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Dyersville, Iowa ? Growers Supply has teamed up with LumiGrow, Inc. to offer LED lighting solutions for greenhouse and controlled environment agriculture environments beginning in September. With the LumiGrow Pro 325 and 650 Horticultural Lights, growers can reduce energy costs and boost yields by providing the exact light levels and spectra that plants need.
LumiGrow Pro series lights feature a 50,000 hour rating without degradation, lasting up to 10 times longer than high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. Further savings are achieved because these fixtures run 70 percent cooler than HID lamps, reducing greenhouse cooling requirements.
The LumiGrow Pro series is available in two models. Pro 325, with a typical energy consumption of 325 watts, is designed for commercial greenhouses and controlled environment agriculture, and will provide growers with 70 percent energy savings compared to a 1,000-watt HID light.
For growers and scientists who require a higher PAR output, the Pro 650 typically uses 650 watts and reduces energy costs by 40 percent versus a 1,000-watt HID light. The LumiGrow Pro 650 doubles the red and blue photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) output of 1,000-watt HID fixtures and the LumiGrow Pro 325 achieves parity with 1,000-watt HID lights.
Mobile payment systems options are growing for small businesses. Soon, customers won’t even have to bring their wallets to purchase items at the local coffee shop, or the garden center.
Cell phone app Square is starting to make a splash as it expands its reach, and will start handling credit and debit card transactions for Starbucks this fall. The free Square card reader attaches directly to the retailer’s cell phone, allowing an individual to swipe all major credit cards. The app allows customers to download the payment program and pay with their phones.
Isis, a joint project from AT&T, T Mobile and Verizon Wireless, is still under development, but small businesses are starting to take notice. Through it, customers would pay through a special chip in their phone, a credit card number stored in an app, or a small attachment that that allows a smartphone to read cards.
Others, like Google Wallet, GoPayment and LevelUp are all making strides in development as well. As the technology progresses and makes it easier for potential customers to spend, it may be coming to a garden center near you.
EarthBox, the sub-irrigated growing container, is going to good use at a community garden in Indian Shores, Florida.
The Indian Shores EarthBox Community Garden opened July 19 with 45 Earthbox containers. Additional EarthBoxes will be added in phases.
Because the community of Indian Shores has a high percentage of seniors, some of the EarthBoxes sit atop stands which make it possible to garden without bending over. The stands also make it easier to garden for those in wheelchairs.
“I am really happy to get this community garden built,” said Jim Lawrence, Mayor of Indian Shores. “There is a need for this type of garden. Condo residents don’t normally have the opportunity to grow vegetables.”
To participate in the community garden, residents purchase one or more of the EarthBoxes already set up in the garden by the city. The EarthBoxes in the garden sell for $69.55 each, or $112.35 each with a stand. Each EarthBox comes with potting soil, so problems associated with the local sandy soil are bypassed. Automatic watering for each EarthBox is provided by the city, and there is no additional space rental fee. Once a resident purchases an EarthBox, he or she is responsible for obtaining seeds or plants to put into the container.
Indian Shores chose to open an EarthBox garden rather than a traditional, in-ground community garden to create a “zero discharge” garden. Because EarthBoxes contain their own water reservoirs, the containers are designed to be a closed-loop system using water and fertilizer extremely efficiently. Therefore, there is no discharge of water or fertilizer into the neighboring area.
Burpee's historic Fordhook farm will host demonstrations, speakers and guided walking tours fro 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 24 and 25 at 105 New Britain Rd. in Doylestown, Penn.
Special lecturer Dr. Mark Ehlenfeldt, a USDA blueberry breeder and expert, will present "The Native American Blueberry - A Home Garden Favorite" at 11 a.m. both days. Guests can see more than 3,000 species of perennials, vegetables, herbs and more on the tours, taste and rate tomatoes, view the unveiling of Burpee's secret new tomato for 2013, watch planting and harvesting demonstrations, and take part in the perennial and fruit plants sale.
Admission is $5 per person, and each attendee receives a $5 coupon for onsite plant purchases. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.
For more, visit www.burpee.com/events