In 2005, I became interested in hydroponics. I had owned a bagel shop for 8 years, and when I sold it I had some money to invest in a new business. I decided on a hydroponic greenhouse. Unfortunately I hired a terrible consultant, and he had me set it up indoors in a warehouse. Sixty growlights and twelve enormous electricity bills later, I managed to get a huge loan and move the whole operation to The Dalles, Oregon, into a beautiful 3000 sq foot greenhouse right next to the Columbia River. I also met Ron (now my husband) who became my business partner.
The first few years in the greenhouse we called “Error and Error.” There was no trial, just one mistake after the next. Aphids, loopers, thrips, root rot, fusarium, botrytis…they all found us. Luckily, we were able to learn from all these terrible things. Along the way we found the most amazing grocery stores, Whole Foods Market and Rosauers, who were willing to stand by us through all our problems. They are still our main buyers, along with a few other fabulous grocery stores.
This is our twelth year in business and we feel pretty good about how things are going. We harvested 2.5 TONS of basil last summer! This year I am interested in trying to make a basil essential oil and add it to lotion, shampoo, etc. I would love to capture the amazing smell of basil into little bottles.
We would love to hear from you with any questions about basil or hydroponics.
Meredith, Ron and Ricky (the basil dog)