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Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel

 
WMK
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05/25/2010 03:13 AM
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Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
No Pesticides, no fungicides, no herbicides, no insects. This is an easy way to grow your own food and stop eating poisoned food. It could also help prepare you for when things get bad.

Click on the link for photos of my hydroponic project and then scroll down the page for a slide show!

[link to www.wkphotography.ca]

I also added a few you tube videos, one on my broccoli grow, another on how to build a simple system and one on how to germinate seeds. I will keep adding videos as I continue on with my hobby.

[link to www.youtube.com]


Hydroponics is one of my hobbies and I decided to photograph my projects at home and at the school I teach at. I can grow 20 heads of organic heirloom lettuce in 5-6 weeks from seed. The costs of electricity are very low as I am using 4 90w LED UFO lights to grow vegetables at home. According to the electricity prices from ENMAX in January 2010, it would cost 11.20 a month to run all 4 lights for 16 hours a day. Considering that I am growing around 20 heads of lettuce every 4 weeks as I have two lettuce systems running, it is only costing me around 15.00 (factoring in nutrients and rock wool). If I were to buy 20 heads of organic lettuce in the store, I would pay around 3.00/head which would cost me 60.00 to buy. By running my hydroponic system for lettuce, I end up saving 45.00 a month or 540.00 a year on lettuce alone. I also grow basil, dill, oregano, strawberry spinach, arugula, Russian kale, and cherry tomatoes. My cherry tomatoes produced over 455 tomatoes ( A bit over 11 lbs), in 3 to 3.5 months. My hope is to inspire you to do your own project as once we start growing some of our own food, we will save money and have a much lower ecological impact on the Earth! By time a store receives their vegetables, it is safe to say that from picking the food at most stores is already nearly a week old as we have to factor in the time it takes to pick, package, and ship the produce. With hydroponics, the food is much healthier as it is living and fresh.


Hydroponics works great because:

*you use 95% less water than you would if you grew the same vegetables outside.

*There is no need for fungicides or pesticides, which poisons our food.

*The nutrients are complete making the produce much healthier.

*Hydroponics grows quicker than plants in soil as the roots are suspended in air and get ample oxygen and nutrients.

*Insects that weaken the plant are not an issue if grown indoors.

*If grown indoors, the plants do not face the stress of harsh weather.

*The plants clean the air, provide rich oxygen, and help reduce off gassing.

*Hydroponics is inexpensive to get into and the systems pay for themselves in very little time.

*I save well over 1500.00 a year on groceries and I eat healthier living foods. One simple system cost me around 250.00 to build, including the light and it produces 20 heads of lettuce every 5-6 weeks. The money I save on groceries easily paid for my entire systems at home in less than 6 months. I am now making money by not having to spend it at the store!


*90w LED UFO Lights last for 10-12 years running them for 16 hours a day! The reason that a 90 watt light can grow and flower and fruit plants is because of the colours that are being used. For photosynthesis, plants use mainly blue and red wave lengths. The most efficient is red at 660nm and blue at 460nm. This makes the 90 watt LED grow light equivalent to a 400-600 watt metal halide or high pressure sodium light that commercial green houses use.

Last Edited by mah127 on 01/10/2011 08:56 PM
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Can you do hydroponics, but say in a greenhouse setting - and use natural light instead of the lamps?
SwampRatLost

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05/25/2010 03:31 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Man, I cannot express enough, how important it would be to check into Aquaponics. Much better!!! Plus you have the protein from the fish.

Just google it
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather EXPOSE them" - Eph. 5:11
White Dragon

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05/25/2010 03:32 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Can you do hydroponics, but say in a greenhouse setting - and use natural light instead of the lamps?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 980833


of course, ideal would be a greenhouse + lights
Daniel

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05/25/2010 03:32 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel

Good for you - Results are Wonderful as I see in the Pics.

Quite a coincidence - Saturday I finished my First Batch of
Mung Bean Sprouts. Successful too. Tasty.

