice flavored comes through pretty strong. If you like that, Then you'd like Florence phenol. It's really juicy and crunchy, like celery. And then finally salary over here. I don't often see it included in salads. It's kind of a tough thing to grow and it's very long season crop, but cutting celery is a thing where you don't really want it to get big, tall, thick stocks, you just want to cut it all out like luggage. Colleen is sharing that ciliary AC is evolving to malaria is actually a root. But yeah, the route makes like a, it's like a potato or route of Vega or something like that. It makes a big group. Colleen asked if the PowerPoints will be available later. I'm working on that. I gotta get through the week first. And then we're going to coordinate as a whole team to host presentations for this whole big shebang called AG ideas to grow with Aster ACEs and other family of plants. It's includes tons of plants, including a lot of flowers that we like, like zinnias and marigolds and some flowers. Dandelions, which you may or may not like if you love your lungs. But included in that group are some of the most neutral flavored greens. Go a long way for bulking up salads. And they break up into about five main groups. We've got butter head lettuce, which is a softer lettuce. It's very, it's not sweet, but it's very neutral. It's not very bitter. We've got Romaine lettuce, which is crunchier than butter head. We are iceberg, which is another crunchy one. It just grows in a different architecture instead of long tubular grows, grows in a ball. And we have celsius, which is a stem crop. Actually it's harvested for its stems, which you cut it into strips. But it's related same, same group. And we have leaf lettuce which isn't allowed to head. It doesn't really head on its own. And it's a continual cut crop. I said before that some flowers in this group and sunflower shoots are proven to be a popular item for a microgreens setting. Finally, in this group, we have a whole group called chickadees, which are not, not as popular as lettuces because they're extremely bitter. And in Europe they're very popular. Bitter flavors are a little more appreciated there. They know what to do with them. There's a few different factors, but it's, another group grows very similar to lattices. There's some other interesting things you can do with chicken trees. These ones up in the front here, these very pale white things. I'll talk about that at the very end. It's a particular way of production to get that by growing them in this fashion, they end up being less bitter. Another sort of sleeper Aster here is tarragon. Tarragon is an aster as well. It's a herb. It's one of my favorites because it has a licorice E flavor, but it's very mild and there's something else going on. Something else going on. It's complex. I love it. You grow it as a perennial. And you cut, you cut stem, you kept, you cut it continually. There's three types that are worth knowing. The true tarragon is what some people call French tarragon. That's the one that gets all the, or it was kinda the original. I guess. You can't start it by seed because it doesn't make flowers. If it does make flowers, it doesn't make true seed. So the only way to get it is through cuttings. The two you can grow from seed or Mexican tarragon, which looks like this, and it flowers readily. It goes straight to see it really quick. It's flavor is very comparable. It's a french terry on. The other one is Russian tarragon, which also can grow from seed. But it tastes, in my opinion, unlike tarragon, it's not good. I don't like it at all. It, it tastes completely different to me. Despite marketing materials. Arguing the opposite. It's an easy thing to find because it's seed and seeds easier to access. But it makes a subpar product, in my opinion, for eating. Okay. Brassicas, it's a huge family. A lot of stuff in here for greens, the most common stuff that we're using for salads or the calles, the collared, the mustards. And then we've got some other cutting greens like arugula, Missoula, and crafts, which are typically grown a lot like leaf lettuce. They're seated at a high density. They're cut continually. And then we've got some heading types. Or like a head lettuce type, like Bok Choy or Chinese cabbage, which are harvested as a big bunch. And then the customer then cuts them up into the shapes they want for their salads and other dishes they might cook. Then we've got another family, the Kino polled ACE family, which means goose foot family. You can see that the goose foot here, it looks kinda like lambs quarters, but that's how the whole scientific group got their name. And in this group we've got three fairly different types of vegetables that are, that are kinda common. Or actually it's probably the least common. It's popular in Europe. It's a relatively bitter green. It's got that BT sort of flavor to it though. The irony kind of flavor tastes kind of like soil in a leaf. We've got the charts here and we've got the spin edges. So this group has three representative species. Then Lamy ACE is our myths, which is a huge, huge family, a lot of stuff in it. But they all have in common is that they spread through rhizomes, which makes them kind of a tough thing to grow in a garden setting because they spread. It's more of a popular item in containers because you can hold them back a little bit. But they also have in common is that they all have square stems and they have opposite leaves. So they come off. The leaves come off on equal to each other on the stems. And there's a lot of really flavorful things in this group here. Alright, we've got the sage, rosemary lavender. These are, these three are woody and long-lasting perennials, except lavender, or sorry, Rosemary doesn't often survive our winters here if they need protection to survive the winters. I've known a grower. He's, he's since passed away, but he had a hoop house of rosemary that was decades old and he had Rosemary bushes in there that were that were chest high. The whole thing full of rosemary harvested all year. We've got the more leafy items like mint, time, margarine, oregano, basil, oregano and margarine and time can get Woody as well. They make these little shrubs, shrubs that kinda spread and fall over. Mint is perennial. It doesn't get as Woody is some of the other ones, but it's a perennial. It'll die back in the winter, but its roots stay alive and it comes back and it spreads. Bezos about the only one in this group that is commonly grown as an annual. And it doesn't spread as readily in our, in our environment. But just within this group here, just the bezels, the amount of different flavors that have been bred is really astounding. It's, it's really a jack of all trades mint. And then we've got a bunch of odd, odd greens here that don't. They have scientific families as well, but there's sort of like the only representative in them. Okay. Clay Tonia is one that makes us really pretty leaf shape. Two different leaf shapes. Alright? The flower leaf is almost a complete circle. And then the leaves before that, I don't know, they look kind of like frog heads. Pea shoots. You can cut pea shoots all day. Marriage as well. Has a cucumber resort of flavor. On the Sturtian roots are shoots have a peppery flavor, really spicy on the nose. It's kind of exciting. We've got match, a corn salad, which is a fairly neutral flavor, and then a couple of exotic spin edges, which are not true spin edges. But they are comparable and flavor. But they handle the heat of the summer better. And so some people will switch from growing true spinach in the winter in protected hoop houses. And then in the summertime they'll switch to growing Malabar or New Zealand spinach, which are much