Polygreens Podcast

048: Joe Swartz Returns

October 29, 2021 Joe Swartz & Nick Greens Season 1 Episode 48
Polygreens Podcast
048: Joe Swartz Returns
Show Notes Transcript

Joe Swartz returns from a trip from California, were he was training at AmHydro semiars.


  

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Hey everyone. Welcome to the poly greens podcast. I'm Joe Swartz from am hydro, along with Nick greens of the Nick greens grow team. And boy, it was a busy, uh, past couple of weeks. Uh, unfortunately I wasn't able to join the podcast last week. We had a two day seminar up at am, hydro Northern California.

We'll talk a little bit about that, but Nick, good morning. Tell us a little bit about that podcast. Last week it was on a podcast. It was amazing. A great feedback and great. Great viewership we had on that podcast. It was really, really good. Um, I think it was a good subject to talk about was the home delivery service we talked about, um, you know, a lot of other different business aspects from the microgreen industry.

I'm thinking, you know, this industry is just blowing up huge. I went to the store the other day and was in the grocery shopper in store and figure and found out there was almost five different microgreen vendors. No kidding. All the ones send distance in one little area. This is just one little area of Chicago as well.

So in there we're all doing cut microgreens. So I, I was, I was like, wow. The live microgreen market is just wide open. That's really cool. Yeah. Well maybe I should, uh, take the day off more often. You'll have a good podcast. Yeah know, I mean, that was really valuable information though. A lot of people, um, and we've had this conversation with, with a number of people getting in the business is the.

The focus tends to be on the technology and the growing systems and all that. Of course, obviously that's really important, but, um, the, the marketing, the sales, the developing markets for different products that constant never ending cultivation of those relationships, uh, with the buyers and the end consumers.

It is so critically important and it tends to be the overlooked, the most overlooked aspect of growing. So, I mean, home delivery, I mean, those are, those are the things that people are doing all across the country and all the time, especially in the, especially where you're at and the, and the east coast they've been doing this for 20 years now.

I mean, I was watching, I've watched a commercial the other day. I was on YouTube and this commercial pops up and it was a guy saying that I found a new way to market. To market and it's home delivery service. Come on, I'm going to show you this new way. And I'm like, wow. I mean, I have respect for the guy what he's doing.

But a new way. What does that mean? Like no such thing as any new way. I mean, it's funny to hear people. It sounded like a marketing scheme. I mean, I, I love the guy. Like I said, I love the guy. I watched him and it was just, I just, it was like a marketing, like skiing. I don't like, it just didn't seem well to me then it's set right in my tummy.

Well, like, like any marketing program. Selling directly to retail stores, whether you're selling at a farmer's market, whether you're selling to institutions and restaurants, um, you know, the home delivery aspect of it is, is just another way to get your product. And, you know, there's no one right way, but, but certainly finding ways we did that, um, 20 2009 or 2010.

When we first started doing online, ordering at our farm, we, we opened up a winter green CSA and we did an online ordering system. And so as part of that, we did a home delivery, you know, we're, we're here in the pioneer valley in Western Massachusetts. And so, you know, we've got a population that, you know, is very, very.

Active and busy and, you know, not always able to get to things like farmer's markets. And so, you know, the home delivery angle was, was certainly a good option. And with the selecting varieties, was it a lot easier than having the connection to the, to the people or did that help out a lot? It was in one respect.

Um, so what we did was we set up, uh, through our website, we had a website developer set up an online order. And so what we would do is on Sunday evening, I would go online and I would post everything that was available this week. And then from Monday to Thursday, people could place orders and, you know, we had a whole regular following, but we also had people that would just kind of come on here and there and place orders.

And so, so I would get all the orders by, uh, I think it was Thursday afternoon or Thursday evening, and then Friday we would harvest. And Friday afternoon we had. Um, a pickup and then for some customers, we also had a Saturday pickup and, um, and it worked really well. You know, a lot of people like that, we have a college, we're basically an Amherst we're in a college town.

So we had a lot of people who were commuters. So for them picking. Product at the end of the day on Friday, worked really well. And, um, again, not the right way for everyone, but it was, it was definitely a good tool. We did that for, for, um, a couple of years, we, we discontinued the home delivery after about a year for us, for our setup.

It was just logistically too difficult. Fortunately, there actually became a developed a business, um, some local entrepreneurs. I developed a produce delivery service like ours, but what they did was they purchased from local farms all over the valley. So they had a really wide array of products. You know, everything from meat products, eggs, cheeses, dairy products, and vegetables.