I started another batch Sunday and again tonight a little while ago.

Also started Sunflower Sprouts.

I'll keep the Hydroponics in mind - I have Space Constraints though.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

E-Coli - you don't have to worry about that.

Daniel
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05/25/2010 03:33 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
I live in Furnace, AZ in a tiny trailer with 2 flat tires.
There's cactus pears growing on the sides of the hills all around.
I'm good.
SwampRatLost

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05/25/2010 03:35 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Just to give you some incentive to check it out...

An aquaponics set up with

Two 12ft round above ground pools with Tilapia

and a grow bed that is 8ft x 100 ft.

Produces.....drum roll please........

15,000 pounds of fish a year

and 40 cases of greens a week.

This set up can be made as small as you need or as large.

You could feed a family, or feed a village on just 1/4 acre!

Last Edited by ~Elizabeth~ on 05/25/2010 03:38 AM
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather EXPOSE them" - Eph. 5:11
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05/25/2010 03:56 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
are you making your own nutes. Love a good, easy recipe please.
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05/25/2010 03:57 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
and why not a 300w or 600w LED
Anonymous Coward
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05/25/2010 04:02 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Just to give you some incentive to check it out...

An aquaponics set up with

Two 12ft round above ground pools with Tilapia

and a grow bed that is 8ft x 100 ft.

Produces.....drum roll please........

15,000 pounds of fish a year

and 40 cases of greens a week.

This set up can be made as small as you need or as large.

You could feed a family, or feed a village on just 1/4 acre!
 Quoting: SwampRatLost


have you a forum or a site you like for ideas regarding this. cheers.
Anonymous Coward
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05/25/2010 04:04 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
I guess you're using the fish water as hydroponic nutrient???
Anonymous Coward
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05/25/2010 07:31 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
bump
Anonymous Coward
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05/25/2010 07:39 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
bump the wise op
Etheric Ray

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05/25/2010 07:44 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
I haven't heard of sunflower sprouts from hydroponics.
Please share more.

I add small pools every now and then.
For basic plants that are small.
That shrimp was there when I got dressed this morning -- A BP Employee to TSA
Anonymous Coward
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05/25/2010 07:54 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Growing your own veggies is RACIST!

Seriously, thanks OP for this eyeopener!
I´d like to grow my own oil as well one day.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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05/25/2010 08:29 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Can you do hydroponics, but say in a greenhouse setting - and use natural light instead of the lamps?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 980833



Yes, if you have access to natural light then for sure it works great. I mostly run mine from September to the end of May as I live in Canada and we have such a short growing season. It would be way too expensive to heat a green house during our winters. I also live in a small 2 bedroom apartment as I sold my house 2 years ago to become mobile. Plan is to head to the farm when things get too rough in the cities.

Just remember for winter greens such as lettuce and kale, 10 -12 hours of sunlight is enough to grow them, but for fruiting plants you will need 16 hours.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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05/25/2010 08:37 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Man, I cannot express enough, how important it would be to check into Aquaponics. Much better!!! Plus you have the protein from the fish.

Just google it
 Quoting: SwampRatLost



Aquaponics is amazing. I know it has potential to change the world, especially in third world countries. Only problem with it for me is that I live in a small apartment and only have a 4ft area to work with. Aquaponics does great out doors. So, for places that have a 365 day growing season it is definitely a great option. I know you can also run a system indoors and I would like to get to that point once I move to the farm as the fish become your fertilizer.

Please check out this youtube video on Aquaponics. This man is brilliant and his DVD series is amazing.

[youtube] [link to www.youtube.com]
WMK  (OP)

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05/25/2010 08:41 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel

Good for you - Results are Wonderful as I see in the Pics.

Quite a coincidence - Saturday I finished my First Batch of
Mung Bean Sprouts. Successful too. Tasty.

I started another batch Sunday and again tonight a little while ago.

Also started Sunflower Sprouts.

I'll keep the Hydroponics in mind - I have Space Constraints though.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

E-Coli - you don't have to worry about that.

