Winter Projects- The New Grow Room

SHELBY SHIVELY automatic water in grow room bitterroot valley carlton carlton creek carlton creek organic farm Farm stand growroom Heirloom Honey Local honey missoula missoula organic montana montana organic farm Organic Organic farm Roadside farm stand walk in cooler wiring a grow room

    In all, we must have carried a hundred gallons from December to April down those treacherous steps. Last year we had the grow room in the basement, we hauled water down the stairs, two gallons at a time, sloshing water onto the carpet was a common occurrence we would just shrug off due to exhaustion. Last year I decided we had to make better plans for this year. That's what we do every year, ask ourselves what we can do better to be more efficient, to grow more with less time. We are in that in-between time, working 40+ hours at other jobs off the farm. Coming home to our daily chores, and not doing anything as well as we might one day be able to. 

  We flipped the switch for the first time, after hours of wiring and multiple cuts on both of us from the utility knife. The lights came on in the high tunnel, 90 beautiful, warm Edison lights that circle the celling. I flipped another switch and another light in the walk in cooler lit up the room like a beautiful summer day. We set up the racks, hung the grow lights and plugged in the new heater. There it was, a walk in cooler converted into our new grow room! No more sloshing water on the carpeted basement stairs that my socks would inevitably meet on my endless trek up to the bathroom faucet. We would install drip lines on a timer, they will fill each 10X20 tray independently and each shelf of 4 trays will have a control valve so we can regulate the water consumption independently. We will have 4 metal racks, with 12 trays of plants per rack in our 80 square foot space. In the summer we will use this area again as a cooler for the salad greens and other organic produce. But for now, this will be where we spend most our time, in its artificial sunlight and humming water lines that trickle the aquafer water like a lifeline of blood to the tiny seeds.