iGrow blog part 2

Kiierr vs. iGrow

iGrow blog part 2

Androgenetic Alopecia in men and women is a devastating occurrence. When hair starts thinning and falling out, not only are we losing a part of ourselves, but other problems can arise such as stress, anxiety, and depression.

One’s self esteem can become low, and the search for alternatives can become a priority. Rather than looking into hair transplants, snake oil treatments, or wigs, start looking into low level light therapy. Specifically Kiierr vs.

iGrow laser caps.

Low level light therapy can be used in the treatment of many conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. But where this kind of therapy stands out amongst the rest, is in it’s ability to help in the production of hair.

It isn’t a cure for male/female pattern baldness, but it can help you in your fight against hair loss by preventing the destruction of hair follicles. In recent research, it was found that low level light therapy absorbs into the cells, triggering enhanced cellular activity.

It energizes aging cells and stimulates the production of hair, allowing you the ease of knowing you don’t have to go through expensive surgeries, or resort to complete baldness or wigs.

Low level light therapy was previously only available in clinics, but now with amazing technology, you can do it in the comfort of your own home. However, there are many different types of caps to choose from when going the route of hair growth caps.

Below is the comparison of Kiierr’s At-Home Hair Growth Caps and iGrow Hair Growth System, both flaunting success, but only one being better than the other.

  • Laser Count – 148/272
  • 7 Month Guarantee
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Full Scalp Coverage
  • Portable

iGrow

  • Laser Count -51
  • 6 Month Guarantee
  • No Warranty
  • Not Full Coverage
  • Has Built-in Headphones

Comparison between Kiierr and iGrow

When comparing Kiierr and the iGrow laser cap, there are a few things to keep in mind. Two things to be aware of are pricing and number of lasers/LEDs.

Although iGrow is cheaper than Kiierr, costing only $449 ($399 sale as of right now), it also only has a total of 51 medical-grade lasers, consisting of 21 lasers and 30 LEDs.

LEDs are typically not as preferred in the stimulation of hair follicles, now is it proven to aid in the growth of hair.

However, Kiierr, which ranges between $695 and $995 (depending on what system you choose), has a total of 148 or 272 medical grade lasers. Kiierr uses only premium laser diodes, using not one LED light throughout their entire cap, making it far more superior than its counterpart, getting the job done efficiently and affectively.

Conclusion

Choosing between either cap should be fairly easy when considering every attribute of both. Although you pay a bit more for Kiierr’s at-home hair growth caps, the fact that it has only medical grade lasers, can be worn anywhere, and has an amazing success rate, there should be no question as to which cap you choose. And with your money back guaranteed, what is there to lose?

Tradeoffs In Aquaponics Vs Hydroponics, By The Numbers — iGrow

iGrow blog part 2

Johnny Bowman

Nov 26, 2017

In our previous blog post, we made the case that aquaponics enables better capacity management for indoor agriculture than hydroponics.

The basis of our argument is that aquaponics is a “just-in-time” manufacturing system — multiple SKUs with different nutrient requirements can be produced in the same aquaponic system simultaneously without sacrificing quality or yield, whereas multiple hydroponic systems with different nutrient recipes would be required to achieve similar quality and yield.

This is one of the key reasons that we believe aquaponics is the future of indoor farming.

But what if you stripped away all the benefits of aquaponics? Is aquaponics still competitive with hydroponics on cost if you assumed the same yield, quality, and breadth of product with no fish sales? Unwinding this is the purpose of this blog post, and we find that aquaponics is slightly more expensive with costs 2% higher than those in hydroponics as a percentage of revenue. To compensate for this, aquaponic operators will need to utilize the capacity management methods discussed in our previous blog post to achieve throughputs ~2% higher than their hydroponic counterparts. Below, we break down how we got to these numbers.

But first, there are trade offs besides cost in choosing aquaponics over hydroponics. Let’s start with aquaponics’ unique barriers to entry.

Nonstarters

The first two tradeoffs with aquaponics are existential. The inability to overcome these first two tradeoffs will make it highly unly the aquaponic farm will get off the ground.

Lack of off-the-shelf systems and expertise. If you want to be a commercial hydroponics operator, there are dozens of top-notch hydroponic design and consulting firms who can construct turnkey, state-of-the-art hydroponic farms anywhere in the world and even bring in an experienced grower to run the operation.

