Why Should I Automate my Equipment?
Using a monitoring and control system allows you to keep track of your production. It is the best way to keep control over what is happening inside the greenhouse as well as the external factors that can influence it. The Market Gardner Institute also wrote an article about how automation can help you produce more and increase your yields that can give you more insight about it. But of course, the biggest advantage of automating your greenhouse is that it offers you a well deserved peace of mind!
Having a good monitoring and control system will:
Reduce your energy costs
Save on labor costs
Increase your production and yields
Reduce the risk of diseases and insects
Save time and energy
Give you better monitoring of the needs of your plants
There is a very important difference between equipment automation and the Orisha virtual assistant. Our systems have an artificial intelligence that allows your greenhouse to be autonomous.
We are aware of the difficulty of being a market gardener. It requires a great deal of hand's on expertise which is difficult to get and which can lead to a lot of trial and error. Using our Orisha artificial intelligence, we offer you this expertise already integrated into our systems. It enables the greenhouse control to act as an employee who learns and adapts.
Where do I Need to Start?
You don't dive headfirst into a greenhouse project like you would into the municipal swimming pool on a hot summer day. There are several factors to consider before building a greenhouse. You first have to determine what you want to grow and the feasibility of your business plan. After that, it would be time to tackle the greenhouse construction project. For this, you will have to consider the following 3 main points.
1. The location of the greenhouse
Whether you are building your own greenhouse, assembling a kit or having one built by a manufacturer, it is essential to choose the optimal location to locate it. To find your dream location, consider:
Orders, Permits and Restrictive Covenants :
Make sure there are no local ordinances, permits, or covenants that might affect building a greenhouse.
Type of soil :
To prevent the risk of flooding, it is best to find flat land that will be sheltered from a heavy runoff. It would be wise to conduct a soil analysis to assess its fertility and nutrients. For more details, click here.
In regions with particularly snowy winters, it should be expected that snow may accumulate on and around the greenhouse. The cycle of melting and freezing can damage the greenhouse.
Sun and the orientation of the greenhouse :
In cold regions, your greenhouse should be on sunlit ground with the least amount of obstruction from trees. Considering the colder climate of North America, the optimal orientation would be directly to the south or southeast in order to capture the morning light.
Water and Electricity :
It is necessary to have nearby access to water, whether it's to water by hand, irrigation with a drip system or with a sprinkler system. Electricity will be used for irrigation, light and heating. Plan the installations and the connections accordingly.
Strong winds can damage your plants and your greenhouse. One of the best ways to avoid this would be to have a greenhouse roof with roll-ups that will open and close automatically by sensing the wind and the temperature.
You must have a space large enough for your current and future cultivation. Plan for expansion or the addition of a new crop.
2. Greenhouse types and costs
Investing in a greenhouse depends above all on the use you want to make of it. You will find in the Greenhouse Guide a list of options available to you.
We recommend the tunnel greenhouse model. This is the most attractive option for start-up producers. It covers the crops while retaining the heat of the ground. This allows production to begin earlier in the year in addition to doubling the annual yield. In addition to having a better price than a glass greenhouse, you can also find grants to finance the purchase and construction of your greenhouse. It is also possible to build your greenhouse from your own resources. Make sure, however, that you have quality, robust equipment that will stand the test of time and the vagaries of the weather. In order to obtain the best possible quality, we recommend these trusted manufacturers:
3. Greenhouse equipments
It can be difficult to know where to start when taking on a large project like a greenhouse. Depending on your commitment and budget, you can add shelving, automatic vents, a misting system, a heating system, a fan, a tool holder and the list goes on. To choose durable equipment adapted to your crops, here are some suggestions from greenhouse equipment manufacturers that can meet your needs.
There are a number of essential elements in the construction and use of almost any greenhouse. The first thing to know is that any equipment with an ON-OFF switch can easily be automated. Automation is essential to save you time and energy, reduce your labour cost and increase your yields. Generally, greenhouse equipment that can be automated includes:
Greenhouse heat sources include: hydronic heating (underfloor heating), geothermal, electric heaters, propane or natural gas heaters, biomass, furnace, etc.
Cooling and airflow (ventilation, pad and fans, A/C) :
You have the choice between natural or mechanical ventilation. Natural ventilation uses the outside wind and exchanges air using side and roof openings. Mechanical extraction ventilation and positive pressure is essential for year-round production.
Humidity control (mist, ventilation) :
Poor air circulation, excessive humidity and high temperatures can lead to disease. It is possible to monitor the humidity in your greenhouse with a humidity indicator or with a temperature and humidity sensor.
Irrigation (valves and sensors, fogger, hydroponics) :
Check the soil's moisture regularly and water if necessary. It is possible to monitor the rate of water absorption in the soil and avoid excessive watering with tensiometers. There is also the option of using a pyranometer to automate your irrigation based on the sun. The 2 most common ways to irrigate are with valves or misters.
A quick and easy buying process, just the way we like it! Here’s what you can expect:
Orisha takes care of the complete automation of your greenhouse according to the equipment in your possession (heating, ventilation, irrigation, etc.)
A free and personalized quote will be sent to you the same day. If you decide to purchase, we will send you all the equipment within 10 business days.
The installation of the equipment can be done in 3 ways:
Install the equipment yourself and save on costs! A simple and concise installation manual will be at your disposal and our team is available to answer all your questions as needed
Use one of our trained electricians in your area if electronics is not your thing! The installation takes between 2 and 5 hours per greenhouse.
Refer us to an electrician of your choice and we will instruct him for free to do the installation!
A short training on the system will be given to you after the installation so that you get the most out of the equipment! Since there is a big turnover rate on farms, the training will also be offered free of charge to your employees at any time.
A post-installation follow-up will be done with you by our team as well as one year later to evaluate your long-term satisfaction.
All you have to do is enjoy the free time you will have with automation! As with cruise control, Orisha adapts to the control to your greenhouse and weather conditions. Adjust your targets, if needed, and take advantage of the upgrades that will be available to you!
Your long-term prosperity is important to us. Contact us if you have any questions,
problems or simply comments!