Yet Telluride new-business owner Scotty Abrahams has brightened locals’ prospects for cultivating their own indoor edibles with the recent opening of his new business, Telluride Hydroponics and Organics.
“You can grow large amounts of food in small areas with minimal energy consumption,” Abrahams pledges, acknowledging the mature science of hydroponics as the means by which even snow-bound Telluride locals can embark upon a more sustainable path.
Hydroponics is a decades-old growing technique that utilizes mineral nutrient-enhanced water, instead of soil, to grow plants. This method allows growers to grow in a variety of different settings (like indoors) as well as the ability to produce significant yields (in smaller spaces).
Abrahams’ Ilium Business Park store is equipped with all the necessary equipment, from growing lights and ready-to-grow hydroponics systems to nutrients and growing mediums. The 330 square-foot space is also home to a working model of the kind of edible plant cultivation system Abrahams is promoting: There are enough young basil plants growing along one wall of Telluride Hydroponics’ storefront to flavor a massive pasta dinner.
“The demand for locally grown vegetables is huge,” Abrahams says of his basil-growing operation, which he sees as a first step in helping provide local kitchens (especially restaurants) with the freshest locally cultivated products available. The biggest benefit to growing hydroponic herbs and other products to distribute locally, aside from reducing consumers’ carbon footprint, is their flavor superiority. A hydroponically grown basil plant can actually be sold with its roots intact, enabling that plant to maintain its just-picked flavor for much longer than its conventionally grown contemporaries.
“This basil will stay fresh for twice, even three times as long” as a bunch of basil bought in the store, Abrahams says, lifting one of his tender green basil plants – with roots attached – from its balmy home beneath the grow lights.
Abrahams is a Culinary Arts School graduate for who growing hydroponically has been a longtime hobby, and since moving to the area in 1998, he has noticed a dire lack of local or even regional suppliers of hydroponics equipment.
With the medical marijuana industry seeing its recent upsurge, Abrahams realized a niche would need to be filled locally.
“We welcome all legally registered medical marijuana patients, caregivers, and legally licensed dispensaries,” he says, noting that response to Telluride Hydroponics’ opening in November has been “as good as I could have asked.”
Demand has been so high, in fact, that Abrahams has secured a location in Montrose to open a new storefront, called Colorado Hydroponics and Organics. That space is slated to open mid-March.
The new, larger space will enable the Telluride-born company to provide even more hydroponics products at lower prices, Abrahams says, while continuing to advance the company mission; that is, to provide an outlet of information and equipment for those wishing to create more sustainable practices.
“It’s all based on sustainability; in the simplest terms, there is nothing more sustainable than growing your own,” Abrahams says.
In addition to Telluride Hydroponics’ ample array of equipment for the established hydroponics grower, Abrahams can also provide consulting for novices. The bottom line, he says about hydroponics growing, is that it isn’t rocket science.
“It’s easy,” he admits. “Overall, these systems are designed to help you keep it simple.”
Telluride Hydroponics and Organics is located 714 South Park Dr., Unit E, in Ilium. Winter store hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday is by appointment only.
For more information, contact Abrahams at Telluride Hydroponics at 888-340-8854 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The company website, www.coloradohydro.com, will be on-line soon.