Category Archives for "Food"

Ideal Indoor Grow Room Conditions: Grow Room Temperature and Humidity

Having a grow room is what every farmer should think of. It is one of the best things to have. A grow room comes with several advantages as compared to cultivating in an open field. You get to control pest infestation, odors, make use of a small space, and have total control over your crops. Since it is an enclosed area, you will need to manually control the climate inside the grow room. Unlike an open area where the environment controls how the plants grow, this entirely depends on you.

A grow room needs ideal indoor conditions for your crops to survive. Actually, it is not just a matter of surviving but getting the most yields out of them. There are two main weather conditions that are very paramount for crops growing inside a grow room or tent. Let’s find out what they are.


1. Grow room temperature

Temperature is very crucial for growth and development of plants. Each type of plant has its own favorable temperature at which it thrives best. However, photosynthesis takes place nicely at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature higher than that can affect the process badly.

Else ways, some plants can withstand heat a little higher than the normal level. Summer comes with very high temperatures which may sometimes be difficult to control. Plants like cacti, Aloe Vera, succulents, Devil’s ivy, and Ponytail Palm can withstand a lot of heat. They have enough water to sustain them through drought. They also have mechanisms that prevent excessive transpiration. However, other plants need a controlled environment in order to blossom.

The temperature required depends on the stage at which the plant is. For example, in the vegetative stage, 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 10-15 cooler at night are standard for growth. The flowering stage requires a temperature of 68-75 degrees Fahrenheit during daytime and about 10-15 cooler at night.

For conditioning the air inside your grow room, we have the best ac for grow tent. It is not every conditioner you find on the market that can serve you to your satisfaction. Our company supplies high quality, durable, eco-friendly, and reliable air conditioners. This is what you need to control the temperature inside your grow room.

You can find a programmable ac which automatically switch depending on the environmental temperature. For instance, when the heat goes too low for plants’ survival, the heater turns on until the optimum temperature is attained. When the heat is too high, a cooler is turned on. A fan helps in circulating the conditioned air inside the grow room.

If you may need to move your conditioner to different places, consider buying a portable ac grow room. We have it in stock at a very affordable price. A portable air conditioner gives you an easy time in case you want to relocate your plants to a different grow room, or even use it for conditioning your house. It is easy to carry around and operate.

Depending on your budget, you can find an air conditioner of your preference. All sizes and designs are available. You do not want a big ac for just a small tent. This will be as good as wasting electricity. In addition, you can find one that uses gasoline or even solar. Think about what will serve you well and go for it.

2. Grow room humidity

Humidity can affect growth of indoor plants depending on its level. It is very crucial to keep it at the recommended level to ensure your plants bloom. Plants need different quantities of humidity depending on the growth stage. For example, seedlings need a strict range or humidity, unlike grown plants which can resist a wider range.

For plants in the vegetative stage, 45% to 55% of humidity is ideal for growth. In the flowering stage, plants need a range of 35% to 45%. You can even lower it to 30%. Plants can survive between 3-55% of humidity. However, the ideal range is between 40% and 45%.

To monitor the amount of humidity in your grow room, you need a hygrometer. In addition, a humidifier will help you regulate the level of moisture in the room. Too high levels of humidity may cause growth of molds, rotting of buds, and Powdery Mildew. On the other hand, too low humidity may affect the capability of transpiration. This causes stunted growth in plants as photosynthesis is highly affected.

We supply the best humidifier for grow room to help you regulate the amount of vapor in it. You can find any design and size from our store depending on your preference. The humidifier has sensors which detect the level of humidity in the atmosphere before automatically switching to the appropriate action. Good ventilation can also play a big role in controlling the humidity inside your grow room or grow tent.

Using a buyer’s guide, you can choose the best humidifier available in our store. You can choose one depending on the speed of humidification, temperature of the moisture, source of power, convenience, and portability. You can find any type of humidifier grow room at your own budget.

Apart from the two weather conditions, there are more requirements for crops in growing rooms to survive. For instance, oxygen, carbon IV oxide, light, water, soil type, mineral nutrients, and support are other necessities for growth. Good ventilation will ensure most of the requirements reach the plants. Nonetheless, there are a few plants that can grow very well without sunlight. They can survive on indirect light. Such plants include Dracaena, bromeliads, Maidenhair Fern, Parlor Palm, Umbrella papyrus, snake plant, and creeping fig among others. These are some of the plants you can grow indoors.

