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Urban Farmer: * Kids love hydro * Winter Garden * Make Dutch Buckets
May 01, 2015


The Urban Farmer, Issue #081 * May, 2015: Kids love hydro * Make your own dutch buckets * Flush the pots!

 “If you wish to make anything grow, you must understand it, and understand it in a very real sense. 'Green fingers' are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed. But green fingers are the extensions of a verdant heart.”
~ Russell Page, The Education of a Gardener


  Hydroponic Garden: A Great Experiment For Kids

As a kid, I remember growing a bean plant in school. It was 3rd grade and I vaguely remember the lessons that the teacher was trying to convey…but if you asked me for details today, I wouldn’t be able to tell you any. Looking back, this was for a few reasons:

I didn’t connect growing the plant to growing food.
I didn’t see the final product (we didn’t grow the plant to the point where it produced new beans).
It just wasn’t that cool – it was a bean in a cup with some of that old green foam they use for floral arrangements (you know the kind).

For this tutorial, I wanted to put together a guide that solves all three of those problems for your child…something I would have loved back in third grade!
What Your Child Will Learn

The Growth Cycle of a Plant

From germination, to seedlings, to vegetative growth, all the way to harvest – this guide shows kids the full lifecycle of a plant.

What Plants Need to Grow

By growing in a hydroponic environment, the “cloak” of using soil is removed – kids will learn how proper nutrition, water, and light help a plant to thrive.

Where Food REALLY Comes From

No longer will food be something that just magically shows up on their plates. By growing edible leafy greens, your child will learn exactly what happens before the food they eat hits their mouths every meal.

P.S. If your child doesn’t like eating veggies, this is an especially good project for them…kids seem to “magically” want to eat lettuce and spinach after they grow it themselves. Funny how that works…

Full materials list and instructions for a child's hydroponic experiment here:



 Hoops of Hope (Our original Hydroponic SURVIVAL GREENHOUSE)

We harvested lots of delicious winter veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, onions, and a few tomato and pepper plants wintered over nicely in our hoop Solexx panel greenhouse. We are now assembling the solar powered units. It should be much more clear how this works and how best to arrange in a greenhouse without plants in the way. So look forward to that hopefully in our next newsletter. Below are pics of the greenhouse today, 4/28/2015: :(  What a mess! Spring cleaning begins.

Video of the Month:

Dutch Bucket Hydroponics - How It Works & How to Make Your Own Buckets


Hydro Tip of the Month- 

Ebb & Flow? Don't forget to flush!

If on an Ebb and Flow system (bottom feeding), you should flush once a week with your standard nutrient solution from the top in order to avoid salt build up in the block. Do not use plain water or weak nutrient solution for flushing, as it will shock and stun the growth of the plant.


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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