Having a farm is not just about planting crops and harvesting it. There is a lot of work to be done to protect it from disease, pests and the weather. Since these areas are usually big and require a lot of manpower, scientists have come up with a better idea.
This plan is to grow crops in a controlled environment which makes it easy to grow crops all throughout the year. This structure which can be big or small depending on the open space in the farm is known as the greenhouse.
A greenhouse is an enclosed building that is usually made up of metal, wood and glass. These structures are designed so that the farmer can grow vegetables, flowers and fruits. The person can buy one and have it assembled in the farm or have it custom made according to certain specifications.
This new method has better results than doing farming the non-organic way such as the use of sewage, irradiation, pesticides and herbicides. This is only after tests have shown that this is a health risk that does more harm than good.
A very good example which has shown that this approach is effective is the use of hydroponics farming. This technique doesn’t require the use of soil but rather water to make the plant grow. In one experiment, scientists were able to produce more tomatoes using water than it was using soil.
Since then, other ways of doing hydroponics have been done and this has helped the productivity of the farmers.
More farmers rely on free standing greenhouses. Before these can be set up in the farmland, a good location must be determined that should provide adequate sunlight and wind to help the plants grow.
The most important thing that keeps the greenhouse standing is the frame. Developers have made versions using wood, metal, aluminum and plastic. The farmer can use any of these or have one that is a combination of any of these materials. This will depend on the budget of the farmer and the type of weather conditions there is in the area.
Plants grow because of two things. The first is the nutrients that are given to it. The second is sunlight. This makes it important for the farmer to choose the right panels.
Traditional greenhouses use glass but there are many problems when these are used as panels. Since it doesn’t protect the crops from the sun and merely lets it in, too much heat can kill the plants.
When there is a hurricane or a hailstorm, rocks and other things in most cases break the glass. This will cost a lot of money on the part of farmer to replace.
In order for the farmer to make money in selling crops than paying for repairs, designers have made panels using other things such as plastic, film and Plexiglas. This is a remarkable improvement since these are shatterproof and are able to stand severe weather conditions.
These also allow only 75% of ultraviolet light to enter the greenhouse which is the sufficient amount needed to help the plants grow.
The climate is changing and that is something that people cannot change. The effects of El Niño and La Niña have made the weather worse than the year before and this is a challenge that farmers must face.
Another thing that makes up the greenhouse is the equipment needed to keep it running. Farming in a cold climate can be difficult and since plants need warmth, a heater should also be installed.
Heaters come in big and small sizes. This can be powered by electricity, using propane gas, oil and other non-renewable resources. This device gives farmers the means to meet the demands of the people especially during the winter.
Farms have also changed thanks to technology. People don’t have to till the land anymore using rakes. Greenhouses can have timers which release water mixed with nutrients at certain times of the day helping the plants grow.
Though it is quite expensive to build a greenhouse, by selecting the proper structure, the farmer can be sure that come harvest time, there will be enough crops to sell to the market and money can be made.