more aggressive plants in the heat. Okay, how am I doing on time? Alright, I think I'm doing good. Does anybody have any questions on some of those different categories of greens or comments? To Mela is curious if Amaranth is in the odd group. Yeah, I suppose. You know, actually am, Amaranth is in the Kino pod family. It's so Amaranth is, is like a cousin to lamb quarters. Lambs quarters in there. They're delicious as well. These Lee lamps, quarter leaves in lamp in amaranth leaves are good, They're yummy. And it's in this family. It's all it gets. It gets a bad rap as a weed because they really thrive on disturbance, which a lot of our annual vegetables go through. The soils get disturbed basically for the production of vegetables. And as a result, the amaranth love it. They love it, and can kinda compete with other things. That's a great question. You enjoy amaranth. Cool. Great. Yeah, yeah, tarragon is a tricky one there. If you'd like tarragon, I don t think you would like Russian tarragon. It tastes like Ally horseradish leaves. That's a brassica, That's related to mustards and kale and all that. But I've never had, I've never tasted the leaves. But if it's anything like the roots, then it's a powerful flavor. It tickles, it'll, it'll burn the nose likeness Sturtian. But I cannot say for sure, I have not had the leaves myself. The other thing that's important to know about horseradish, if you get into the production of horseradish, is that it is a perennial as well. So it's managed a little differently than an annual. It's more typically produced for the harvest of the routes. In a garden setting, you'd, you'd let him go year after year after year in a commercial setting, they harvested every year, they dig all the roots up. They cut off a little bit of each route. And they save those little cuttings for replanting the next year. So they, they annualize a perennial for commercial production of the roots. I'm unaware of a commercial market for the leaves. Perhaps. Perhaps you've got an edge on the game there, Colleen. Okay, Now we're gonna move into some details on how these crops are grown and some of the equipment. So for field production, where you have soil that you want to put aside for the production of these crops. It's hard to give a very general recommendation because some of these crops last longer than others and they have slightly different needs. But this is the best approximation I can put together that can serve. Serve broadly. So pH is important for many crops, the greens tend to enjoy a pH 6-7, and spinach is the most sensitive to a low pH. So if you plan to be putting spinach in, in a big way, then we pay attention to your pH. For nitrogen. This is a per acre basis, so you'd have to factor, you'd have to convert this to square feet if you're going smaller. But 50 pounds of nitrogen in the ground ahead of the crop is helpful to get things going. And then for the longer crops, that's going to last more than, more than three to four weeks or more than a month, then it can be helpful to add more nitrogen. That's especially the case if you're doing cuttings. So you're growing, you're getting plants about 4 " tall. You cut, you let them re-grow. They can benefit from a little bit of fertilizer to get those leaves growing again and to make the life of that crop longer for more cuttings. And for salary if you're gonna be going down the salary route. Because a little bit of a different path. They are heavy fertilizer feeders in there, the longest crop that we can grow practically. So they need side dressing fairly regularly to keep, keep going strong. For phosphorus and potassium, which is the p and the K here. You should use a soil test to understand how much you need. The limits are posted here. You don't really want more than 150 pounds of phosphorus and you don't want more than 200 pounds of potassium per acre. But a soil test will tell you if you need less, because if you can get away with less, that's good. Alright? Oh, and I just wanted to touch base here. This is for field production. If you're in that would include under a hoop house as well in the soil. For hydroponics, that's a different ball of wax. And we'll talk about that a little bit later. Alright, seeds. All those crops I just showed you have a fairly diverse seed physiology. Some of them are awfully weird. E.g. here we have written the middle. I believe that this is it's one of the APAC plants, so it's in the carrot family. I don't know exactly which one it is. Could be fennel, could be caraway, something like that, or could even be carrot. Carrots tend to be smaller than this, but in any case, it's oblong and it's sort of curvy. And it's got ridges that makes it a little tough to flow through certain seating mechanisms. Whether it's gravity-fed or whether it's a vacuum based seating mechanism, it can be tough to handle seed dislike this in a way that you get a consistent simulation instead of just a clump of seed all in one spot. And so many of these seeds go through is a pelletized process. It costs more. And Johnny's seeds is really good at separating out the listings on their website for pelletized and non pelletized z. But once they're pelletized the round and they flow through seeders better or vacuum and gravity-based cedars. So that's something to consider. They also germinate slightly differently because what they are, they're encased in clay. That's what the coating is made out of. And so in order for those seeds to get the moisture that they need to germinate, you need to use more water than you might think to actually penetrate through all that clay and into the seed. And then they're going to need frequent watering after that. And it's a game you have to sort of figure out on your own, but the clay will just hold. It will stay wet and it will just hold. And so you may need more watering is after that to start to to start to break the clay down a little more with some water action. And then the plants will start pushing to those two things combined will help get seeds through the clay coding. There's some more things about seeds here that are unique to certain crops. So e.g. coriander, it's a ball shape seed and each half. So if you were to split that ball into two half circles, each half is a plan. So when you get coriander and they're in perfect balls, at best you get to plants out of that. And so sometimes you can get seed that's pre, pre broken so that it's one half-moon shaped or a hemisphere shaped thing for each plant. And also with charred and beets. Those seeds are what they call an aggregate. So it looks like one seed is like this one object, but in fact, four or more plants can come out of that. Like a raspberry. It's like a grouping of lots of seeds. That can be tough for thinning later. And you can also get what they call decorticate seed for some of those crops, which basically means the little, the little grouping is run through a machine that sort of abuses them a little bit and breaks them into smaller chunks so that you have fewer groupings per piece. So it's a complicated word and I don't know if it used in any other industry. I'll try to type it here. D quartic Kate did charred. The court located charred. It means the seeds busted up so that you get basically one plant per chunk, the best of their ability. There's probably still a lot of variability there. In the world. There has been some breeding efforts that have reduced the seeds to be what they call a mono germ. So sometimes you can get, a lot of times the seed plants, the varieties are kinda named after that. Like there's one beat variety called solo. There's another variety called Mau, Mau Neta. And both of those have little plays on words meaning that they'll, you get one plant