When a bride plans a wedding, the flowers are a major consideration. What if she loves tulips, which are a spring flower? Imagine being able to produce seasonal flowers or other crops whenever you would like? The bride could have her tulips in late summer or fall.
For that matter, the flower choices for Valentine’s Day could be expanded by a plan that has blooms available for that romantic day. Even preferred flowers could be available for funerals.
How can this flexibility with Mother Nature happen? Through the practice of light deprivation using greenhouses, growing crops and ornamental plants can be more prolific on a schedule that helps the grower.
The Magic of Greenhouses
Some ideas are so exciting they are meant to be. Here’s how greenhouses, coupled with light and dark deprivation, can make your crops anything but deprived:
Crop Quality. Out in the open, plants of any type are subject to invading pests, droughts, and extremes of sun, cold, and heat. By planting in a greenhouse, all of those conditions can be controlled. Soil, air quality, fertilizer (organic), and light are managed.
The coveted organic label. In markets everywhere, the choice produce is labeled “Organic.” Organic doesn’t happen overnight. Stringent regulations, so that land is free from “prohibited substances” for 36 months are in place so that farms and growers must qualify for organic certification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), administered by the National Organic Program (NOP.)
After a rigorous series of applications, fees and inspections, which are revisited annually, certification might be granted. No chemical sprays, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, or genetically modified plants are allowed in the growth process. This requires a major commitment. Just think how much easier it would be to farm in a greenhouse where all of the variables can be easily regulated.
Produce what you want, when you want. If a particular vegetable or flower is in demand, working with light deprivation can hurry the crop along. If a grower can produce more than one crop in a year, profits can increase. If each crop is grown under ideal conditions, a larger and more nutritious and attractive product can be grown. Taken from a profit perspective, most of the initial investment is in setting up the greenhouse. After that, all of the conditions can be more easily arranged. Farmers don’t typically get much time off. With a greenhouse, farmers might just be able to wangle a vacation. (At least, it would be easier to leave the facility in someone else’s hands.)
How greenhouses can turn a black thumb into a prolific gardener. Gardening and growing is a satisfying process — except when the gardener is not able to grow a crop. By having all of the conditions that create a “black thumb” removed, a gardener can be reasonably successful.
Eating produce or decorating with flowers that you yourself have grown, a sense of pride emerges, not to mention a healthier diet. Although it may take some studying and consultation with knowledgeable agronomists or agricultural agents, a committed home grower can make a garden grow with produce and flowers that delight.
Taming the garden pests and the other outdoor critters. Children’s stories often have rabbits chewing on crops in a garden. In real life, keeping the wildlife out of the crops is frustrating. Just when you were looking to pick your crop, the critters found it first. The insects that can fell a giant plant can be kept out. A greenhouse is more secure, protecting your plants. And, without the seasons to account for, growing can be a year-around pastime tucked in a climate-controlled greenhouse.
Knowing you can increase your yields, being joyful when your crops bring greater prices, and scheduling your crops instead of them scheduling your life are all a part of using the cycles of light to make planting a field an old idea. Planting in a greenhouse gives you the control and ideal conditions.
With a little study and some resources to start, a determined person might be able to feed his or her family, have crops to sell, and have a healthier diet. Can man tame nature? It certainly seems to be possible.