Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Hydroponics Putting Down Its Roots in Moorhead

Culture | November 23rd, 2023

By John Showalter 

john.d.showalter@gmail.com

photo by Logan Macrae

Anyone who lives in the Fargo-Moorhead area knows that its yearly weather is a sequence of extremes. It feels like more often than not, springs and autumns are barely there while summers drag on with oppressive heat and stifling humidity and winters with bitter cold and copious amounts of snow. The ideal window for those with green thumbs to tend their gardens can be very small indeed.

Of course, owning a fully operational greenhouse is off the table for most people. Compared to that option, hydroponics is far more financially approachable. Roots Hydroponics, recently founded by owner Logan Macrae in Moorhead, seeks to provide the information and supplies for enterprising gardeners to begin practicing hydroponics themselves.

First of all, what are hydroponics? According to Macrae, it is a blanket term for growing plants indoors using a soilless medium. Not only does this refer to growing plants with their roots suspended in water, but also plants that are grown with the roots in substrates like peat and shredded coco fibers. Roots provides the equipment and materials necessary for the latter method, as the former is more costly and difficult.

Why not just use good old-fashioned pots and soil? “You know exactly what will go into your plants,” said Macrae. The nutritional value of soil is depleted over time. A classic example in farming is the practice of crop rotation. Corn is notorious for draining nitrogen out of the soil, so farmers will plant a different crop such as soybeans in the same plot the next year in order to sequester nitrogen back into the soil, then switch off again the year after that. This sort of practice is unnecessary with hydroponics, as it uses water-based mineral nutrient solutions.

Hydroponics also allows practitioners to not be limited by the climate where they live, as mentioned earlier. With a traditional outdoor garden, a prospective gardener will likely only complete one growth cycle with their plants before the weather becomes inhospitable again. With even a simple hydroponics setup, plants can accomplish several growth cycles over the course of a year. No doubt this is the reason for Roots’ motto, “We help you grow, even when there’s snow.”

Along with various brands of nutrients, differing hydroponics mediums, pots and trays, pH testers, etc., Roots also sells AC Infinity hydroponics tents. A tent (which includes a filter, a circulatory fan, a light, and a timer) costs under $600 and can be kept outside or easily fit indoors. Any number of crops can be grown in this setup, from the nasturtiums and tomatoes that the store has growing in it as a proof of concept, to microgreens and herbs. These aren’t Macrae’s primary focus however. The purpose of Roots is “primarily to support the cannabis industry,” said Macrae. “It’s the new beer brewing.”

Recently, Minnesota legalized the growth and recreational usage of cannabis. However, outside of two recreational dispensaries located on tribal land, most businesses are not expected to start selling it until 2025 as the state sets up a licensing and regulatory system. A hydroponics garden allows someone to produce their own cannabis and exercise a large degree of self-sufficiency. This is the case for both medicinal and recreational usage. “It allows people to be self-sufficient with their medical system,” said Macrae. In fact, he has been cultivating his own medicinal strain to help with his neuropathy.

“We have lots of up-and-coming growers in the area,” said Macrae, and he hopes that his business can play a part in removing the stigma surrounding cannabis use by helping create a sense of community. “If you give a man some smoke, he smokes for a day. If you teach a man to grow his own, he smokes for a lifetime,” quipped Macrae. Roots even has an in-store event every Saturday at 10:30 AM called “Cannabis and Coffee” and plans to start classes about hydroponics this month.

Prior to starting Roots, Macrae graduated with a Bachelor of University Studies focused in art photography and media management from NDSU. He applied his skills to a laundry list of jobs, from ad sales at the High Plains Reader, to professional photography, to creating multimedia content for Hot Springs Spas and Pool Tables, to name a few.

He puts those skills to practice now managing the internet and social media presence for Roots. It was only a matter of time before he owned his own business. “I was bred into it,” said Macrae. His grandfather owned a service station called Marv’s 7th Street Standard for 37 years, and he regularly helped his grandmother with the bookkeeping when growing up.

Roots started planting in June, and recently opened, on September 8th. For more information, you can visit their site at www.rootshydromn.com and follow them on all major social media platforms. 

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.edu Gerald Briggs, the Warren County Mississippi Fire/EMS chief, was at a festival in February 2020 when a local law enforcement officer asked him if he had heard about the explosion…

By Michael M. Millermichael.miller@ndsu.edu Dwight Herr interviewed his father, Julius E. Herr of Wishek, North Dakota, in June 1979. Dwight provided a transcription and donated the “Life Story of Julius E. Herr” to the Germans…

Saturday, March 1611 a.m.Downtown FargoWear something green and celebrate spring during Fargo-Moorhead’s premier parade. Thousands of spectators line the streets, so arrive early to snag a prime spot. This community celebration…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com When one googles “What traits are desirable in a new employee,” some of the first words that pop up “from sources around the web” include “communication,” “team player,”…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comPoliticians could learn a lot by watching dung beetles work for a livingThe 400,000 species of beetles is the largest order of insects discovered on Planet Earth, so far. Insect researchers believe…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

The Aquarium, 226 Broadway North upstairs, Downtown FargoFriday, December 8, 7:30-11pmDoors 7:30 pm // Music 8 pm21+ // $10 advance // $12 DOSOver two decades, Christmas songs have appeared throughout Owen Ashworth’s recorded…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the pursuit of knowledge has directed humankind to new horizons – the ocean depths, the infinite reach of space, and the hidden secrets of cells and microbes…or to Artificial Intelligence, which…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Faye Seidlerfayeseidler@gmail.com On the first day of the month I ask people to thank a journalist they know or someone who contributes to papers in some meaningful way. When I grew up, my best friend's father was a journalist…