Hello fellow revelers,
Just wanted to share a recent post from a fellow gardening blog, Gardening in the Boroughs of NYC. I met the author at the recent Big BK Seed, Etc., Exchange. I love this description of how she went to a lecture on hydroponic farming, which was informative but only served to even further pique her curiosity on the subject. Instead of setting down her pen and checking off the lecture as another thing done on her list of to-dos, she dug in deeper, and farmed for a way to learn more. She wound up with an internship to learn the deeper ins and outs of hydroponic farming with Boswyck Farms of Bushwick.
The post is a good reminder of the virtue in each of us, individually and collectively, to roll up our sleeves, dig in the dirt, learn the earth and its resources, explore new methods of doing, telling what we’ve learned and sharing, to the best of ability, our means to do more with less.
Revel reading, y’all!
Thanks for the nice write up! I’m learning a lot about hydroponics. I hope to build a system in my house one day!
I never thought of a hydroponics system being set up vertically rather than spread out horizontally. I guess the few pictures I’ve seen were built on a single level. On the blog someone mentioned the cost of human labor and materials to build and run the setup, but I guess they didn’t realize that pretty much everything comes at a price. The real question is does the value of the output exceed what’s put in. Always fresh, chemical free food available for picking as needed sounds like hydroponics is worth the investment. The 50 cents cost per head of lettuce mentioned in the blog sounds quite reasonable.
There is a method related to hydroponics called aquaponics. This method circulates water though the plants in a growth medium, then through an appropriate sized fish tank. It is a bit more involved. The fish produce waste which is broken down in a bed by bacteria into nutrition for the plants. This eliminates the cost of nutritional supplements used in hydroponics, and adds the value of also supplying a steady supply of fresh edible fish. There are guidelines available as to how big a fish tank is needed to support how many plants. There are a number of podcasts about aquaponics I have heard. If anyone is interested I can post a few links.
With either system a longer termed savings can be made by powering the setup off solar or another alternative energy source. The power grid can be used as a backup in case of too many sunless days.
With storms getting more common and big swings between dry and wet weather, a controlled indoor setup such as hydroponics may be making a lot more sense in the years to come.