It is the joy of every cultivator to reap maximum yield. With no pests in the picture, it is very possible to harvest well as long as you keep the weather conditions in your grow room ideal. A grow room saves you the tussle of fighting pests, weeds, and worrying about bad weather. You can grow any type of plant during any season. You don’t have to think about the weather outside. Your cops will still thrive because all the power lies in your hands.

The GMO Question?


It is with great trepidation I wade into the debate regarding Genetically Modified Organisms and farming. But, where angels fear to tread and whatnot…

So, first things first. This piece should in no way be construed as a criticism of farmers that use GMO seed, no matter the source. Quite frankly, farming is a deeply personal decision and I cannot envision a world where farmers are not allowed to make decisions about how they farm, with the exception of obvious regulations which provide for the health and safety of all. Most farms are run by people heavily invested in their land, products and animals, and attacking them for the decisions they make to keep their farms from collapsing in an increasingly difficult market isn’t fair.

Secondly, it should be conceded, GMOs and their proponents have, by just about every measure, probably won the debate already. It’s nearly impossible to purchase some food, for the bulk of the people buying food in America, that isn’t genetically modified in some fashion or another. Our supermarket and grocery shelves are filled with foods derived from corn and soy. Michael Pollan, noted journalist and agricultural activist, pointed out in one of his many interviews or books, that nearly all of the processed food produced in the United States contains a soy product, a corn product or a combination of both (I’m not going to cite the book or interview or article: Just go and check out everything the man does, it’ll be a lot more informative than anything I’ll write here today and probably for the rest of my life).

These soy and corn products, which are ubiquitous in modern, processed foods are more likely than not derived from GMO strains.

In addition, the majority of the meat produced in America (and in many parts of the world) is produced from animals that consume GMO feed. (see the links below for specific data)

With those figures in mind, it’s hard to envision a greater rubric for success for GMO proponents.

Regarding the safety of GMO: Multiple studies have been conducted showing the safety of GMO food vis a vis human consumption. (see below for specifics)

While these studies are conducted by multiple parties, for multiple reasons, it must be noted an accusation of bias is nearly impossible to prove or disprove. No matter which side of the fence you sit on in this debate, you can go down the skepticism rabbit hole in either direction and find plenty of reasons to believe or disbelieve these studies.

I’m inclined to take them at face value, primarily because I don’t have enough background in medicine and science to dispute them. (I’ve included links below to sites that bring up potential health issues with GMOs and links that prove the safety of GMO. Pick your poison, no pun intended). In these situations, just as I trust my doctor to look out for my health, I’m in no position to argue with an expert. And, just as with my doctor, I do my best to be informed, regardless. I trust our readers will do the same.

Regarding the science of GMO: Honestly, it’s kind of cool. The science behind GMOs (direct genetic modification of organisms) is a natural progression of the genetic selection process used for thousands of years by farmers all over the world via seed selection and codified by Gregor Mendel in the late 1800s.

Genetic engineering has produced golden rice, an unqualified success in the field of genetically modified crops which has the potential to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths all over the world from Vitamin A deficiency.

In addition, the company Glowing Plants has genetically engineered plants that glow in the dark, which has the potential to offset energy costs worldwide by replacing electric lights (I’m a sucker for anything that glows in the dark).

So, considering the above — the supercool science with all its paradigm shifting potential, the success of GMO products in world agricultural markets, all the studies verifying the safety of GMO food and the belief that farmers should be allowed to do whatever they need in order to stay competitive and economically viable through the future — how do I feel about GMO crops?

Honestly, I don’t like them.

While the science is really neat, it’s hard to ignore studies like Cornell’s that show damaging impacts on Monarch Butterfly populations from crops genetically modified with DNA from Bt, a popular, organic pesticide.

Organic farmers who use this pesticide take steps to avoid negative impacts on pollinator (including bees and butterflies) when they use Bt. That’s not possible to do with a crop wherein the pesticide is always around to contaminate beneficial insects.