If you’re a hobbyist, you can buy an off the shelf hydroponic system, along with the hydroponic bible, Howard Resh’sHydroponic Food Production, and get yourself 80% of the way there (it’s great — aquaponic hobbyists should buy it too and get themselves 50% of the way there).

In short, hydroponic education and expertise is accessible.

In aquaponics, while there are experts who have designed large scale commercial operations, these experts are few and far between. Scaling an aquaponic farm relies on finding these people, most of whom are not in the US.

On the education front, while there are books on aquaponics, the true leaders of the movement are PhD-level researchers who have published narrowly focused academic papers as opposed to accessible, comprehensive, authoritative guidebooks.

It’s on operators to find the right people, design a stable system, and implement a comprehensive operating plan.

Keeping the fish and plants healthy, at the same time. This is a big one.

Each piece of the aquaponic ecosystem — the fish that supply manure, the bacteria that break down the manure into nutrients that are bioavailable to the plants, and the plants that absorb those nutrients and drive revenue — requires slightly different environmental conditions. Optimizing for plant health, as a result, requires monitoring three different systems as opposed to one.

Even if you were to install a well-designed aquaponic system and manage the operational tradeoffs, black swan events happen. If the fish develop an infection, if you develop a fly infestation, or if pythium (a common fungus that wreaks havoc on plants) takes root, the standard remedies of antibiotics for fish or toxic pesticides for crops won’t cut it in a traditional aquaponic design.

Your production is entirely dependent on maintaining a healthy ecosystem and plant microbiome. When you kill the bad microbes through antibiotics or pesticides, they tend to kill the good microbes too.

Most pesticides, even organic ones, are not “fish safe” — fish are particularly chemical sensitive. For aquaponic farmers, the ecological approach to farming doesn’t just apply when yields are steady.

It applies 24/7, 365 days a year, barring traditional, toxic, pesticidal approaches to solving these problems.

All that said, hydroponic and aquaponic operations are converging towards similar operating constraints due to technology improvements and consumer demand. One of the most sought after labels in produce is “pesticide free”.

As a result, many of the latest generation of hydroponic operators have taken up the label, limiting themselves to the same biological and ecological remedies aquaponic operators are inherently restricted too.

At the same time, “decoupled” aquaponic systems, where water only flows in one direction — from the fish to the plants (and not back again) — are growing in popularity due to their ability to treat the plants without worrying about the effect on fish. The result is the ability to use the same plant treatments as a traditional hydroponic facility.

Luckily for all camps, there are plenty of ways to remedy these issues in pesticide free facilities that are more cost effective than traditional approaches. In indoor farms especially, the incidence of most issues can be reduced through rigorous standard operating procedures for both day to day practices and early detection of and response to ecological stress.

If you’re confident that you have the expertise to design a stable aquaponic system and to handle both the operating basics and ecological considerations during black swan events, then it’s worth digging into the operating costs of aquaponics and hydroponics.

Comparing operating costs

There are certain added costs associated with aquaponics — there’s no free lunch, so growing all those fish has to be accounted for somewhere. For aquaponics to be a better business than hydroponics, the added costs must be compensated for by either higher throughput of salad greens or fish.

In our previous blog post, we showed how aquaponics can achieve higher throughput than hydroponics. In this analysis, assuming fish are never sold, we show that throughput needs to be ~2% higher in order for aquaponics to beat hydroponics on cost, which is well within aquaponics’ potential.

We have put these tradeoffs in a spreadsheet for a more convenient comparison. You can see the spreadsheet here, while reading below for context. The numbers here are not reflective of Edenworks’ designs and projections.

 We’re basically asking “if we ran our competitor’s farms aquaponically instead of hydroponically, what would the business look ?” For example, Gotham Greens projected an EBITDA for their first facility at “greater than 15%,” and so we’ve targeted a 15% EBITDA margin for the hydroponic facility, then made a few changes industry-standard assumptions to back out the aquaponic cost analysis.

Source: https://www.igrow.news/igrownews/seqhklxrf2br18b2p8mrauweg9rwn3

2020 EXPO

iGrow blog part 2

iGrow Girl is here to encourage girls to learn who they are and be fearless in being the best authentic versions of themselves.