And, um, and we sold to them for a very long time. What does they been having that since? So 2012, 2010? Yeah, I think, I mean, gosh, we, we also have a bicycle delivery service as well in the area. So, I mean, there, there there's so many different ways to do it, but yeah. It was probably before 2009, that there were people, at least in this area doing it, um, you know, they kind of were revisiting, um, gosh, it was when I, um, 1996, there was a local dairy that was doing, um, local milk deliveries, you know, kind of bringing back the old milkman and milk deliveries.

And they kind of really, uh, here in our area pioneered and kind of got that, that industry. Kind of going, going again. And, uh, you know, we took a page from their book back in. I had an a, when I first moved here to Sheboygan, I had an apartment and, uh, the apartment had Infor like, okay, so you, you had the apartment, but outside the apartment before you walked in the apartment, there was a little door and you open the little door and that's where they had set the milk and things.

For for people. So everybody had a little cubby hole in front of their door, like on the side of their door to put things in. Uh, it was funny, but somebody decorated mine with seashells and it was just off decorated. And I was like, what the heck? I looked in at one time. And it was like, what the heck is this?

And I didn't know it was for the milk though. You know, now it makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, all of these methods of getting product, you know, there are people who like to get out and go to the farmer's markets. There are people who just go to the stores. There are people who want to do online, ordering and delivery.

So, so really having as many as a grower, as many tools in your marketing and delivery or marketing and distribution toolbox is good. So, so, so one size doesn't fit all when marketing as well. That's I mean, I think that's what we're trying to say here. Right? So it's not even just a system, one size fit all.

It's not even just the people as well, but it's also the marketing. Yeah. I mean, really, if you look at every aspect of our business and CA there, there's this kind of misconception, you know, this type of farm or this type of growing system grow, you know, greenhouse, uh, vertical farm shipping container, everyone kind of has their angle as this is the one model.

And of course, we've been talking since, since the day one, Hey, we have a year anniversary coming up pretty soon. Yeah. Yeah, I think it's in November is our as our one year, which I think we're probably going to have 50, 50 episodes or 49. I think we missed, uh, two of them maybe. Yeah. So, so ever since we started, you know, we've been talking about that.

We've been talking about the different tools and technologies and methods and, and all of those things and all of that, that whole concept really evolved, uh, includes sales and mark. You know, people argue sometimes, you know, well, what crops, you know, the best crops to grow, obviously there is no one best crop and then how you sell those crops, whatever you're growing.

Certainly. I mean, there's so many different ways people are coming up with new ways all the time technology. Of course. I mean, I even heard that POC choice becoming really hot. I know a grower in Ohio, he started growing pot Choi. I mean, I eat POC Choi in my diet now. I had never heard of it until we started our farmer's market and we were growing it.

And that was back before 2010. And, um, we were grown the, the white stemmed three or four to a, a growing space. So it was baby bok choy. And. It was, I couldn't believe it. First time I had ever had it. It was amazing. How did you have it? You fry it or did just serve fry? Uh, but, well, that wasn't the first, so that was the first time I cooked with it, uh, in the greenhouse, you know, I'm always sampling things in the greenhouse and, um, and the first time I tried it that, you know, the texture it's, it's very watery yet very crisp and has that really nice, mild flavor.

It just, and it's kind of like, You know, almost, you know, tofu will take on whatever flavors you're cooking it with. Correct. The bok choy does the same thing. I mean, it really does. It's got a really nice texture and flavor on its own, but then it really enhances so many things. So I've used it mostly for stir fry, but I mean, cutting it up and salads.

You name it. I did it in soup. It was amazing and soup, you know, I took off. For four of the leaves off and then left, then left the middle heart in there. You don't do that in there, so. Oh, nice. I've never done a super I've actually. No, it came out really good. Oh man. It was amazing in the soup. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. So anybody that's listened to Nick and I for a while, hopefully you're getting the point that it's like, you know, moving sand under your feet. This business is always changing, always evolving the most successful. Uh, businesses and CA are always quick to adjust and move and adapt. I have one Deb that came to my, uh, my surface.

Um, actually you, you, you enjoy this. And I, I think we can use this as an example. Um, this guy wants to grow. And in Houston, Texas, and he wants to do outdoor. Um, so I mean, I mean, with my mind already, I can see several problems, humidity, heat, uh, you know, maybe drought, right? So. So, I mean, I, that, that would probably be some sort of traditional hydroponic recommended system for him.