proceed. They've been bred so that you can get one plant proceed instead of four. Okay, Here's some of the seating technology that you can use for planting in the field. There's all sorts of scales here. The pinpoint cedar from Johnny's is nice for doing multi rose real tight, which is nice for some of the smaller leafy greens that you're gonna be cutting. We've also got something like deejaying or the earth waste cedar when you can do single rows, but fairly precisely, they have all sorts of rulers that can accommodate different sides of different sizes of seed. And the cingulate fairly well. So what that means is that as you push it, it spaces the seeds out one at a time fairly accurately. These plates here are for an earthquake which run in a different way. It's not that important, but the different push cedars have different mechanisms for proportioning out and see. And then all the way up to large tractors which have tiny seed boxes so you can pack the units closer together and seed and tight rows. Some of the most precise units out there are manufactured overseas. Those include things like matter, Mac, and monosaccharides. Mono send, more common in the United States now. But some of those big cedars are pretty nice, inexpensive. In the greenhouse. You can see by hand fairly easily. But you can also use vacuums to try to plot the seeds right where they need to be through these pre-cut holds in vacuum systems. This looks like cucumbers here, which you can put any sort of seat on here as long as it can get attached to these little holes. There is also a manual style that this is made by a company called bootstrap farm. They have a lot of cool tools for growers that are doing high-intensity vegetable production. And this is one of them. It's like a vacuum cedar in that it has holes in glass or acrylic for the seeds to rest any roll it around that they fill all the holes. And then you tilt it towards you. So it goes into this little this little no whole zone. You keep all the extra seat over there. And then you slide this little plexiglass sheet to open up the holes. So in this current position, the holes are not aligned. And once you have all the seeds plopped into the tiny holes, then you move the sheet and they all drop through the big hole right into the sea below it. It's a nice low tech solution and it's not as noisy as running a vacuum the whole time. You can see here they're using coded seed because it rolls easier and it fits into the holes better. Now for planting, it can be helpful to Primark your rows so that you keep them nice and straight. And there's several tools available to do that kind of thing. A hand, a hand pulled tool like the one shown here, is really helpful for getting nice dense rows for transplanting into. If you're transplanting, you can basically transplant. You can come up with your own convention and spacing whatever you need. But in this case it looks like what they're essentially doing is they're laying down a grid, a big Excel spreadsheet on the soil. And at the intersection of each of these lines, they can put a transplant. Or depending on what you want, you can stagger. There's a system here called actually, I don't know what it's called, but there's a farm called never sink farms. And what they do is they've made this interesting device here, which you rotate. So first you would pull this side through the soil and it makes a trench. With this long nose piece here. It makes a trench in which you can lay out transplants. You don't have to bury them, you lay them there. You kinda get them to stand up right? Or plant them a little bit. And then you go back over the same trench with the other side of the tool, which is a gathering. It which will pull soil together to fill in the trench. That it also makes. It's a really cool tool for tool is the hand tool. So it's relatively inexpensive compared to a machine-based object. And over here on the right where you can see is an illustration of using succession planting so that you have crops that are growing in your crops that are ready to, ready to harvest. And then in a continual cuts system, what you would do is you would basically swap cuttings. So you're letting one planting recover while the other one is growing. Or you let one recover while you harvest another and you kind of flip back and forth or across a field. Here is a picture of an interesting technology called tape transplants and you plant into actually the next slide shows it. So I'm just going to skip right over to it. This is a type of transplant or call the tape transplant or I forget the brand name of this particular one, but it's the one here, this orange one is a Japanese device. It's kinda where it comes from and where it got popular. And you uses a different style of tray than your typical 1020 tray. It has different dimensions. So you need to consider that if you're gonna go this route, essentially it's a bunch of paper that's glued together in a chain. And you transplant it into this. And once they're ready to transplant it fits onto this device on a slant. And then you pull it to get it started. And you feed the chain down this little shoot down to where it has a little soil gatherer. So what kind of grabs the grabs the tape down there and then you pull it and then it on spools are unchanged the whole chain. Now it's a difficult thing to do when the soil conditions aren't appropriate. So growers really enjoy it when the soil conditions are great and when they're not great, It's a little frustrating because it doesn't work as smoothly as how this looks. And in those cases, what they'll sometimes do is they'll, they'll have to do it by hand. They'll run through with something like this never sync. They'll make the trench or they'll just try to pull the machine through and make the trench. And then they lay them out by hand and fill them in by hand in these strips. Anything to get the crop in? Abigail asked, is this like the one that Johnny's cells? Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I believe they have a tape planter like this. It's a nice hand hand pull sort of job. And this technology has caught the eye of larger scale operators. And this is a unit that aims to do this on a huge scale. It also uses a tape system, as you can see here. And it uses a different dimension of tray. And it's altogether different in terms of how you plant it. In order for this sort of thing to take off. Commercial greenhouses would have to change the way they seed trays, which is kind of a tough sell. But some of the biggest vertically integrated farms, like the ones in California, they control the greenhouse that grows their transplants. And so they can operationalize these weirdly dimension two trays to make something like this work. And then they can plant whole fields with this. It's like a machine gun in a way with these plants on machine gun tapes. And they can zip through field and get a lot done in one day. Alright, harvesting is a big deal. For these crops. The quality must be maintained from harvest to the final customer. And so a lot of attention has to be paid at this point. This device that I'm showing you here is called a greens harvester. Johnny's cells. This operates by hand drill. And what it does is it just flings a small axle with a rope at the plants and it's soft enough to not damage the leaves, but it has enough force to remove them from the ground in, uh, in addition to the so actually what's going on here is the drill is running a little cutter that moves back and forth and that's what's cutting the leaves and then the ropes or what's pulling the leaves into this little basket. And what you can see here is this fellow here. I think that I don't know who that that could be Curtis stolen