Daniel

 Quoting: Daniel



Sprouts are great to grow. They are the most nutritious living food on earth, they have more biologically available protein, vitamins and minerals than any other known food.

In world war 2, Stallin killed more than 9 million Ukrainians through starvation. The ones that survived hid seed and sprouted them to survive the winters. It was said that if a man had 25lbs of seed to sprout it would be enough to keep him alive for 8 months. I often think about sprouting as a survival food.
WMK  (OP)

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05/25/2010 08:42 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
I live in Furnace, AZ in a tiny trailer with 2 flat tires.
There's cactus pears growing on the sides of the hills all around.
I'm good.
 Quoting: Geezerette 935391


Arizona is a perfect place for aquaponics.
[link to www.youtube.com]

Last Edited by mah127 on 05/25/2010 08:43 AM
WMK  (OP)

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05/25/2010 08:47 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Just to give you some incentive to check it out...

An aquaponics set up with

Two 12ft round above ground pools with Tilapia

and a grow bed that is 8ft x 100 ft.

Produces.....drum roll please........

15,000 pounds of fish a year

and 40 cases of greens a week.

This set up can be made as small as you need or as large.

You could feed a family, or feed a village on just 1/4 acre!
 Quoting: SwampRatLost



It is amazing and the Red Cross/United Nations and other charities should building these systems in areas that frequently have famine. It makes no sense to just dump off food and then leave. Empower the people by teaching them how to grow their own food by giving them the tools and knowledge. It would not be very expensive at all to set this up for a village, so you are right SwampRatLost.
WMK  (OP)

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05/25/2010 08:48 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
are you making your own nutes. Love a good, easy recipe please.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 979956



I am not sure what nutes is.
WMK  (OP)

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05/25/2010 08:53 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
and why not a 300w or 600w LED
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 979956



A 300w or 600w LED is great but for my growing area it is not needed. I saw a video on youtube of a person growing 12 to 14 inch long cukes in a 4x8 grow room, using only 2 90 watt led lights. The Lights are extremely efficient. I also plan on going off grid with my lights so I want to keep the electricity to a minimum as I will be using solar to run these in the winter months. The plan is to produce enough food to survive winter for my family.
WMK  (OP)

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05/25/2010 08:56 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Just to give you some incentive to check it out...

An aquaponics set up with

Two 12ft round above ground pools with Tilapia

and a grow bed that is 8ft x 100 ft.

Produces.....drum roll please........

15,000 pounds of fish a year

and 40 cases of greens a week.

This set up can be made as small as you need or as large.

You could feed a family, or feed a village on just 1/4 acre!


have you a forum or a site you like for ideas regarding this. cheers.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 979956


Here are a few of my favorite blogs:

[link to hydroponicworkshop.blogspot.com]

[link to www.urbanhydro.org]

[link to subsistencepatternfoodgarden.blogspot.com]

[link to down---to---earth.blogspot.com]
WMK  (OP)

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05/25/2010 08:58 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
I guess you're using the fish water as hydroponic nutrient???
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 979956



No, I am just using regular nutrient. I buy it wholesale, mix it myself. Ideally, Auaponics with fish is the way to go as the nitrogen and nutrients are provided by the fish. I think keeping it as simple as possible is essentially for my goals and right now hydroponics is working great for me.
WMK  (OP)

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05/25/2010 08:59 AM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
bump the wise op
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 979957



Thank you :)
Daniel

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05/25/2010 12:06 PM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
I haven't heard of sunflower sprouts from hydroponics.
Please share more.

I add small pools every now and then.
For basic plants that are small.
 Quoting: Etheric Ray


On the Cheap - Grow Sprouts in a Jar -Items needed:
One Jar
a Rubberband
a piece of gauze or nylon stocking

Fancy - a Mason Jar with a screen on it that you can buy.