I don't know. That's what I was thinking. Okay. Well, you know, control the environment and it gives us so many different tools to, you know, manipulate or adjust or optimize either your nutrition or your environment or. So, yeah, there's certainly lots of different options. Hopefully he'll listen to you in terms of recommendations.

The number one thing is genetics, right? And that's with my business partner as well said, too, you know, he's like, dude, genetics is key here. Like, uh, we can find a genetic that can handle this heat. You know, that's the first thing, right? Finding a genetic that can handle the heat first off and then work from there.

So, well, remember I'm Dan Silva. Uh, from flora, Jen, or friend, Dan is, I mean, he's an amazing guy and a brilliant plant scientist anyway, but he has really pushed, um, both in food and cannabis. He has pushed the boundaries of genetics and he understands. Uh, no, he's in California, California. Yeah. I don't know.

I, for some reason I thought he was in Colorado. Well, he's all over. I mean, he works all off. He's probably done things in Colorado that I seen. That's what it was. Yeah. He would have to bring them back. I mean, cause he's, he's such a smart guy and he knows so much about the industry and he has a really great and very practical.

I think we start bringing the guests. Yeah, but not an interview. Let's, let's, let's have, let's have a, a bunch of questions and like a forum. That's just like, like kind of like how the microgreen addition went, you know? Yeah. I'm getting that a lot now from people I'm getting people who were asking about kind of like a, a round table discussion Q and a, whatever you want to call it, fireside chat, you know, all of those names, but, but I think to bring on a bunch of, uh, Uh, people from our industry to, to talk through a lot of issues that people are concerned about and, and curious about, I think would be really valuable.

And so Dan, uh, Dan is definitely someone we want back and, uh, He understands the genetics, um, component better than just about anybody in the business. And so you're right. Genetics are, are, and that's a whole nother different game and people don't understand, you know, like, like female phenotypes, like F1 and F two.

What does the F two mean? And what does an F1 mean? You know, I get, I get all of this people that are not understanding the genetics. Like I was lucky as well because, you know, I, I, I have a Dan like kind of guy in my life, you know, since I was younger, you know, we're best friends and he's, he's not a genetic expert.

Um, but he's dabbled in genetics where I kind of learned a little bit about that. You know, what, what does those things mean? And why do you want an F too? And not enough one or something? What are you saying, Nick? You're you're focusing on the plant

people too, right? It, I mean, if you didn't have your Polish genes there, Joe, you wouldn't be so handsome, buddy. Oh boy. I'm bringing, I'm bringing the Polish people down with. Uh, but, um, yeah, I mean, I mean, really genetics are, are one of the most, I think. The biggest opportunities in terms of improving CA farming in general or agriculture in general, of course, but, but certainly as we understand genetics, uh, more and more, and how that plays a role in everything from our, uh, varietals selection to our crop production and management techniques.

I mean, there's just so much, I, I love when people are. You know, I hate the expression. The science is settled because science has never settled and we're constantly learning. And I know, you know, a hundred years ago they thought they probably knew everything there was to know about growing plants. And my dad thought he knew everything.

Uh, he, he made sure I knew that he knew that I thought I knew everything. The older I get in, the more I learn, the more I understand how little I know. And yeah, I do got one question, maybe, you know, a little bit about this, but this is just me from. The heart and the horticulture, his brain that I have. Um, so, so I'm, I'm all about not cutting my lawn a lot.

Right. So going back to a lawn question, right. Um, I don't cut the lawn real, real short, and I don't like the cut. I like to cut at that last moment where it just, it looks like it's getting too long and the neighbors might be complaining, you know? Um, Is that a bad thing are my really doing beneficial to the plant like those.

So for instance, it's, winter's coming. I let the leaves, I didn't rake my leaves. I let a little bit of the leaves stay on the grass and I let the grass stay long. I don't want to like cut it just because I'm trying to set a nice cushion for when the frost comes in. The winter comes in the snow. What is that?

Am I thinking crazy? Or is that. The grass. Are you thinking about, about grass? Are you talking about your current hairstyle? Yeah, I got my  a little longer for winter. Yeah. Well, I mean even, you know, very basic sense. Okay. So, I mean, let's, I always like to break, you know, horticulture. One of the things I love about it is you can, you can dive in as deep as you want and we can, we can talk about.