or it could be it could be Michael. He's down in Ohio, I forget his name. He's another big leap leafy greens grower that's got a social media presence. Anyway. You can walk it like this fellow's doing. The posture looks a little excruciating, I think for going long term, you can mount it. So here it's mounted. And this is the axle that the drill is turning. So you can see it enters a little differential here. It's got a couple of clear plastic, plastic bands. One of them goes off to the side here and it converts the direction of the force to run the brushes. And then the actual itself is running this cutter blade that's going across the tray. So you can mount it in a way that you can just move the tray across the table much more comfortable position, or economically speaking. And you achieve, achieve the same thing except you have to. This is tree-based. This only works if you have trays. If you're growing in the soil, then you're going to have to, if you're using this device, then you do have to bend over to make it happen. Or you can get something you can stand with. These are much more expensive, like $5,000 range. But they do basically the same thing. It's it runs a motor that runs a cutter. And then this conveyor belt and this big basket system bring the leaves up the conveyor and they drop it into a bag. Same exact process, just scaled up so you can push across at a more comfortable picking height and do much larger beds and harvest a lot more crop at a time. Here's a commercial scale tray style harvester. I just showed you how you can use the drill style with trace. This is a commercial size unit that does the same thing. The trait and the trait would be laid on this conveyer. It goes through the clutter here and then all the leaves go up here and they go into a hopper where they get collected. And then the trays that have been cut continue down the path here. They can be put back onto tables, fertilized, watered, and you get a new, a new flush of growth and they can be run through this again. It's another commercial scale adaptation for this sort of production. Another object that can be used for some of the larger leafy greens, the things that are not continually cut, but instead the things that are harvested onetime like the heading, stuff like lettuce or Chinese cabbage, is to use a harvest aid. This is a commercial scale harvest aid, but there are a lot of ways to do this on a small scale too. But the idea here is that you have people walking in a line. They harvest what's in front of them and they put it on a device that conveys it to the center. So they don't do as much walking across roads, they stay in one row. Alright, now, quality, like I said before, quality has to be maintained. So as soon as that stuff's harvested, it's gotta get cooled. There are a couple of ways to do this. One way is to irrigate. So by that I mean, you overhead water the crop before you harvest it so that the crop stiffens up. And then after you harvest it, you try to maintain that humidity level. Another way to do it is to harvest it dry and then get it into a cold water bath or a sprinkle after it's harvested to keep it, to keep it turgid. That's the word they use to keep it sort of stiff and crispy. This is one way to do it. Postharvest, where you have a tank, you put cold water in it, and you have a series of butler's that keep it turbulent and they mixed it all up. Then you can skim it off with something like this netting here or put it right into a basket. And then those are dried through, through force, through spinning. And there's a lot of resources out there. Curtis Stone, I think, has done some. Michael Kilpatrick, he's the other fellow from Ohio who does a lot of this. Got a lot of nice resources on how to build this sort of stuff out of old washing machines. Modifying the spinning action of a washing machine, spin cycle to spin out greens. Another way to cool crops is through, like I said, dripping cold water through. So that's what's happening here. This is a hydro cooler. Cold water is dripped through a crop that's already packaged. Here's an idea and doing the same thing with bins and ice. The ice melts, it flows through. I don't think this is the picture here on the right. That's something I had to come up with one year for some research pickles that were harvested before we had refrigeration. And these are pickles, they get fermented, they go through a kill step. I think this doing what I did here is not probably the thing you want to do for leafy greens. There's a lot of concerns for food safety with that particular setup. Morgan had a question When you say keeping green stiff and crispy via water bath, does that mean the greens are taking up water? And if so, how would that affect water and equipment cleanliness for a food safety perspective, that is a potential yeah, they can they can absorb some of that water. That water has to be clean. Let's go back to that picture. This water, you can see in this picture it's drained, in this picture is full. So the Food Safety Modernization Act has a requirement that if you're doing batch water like this or your recirculating it, then you need a system for when you change it. So for something like greens, they grow close to the ground. They can get soil on them. And as you put them into this tank and you put multiple batches in here, that soil can accumulate to a point where the water gets cloudier. And some of the harmful human pathogens can hang out in there potentially. And so they require that you have some criteria for when you change that water. You can measure the turbidity, which is how cloudy it is. You can measure the pH which affects how sanitizers work and what they do well, so require as temperature, you don't want the temperature to be too much colder than the crop itself. But that's really only important for stuff like melons and tomatoes because they'll absorb a lot of liquid when the center of the produce is a lot warmer than the cold water. Like if the, if the separation is ten degrees or more, they suck a lot more into their fruit. With leafy greens, I don't think it's as much because they already have a lot of water in them and I don't actually know much more than that. But frequently with some folks will do is they'll include a sanitizer in this water. And that the most common sanitizer I see for this process is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and peroxy acetic acid. One trade name that's fairly, fairly communists called Santa date. And you dose it into this, into this water so that there's no smell or flavor that comes from it. But it sanitizes the water such that the crop that goes in isn't going to cross contaminate. But then you still have to pay attention to the batch. And you need to refill that water on a schedule that is based on data, not just time. Okay. Cool props. It's a huge scale growers. I just thought it was interesting and I would share it. It's a vacuum cooling. And in this chart here, air pressure is on the bottom and temperature is on the toughness is in Celsius. So water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. And when the air pressure is 100 kilo pascals, it takes, which is kinda like sea level. