Microgreens FARM LAYOUT (Optimal Usage & Work Flow)
You're thinking of building a Microgreens grow room, or maybe you're about to lay out your indoor microgreens farm, and obviously you want to design it in the best way possible! Lucky for you, I've built three Microgreens farms over the course of my career, all different sizes, and I'm going to share with you right now, how to lay out your farm space for optimal usage and workflow.
In all three of my farm spaces, I had to lay them out in the best way possible. Space was definitely a limiting factor as my business was growing, so this forced me to learn how to design these grow rooms in the best way possible. I learned how to maximize the space that I was working with, and also how to design them with intelligence & intention, for the most positive & efficient workflow. These concepts are important, especially as you grow and scale your business, so I'm excited to share with you right now, what I've learned!
First, I want to talk about space utilization. You want to be able to get the absolute most out of your space to ensure profitability and prevent the need for expanding into a bigger space, which will result in higher rent, increasing your overhead costs.
One trick is to utilize the space above your grow racks. You can't really grow microgreens on the top shelf because there is no light above it. This can potentially be used for germination, but I don't recommend this because stacked trays are heavy, and you run the risk of hurting yourself. I use the top of my racks to store supplies like paper towels, plastic packaging, gloves, and other materials that I need on hand.
The space underneath your tray-making and harvesting tables is another great space to utilize for storage. Be sure to utilize every square inch you can find, and especially consider the vertical space you can use. Maybe you have some empty wall space above a table, where you can mount a shelf and store more supplies.
Okay, you understand the concept of using as much space as possible in order to prevent relocating to a new space with higher rent. Let's now get into the fun stuff, where we talk about where everything should go in your farm space.
Where your supplies, materials, and equipment are placed in your grow room will have a big effect on the efficiency of your process, and the ease of your workflow. Consider where your supplies come in and out of your farm. This is where you'll be receiving your packages and bringing them into your grow space before storing them, as well as where your product needs to go once it's harvested and ready for sale.
For instance, your refrigerator should be as close to the exit as possible, that way when your products are ready to be sold, they're right there ready to go. Your sticker station should be on the side of your harvesting table closest to the refrigerator, so your products are moving in the right direction as you harvest. Your growing medium should be stored near where you make trays, that way it's ready to use as you need it.
You don't want any back and forth. You want to make sure that everything is moving through your space with intention. When designing your farm layout, think about how the materials flow through your farm, and make it as easy & convenient as possible to use these materials. This will result in an efficient space to work in, saving you time and money.
I find that in general, you want your germination and tray making area to be as far back in your farm as possible. This will result in your trays flowing back through your farm towards the front, where the harvested microgreens will ultimately need to be for selling. It may not always be the case, but this is a general rule of thumb that I've realized as I've designed my grow spaces.
In my current farm, I actually got lucky because I have two doors, one in the front and one in the back. Because of this, I receive my soil through the back doors which is right next to the germination room where it will be used.
I hope this information made sense… This concept was trickier to explain than I thought it was going to be. Nevertheless, I'll be diving deeper into specific topics, like farm layout, on my Instagram page. Be sure to follow me for bite sized pieces of information that are easy to absorb and understand.
Also - It's probably a good idea to re-watch my farm tour video at this point, so you can see how I laid out MY space.
Link to this video: https://youtu.be/wLADY9Mc5yo