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US (AR): Ozark All Seasons Farm expands, purchasing additional American Hydroponics equipment

For the past 15 years, Dr. Val J. Eylands of Ozark All Seasons Farm and Blue Harbor Plantation has been farming commercially with hydroponics. Since 2002, he has been exclusively using American Hydroponics NFT systems and channels. Currently, he is expanding the current operation to include a second full production greenhouse. If demand continues to grow at the current pace, the property has room for two additional systems.

"I started in 1999 growing with another system. After three years and investing over $300,000 I was just about ready to give up on hydroponic farming," said Dr. Val Eyelands, PhD. "I saw American Hydroponics was offering a seminar and decided to attend. After seeing Michael Christian demonstrate his Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) system and channels I knew, with his help, we could make it work."

Dr. Eylands' first farm in Roatan, Honduras Blue Harbor Plantation is still in operation today. This farm produces fresh produce for the island's resorts and restaurants which cater to the large tourist population. Currently Dr. Eylands owns and operates Ozark All Seasons farm in Northwest Arkansas. "After doing the tropical island thing for a while I decided to 'retire' in Arkansas. I started tinkering with an experimental greenhouse. I wanted to create a net-zero energy operation. There was such a demand for locally grown produce that I had to get back into business again," remarked Dr. Eylands.

Dr. Eylands believes that the United States is behind the world in hydroponic farming. Scott Kornberg, Chief Technical officer at American Hydroponics, agrees; "I travel around the globe working with our various growers and I have seen firsthand that farmers in the United States are not taking advantage of, or adopting the technology the way the rest of the world has."

"When a grower comes to us looking to start with hydroponics they quickly see the value in the technology." Kornberg goes on to say, "When Dr. Eylands came to our seminar he was losing money every month. Once we were able to get him set up on the right technology he was able to break even in 6 months and turn a profit within a year. Not all hydroponic systems are created equal, and our system has a proven track record of success."

Ozark All Seasons farm operates a hydroponic greenhouse not only because Dr. Eylands is familiar with the technology, but because traditional growing techniques would not be nearly as successful in the present soil conditions. "We started with one 30'x100' bay and I just ordered a second bay. I have plans for a 3rd and 4th in the near future. The demand for fresh produce in this area is beyond what I can deliver right now. The restaurants and grocers have never had this kind of product to work with in the past. We can provide fresh produce to people unlike anything they've ever experienced, the produce is really marketing itself," said Dr. Eylands.

"American Hydroponics works hard to educate our clients to understand their markets. Dr. Eylands knows what he can grow to be successful and profitable, this is one of the biggest pitfalls for a new grower," remarked Kornberg. "Hydroponic farming is the solution for many farmers new and established. We work hand in hand with our newer growers to help them fully understand their market and carve out those relationships with grocers and restaurants. Once people taste fresh live produce many growers tell us the same thing that Dr. Eylands did, 'the produce is really marketing itself'."

For more information
American Hydroponics
Scott Kornberg
Chief Technology Officer
286 South G Street
Arcata, Calif. 95521
T: +1 800-458-6543 X 317
T: +1 707-633-4376 ext.317 office
C: 707-599-1209
scott@amhydro.com
www.amhydro.com


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