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. When water boils, it, it takes heat away and it puts it into a gas. So what if you could boil water at a lower temperature and take water and take heat away. That's what vacuum coolers do. You spray the crop with water? The crop has water in it as well, but you spray the crap with water, so that's caught, so that's covered in water droplets. And then you suck the air out of the room so that the pressure goes lower and lower and lower. And if you get down to something like 15 kilo pascals, air pressure than water boils at 45 degrees Celsius, which is far lower. It boils but it's, but it doesn't burn because it's a lower temperature. So it turns out that water into a gas. The process of turning the water into a gas. It's steels heat from the surface that it's on. And it cools, it cools faster. It's crazy. It's really neat technology and it's diploid at a, at a huge scale farm. And it's really interesting technology. I knew a fellow here in Southwest Michigan who was trying to devise a thing like this using coolers like yet ease for smaller batches. And I'm not sure where he went with it, but it's a neat technology. Okay. Somehow I've got five-minutes to cover into our production. Sorry. There's a few ways. If you're okay with me going longer, we can just go longer. Can I get a quick little vote? Do you want me to finish the presentation or finished on time? Okay. Overwhelmingly. Want me to just finish the presentation. Okay. I'll do that. Thank you for letting me know. So indoor production is a different sort of system. And there's a lot of really interesting opportunities that come with indoor production of greens. And probably the main thing is that you open up a whole other season, the fourth season, the winter time. You can produce greens in the wintertime when you start to protect them with indoor environments. And there's a few different life stages that you can harvest. And I've broken them up here. So Sprouts is 11 life stage that has its own market. And those are the seed leaves. The very first leaves that come out of the seed are called the seed leaves. They only take three to five days to germinate depending on the species. You don't use soil at all. So it's hydroponic, if technically speaking, it's hydroponic but might not be what you're thinking. The whole thing is eaten and you don't need any light to make it happen. It can be completely dark like a cave to make sprouts. Microgreens are typically grown in a substrate like a soil or like, like a fiber mat or something like that. And it's grown. Hydroponic. Mostly. Hydroponics is a tough thing to describe. When I say hydroponic, I mean it's not using soil, it's using something else. In this case, it's rooted in something because you need some roots to make a micro green. It takes a little longer because you're getting more than just the seed leaves. And a lot of cases you're getting maybe one true leaf on top of just the seed leaves. The roots are not eaten, so it involves a cutting step. You're not pulling the whole plant and serving the roots to this is done with light at this point in order to get them to green up. And the spacings are determined by the sizes of the seed. And then you can also take greens to their full size for like heading stuff. And this can take 40 to 100 days depending on the species. You could do a hydroponic li without soil, but some sort of substrate like rock wool or soil. And you eat the leaves, you eat the stems. Sometimes we eat the buds or even the flowers, depending on what you're growing here. You sometimes eat the roots. I don't know what I was referring to when I put that here. But usually you're not eating the roots. The roots might still be attached. In the case like the heading lettuce that gets fully wrapped with its roots. You definitely need light for this. And they're spaced by the size of their gonna be when you harvest. So you give them enough room. So they look a little sparse in the beginning, but then they fill out and they take up the whole space. And there's potentially room for biennial, perennial work here depending on how you set stuff up. So I'm going to go into each of these a little more in depth with some pictures too. So here's a pretty simple way to do sprouts. Like for just a homeowner. What you do is you soak seeds in water for eight to 12 h. The lids are screened, so you dump out that water and then you rinse them all. And then you fill them up again. You rinse it again. And eventually what you end up with is a bunch of sprouted seeds in this jar that you can then eat and you block them from light the whole time. Like what this towel here, or you can put them in a cupboard or something. It's very important that the water in the containers that you're using are clean with a sanitizer clean, not not just brushed out, but you got to use chlorine or hydrogen peroxide or something. Because you can introduce path that human pathogens this way fairly easily. It's such a, it's a breeding ground for microbes basically. So in this category, very clean. At a commercial scale, this is what it can look like. Dark rooms where you can manage temperature and water. They often will grow them in dark chambers where they'll, they'll put, they'll basically put this whole box that is fill it with seed a couple of inches deep and they flooded, they drain it, the flooded, they drain it in the dark. And then they all, they all hatched, but they'll germinate. They're pale because there's no light and they totally fill up these containers. Then they get strained. The liquid has to be removed from them. They get rinsed. And all of this is with aseptic water, meaning it's portable, it's very clean. Sometimes there's a sanitizer added just to be safe and then it's packaged and kept cool. Collins says, I thought sprouts were banned for commercial use because of bacteria. I'm not aware of that. I do know that in order to grow them commercially, you need you have to go through a separate food safety training. It's the Food Safety Modernization Act does sort of target them as being a higher risk than most other crops. And so if you get into commercial production, you have to get basically more credentials to do it. Alright, microgreens, like I said before, it takes it a little further, you're getting more than just the seed leaves and you're getting more color and also more flavor. So I already showed you this, this, this sort of trade system here for seeding trays densely, that often very shallow trays. You're trying to do a high density mat of plants. And this is a picture of an interview with this gallon Vanessa, through Curtis Stone's YouTube channel where she goes through how she does it in an indoor setting. There's a lot of good stories out there. People doing this sort of thing in their garage or their basement. And you can get a very consistent supply and you can supply people or companies like restaurants that have a high turnover of crop. It can make a really nice pairing. This sort of production with restaurants is really, really a nice pairing. Here's an example of how you might do this. Quote on quote hydroponics, where you don't really have a soil, but you have a mat that they can route into. This is often made out of coconut core and some other stuff. But sometimes they're cut to fit into 1020 trays. Or you can get whole roles of it and cut it yourself. I think depending on what it's made out of, these may or may not be compostable and there may or may not be reusable in any easy way. So read up on that before you commit. After you get the size of the plant that you're looking for, There's a variety of ways to get them. Right. I already showed you the greens cutter that's run by a drill. Here's a fellow who's using a hedge trimmer. Make sure you can clean that. I'd also say that if you're using something like a hedge trimmer, that you may want to lubricate the moving parts with food grade oils, like vegetable oil or something like that. But then you've got to maintain that quality through washing with cold water, rinsing, spinning out so that it's dry. But there's still stiff and then you cool them. Alright, and here's some pictures of different spinners. Here's a very, very small home-style spinner, scaled up to essentially the