You know, very complex, um, biochemical concepts and reactions and processes, or we can kind of take it down to more. Understandable, you know, common sense kind of approach. But, but I mean, so th so think about it. So you had the biomass and you are, you know, you're trying to maximize your photosynthesis.

You're trying to strengthen the plan and every time we cut it, I mean, it's, we're cutting it. Why? Because we want it to look a certain way. It's only looks if it has nothing to do with what the plant is. It's a good for the plant. They're not, I mean, yes, we are adding plant material back to decompose into the soil, but we're also.

Limiting its ability to, to grow and, and, and a lot of people let that plant material go back to the soil. They do have a bag where they collect it, collect and throw it away. I, that drives me crazy. Yeah, no, I mean it's and especially, yeah, as we're going into winter, you want it to store up as much energy as possible.

And so, you know, that's one of the things, um, when, when we talk with people about, say, let's, let's talk about pruning tomato plants in the greenhouse for a moment. So what we're doing is we're removing side growth, we're removing older growth, but what we're always doing is we're maintaining that right balance.

You want as much photosynthetically active tissue. Uh, on the planet as possible, but you want to prune away growth that is either, uh, you know, uh, uh, damaged or, or, um, is, is draining the plant. So you, you want to basically support the plant as much as possible by removing a certain amount. I mean, pruning and plant training, obviously.

That's a, a practice. That's an art that is, you know, gone back centuries. And, and, um, and so whether we're talking about our lawn or whether we're talking about, you know, crops we're producing in the greenhouse balancing the environment and the nutrition, but also with the physical characteristics of the plant, just to, to enable it to, to, to grow to its maximum potential.

So, and then you're also helping the biology in the soil. Correct too, as well. Absolutely. Yeah, we, we beat up on our lawns too much. And so that's yeah, just, it was just, it was, it was mind boggling that I'm seeing, like the lawn is just cut to nothing and I'm like, what the snow's going to come now, now you're going to have bald spots everywhere.

And now you've got to fertilize again. And now you got to do all of this. This stuff back to the lawn. If you just kind of let the lawn do what it needs to do. I think it'll correct itself after awhile. Right? As long as you're feeding it well and doing the things you need to I'm writing the mother nature knows way more than, than we'll ever know.

So you need to work well. I mean, yeah, that's going to bring us a little bit too, to the AML hydro seminar. How did that go? How was the turnout? How was that? It was great. Um, one of the, one of the concepts that I always talk about, I know my coworkers are always sick of hearing me talking about, um, in controlled environment, agriculture, sir, Francis bacon, who was a scientist and a philosopher, uh, in about 1670 or so he said nature to be commanded must be over.

I love that expression. And that's been, that's always been my guiding principle. And so we're not technically commanding nature, but we are managing biological processes and we can't do that. We can't, um, and again, the word command, but we can't, we can't operate at directed. Use it for our benefit, if we are not obeying the functions and fundamental laws of, of nature.

And this is something that, you know, you've seen, if you've followed me on social media, we've, we've had conversations. And, um, how shall I put it into spirited discussions? Uh, with some people who've criticized me saying things like, um, the. Because of technology that the laws of plant science have changed and it's like, no, they haven't changed at all.

Basically plant grows differently. Now it changed how abruptly, if you grow in your vertical farm, the plants grow differently. And we, I just, I didn't understand that. And, uh, or do they adapt differently? Is that. Often react differently to the, yeah, the, um, the, so we always open up a seminar. So we did so the, uh, M hydro we have several seminars, uh, every year.

Uh, obviously COVID put a, put a dent in some of our, uh, seminars, but, um, we generally, this was, this was our first seminar we had, we did have a couple from Canada, but this is our first seminar that we've ever had where we didn't have people from overseas. So, um, you know, COVID obviously, and the travel restrictions as well.

But, but we had a great group and we, we spend the first, almost full day, um, in the conference room. And one of the first things I talk about. Sir Francis bacon. And I talk about that concept and I have it up on the wall and I try to explain to people that what we're doing here, you know, is we're using technological tools for a specific outcome.

So if we don't understand nature, we don't understand what the plants, how they grow, what they need, how, as you said, different things impact the growth. Uh, w we can't really understand what we're doing. You know, I've seen companies that sell hydroponic systems or container systems, and essentially they tell the customer, plug it in, add water and let it go.