All Bean Sprouts:
Soak in water for specified time
Rinse twice a day and Drain
3 to 5 days later you have Sprouts
All in a Jar

For Sunflower sprouts
Soak in water
in single layer lay onto a bed of potting soil etc.
spray to dampen
lay 3 layers of paper towels over it and dampen
spray twice a day to keep moist
4 to 7 days cut sprouts close to base

Search - Growing Sunflower Sprouts

Daniel


Last Edited by Daniel on 05/25/2010 01:04 PM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Awesome web site OP... I also liked your photos on the cob house building workshopped that you photographed.

This definetly deserves a pin!!!

Mods, Pin this as this is something positive that is a real solution to what we are facing!!!
Anonymous Coward
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05/25/2010 01:01 PM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Newfoundland invested in a huge hydroponics vegetable operation years ago but it failed because (so they say) that some toxic gases leached out of the foundation and killed all the plants.

Never made sense to me, as the plants were all on tables away from the ground.

I always assumed that some vegetable marketting board shut them down.

What nutrients do you grow the veggies in?
Etheric Ray

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05/25/2010 01:05 PM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Daniel hf
That shrimp was there when I got dressed this morning -- A BP Employee to TSA
Truth Seeker
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05/25/2010 01:07 PM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
Hello, WMK,

I live in Florida and I also have a hydroponics setup. I started out investigating aerojet systems and then switched to flood and drain. That was a big mess. I then found out about passive wicking hydroponics and switched to that. It's dirt cheap and you can make the system very quickly. It's also incredibly easier to maintain.

You still use hydroponics medium and you can even use hydroponics nutrient solution but why bother when you can make something even better on your own for next to nothing. If you want to minimize hand watering, you can connect your grow containers to a reservoir connected to a float valve.

You just take a container (like a bucket or any size plastic tote) and drill a drain hole on the side. I use a 3/8" drill bit to do that. I drill the hole anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5 inches up from the bottom. These side drain holes maintain the water level at whatever height you drill them. When it rains, the excess water just flows out the holes. For heavy feeders that like it wet (like tomatoes and watermelon), I drill 3.5" up from the bottom. For those that like it dryer, I drill 1.5" up from the bottom. You can drill a 1-1/8" hole on the opposite side if you want to place a drain fitting to connect to a reservoir. When it's not connected to a reservoir, the drain fitting outlet can allow excess water to just flow out.

Drilling the hole on the side of the container allows the container to act as both the reservoir and the growing container. It also allows the plants to be kept outdoors so that the rain can water them. By switching to nutrients you make yourself and foliar feeding, you don't have to worry about screwing up the pH of your nutrient solution.

Lets take a tomato plant, for example. It likes a wet environment so I drill 3.5" up from the bottom and place a drain fitting at the same level on the opposite side. When I go on vacation, I just connect the container to a container with a float valve in it and that container is connected to a large 30 gallon reservoir (a food grade trash can). I fill the container with Hygroton and foliar feed once a week.

I have a worm factory and make my own worm castings. When it's time to foliar feed I just grab a handful of worm castings a 1/2 cup of kelp meal and stuff it in a nylon. I tie that over a 5 gallon bucket, add water 3/4 full, and also add about 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses to feed the microorganisms. Then I put a bubbler into the bucket and let it bubble for two days. Then I just foliar spray the plants and they love it.

For root vegetables I use perlite. For things that like it a little dryer I also use perlite.

If you want to maximize the growth stage you just add some fish emulsion to the mix.

This system is so easy and so cheap. I will never go back to regular hydroponics.

Your system is beautiful, by the way. I think you're doing a great job. I just thought you might like to view another option. Good luck!
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05/25/2010 07:04 PM
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Re: Growing my own food with hydroponics to become more self-reliant, save money, and to become healthier as I eat fresh organic veggies that I grow mysel
do you have any pics Truthseeker.
You mentioned the wick system at the start but your description is of foliar feeding and the excess from this dropping into the Hygroton to a level of 3.5". Is that right? Or are you also wickfeeding. Cheers. I have also got mysself in a mess with this.





GLP