exact same thing, but with a washing machine. And then a whole bar, which is a commercially produced device that does all that. But it's all engineered and everything. Alright, It's not it's not like a home job. Okay. Go over into some of the full season stuff where you're taking things beyond microgreens. And often it's done in the soil. I'll talk about soil first and then some of the hydroponic options after this. For the inside production in the winter time. The best way to do that is to plant ahead of when the daylight starts to shift. Once we get less than 10 h of daylight per day, then plants don't really grow anymore. The idea behind winter producing greens is that you plant your greens. Before that ten our switch, we call this the Persephony period. It it roughly goes from the first one, November the 1st of February. It really depends on how far you are up in the state, but that's roughly where it lies. So what you wanna do is plant your greens so that by November 1st, their app there marketable stage, you could harvest all of it right then if you wanted. But the idea here is that you grow them to the marketable stage and then you let the environment maintain them like a refrigerator. So they're alive in the soil, but they're not growing anymore because they don't have enough light in their quality is maintained because it's cold enough that they are refrigerated. So they just hold stable all the way through December, January, that kind of timeline before things start warming up again and quality can resort to start to suffer. But then February's when the light changes and then they really tried to grow. So that's the idea here. And your best chance to hit that window is by planting by September 20th to October 5th. That's like your last chance to get crops at the marketable stage. It depends on the crop of course too. You can also grow things and low tunnels and achieve at roughly the same, roughly the same idea here. You have a little less control over this. It's just one layer and it's out in the field. Snow can cover those up in a way that makes them hard to access, But it can work on the shoulder seasons for some of these crops. We also got field tunnels are caterpillar tunnels, which are like mid-sized units that do protect from snow and gives you a lot more room to work with. And then also high tunnels and hoop houses which are much larger. You can sometimes get tractors into these. A lot more adaptable, I think. And then if you go that route, you really have to pay attention to your, your your prevailing weather in the winter time. Particularly when it comes to the roof style. The roof style can really influence how much snow that your hoop house can handle. So in our climate in Michigan, I don't know where all of you are from, but in Michigan, that peaked roof that has a nice stiff corner like this here the gable style tends to have the highest strength against snow. If you intend to grow greens all winter and you do that regularly. If you have the opportunity to choose how you want your hoop house oriented. If you've got the space to do that and the topography, then the best way to have it setup for winter production is so that you have the hoop house going east-west. And then you'll have the Sun and the southern sky going across most of your crops. Here's a picture of a hoop house that could not handle the snow load. That's no good. That's a pain in the but one thing that you can try to do if you have a hoop house that doesn't have such a stiff Gable, is add some cargo bars onto the main, the main support. This can help offset some snow load. You can rent these. So if you've got just a short span of time where you're concerned, you can rent them. U-haul type place, put them up for as long as you need them until you can scrape the snow off yourself perhaps, and then return them. Another thing to consider for roofing, if you're gonna do full season production is using a double layer of plastic. That double layer adds a lot of insulation that can help get it through the winter. These greens are often many of these varieties agreements that we've talked about, our frost tolerant, they handle the cold, but they can only handle so much. And you're going to hear a little bit to maintain that refrigeration level. You don't want stuff like negative 20 very often, okay. You don't want that and you want things up around refrigerator temperature, you want it around freezing. And so it can help your heating costs if you've got a more insulated roof. So this is a picture of a home job using some of these these blocks of foam to create distance between one layer and another layer. There's another system you can use. It uses a fan that inflates two layers. So you have a little gasket and a fan. It's usually on the inside of the hoop house. And it pumps air into the first layer, which doesn't escape the second layer and you end up with a roof that looks puffy. You can also combine low tunnel technology and this high tunnel technology. And this doesn't really look like a low tunnel, but it's effectively doing the same thing. It's adding a layer of insulation in addition to what the hoop house is providing. In. This system is adapted from low tunnels to make it easier to uncover and cover. Again, It's a little bit of, it's a little bit of a chore to grow winter greens for the sake of managing humidity. When the air is warmer, more liquid turns into a gas and it goes away. When the air is colder. If there's liquid, it tends to stay liquid. And it can cause leaf diseases in crops that don't get a lot of air movement, don't get a chance to air out. And so by using a low tunnel, inside of a high tunnel, you're amplifying the humidity. And so this requires venting fairly frequently. And if you had, if you had low tunnels with individual hoops and they're buried, various things like that. It takes a lot longer to work on an individual row basis. And so many growers will do is they'll devise a way to utilize a whole sheet. That just means you have to push it one way or the other. This still looks like a two-person job. They've got high tensile wire going across the house on and they've got a couple of posts to help support at Midway and on those posts that got tennis balls to stop the heart from, stop the fabric from ripping. But they remove it, they put it back on. And that's basically a continual process throughout the winter to manage the growth in the health of the crop. So here's a picture of that same tunnel with the, the plant, with the fabric moves to one side. And here's another system that I've seen. And I had to hand draw these lines in here because they'd already removed them, but they used a different orientation in their hoop house that made it easier for one person to do the work. So they arrange their hoop house almost like a parking lot where they had a central drive and then 90 90 degrees to that central drivers where they put their plantings. And then they had these curved conduit going from the edge, which they secured to the hip board here, and then into the soil over here in the center right by the main drive. And then they had fabric just like the picture on the left that draped over that. Mean it was a lot easier for one person to push that up over only half the distance. And they can access a single rows at a time and put it back and move it and put it back. I thought that was an interesting innovation to take advantage of this technology, but lean it up a little bit so that one person can get it done. Okay? Now we're going to talk briefly about hydroponics, which is a whole lecture in itself, I believe, because it's rather different from using the soil. I'm going to talk about two schools of thought. And then maybe a third. But the