After raising two daughters of her own, Karen Howard Lee, founder of iGrow Girl and author of It’s Good for a Girl to Know Who She Is, recognized a distinct struggle among tween girls. The culture, the media, and everyone else constantly tell girls who they should be, how they should act, and what they should .

In the midst of all the noise, when do girls step onto the life-long path of exploring and deciding for themselves who they will be? When does a girl begin to learn who she is (her personality, s, diss, gifts and talents) without the outside influences? iGrow Girl believes that time is NOW, which is why we’re dedicated to providing workshops, workbooks, and other tools that are aimed at nurturing girls’ self-discovery, health, and wellness, and encouraging strong mother/daughter relationships.

Here’s what that looks :   

Lots of exhibitors and speakers who offer mental/emotional and physical health and wellness services and resources for girls and their families. Giveaways, prizes, live performances by local girl troupes, fun photo booth and more. Food available for purchase.

We're planning two major content components: 

  1. Exhibitors in the areas of sports, fitness, nutrition, healthy habits and lifestyle, stress relief, mindfulness, creativity, healthy relationships, and healthy online habits.

  2. Open Space sessions that consist of informal panel discussions in an open setting. The sessions will be enlightening, but also short, sweet and interactive to keep the tweens moving. Open space sessions give presenters a chance to engage with girls and their families.

Our Panelists are fierce professional women who are passionate about their work with kids and families: 

Panelists:  

Grizelda M. Anguiano, MD, PLAY Awareness and Mind Works

Kristen McKenney Baggett, Executive Director, Yoga Day

Shannon A. Garcia, MDS, RD, LD, KISS In The Kitchen

Ann-Louise T. Lockhart, PsyD, ABPP, A New Day Pediatric Psychology

Sheena Solitaire, Director of Gallery Programs, The DoSeum

Michelle Storandt, MD, Acorn Pediatrics of San Antonio

Performances by:

San Antonio Ballet School, Dancers under the direction of Danielle Campbell Steans

All are welcome. We expect families from surrounding neighborhoods and throughout San Antonio. The focus is on tween girls, and there will be something special for every girl and the people who love them! 

Blog

iGrow blog part 2

Tissue analysis is an important tool in helping to understand exactly what is happening in your plants.

As the year winds towards an end, many crops have potentially been in the greenhouse for several months (northern tomato and cucumber growers), and it is best to finish the year strong.

From a nutrient perspective, the best way to help and understand your plants is through tissue analysis. Tissue analysis can be thought of as a snapshot of the plant's health at any given time.

Having a firm understanding of what is going into your plants and what is coming your plants is one of the most powerful, practical, yet often overlooked tools that can be used to achieving a healthy harvest.

With this knowledge you can diagnose, treat and understand plant health issues often days before plant symptoms arrive. You can also fine tune your water and nutrient management to be as economically and ecologically responsible as possible.

What is leachate?

You might be familiar with terms such as bolting or cutting as it relates to horticulture, but what about apical dominance or GDD? We’re breaking down some common, and maybe uncommon terminology we think you should know.

CropKing hydroponic systems can be placed into two broad categories: drain-to-waste and recirculating. A drain-to-waste system delivers a nutrient solution to the crops and the “run-off” is expelled.

Sometimes these systems are also referred to as “feed to waste” systems.

In comparison, a recirculating system delivers a nutrient solution to the crops and the “run-off” is returned back to the reservoir to be fed to the crops again.

In the second part of the spray series, we’re covering sprayer calibration. Hopefully this is something that you’re already in the practice of doing periodically and this topic is a refresher for all. In this article, we’ll cover some key steps in the calibration process.

Always remember to follow the manufactures guide and recommendations for the calibration process!

Spring is in the air, which means it's spray season here at CropKing! In order to combat pests, disease causing microbes and other “invaders”, we use a sprayer to apply chemicals and protect the plants we are caring for.

From handheld, to air-assisted sprayers or foggers, there are many options and lots of information to consider when purchasing. This series will help both the seasoned and novice grower with help spraying.

First, lets discuss some of the types of sprayers that are available for growers.

Ralf du Toit grew up in South Africa and served in the military, where service was required, until 1989. He was injured, and in 1989 and 1990, ended up working on a hydroponic farm. “It was a rose grower who developed different rose varieties with hydroponic systems — and that’s where I learned about hydroponics,” he says.

