How to set up your Home Harvest Farm
Safety and Protection
Protect your hands – Always wear protective gloves when assembling, handling or moving the Home Harvest Farm.
Secure the End Pieces – When moving or filling the troughs always assure that the end pieces are taped into place with an easily removable tape.
Protecting the floor – Assure that the floor beneath the Home Harvest Farms is always protected from water, soil, nutrients and plant matter.
Avoid excessive watering – Do not over water the plants. Good quality soil will act as a sponge and when watered from the surface, water will rarely drip from the trays. Food grade silicon sealant can be purchased from Home Harvest Farms. When properly applied, this sealant will further reduce the likelihood that water will escape from the troughs under normal use. If you have cause for concern about the floor surface below the Home Harvest Farm be sure to protect the floor using a rigid or non-rigid drip tray. The Home Harvest Farm troughs were not designed to be 100% waterproof.
Manage Humidity – Growing plants indoors can lead to an increase in humidity inside a building. This is most pronounced during the Spring and Fall months. If you notice signs of excessive moisture (mold, dampness), use an exhaust fan to exchange air between inside and out. Many homes have bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans and these will work well if they exhaust air to the outside (Some exhaust fans are installed in a way that circulates the indoor air without exhausting any of it. Circulating the air will not reduce humidity.) Fans can be operated up to about 8 hours in a day and can be controlled using a timer.
Lift with care – When they’re full, the troughs can be quite heavy. Lift them with care and get assistance when appropriate.
Avoid automated watering systems inside - Like all automated system, watering systems can fail and when this occurs indoors, severe damage to the building could result. Home Harvest Farms recommends hand watering for units that are indoors.
Breathe deeply and enjoy the process – Growing food can be challenging and it can be deeply gratifying, relaxing and educational. Being a member of Home Harvest Farms, gives you access to expert and peer support. Share what you’ve learned with other HHF farmers.
Assembling your home harvest farm
Vertical Frame components x 2
Horizontal Connector Pieces x 3
Stepped supports for the troughs x 2
Small Wheels x 2
Large Wheels x 2
End caps with drainage holes.
The other kind of end caps – without drainage holes.
Attaching the wheels
Using the 8 smallest screws and nuts, attach the smaller wheels to the bottom rear of the vertical frame components. If you need help visualizing the Home Harvest Farm, review the video above. The nuts should be below the frame on the same side as the wheels and the heads of the stainless steel screws should be visible when looking down at the HHF.
The top of the HHF slopes down from back (higher) to front (lower). It has been designed to allow snow to slide off a rigid cover in winter if the HHF is used in these conditions and has holes drilled in the top for securing lights or for attaching supports for the plants.
Set aside the 12 longest screws for later and use the remaining 8 screws to connect the larger wheels to the bottom front of the vertical frame components.
Assembling the Frame
Using the 12 longest screws and the larger locknuts, attach the 3 horizontal connector pieces to the vertical frame components.
Avoid final tightening of the screws and nuts until they’ve all been inserted and lightly hand tightened and after the structure is aligned to your satisfaction.
Assuring that the nicest looking surfaces face outwards, insert the stepped supports for the troughs into the slots in the vertical frame components as demonstrated in the video.
Assembling the troughs
If the troughs have small holes punched on the upper lip, assure that these are on the same side when assembling.
These holes are for use with a theft deterrent cable (not currently available).
Wear gloves when installing the end caps in particular.
Follow the instructions on the video for installing the end caps.
Silicon sealant is not required but can reduce some leakage around the end caps.
Assure that the bottom of the troughs sit in the bottom of the end caps. This may require a small amount of force because of the close fit.
Before filling the troughs or moving them, hold the end caps in place with some masking tape or some other tape. Whenever the HHF is moved more than a few inches, we recommend taping the end caps. The end caps have been designed with ease of cleaning and with the occasional removal of old soil and plant matter in mind.
Putting it all together
Place the troughs on the stepped supports and adjust the system so that it looks well aligned. Assure that the tongues on the stepped supports protrude at least half an inch beyond the rear of the frame – the frame may flex while being moved and caution must be taken to prevent these supports from becoming disengaged. The front wheels are larger than the rear wheels making it harder for these components to disengage.
Insert the black perforated half pipes into the troughs so that the edges contact the bottom of the troughs. These pipes create a drainage and air space below the soil. Cut three inch sections of the clear tube and attach them to the centre arm of the plastic barbed Tees. Insert these tubes into the holes in the trough end caps.
Cut sections of clear tubing to length to connect the barbed tee protruding from the centre trough to the tees in the upper and lower troughs. Use the remaining tubing to direct excess water from the troughs to a small container on the floor beneath or beside the HHF. A short section of clear tubing can be added to the upper tee if you’re concerned that water might drip from there onto the floor. This would only occur if the HHF was substantially overwatered.
We’ve made it really easy to attach the lights. Suspend them with the hooks or attach them below the frame with a simple loop:
We’ve included some vinyl straps and buckles with your planter to assure that the end caps stay in place when you’re filling the troughs or moving them. The illustration below shows how to thread the strapping material through the buckles. If the buckle ever breaks, replace it with two robust safety pins threaded in the same way that one would thread the buckle. Curtain rings or key rings would work just as well.
Investing in a Home Harvest Farm is investing in Better Health and Increased Food Security