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The Tryon Technology, Inc. dreams began with multiple ideas in 1989. Among the best and most useful is the long-term expectation to make in Puerto Rico a way to help feed its 3.5+ million population. The exact number is shrinking, as significant numbers of its citizens have chosen to live in Florida, where their U.S. citizenship gives all the right to vote and where eligibility for 'entitlements' is more certain, and is usually able to show higher level of benefits than available in the beautiful home island 1,000 miles SE from Miami.
The concept of an Eco-plantation was partially created to create profitable use of 400 cuerdas (about 380 acres) of prime flat farmland. Its 1/2 mile of protected beach on the island's lee-side from the prevailing winds lets rain coming from the NE get under the 2-3 thousand foot high mountains or down its rivers heading to the South. This desire was initially preparing to help restore zoning value taken away unilaterally by the government in 1998 to show local voters that PR did not want to be covered with concrete! So, industry would not come to the island's South side farmlands that had grown sugarcane almost exclusively for centuries. Remnants of the word Aquaducto remain in both the Spanish name for the Water and Sewer Authority (ASA) and even in current restoration is a vital part that will bring water again to the Sea Island farm and let us avoid pumping down the aquifer that was formerly being filled by flooding the sugarcane lands.
With this surprising introduction, you can now view why Tryon Technology, Inc. chose to invent a way to grow massive amounts of high quality organic fruits and vegetables in PR and why it was seen to be very important to control the very high costs of doing so when all factors of past technology have been shown to be too difficult for farmers to overcome in a way that can compete with very costly imports shipped by mainland sources that manage to profit well even where so much of the captive market pays with food stamps!
Conventional dirt farming on our companion Sea Island, Inc. land is very expensive, because fuel and power are both very costly and because few good pieces of farmland are available at a cost that start-up farmers can afford. The Land Authority and Dept. of Ag need to protect existing farmers from more growers who might produce enough to cause prices to drop from over-supply. Of course, protectionism is a fact-of-life everywhere.
Thus, the Eco-plantation can provide a pathway for many to eat good food by multiplying the many advantages of growing vertically! Not only does it add more space in which plants can not only share the over-abundant sun but create shade too and by using inexpensive tubular steel towers plants which can rotate to let the sun and shade be shared. To avoid high cost of power to help lift plants up one side of the tower and back down, we invented a simple way to use the fertilized water that plants need to also provide the energy to cause rotation using gravity to do the work. Of course, gravity also causes acceleration and to slow to just 4-8"per minute it takes a braking action to avoid high speed. Clever use of hydraulics solves the problem without adding to the need to make or buy power.
If fish are able to grow on adjacent towers then a unique means of extracting liquid and solid waste set the stage for efficient and cheap fertilizer for both tower plants growing hydroponically and dirt plants grown with aged solid waste as fertilizer. However, if growers or fabricators of this high quality food have to be employees subject to myriad acts of Congress to protect them and countless incursions by government inspectors, with or without counter-productive intentions, then what looked to be cost effective is retarded.
Further, costly electrical, water and sewage controls are supported by many of the almost 40% of the population in PR that work for the government- the highest percentage known globally! To avoid the need for vast cost of time and money to obtain permits, ways have been devised to avoid same. By using wind and solar power sources to supply an all d.c. electrical system, a self contained mini-GRID replaced need to put any load on one of the world's most costly a.c. electrical systems known as the AEE (Autoridad de Energia Electrica) that is trying to switch from oil to natural gas for fuel- neither of which is locally close at hand. Wind power towers surround the Sea Island, Inc. farm land. Using typical camp ground sewage via compost-able toilets, and simple water purification equipment to make ground, rain, well, or aquaduct water potable eliminates need to buy bottled water sold all over the island in stores and even on busy city streets at traffic lights.
Yes, all of the ingredients for a successful plan can ultimately put as many as 10,000 vertical towers with three 4' x 4' plant carrier locations on steel tube undercarriages on a rotating pair of chains on towers like the one shown below in place.
The framework shown to the left is able to show the viewer the concept needed to rotate undercarriages as large as the ones shown that are 12' end-to-end. Built now, however, to be available on ten foot modules, it is easy to assemble them as stacked up to 40' high and two bays wide. This, depending on space needed between plants and time needed to grow to harvest on the tower can create prodigious volume of output with multiple crops per year being easy to accomplish because as units are removed, they are replaced.
With such a huge potential to offer to those anxious to feed the people in both Puerto Rico and in the US mainland, we have also discovered how LED lighting has given rise to ways to use our tower technology in insulated enclosures outdoor or inside old and unused warehouses like so many found in both PR and the mainland.
With abundant natural gas available at low cost, heating spaces in protected enclosures close to large markets is already being accomplished in many green house environments.
The costs of heat that also yields CO2 that plants love, as it stimulates superior growing characteristics including better taste in many cases. The use of LED lights that take less energy to run give a cost structure that is lower than the cost of flying in huge loads of product from great distances. It is practical in northern climates.
While we hope that the Eco-plantation will soon be a reality, more important tasks remain and to accomplish them we are turning to a smaller scale approach to building towers and means for low cost production on a scale to feed small groups of church or other organizational configurations like family enclaves, or even typical PR small barrios.
Yes, we hope that you have found everything you want to know about Puerto Rico's Eco-Plantation and its Vertical Farm. Everything is focused on providing high-quality vegetables, small fruits and fish. Year around customer satisfaction with direct farm to your home shipment in small quantities - we will do everything we can to meet your expectations.
With a variety of offerings to choose from, we're sure you'll be happy ordering food or production systems from us when we are in full production. Look around our website and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us. If farm fresh products at competitive prices appeals to you, we will appreciate hearing from you via e-mail to [email protected]
It may take some time for us to announce our first products.
Keep in mind that we also are pioneering use of bamboo to sequester the world's deadly CO2 as it has been determined to be by the EPA and the Supreme Court. Bamboo is also the building material of the future as it is renewable at a much faster rate than any other beautiful woody material.
Its true, our whole operation will not require connection to the electrical GRID or use any carbon based fuel or material! Wind and sun will power all needed recycling pumping of water used in minimal quantity to ship as it is contained in our fruits, vegetables and fish.
We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. There's much more to come!