And it will do. And that's, that's such a, uh, in my opinion, a faulty concept, because. All the time, you know, regardless of what type of technology we're using, that we're, we're there to serve the needs of the plant, not the other way around, or we can't for sure. Expect the plant to perform the way we want, if we're not giving the plant what it needs.

So we all, you know, I start everyone on the three fundamental pillars of growth. I liken it to a three-legged stool where if any, one of those legs. You know, it gets pulled out. The whole stool will fall and that's photosynthesis, transpiration, and respiration. And those three processes, we need to understand one what they are, what the plant is actually doing and how we can, you know, using the different tools, how we can actually support those.

So the plants grow at their maximum growth rate. With maximum health, best disease and insect resistance, highest nutritional content, best flavor, all of those things. So, so really we have to kind of dial everything back and understand better the plant. And we, we. Super technical, you know, we're not, um, I, I sometimes joke with people I say, okay, I need someone to tell me what the CA you know, the chemical formula for photosynthesis and everybody sits and looks at me like I have three heads for a second.

And, you know, I say, what we're really looking at is a basic understand. Um, of what's going on. And then, you know, then as, as you start to understand that, you know, we're talking about greenhouses and grow rooms, and we're talking about the different equipment that you can use, the different lighting, the different environmental controls at different growing systems.

And then it starts to really make sense for people because they actually understand. You know, again, what they're trying to provide the plants, because they know what the outcome is. They want, you know, plants that grow, you know, at optimum levels on every metric. And so understanding what tools will help you to do that.

And why, so a lot of times understanding the why. Makes understanding the, how much easier. So, yeah, we had a great group. We, we spent time, uh, in the conference room and then we went over to the greenhouse and by the time we got to the greenhouse, everyone already kind of had a, I hope a good understanding of, of the plant growth process and, and the, and, and what we're trying to do.

You know, the we're trying to maintain certain temperatures and. Uh, humidity levels and VPD, um, levels and things like that. And, and, and people really kind of understood. So when we got to the greenhouse. Everything kind of clicked and made sense. And so we spent, uh, the second part of a day and then a half of the second day in the greenhouse and Friday morning is always the most fun for people because what we do is we break into groups and everybody.

So let me back up the, the greenhouse that we're in, it's run by the Humboldt county office of education. It's a commercial hydroponic farm, and it's run by at-risk high school studies. Uh, and they do an amazing job, but, um, it's a working farm. And so it's a great educational tool, but, but they, they need to see it and transplant and harvest every week.

And they sell the product to a number of local stores and restaurants. And so it's a, it's an actual functioning business. So, you know, like any business, there's certain processes that have to go on all the time. So everyone that comes to the seminar on Friday morning, we get together and break up in groups and rotate and everyone.

It takes time, seeding crops, transplanting crops, and harvesting and packaging crops. So people really start to understand a little bit more about what's actually involved in running a hydroponic or CA business. And so that's where everybody really has a lot of. Yeah. You know, I, I like, since you're talking about knowledge and everything, I do have one recommendation for people out there.

If you really are trying to understand plants and in the workings behind it, um, Time-Life, uh, Time-Life magazine came out with a book a long time ago. Called understanding science and nature plant life. I mean, this book is, I mean, Joe, this book is just so unbelievable and how it breaks down the cells.

And I mean, it breaks down the way the plants work in and everything. So if you really don't have an understanding on what Joe was just talking about, like this really could kind of break it down for you. Real, real simple coffee books. I have that on my coffee. Oh, that's nice. Yeah. Our geek is starting to come out for sure.

And to take it to the next level when you're, you know, in controlled environment agriculture, um, there's a great book. That's been out, um, a little more than a year, I think, called plant and. And it takes that just to the next level. So, so you have to have the, the basic understanding of the plant function and then what it does.

And this is actually, in my opinion, probably really the new frontier in controlled environment ag is that instead of setting an environment for the plants, you know, okay, we're going to set this temperature, we're growing lettuce. So we're going to set it for 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 62 degrees at night.

And instead of. Now, now that we understand more about what's actually happening in the plant is that we're adjusting our environment. We're adjusting our irrigation and our nutrition specifically to what is actually happening at that time in the plant. That's a Neil Mattson from Cornell when we had him on, he talked about that a lot too.

He talked about, you know, as we're now making all of our decisions and adjustments based on no, kind of, not our parameters, but actually what, what the plant needs at the time, and being able to read the plan. Some of that is physical observation. Some of that is now technological models. Um, you know, things like that, we start we're, we're really, again, scratching the surface.