Golden Corn and glowing plants are amazing, but many of the genetic modifications wind up being used to allow farmers to spray even more pesticides and herbicides on their crops. Considering the damage that’s already done to our environment regarding the use of many commercial chemicals used in agriculture, it’s hard to argue that increasing technologies that allow greater use of the chemicals is a good practice.

Additionally, the way the science is used damages the economic viability of farmers in the long term.

Seed saving and sharing is time honored method for farmers to save money and earn income.

Most of the patents on GMO crops prohibit seed sharing. While it’s completely a farmer’s choice to enter into those contracts, it seems strange to use GMO to increase economic viability of farms while removing one of the methods (seed sharing and saving) that farmers can use to be more economically sustainable.

(Also, I would argue that the use of patents to establish ownership of genetic strains is the wrong instrument. Since we’re dealing with genetic code, it seems that a copyright would be more appropriate, but that’s a separate article altogether. Whenever I feel the urge to reveal my ignorance about copyright and patent law, I’ll be sure to write that.)

In addition, the current use of genetically modified foods seems to encourage more monoculture farming, which an article from the University of California, Berkley points out has some very real negative impacts on agriculture and the environment.

So, since we’ve already established the ubiquity of GMO products and foods, what do we do?

At the very least, offering consumers a chance to support non-GMO foods seems like the bare minimum we could do. I believe mandatory labelling laws would allow consumers who care about non-GMO products to purchase them, while supporting growers and producers who use non-GMO seed and feed.

Supporting these producers allows us to make sure that crop biodiversity is encouraged, which has very real benefits, including food security, for agricultural systems worldwide.

Essentially, the more types of fruits and vegetables (and animals we raise) means our food system is more secure from disease, pests and environmental factors.

Home gardeners and farmers who believe supporting non-GMOs is important can purchase non-GMO seed and feed (like the products provided by companies like Scratch and Peck, Sow True Seeds, Victory Seeds, NE Seeds and other — full disclosure, these companies advertise with From Scratch. We sought out these companies because of their dedication to providing non-GMO options to homesteaders).

And, finally, as a country, we can support national, state and even local policies that encourage biodiversity, discourage a centralized food system, promote increased biodiversity and advocate for responsible use of pesticides and herbicides.

Related Links and resources:

Authentic Vietnamese Pho Recipe

vietnam rice noodles

This delicious recipe from Chef Tara Dawdy is traditionally eaten for breakfast.

I love Asian food.

All kinds of Asian food: Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

Something about the combination of what we consider common vegetables into new and interesting flavors tickles me. And the concept of Umami as a flavor piques my curiosity.

So, I was thrilled when a new friend, Tara Dawdy, of Cumberland County, NC, put together a Pho recipe using local, fresh ingredients.

Dawdy trained at Le Cordon Bleu and is an excellent chef. She recently joined forces with the Slow Food movement to lend her talents to supporting good, clean and fair food.

Pho is a Vietnamese soup recipe, often consumed for breakfast.

But, using ingredients she found at area farms and farmers market, Dawdy put together an excellent meal. I asked if I could share the recipe.

Here it is:


Roughly 8 servings


  • 5-6lbs beef bones – oxtail, neck, marrow, knuckle (if possible)
  • 2 med yellow onions (about 1lb)
  • 4” piece of ginger (about 4 oz)
  • 5 star anise (40 star points total)
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3” cinnamon stick
  • 1 ½ tbsp. salt (kosher)
  • 4tbsp fish sauce (available at Asian recipes)
  • 1 oz. yellow rock sugar (substitute light brown)

TO START Blanch the beef bones (30-60 sec), remove and rinse with cold water and return to pot. Add about 6 q water, bring to boil. Then reduce to simmer. Use spoon to skim any scum that rises to surface. While the bones are simmering, cut onions in half, and slice the ginger. Toss in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and place on sheet pan to roast (about 325- 350), approx. hr. This process is called caramelization; it adds to the flavor of the broth. Cut off any burnt ends. Add roasted veggies and remaining spices. Simmer for an additional 2-4hrs (min 90min). Remember to continue “skimming the scum” from you pot. That will remove impurities not flavor. Add remaining ingredients; fish sauce, sugar, and salt. Once you’re ready, strain twice. First to remove bones and spices, second strain is for smaller particles. Use cheese cloth lined in strainer, this will give you the clear but flavorful broth that pho is so famous for.