main, the main two schools of thought are floating the plants on top of a liquid that has fertilizer in it. And securing the plants so that they're not floating really, but they're draped into the liquid. And the liquid flows on a gravity gradient. So let's start with the nutrients. Oftentimes the nutrients are soluble fertilizers. They get mixed into water. There is an air stone included to keep any algae growth from happening. Then it's pumped up to where the plants are. Many times. In a float system, there is some sort of like float regulator, like an a toilet to keep the level the same all the time. The plants are even with the level of the water because they're on a floating surface itself. Usually it's made out of foam with little holes cut in it with a little baskets for each of the plants. The liquid flows through, it goes through and drain pipe, and it gets recycled. The other system uses gravity feed. Essentially you use a nutrient tank, same as before. Air pump, water pump. You put it to the top most plant. And some people will do several tiers of plants. So they have like a shelving system almost there on an angle or they have some sort of tilt to them so that the water flows down. And then it enters another channel to another set of plants that are a little lower. And so they can water lots of plants in a vertical setting with this style. And the two names that often are used here are deep float technique or deep water technique when they're, when they're floating on mats. And nutrient film technique for when it's just a gravity feed where the plants aren't really floating there, just supported in the water's moving through them. The NFT or the nutrient film technique. When you see a place that's utilizing it, you can almost always tell they're doing NFT because they're in Rails, they're in linear sets of pipes. Whereas the deep float techniques almost look like fields or transplant traits because they're like dense rectangles and how they're arranged. Here's some more pictures of this in a larger setting. You can see the NFT technique here. They would water the top set first and then they would flow through by gravity to the other levels through these pipes. And then this setting here, it works about the same way, but they're floating instead of in these rails. So it's kind of a hybrid deal with are using the gravity feed. But there's still plants in trays that are floating individually. In each shelf has its own set of lights. Quite the investment here with this style of operation. And I don't know when it comes to harvest. I guess they're going to need help. Like I see a forklift back here. It's quite an operation. Oh, I forgot. I had this little bit here. Nutrient film technique can also happen in a different sort of arrangement like this. And I've seen people do this with varying levels of success. Hydroponics in general is sort of an intensive data-based process. Because that tank of fertilizer that you cycle through your plants. As the plants use the fertilizer, you're recycling the water, but fertilizers removed by the plants. So you're constantly needing to monitor the tank for the pH and the nutrient levels. And you have to adjust it constantly. And so when you end up with a run of days where you get too busy and you can't do it. The plants start to respond pretty quickly to that lack of attention. And it's hard to get them back on track. So it is a fairly intensive data gathering process. Daily monitoring, measuring pH, measure salt levels, which translates to fertilizer levels and then responding appropriately. Here's one other system that I thought was kinda neat. I've only seen it once and I'm not sure if they're still doing it, but it was down here in Southwest Michigan where they use a rotation like, I don't know what you call it as a rotary system. And it kinda works like a float. It kinda works like nutrient film technique. The idea is that you grow these plants and these rails kinda like a nutrient film technique. The light is in the center and the whole thing spins slowly. And it gets dipped into a nutrient bath at the bottom. So they absorb water while they're there, kind of like a deep culture technique. And then they leave it and they just keep going around in circles. And they had them stacked up in shelves like this where they can remove them with a forklift. And apparently each individual rail can come out for harvesting and then you put it back. I had one other thing to share about this whole setup. I'm gonna go back to this one slide that shows this. There's another way to do this that I've sometimes had people call me out for, but I don't see it happening very often. It's called Aqua panics. In the main, the main difference is that instead of a nutrient tank here, you have a tank of fish. That fish tank. You have a series of other things. You have a sediment filter because there they produce more sediment because you have to feed them with pellets and things like that. Sometimes, not all the time. But they end up with a lot more gunk in the water that has to settle out. So you need like a settling tank and then you need a biofilter tank, which is sort of like a reverse osmosis. It's, it's not quite that fine because you want the fertilizer that the fish produce while pooping. But you also need it to be relatively clean getting to the plants because it's going to come back to the fish In the end. So anyway, you want the nutrient rich water that the fish have pooped in to go to the roots of the plants so the plants can take that up. And then it goes that quote, unquote clean water, the plants have removed some of that nutrients, goes back to the fish. There's just a lot of ways that can go wrong. You're introducing a whole other biological organism that's quite different than plants. And I heard a quote from a show called park, parks and recreation. There's a character in that show named Ron Swanson. It's very, very literal guy and I heard him say something once, saying whole as one thing. And that's kinda what I think of when I think of Apple panics, I think of attention being divided a little too far to treat either the fish or the plants well, in their own right. You either end up with plants that are under or over fertilized. You end up with fish that end up with a toxic level of nutrients in the water that they have to stay in or they don't get enough feed. And so they die. And then you got dead fish water go into the plants. It can be really difficult, very difficult to master. And if you decide to go through, if you want to go that route, there are fairly well regarded curriculums with very experienced people. I believe there's one in Wisconsin, but I'd have to double-check what you can learn it. And you can, you can get a little more confident in how to manage both fish and vegetables. The other thing about that system that I think is worth thinking about. You notice when I started this presentation, I started with packaging and marketing a little bit. Well, marketing fish is sort of a different thing. Are you prepared for co-marketing or splitting your market channels between fresh vegetables which you can caught or not cut one time, store in a refrigerated setting and move. Are you prepared to market fish hole to the same people? Or do most people want a whole fish? Or do they want delays? I would say in, in our, in our country, most people are used to seeing fish prepared. Which means if you're doing that, you need a licensed facility by the USDA to be processing fish. Or you need to find someone who can do that for you. And then you've got this whole intermediate step between you're producing the fish and marketing that fish. It adds a wrinkle that I think is under appreciated. When people get starry-eyed