I, I hate when people say that, you know, we, we pretty much know everything there is about growing plants. I mean, we don't know, there's a lot more that we don't know than what we do know. Um, so, so yeah, so, so that is, is, you know, really an exciting, um, part of, of growing Christmas trees. Like if I was doing Christmas trees, there's.

There's a whole process to that. Right there, there they have that locked down. They have that dialed in, right? Well, it starts like what, what, what you had talked about earlier, genetics, you know, there, there are certain trees. I have a neighbor who has a Christmas tree farm, and he could tell you add great.

The different characteristics of, of, uh, the different types of trees and, and how you would prune this one, one way. And this one, the other way, the white one and the red one, right? They got the white tree and the 

gold.

But did you, do you pick your ornaments when you grow them too? Or that would be cool. Maybe that's maybe that's the newest thing. Well, controlled environment, ag Christmas trees with a little star wars with the lights already delights are already in it. Everything. I like it. Well, that's I, if we, if anybody can do it, it'll be you.

So I'm waiting for that. Well, we can get the lightening bugs as the lights, right? Okay. Just got, gotta get them attracted to the tree so we can put like some pheromones, uh, from a lightning bug on the tree. Maybe they'll spend time on the tree. This is what Nick and I think about. This is the kind of thing, everyone.

This is where were, where were we? Um, right. We're back, back, back to control the environment. Everything comes back to CA so, yeah, but the, you know, the, how those trees are pruned and managed and fertilized and irrigated, and which trees grow in different regions better. And one of my friends was telling me to protect the roots too.

There's a certain way to grow them. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, there's, there's a lot. I, I always, you know, and, and for a lot of people, that's not their thing. You know, they'll go to the grocery store and buy a head of lettuce and that's as far as they want to go in terms of knowledge, but I mean, understanding the nuances of growing anything, if you are interested in controlled environment ag at all, if you want to run a hydroponics business, if you want to be involved in any capacity, At least having a basic understanding of the plants and what the crops need is critically important.

Again, we talk a lot about technology. The technology is so cool and people are just enthralled by it, but it's, it's really, you know, much, much more than that. The, the technology again is a tool to an. And so sometimes the technology's a little bit old too as well. Like, um, I know a farmer in, I think it's in Japan where he's growing square watermelons.

Um, now the watermelon never ripen, so they're just ornamental and people are paying four to $500 Joel for a square watermelon because it's because they put them in these square cages and. So it's like this old technology that they're using, that they put them in in order to get the square, you know, and then a lot of them bust open too.

So I guess that's why they're so. Sure, but it's interesting what people will buy, but, but certainly the technologies, I mean, the, as we talked about, the concepts are as old as time, you know, the, how the plants grow and what we can do. Um, first time I was ever exposed to that was back in the 19 late 1980s, early 1990s.

It was a grower. Who had made these clear acrylic forms? Um, that looked just like former president Richard Nixon, and he would put them around his, um, uh, he had many pumpkins and he would actually put these molds around the mini pumpkins as they were developing. And. Around Halloween time. He had little pumpkins that looked just like Richard Nixon and it was the coolest thing ever, but making fun of Richard Nixon, I guess you can have a pumpkin that looks like president Nixon to honor and Revere him or to make fun of him, I guess.

But, uh, but again, just understanding, you know, the different concepts around. Uh, plant growth and physiology, you know, are as old as time. And, and, and so a lot of the newer technologies today, many of them are built around technologies that have been around a very long time. You know, when people, I always bristle when people kind of will we'll promote, you know, some technology that's, that's brand new, very little as a brand new, we may have modified things and we may change things, especially as we understand things much more.

But, but certainly very little as new, you know, whether we're manipulating, um, plants for, you know, specific, uh, qualities and flavor or growth we're manipulating and modifying the plants through genetics. You know, these are all. Concepts and tools that have been around a really long time. What about heart, heart shape, uh, tomatoes.

Would that be possible sort of, I dunno if you would have to get these little molds, right. Probably somebody who's already done it because they seem like they can go to a heart-shaped easily, you know? Yeah. I mean, yeah, for sure. Um, So now we're we're, we're definitely we're, we're hitting the new frontier and control the environment, a signer vegetables to a theater near you.