Rice noodles. You can find them at any Asian market, and sometimes in your local grocery in the international isle.

DO NOT OVERCOOK. Rice noodles are quick to cook so be careful. Make sure your water is at a rolling boil, drop noodles in and let boil for about 3-5mins. You do not want mushy noodles or noodles fully cooked. Al dente, or slightly undercooked. Remove and rinse with cold water.


Grab a generous three finger pinch (about half to cup) of noodles and place in bowl. Add desired veggie toppings (traditional bean sprouts, sliced scallions, jalapenos or Thai chilies, chopped cilantro, basil, lime wedges) and pour hot broth over noodles. Add meat on top.


Note: For the meat, you can use whatever cut and variety you prefer, cooked to your liking. Traditionally speaking, this would be thin cuts — “I used sirloin tips,” Dawdy said — and flash cooked in boiling broth.

Tara said she leaves the meat cooking up to the individual.

“I found not everyone eats meat mid-rare,” she said.

About Tara:

Chef Tara is an Army veteran who moved to Dallas, Texas, to pursue cooking professionally after leaving the military. She attended Le Cordon Bleu there, and then graduated to worked in all “From Scratch” kitchens — where the restaurants created all of their food from whole ingredients.

She also volunteered with a veteran’s club in Dallas and received award for fund-raising efforts for Suicide prevention for veterans. She’s passionate about local food, and preparing all her meals “From Scratch.”

Since moving back to North Carolina, Chef Tara found it challenging to find a “From Scratch locally-sourced kitchen,” she said, so now she’s pursuing the dream of starting her own business in the Sandhills area.

Other passions include: Volunteering with local animal rescue — Mickeys Haven for Pit Bulls, restoring antique furniture, collecting antique kitchen utensils and cookbooks, old architecture and preservation and playing rugby with Bragg Women’s Rugby.

Read more:

Local Food Feast a highlight at Sustainable Ag Con

Photo courtesy of CFSA

                              Photo courtesy of CFSA

Editor’s note: This entry is an excerpt from a blog post written by Anneliese Marvel, one of the many talented bloggers who contributed to the Sweet Potato Blog for the Carolina Farm Stewardship at the Sustainable Agriculture Conference. Read more from Ms. Marvel here.

The Local Food Feast at CFSA’s Sustainable Agriculture Conference is always a major event highlight. This year, Food Coordinator Kris Reid and Hyatt Recency Executive Chef Brandon Lemieux used meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, dairy and flour from over 20 local and regional farms to create a colorful and
delicious Local Food Feast for SAC 2014.

The menu highlighted the best aspects of the fall season, when leafy greens and root vegetables are abundant and meat from grass pastured animals is extra flavorful.

Winter Squash and Swiss Chard Stew started off the feast on a sweet and earthy note. The stew was followed by a “deconstructed” Bibb salad, with tender Bibb lettuce, candied bacon, bleu cheese, roasted tomatoes, and a creamy ranch dressing made with locally sourced dairy and herbs.

Next were the sides: a Seasonal Vegetable Mash with potatoes, rutabaga, turnips and beets and delicious steamed sweet corn, which was a special late-season treat. The meat centerpieces were rich chicken and dumplings and braised beef in a Cheerwine barbeque sauce.

But it didn’t end there. The meal was finished off with tender dinner rolls from an Asheville bakery and, my favorite, an apple crisp made with apples from Lowes Orchard.

It goes without saying that the meal was amazing, both in flavor and effort. While farmers’ markets and co-op grocers are fantastic places to shop, they don’t account for the majority of food supplied to eaters in the US. It takes extra effort for small,  sustainable farmers and brokers to sell to large local entities like hotels, chain restaurants, and hospitals. Those businesses have to be convinced that stepping away from the existing infrastructure and buying local food is worth their time and money.

Want to read more about the event? Check out this complete blog entry, including a listing of all the foods served at the meal and the farms they came from at Ms. Marvel’s blog.

See our complete coverage from the event here.