Growing indoors can be a fulfilling endeavor that utilizes an existing building or room. Many non-greenhouse structures are insulated, offer protection from the outdoor environment, and can be modified to suit many crops. Growing indoors and growing in a greenhouse share many aspects, however indoor operations present unique considerations.

Lighting

Microgreens offer a wide variety of choices in taste, texture, and even color. Growers can find success by adding an extra step or otherwise increasing their knowledge on microgreen growing. Below is a round-up of 7 different colorful varieties.

Children in and around Akron, Ohio, could help develop systems that could one day be used to grow food on Mars, upload blueprints for “food computers” and grow produce for wholesale and food pantries.

It’s all part of the studies they’re undertaking with the Salvation Army Summit County Area Services (SCAS), which opened Fresh Face Farm, an indoor growing facility, at its Akron Fort Romig location in January 2018.

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Source: https://www.cropking.com/blog

A dozen directives for investing in property – Part 2 – IGrow Wealth Investments

iGrow blog part 2

Last week we examined some of the things investors should avoid or be wary of when considering starting an investment in real estate. In this, the second part of IGrow’s article on the dos and don’ts of property investing we will consider the things investors should do:

The property market is cyclical and largely driven by the economy and market sentiment. With this in mind, it’s important to not get over-enthusiastic during a market boom, nor get too despondent during a property slump.

Emotions – particularly with regard to things the property market – tend to be counterintuitive: people tend to be pessimistic when the market dips, thanks largely to the media spreading messages of doom and gloom.

  But this is what’s known as a buyers’ market for a reason – you can secure some excellent deals during these slumps, and really maximise the return on your investment over the years to follow.

Conversely, people are optimistic when the cycle is booming, at a time when one should proceed with caution.

Take advantage of these cycles in the market and use it as an opportunity to grow your portfolio and ultimately your future wealth.

  1. It’s as much about money as it is about property

Over recent years the banks in SA have been getting a bit more cautious about credit, and scrutinise those who apply for financing more now than in the past. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it means you need to put the work in too. If you can’t get more financing, then you can’t buy more properties and expand your portfolio.

  The best bet is to make use of a professional team of expert property investors who only have A-grade investment properties on their books – helping to ensure your property is as successful as it can be. Professional bond originators are also able to guide you through the process of acquiring a home loan to secure your investment property.

  1. Different areas have different markets

While people talk about ‘the property market’ it is important to realise that within one country there are thousands of different submarkets.

Each province not only has property that is performing differently, but one can narrow that even further to not only cities and suburbs but different pockets of areas within these.

Each province the markets are segmented by geography, price points and type of property, and each province is at its own stage of its property cycle.

For example, Parklands on the West Coast of Cape Town is enjoying fantastic development and there is keen interest from buyers and renters a, making this a wonderful area for investors to buy in right now.

  1. Only a fraction of properties can be considered “investment grade”

Less than 2% of properties on the market in SA are suitable for investment purposes.

Investment-grade properties must, among other things:

  • Appeal to a wide range of high-calibre tenants.
  • Be in the right area.
  • Be sought-after – demand tends to outstrip supply in these areas.
  • Be secure.

For more information on selecting the right type of property for your investment watch Jacques Fouché’s video on how to select the right investment property by clicking here.  (http://igrow.co.za/how-to-select-the-right-investment-property/)

You need to have a system that works regardless of the market conditions. The best approach is to strategically follow a system to remove all emotion from property investment decisions and avoid speculation to be able to realise a steady profit while minimising risk.

  1. Money won’t make you wealthy

It sounds counterintuitive, but stop and think about it. The true wealth of your portfolio lies in the value of the assets – the capital appreciation of the properties themselves – rather than the short-term cash created by rental income. Besides, this money is used to pay off the property and, for the first few years at least, is unly to generate much, if any, real profit.

To begin or expand your property portfolio, call IGrow Wealth Investments and ask to talk to one of our skilled property investment strategists.

Cape Town: 021 979 2501

Durban: 031 110 0817

Pretoria: 012 943 0201

Source: https://igrow.co.za/a-dozen-directives-for-investing-in-property-part-2/