I grew a head of lettuce once it looked just like Thomas Jefferson. It was great. So, um, so yeah, so, so a lot of, um, a lot of really great people came down to the seminar. We spent time talking about the concepts and the plant process, again, in, in simple, and, you know, in, in easy to understand terms, any, any interest in different cities or states that you haven't seen lately or, well, we, I mean, yeah, I really, um, The movement still to our small scale agriculture in small-scale localized agriculture is really thriving.

And, um, we have people, we had some, we had a couple that were entrepreneurs never been involved in any plant type business at all, but very business-minded. And so they were, they were looking to absorb all they could about, um, plant growth and optimizing, um, you know, our growth. 'cause, you know, they had a business model already in mind for, you know, how they were going to sell and market their products.

And they had distribution already kind of figured out to a certain degree. And that was really cool, but, but on the, on the flip side we had another group. Who actually down in Texas runs a meat producing operation and he has, um, customers that come, uh, the, you know, he has an agritourism component to his business, so people can come to the farm and milk a cow or a collect egg.

And, and they do some field growing. So to expand on that they want to incorporate controlled environment ag. So, um, and then we had, we had some people from, uh, a prominent university and we also had people who were just not quite sure what they wanted to do yet. And they were just looking at this as a, as a viable business.

So really we have very diverse, uh, Diverse people obviously, but people with, with different, uh, applications. And again, I, it speaks to the strength of controlled environment ag you know, whether we're, we're looking to, to augment our farm production, or if we're looking for a business. Top right. Or if we're looking to feed our communities and provide local jobs or provide, you know, or, or help sustain the environment by cutting our water use, I mean, there's so many different attributes to control the environment ag that we can incorporate into our own individual businesses.

That one size doesn't have. It's something that I wanted to show you. I thought that you would, uh, would think it's cool. And since you're, since you're a little older than me, you'd probably know when you probably know the release date of it. Oh boy. Oh, God rainbow bridge. Okay. So yeah. Um, uh, I actually, um, went, uh, it was, it was the year he passed Jimi Hendrix, um, rainbow bridge.

He was making a soundtrack for a movie. Uh, I've seen excerpts from the, so the documentary that they filmed was, uh, was, uh, in. It was an improv. So it was just, it was, there was maybe a couple actors, but not really, but they, it wasn't script. It was like an improv of like things that are happening at the time, the events that are happening in the.

Yeah, a friend of his, who was his engineer, Eddie Kramer. Who's in, who's in that film was actually has been here in my home. Um, uh, I I've known him for a very long time. Uh, amazing guy. Just he's been involved in so many, uh, tremendous, uh, recordings. He he's the one that recorded the Woodstock movie. Um, they did all the sound work.

So he's the one that probably did the, the movie, the movie too. So he was behind me. Well, he built electric lady studios. Okay. Got it. Got it. Yeah. So he was, he's a brilliant guy. Um, uh, how that relates to controlled environment ag. I'm not quite sure, but  absolutely, you know, I, I just, I just actually got my vinyl back from me.

There were other in storage for 17 years, Joe. I did not have my vinyl. Um, it's nice, nice to see other older technology still being utilized in good ways. And that again, that relates to, and there was some records that were never even opened, Joe, like still just sitting brand new. Oh man. Well, we're going to have, we're going to have to do a whole, uh, um, podcast around, uh, all of your, your vinyl collection.

And it was, it was a good time that time too. Cause I mean, most of my record consists of dance. Um, but it's underground dance music where it was like more soulful, more jazzy, more musical put together. It wasn't just a bunch of tracks to make a song. It was actual music and sense behind it and value behind the music that we were making.

Interesting. Yeah, I would definitely love to sit down with you and do do some of that. So, um, we're, we're pretty much, uh, um, going to be wrapping up for today. We'd love to, again, I've been getting a lot of emails, please feel free to keep sending some questions. Uh, we've got a couple of really great guests, um, at indoor out America coming soon, right?

yeah. Chris doesn't do a lot of stuff like this. Now Chris is one of the, well, Chris is so busy, he's one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry. So he spends a lot of his time talking to the actual customers. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. So we, we, we, when we were doubted into our icon, we spoke with a number of great people on the industry who are all interested in joining.

And, and again, we've, we've had discussions about, um, you know, round table discussions, Q and A's. So this is really where we want to start engaging, uh, more of you, the audience. So, thanks very much for listening. Please continue to send in your questions, comments, suggestions, and we're going to address them.

So, and thanks again for spending some time with us. And until next time have a great day, everyone.