hydroponics

Hydroponics and other Alternate Methods of Food Production

This section of the web page is dedicated to hydroponics and other methods of food production. My primary source of garden vegetables is the Mittleider Gardening Method. However, I like to experiment with alternative ways to produce food. The idea of hydroponics and aquaponics are fascinating to me. I have considered using those methods at various times but held back from delving into them due to a lack of knowledge or other resources.

One of the biggest challenges I thought we faced when considering either hydroponics or aquaponics was the lack of reliable electricity. Where our farm is, in rural Arkansas, we lose power several times a year and sometimes for as long as five days.

Most hydroponics and aquaponics systems rely heavily on water and or air pumps to circulate and aerate the water. Pumps are also used to provide nutrients to the plants and, in the case of aquaponics, clear the water of fish waste.

Plants won’t last long without water and fish won’t last long without oxygen. Solving this puzzle has been on the back burner of my mind for several years. I finally came across a solution – at least for hydroponics. There are off grid solutions to these problems but they are expensive and still require the daily attention of the farmer.

My first post under this page will be about an experiment I ran last month growing lettuce. It was pretty incredible and I am very happy with the results for several reasons. First, the lettuce grew wonderfully. Secondly, it is literally a plant and forget system. Imagine having a garden you can plant seeds and when you come back five weeks it is ready to harvest. Plant, take a vacation, come home, harvest! Yup. That easy. No power, no worries.

I’ll link to that post here once I write it – until then keep dreaming.

Here is Part 2 with my experimental growing method

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