Back to Back Issues Page
Urban Farmer: CONTEST! * Kits * Tips
April 01, 2013


The Urban Farmer, Issue #056 * HYDROPONICS CONTEST! * Teens Win $50K * Hydro Tip

April, 2013: 


"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust."

        ~Gertrude Jekyll



So how does your garden grow?

We want to see your hydroponics set up. For the next  e-zine, we will feature a garden, picked from among your submissions, to post on the blog and e-zine. If your submission is selected, you will receive a valuable prize! $$$  Cha-ching!  :<)

Submission guidelines: please include 2 to 4 photos of your garden set up. Then, describe how your system works, any parameters you would like to share, what you are growing, successes/failures, etc. (try to include a couple of paragraphs and enough information so that interested parties might even try to duplicate your system).


So get those cameras out and sharpen your pencils......

How to enter? Simply click on this link and submit your entry! At the end, type "contest".  Hydro Pics & Contest.



Two 14-year-olds from Swaziland recently won Scientific American’s inaugural Science in Action award by coming up with a plan to use hydroponics to provide food for their tiny country which is completely surrounded by South Africa.

“Over 80 percent of the vegetables consumed in Swaziland each year are imported from South Africa,” according to a video the two teenagers, Sakhiwe Shongwe and Bonkhe Mahlalela, created about their project. “Forty percent of the population relies on food aid.”


Besides a $50,000 prize and a year of mentoring from Scientific American, the teens will be flown to Google’s California headquarters in July to compete in the Google Science Fair.

In an experiment comparing their biodegradable hydro system to soil cultivation of crops, Shongwe and Mahlalela found hydroponics gave them a 32 percent boost in yield, 180 percent faster plant growth and 114 percent greater profit margin.

Hydroponics uses nutrient rich water to feed plants, so good soil is not needed. Hydro systems can also be built so that they reuse that water, which makes them more efficient than irrigation. One of the main problems with using hydroponics to feed the poor is that often the systems rely on expensive pumps, nutrient mixtures, and other materials.

By using sawdust, chicken manure, and cardboard cartons the young Swazis found a way around the cost barrier.





Hydro Tip of the Month-  Still bewildered by all the Hydro Hoopla? Are you a  kit person? Would you are rather have all of the pieces of the puzzle and step-by-step directions to get you started? Check out our  Kit Page.

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of The Urban Farmer Ezine. Each month, we will bring you another inspiring photo, gardening quote or idea, plus fresh new hydroponics news, techniques & products.

Insiders tips to get you growing...


~Stella and Simon from Hydroponics-Simplified.

Back to Back Issues Page