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Urban Farmer: High-Tech Hydro * Tips
June 03, 2013


The Urban Farmer, Issue #058 * Hi Tech Hydro* Hydro Tip

June, 2013: 


"The best fertilizer is the gardeners shadow."


Zero-gravity gardening takes urban veggies for a spin

Would-be urban farmers have found some very creative ways to create gardening space out of nothing. But no rooftop farm or vertical garden recreates the zero-gravity environment of a space ship the way the Green Wheel does. The Green Wheel gardening concept by Italian design firm DesignLibero quite literally turns the traditional hydroponic system on its head.

The device’s outer case is stationary, hiding an engine that rotates an inner ring, similar to a front loading washing machine. Inside, a water reservoir and a pump provide automatic irrigation to vase-like containers full of coco fiber, which would be located in the perforated inner wheel. Full-spectrum lighting is provided by a tube-shaped LED fixture, suspended in the middle of the ring.

Because the designers anticipate that the Green Wheel will be most attractive to urban apartment dwellers who are short on both space and time, it will come complete with a simple control interface that can be managed through a smartphone or tablet application. Although it’s not available to the public just yet, the designers claim they have every intention of developing it commercially.

* Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling


Video of the Month: Is this high-tech, or what?

A Web-based babysitter for your hydroponic garden



Bitponics has created a Web-connected device, about the size of a Wi-Fi router, that operates a suite of sensors and uploads data from them to an online service — as frequently as every five minutes.
"Anywhere that you have Web access, you can see how your garden is doing," said Amit Kumar, the co-founder of Bitponics, a small company based in the home of tight living spaces, New York City.
The Bitponics Base Station, as it's called, contains sensors to measure pH (acidity), water temperature, air temperature, lighting levels and humidity — "everything your plants care about," Kumar said. It also has two outlets, giving it the ability to turn on devices such as grow lights and pumps to maintain the garden when you are away.
It's obviously useful when you are away. But it also saves you from having to take readings manually and keep track of them in a notebook or a spreadsheet, Kumar said.  And Bitponics does more than track. It also analyzes.
The online service allows you to set up a grow plan, as the company calls it, to provide the right conditions for each stage of the plants' growth. You can see the status of the plan, with green indicating that conditions are right and yellow showing that conditions such as pH and light levels are off.

It aint cheap, but it might be just the ticket for you gadget freaks!

Click below to watch the video


Hydro Tip of the Month-  Keep bugs out of your garden. Preventive Maintenance is the key.

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.

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