with the idea of recycling fishermen who are using it for plants. It's a really neat idea. But some of the but some of the systems that we have to work through for sales and licensing and food safety make it a little harder to actually do in practice. Okay. And then I only have one other production system that I wanted to explain to you. It's done in Europe. Sometimes it's done here for rhubarb. It's called forcing. And I told you earlier that the chicken trees are really bitter. They're very bitter leafy greens that you can grow more or less like lettuce. But, but they're so bitter that there's limited market for them. And there's a way to make them sweeter or just less bitter. And that's called forcing. And it's a whole big deal. It's an interesting concept. The idea is you grow the crop for a whole year. You manage it for a whole year. You don't pick anything, you just keep the field solid. You don't do anything with it. You manage the past, you keep them good and healthy. And then you harvest the roots. And they have a big taproot just like a dandy lion. You harvest those roots, you get them. You keep them on the ground until they achieve a certain chilling temperature. They need a certain temperature for a certain amount of hours. I don't remember what it is, but you need to basically like cold treat them by just leaving them out so that they get super cold. And then that tricks them into thinking they've gone through a whole winter. Then you bring it inside again. You put them in soil and you provide a very small amount of light or none at all. Some people will do this by candlelight or very low setting lights or just none at all. And then they'll sprout again, sprout into these little tiny heads of lettuce basically or trickery that are very pale. And that is what's harvested. And they're called, It's called Whitley, which you can see down here. Belgian endif or width leaf. It's a whole big deal. In Europe, I see it very rarely hear for sale because I think shipping that must be hard unless it's still attached to the root. But it's an interesting concept. Rhubarb growers will do this sometimes too, where they'll grow rhubarb for up to three years in the field. That's a big, robust perennial. Then after a year three, they'll dig them up in the fall. They'll do the same thing where they let them stay in the cold. And then they put them in big apple creates in buildings that they can manage around just over freezing, like in the high 30s, low 40 degrees, and then they'll sprout and you can pick rhubarb in February. And it's also very sort of pale and an odd-looking, but sometimes vivid pink too. And that's what I've got. So why can open the floor for a little while to I want to be aware of your time as well. So if you've got some ideas or questions, maybe I totally miss something that you were hoping to see and I just didn't know. I'd be happy to try to address it. And you all in the audience are resources as well. Yesterday we had a lot of people who knew a lot of stuff about biologicals. And I'm sure we have people here today who've got some experience doing this. Joseph cook, Do I have a webpage, YouTube, etc? No, I don't. No, No, I do like presenting. That is something I'm passionate about, but I'm not passionate about keeping up appearances on social media in that way. It's just too hard. Colleen, what about edible flower production? I said miss that, didn't I? Yeah. I mean, I kinda touched on how an assertion is a sprout green that you can have and it's got a peppery flavor. Well, the flowers due to, the flowers are beautiful. They're called a zygote, morphic so that they're not like, they're not like a sunflower in their symmetry there, like mirror symmetry, like our face. They're really pretty flowers and they're edible. They tastes like. How did they taste? Peppery is the best way I can describe it. By orange flowers or another flower that's delicious. They tastes like cucumbers. Exactly. Cucumbers, it's uncanny. Another flower that's really yummy is begonias. Begonias or they're really waxy plant, they're kinda juicy and their flowers are also like a waxy juicy thing there. Like almost like like personally like that. That's hard to explain until you eat one, but you'd be delighted at their flavor. It's like, it's like fresh squeezed lemon. Fresh begonias, flowers or like a fresh squeezed lemon, it will rock your world. It's really great. It's so good. It's really good. Try it this year you're gonna find plenty of them at garden centers. I'll be, I'll be cautious about just picking off a flower in a garden center because you don't know what they, maybe they sprayed something. So William said that mustard flowers are nice too. Thanks for the tip. Okay, I live in South Central Upper Michigan, but by what date do my greens need to be at a marketable stage for keeping and low tunnels or cold frames. I think you're looking at the beginning of November. There. Down here you can go later, you can get later into November before you need the crops to be ready. But further up, I think probably the first one November would be when you need them in when you need them like at that stage. Let's see here, let me show you a couple of resources that can help you with that. This one is called this is from Elliot Coleman called the winter harvest manual. And I don't remember where I got it. I think I might have gotten it online, but it's fairly small. I mean, they're large pages, so they can put more on a page. But what they have in here are a series of maps. A series of maps that show different temperature, different, different climate data for different areas of the country. And unfortunately it's the whole country and not just Michigan. So we're probably lacking a little bit of granularity here. As you can see, they show Michigan being like almost all the same in terms of like a USDA growing zone. But we've got a lot more variation than that. But it could be a good book. It goes through all the concepts of the Persephony period and when and when to plan for things. And there may be data that you can collect yourself. In terms of light levels. Basically look at, you've got to look at sunrise and sunset. You can probably find historical records. Find out when, like look at airport data, airport weather data. Figure out when you get less than 10 h of light. After that point, you're in the Persephony period until you get 10 h of light again. And then what date you should plant by. So you take the date where the Persephony period starts. Let's say that's November 1. You subtract from that day, the number of days to maturity for the crop you want. So like if you want a hoop house of spinach, lets say from November 1st, you subtract 40 to 50 days to get spinach up to the level you want it. That's when you plan. Yeah. Okay. Too good resources for just shared their Johnny seeds, Elliot Coleman, the author of that manual there, it's got a fairly tight association with GIC or at least he has in the past. They've vector and some of his experimentation and ideas through their resources. And then Mel Kennedy shared a website called in viral weather, which is an MSU website. Let me see if I can pull it up. It's an MSU website that has a series of weather stations that you can look for that kind of data. This is the address. It's got a new face to it that I don't like. It used to have a different sort of face. And I'm not very used to navigating the new way that it looks. They don't have an easy way to look at light data. At the moment. That doesn't change very much across years. So I don t think they have much incentive to do that. Once you've figured out your daylight period for your area, then it's really not going to change. You just have to figure out that one time.