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Urban Farmer: * Pay attention * Kratzky * Critters!
September 02, 2014
The Urban Farmer, Issue #075 * Watch Your Garden * Kratzky * Critters!
“A garden always has a point.”
~Elizabeth Hoyt, The Raven Prince
Pros & Cons of Hydroponics
Found this really cool article which should add to
your Hydro game plan:
hydroponics could be considered the ultimate realization of an idea that started
in agriculture nearly 200 years ago, hatched in the minds of millions of farmers
during the birth of the Industrial Revolution. The final combination of man and
machine that graces him with the food he needs to feed his family, and the
excess to provide for the rest of the community around him.
now we live in an era where corn that’s picked one morning in Iowa can be on a
kitchen table in California by dinner, and the idea of locality has been thrown
out the window in favor of interstate trucking and the excessive burning of
fossil fuels. That doesn’t mean all progress is bad though, and out of
modernization has come an entirely new method for sustaining crops that attempts
to reach beyond the very limits of what organic life is capable of.
on the route you take, hydroponics can provide incredibly high levels of control
over nearly every part of the growing process; from germination of the seeds to
seasoning the vegetables right before they hit the grill.
specific nutrients, increased yield, reusable water sources, the overall health
of root masses, and the potential to cure disease are just a few of the many
different areas that hydroponic growers have the advantage over soil…but all
this transparency and yield boosting does come at a somewhat difficult to manage
technological advancements that give hydroponic enthusiasts the control
depend on to blow soil harvests out of their pots, can also be responsible for
the complexity and fragility that scare many dirt growers off from making that
big leap of faith.
piece of the system malfunctions while you aren’t home to catch it, you can lose
an entire crop within a matter of hours, so often a backup power supply or
constant monitoring programs are required in order to ensure eventual success.
In recent years however, this garden-killer has become less of an issue, as more
advanced toys are being released which can actually text the gardener’s cell
phone about any alerts triggered from sudden changes in the system, at which
point he can switch over to the webcam feed and assess the damage from wherever
he might be in the world.
you rush out to the local shop and grab a couple buckets or a pump, these peace
of mind luxuries do not come anywhere close to cheap, and unless you’re planning
to fill a 30′x30 space with 200 potential sites the initial investment of these
devices can far outweigh their benefit for anyone who plans on keeping things
humble in their closet department.
which direction you eventually choose, it’s obvious that there are many
different factors to consider before entering into the world of growing your own
food indoors. If simplicity and consistency sound more appealing than high
yields or wild infusions of cutting-edge nutrient combinations, soil is the way
you’re someone like me who enjoys tinkering with intricate systems and advanced
feeding methods in order to achieve the biggest, bushiest plants around, then
hydroponics could be the proper path for you.
side of the fence you eventually land on, the wonders of creating your own
produce at home is an always an exciting adventure to embark on, and who needs
to be right as long as everyone’s having fun?
UPDATE ON OUR 2 RESEARCH PROJECTS
1. LED TRIALS:
(full-spectrum) with a new tomato plant. This is what it looks like at day
#47 (we have tomatoes!):
2. Hoops of Hope (Our original Hydroponic SURVIVAL GREENHOUSE)
4 complete hydroponics setups in the our greenhouse are still going crazy! [top drip Bato
buckets, Ebb & Flow, lettuce raft, and 5 gallon bubbler bucket]. This is
what the crops look like this week, giant cucumbers and that is a baby
canteloupe supported by old panty hose.
Video of the Month:
Off the grid hydroponics: the Kratky method
Hydro Tip of the Month-
Have you found any insects in your garden (crawling, flying)? Identify and treat
them by visiting our Pests
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…
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