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Monthly Archives: January 2013

The setup empty

The setup empty

kale tub b

kale tub b

kale tub a

kale tub a

Parsley

Parsley

Today is 01/09/2013. I just planted my first plants in the jerryrigged, deep water culture, raft system I have come up with. This is an easy to do setup, minimal expense…as far as hydroponics go anyways.

I make a lot of green energy drinks, and use a lot of parsley, kale, choc. mint, lettuce, besides all the citrus , etc. I’m trying to go raw, as much as possible, but it’s a process. I figured , if i can grow some of the more expensive and most used plants , in an organic, hydroponic way, then I will have the best of nutrients available , and save $$$$.

For the small, simple system I have at this point in time, it should recoup the investment in 3 months, maybe less. This is what I spent:

Good 4 outlet air pump…….$27.95Bag of hydrogen…expanded clay pebbles….$10.99,                                                                                          3 inch net cups….24 @ .42 …$10.08                                                                                                                 air stones……….$6.00                                                                                                                                           25 ft. of air tubing, black…….$5.00                                                                                                                          Plants………………a couple packs and a 6″ parsley plant, I divided……..approx $8

Total…………………………………….$60.10

To buy hydroponic lettuce, and herbs is out of this world in price at the grocery store, and I just won’t do it. $5 a head of lettuce…………..yeah right. But , of course I want the best, so stubborn me decided to do something about it. I watched utube for a month , seeing how other people did their simple systems.

Of course, once I get over the learning curve of making a bell siphon….much like how a toilet works, then I will do a flood and drain system, possibly above my aquarium….utilizing the pump for the aquarium. For now this raft system will do. With the raft system, if requires no water pump…only air. it’s drawbacks are……you have to plant same type plants, so one doesn’t rob another of nutrients, as the roots float in the water. Basically you do it in batches. I wanted to do a batch of lettuce, but could find no packs of lettuce to buy, and the seeds I started are not ready yet.

Sooooo…I did two tubs of kale, and one of parsley. I got the parsley from a well picked 6″ pot I have feasted on for a month. It looks very sad. I cut it up into 5 pieces, and we’ll see if the hydro system revitalizes it.

You have to rinse off all the soil from the plant’s roots, and then plant in the net cups, in the clay pebbles. I used a combination of some ‘tea’ the hydro store people gave me a sample of and some miracle grow liquid to start off. I will make my own ‘tea’ once I find a source of rabbit manure. I plan on making my own concoction with rabbit manure, compost, and some fish water.

I had 3 solid grey tubs, so used them to start. i scrounged cement blocks and three 2 x 4’s in approx 5 ” lengths for the shelf. I spray painted the shelf so it looked like I had a lick off sense, and wasn’t a redneck. Maybe a yuppie redneck…is there such a thing?????  I had styrafoam from my redneck air conditioner project, for the rafts. I did surgery on them with a vicious kitchen knife and cut the holes out with muscle and a wide mouth funnel. I cut a notch off a corner for the air tube to pass through. You have to make it snug, or alaege can grow and upset the apple cart, hydroponocally speaking. You don’t want light to reach the underside, and the air helps to keep ickiness from growing and your roots white.

I hope I did it right……will do weekly updates on the progress.

UPDATE:  Now it’s 04/18/2013…The project is over, and I will be hitting the road for a visit to family in Pa. It was interesting, but i didn’t really have enough light available for it, so plants didn’t thrive as well as I would have liked. Much better to do this sort of thing in a green house.

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Well Pals……..we made it through 2012 !

They say it is the end of the darker…Iron Age….and the true beginning of the Aquarian Age of more Love and Light flowing to our planet. I see it happening in so many subtle ways. It’s all good in my book!

I can’t wait for free energy and a myriad of other things to come about. For my little part……I am growing more of the food we eat daily, and trying to live more sustainably. Back in the 70’s, I homesteaded, and did live that way. I wish now I had chosen to stay on that path, and not deviate.

For now……I will just compost as much as possible, and grow more food. I am experimenting with Aquaponics, Hydroponics, and possibly Vermiponics as well as conventional gardening. I just assembled most of the items needed to start up a simple system. I’ll post pics and my design plan soon.

On New Year’s Day, I adopted an aquarium. I love the added life the cute fish bring to this place! I started off with a couple Shubunkins and some gold fish to start off. They are very active and are getting along fine. I’ll post a couple pics of them.

As time moves forward, I’ll be adding more plants, indoors and outside. I hit the new seed rack at Wal mart and bought a passel of 20 cents packs of seed, and one of those mini green houses that will hold 72 plants.  I have a friend with a cottage herb biz and will be raiding her place come spring, as well.

I know it might sound funny to start a big garden when this job I have might or might not last, but one cannot live in fear of that. I choose to live in the Now and make the best of my circumstances.

I looked at some RVs , and found one I loved. A Ford 4 Star or something like that ….a class C. I loved that it was small enough I would be able to handle driving it, yet had a big bathroom, and all the amenities for comfortable living for myself and a friend. A better choice than my minivan, and something to shoot for down the road.

I wish you all the best in this New Year……and if you get over to Palm Harbor, Fl way…let’s meet up for coffee or lunch somewhere. Tarpon Springs and Dunedin have neat places to stop. They are spitt’in distance from here…lol.