Note: The first draft of the Operations Guide is worth writing early in the design process. Why is that? Because one of our prime requirements for the system is “easy and fast to operate”. Writing the guide now helps us think about what tasks we have to make “easy and fast”.
This guide describes the operation and maintenance of the MakerMade Grow System. The guide contains these sections:
Follow these steps to assemble and test your new MakerMade Grow System:
- Make sure all the parts are present. Compare what you have to the assembly diagram below, and insure that everything you need is present. If not contact ___TBD___.
- Rest of setup steps go here.
There are three types of operations activities, consisting of a) plant care and harvesting, b) nutrient management, and c) maintenance tasks.
Plant care consists of these activities:
|Germinate new seedlings||As needed||New seedlings ready to go as product is harvested|
|Install seedlings into tower||As needed||Seedlings installed into tower, and successfully accessing nutrients|
|Harvest||As needed||Get great food|
|Groom||every 2 days||Dead or diseased leaves removed|
|Scan for and address insect or disease problems||every 2 days||Problems identified early and treated immediately|
|Scan for and address nutrient management problems||every 2 days||All plants getting proper nutrition. No evidence of wilting or nutrient imbalance|
Nutrient management consists of these activities:
|Test nutrient solution for proper content and acidity||every 2 days||Nutrient solution has proper ingredients in proper proportions|
|Top up nutrient reservoir||weekly||Reservoir tank is full of nutrient solution|
|Prepare more nutrient concentrate||as needed||Ready supply of nutrient concentrate|
|Replace nutrient solution||every 3 weeks||Nutrient solution totally replaced with clean, algae- and bacteria-free solution. See the Replace Nutrient Solution Guide (TBD) for more detail.|
Maintenance consists of these activities:
|Check nutrient flow||weekly||Insure that each tower is getting its share of nutrient flow, and that the pipes and manifolds are not clogged|
|Check pump health||weekly||Insure that the pump isn’t struggling. See the Pump Diagnostics Guide (TBD) for more detail.|
|Check for leaks||weekly||Glance over the system to insure that there are no leaks|
|System Disinfection||every 6 months||Thoroughly clean and disinfect the entire system. See the System Disinfection Guide (TBD) for more detail.|
When it comes time to move or temporarily suspend operations on your MakerMade Growing system, follow these steps:
- Turn the system off, and disconnect the power cord
- Wait one hour for all nutrients in the system to flow to the reservoir
- Drain the nutrient reservoir completely
- Disinfect the system. See the System Disinfection Guide for details
- Disassemble the system. Follow the assembly guide, only in reverse order
- Pack the parts together in a box, label the box, and store the box safely