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Every page has a link back to the tracking system home page (Main Tools Menu) and also a page specific help link (including the main page). The help system is still under construction and some text may be a bit outdated with recent upgrades to the program, so please make allowances. Also note that user tracking is done with cookies, so if you do not allow cookies, the program will not function.
A more detailed description of the programs capabilities is given below. Feel free to Contact me with any questions or comments. Have a great day!
It also has available a page for your customers that can show what crops you have growing and their expected maturity date, if you wish. The only link to that page is on the main page and is labeled 'Customer Pages', but the expectation is that you would have that page linked from your own farm's website for your customer's use.
The main page can show a current snapshot from your farm and a smaller version embedded at the top of your customer's page. Clicking on either of those snapshots (tool Menu page or Customer page) will show a number of past snapshots that you or your customer can browse.
The main page can also show current temperatures and pH of your greenhouses or water system, along with the ability to show graphs of each of those over any timeframe. The main page of the program is showing a current pic from my Aqua house, air temperatures in and out, water temperatures (averaged between troughs and fish tanks) and pH. It also shows the date and time of the last snapshot or sensor readings. The sensor values also link to graphs of current and past data. Of course the actual hardware for those sensors, and the setup to ftp them to this site would be your responsibility (although I can give you details of how I manage my data).
-- Note that the Eval (demo) program already has many vendors, products, etc. so nothing needs to be set up or entered to use the demo. You might want to open another window with the demo program in place and logged in, to step through the examples given below. Or just wander around on your own with a second window showing the help for the page you are using.
To use the program, and before tracking any crops, you first have to add at least one vendor which is a supplier of your seeds/starts ... and it can also be your own farm, of course if you save your own seeds for instance. Once you have entered a vendor, you then enter the products you acquire from that vendor. As an example, one of my main vendors is Wild Garden Seeds in Philomath, Oregon. I buy a variety of seeds from them including Red Ruffled Kale, which is product number 33, for my system. If you click on the Main page link labeled 'Show' under the "Products' heading, you will see a list of all of the products I've bought for my farm. That listing shows the product number, group (such as Basil), name (variety), expected days to maturity, date aquired, year for which it was intended, a link to a picture if available, whether it is Open Pollinated, Heirloom, etc., whether it is still in use or obsolete, and finally, the vendor name.
After the initial setup, you can record a crop start. Click the 'Start' link at the top of the menu items under 'Crops'. Select the crop from the dropdown ... it shows ALL products you have entered and that are not marked as obsolete. After selecting one and continuing, you can enter the quantity started, date (if not today), process (such as 4" pots or foamed glass beads), and location (main greenhouse, potting shed, residence, etc). Any number of processes and locations can be added for your particular situation.
The programs assumes several general steps or stages every farm / sytem will go through to produce a crop. Namely, germination or starting the crop, one or more transplants, one or more harvests, one or more moves into stock (think cooler) and finally sales. The top menu section labeled 'Crops' displays those steps: 'Start', 'Transplant', 'Harvest', 'Stock' and 'Sale'. You can step through them sequentially to get a better understanding of the tracking capabilities.
When transplanting you can have one or many transplant processes, such as transplanting into 1" blue board floats with 2" holes and 2" grow grips. You can split the started crop and transplant only part of them, transplanting the rest at another time or with a different process.
When harvesting you have a dropdown of all currently growing crops from which to choose. You can also mark the harvest to remove the plants, or harvest and continue growing them. You can add the weight of each crop to allow you to estimate future production or income.
When stocking crops you can combine any number of crops (such as four varieties of Lettuce and two varieties of Kale) into the same container. You can have any number of different types of containers such as bags, clamshells, boxes, or bins. You can stock using any of four methods. You can stock by weight: such as 50 bags made up of four varieties of lettuce each weighing 6 ounce bags. You can stock by count: such as 20 hanging baskets, each made up of six varieties of flowers. You can stock by volume: such as 10 baddies each consisting of two fluid ounces of seeds. And finally, you can also stock by size: such as 24, four inch pots.
When selling crops, they are selected from the stock you have available. If a crop has not yet been put in stock, it is not yet available to sell. You can have any number of customers in the database. The last prices charged to each customer is saved in the database to fill in the sale page, but can readily be overwritten with any values you choose. A default discount is also saved for each customer. That can be useful to easily discount retail prices for a large customer. All items in stock can be sold to a customer, can be trashed for any reason (such as wilting or mis-handling), can be donated to any type of charity, or can be sampled (given away as a sample to potential customers) to allow every item to be tracked.
There are a nuber of other useful routines in the program:
There is a Planting Guide that will help you decide which varieties to start using historical data on growth rates. It shows the percentage of each crop group (such as lettuce, basil) that is currently started and transplanted. It then estimates when the current crops will be harvested (using historical data first, product days to maturity second) to show how many more starts you will need within a week, two weeks and three weeks to keep the same ratios as currently exist.
You can estimate your monthly income by group (such as lettuce) using the best growing varieties (weight gain per day). You can alter the number of plants growing at one time (for instance my Aqua house can fit no more than 1024 plants at onece), the size of the containers they are put into (such a six ounce bags), and the price you get per bag to calculate any number of what-if scenarios. The weight per day data is taken from your crop history.
You can list all items in stock. You can display all weight per day values in order. You can do an inventory of your currently growing crops to make sure the program and your actual production are in sync. Of c ourse you can edit or delete transactions or complete crop histories. You can add pictures for your crops or get a display of all crops that are missing pictures. With your profile you can change settings such as name, password, farm name, screen colors, etc. And you can download all of your data to date (in database format) at any time for backup, or if you no longer wish to use the program.