When my kids were little, they enjoyed a family hydroponic gardening project conducted on the kitchen counter. When the Aztecs settled on Lake Tenochtitlan during the 10th and 11th centuries, they developed a system of hydroponic floating gardens or Chinampas. According to a 1938 Time Magazine article, one of the first commercial uses of hydroponics was based on the research of several scientists from that period at my alma mater, UC Berkeley. Fast forward to today where NASA is currently experimenting with growing food hydroponically in space. There are 6 or more methods of hydroponic or soilless gardening, and though they each function differently, in all cases the plants receive their nutrients via some form of water (hydro) delivery system.
In an Aeroponic system, sometimes referred to as Fogponics, the roots are not suspended in water but hang in the air where they receive a nutrient-rich growing medium via misting. Click and Grow’s planters utilize areoponics and make the process very simple as the kit comes with everything, you just add water.
One of the most common and simplest forms of hydroponics is the drip growing system, some of which recover and recycle the excess nutrient solution from the reservoir. As in some other systems, a timer controls a submersed pump which drips nutrient solution onto the base of each plant via a small drip line. The Zero Soil System planter, above, is a pretty good-looking one that will sit nicely on a countertop or table. Many classrooms use a Water Culture technique, an easy, inexpensive, form of hydroponics wherein the plant roots are suspended on a floating Styrofoam platform and can be observed hanging below the floating platform.
Aquaponic systems are a form of water culture, whereby the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic creatures delivers the nutrients to the plants which then purify the water and the cycle continues. An Ebb and Flow or Flood and Drain system utilizes a submerged pump connected to a timer which controls the temporarily flooding the root zone’s grow tray with a nutrient solution that then gets drained back into the reservoir.


Hydrofarms Megagarden System is a flood-and-drain pump irrigation system which works by pumping nutrient solution up from a reservoir to a water tray where water levels are precisely controlled on a timed cycle. In contrast the Modern Sprout video definitely states that they have an air pump and do a drip feeding system. The freshest innovative and eco-friendly designs, trends, and ideas for urban gardens and stylish small places.
From large-scale commercial aquaponics farms to suburban, backyard self-sufficiency, I've always been intrigued by the potential for aquaponics to support sustainable, efficient vegetable production and provide a source of much needed protein too.Until now, however, I've been less excited about those small-scale aquaponics systems that use goldfish and other ornamentals as the aquaculture component. You may have done the same experiment with your kids. We put a few plant clippings into a clear glass of water so they could watch the roots develop.
Though they learned something by the observation alone, I may have missed an opportunity for all of us to learn more about hydroponics. Unable to grow crops on the lake’s marshy shores, these early hydroponic gardeners built rafts of reeds which floated on the lake where the plant roots descended through the rafts into the water.
In 1940, he published the Complete Guide to Soilless Gardening which is still in use today with a few updates for technological advancements.
Growing the food in the cosmos may be represent the future, where astronauts, urban gardeners, and home farmers alike use hydroponic systems to grow food small indoor spaces using a relatively controlled system. They offer mini tomatoes, chili peppers, basil, and you can pre-order their new strawberry planter. This system can use a variety of growing media, but in all cases the nutrient solution gets released onto the growing tray and delivered to the roots through a wick. The Back to the Roots Aqua Farm, below, has a compact system that doubles as an aquarium so it’s functional as well as decorative.


The nutrient solution is pumped over the plant roots onto a grow tray, then drained into a reservoir. After all, feeding fish pellets to fish, just to get fish poop so you can grow your greens just doesn't seem so smart.A new KickStarter project from some students in Austin, Texas, may have caused me to see the light.
Fill the Nutriport reservoir with water and contents of one Grobal Plant Food Hydropak, add your plant. The plants are typically grown in small pots, their roots suspended into the nutrient solution without any additional growing medium other than air. 4 white wicking tubes are in the four corners of each pot and wick the water up through the growing medium.
Rather, it's about a way to make ornamental fish tanks a little more efficient, and open some eyes to new possibilities in the process.You see, there are an awful lot of 10 gallon aquariums in the world already. So why not put those fish to good use, creating an attractive, easy-to-retrofit kit that's compatible with any 10 gallon aquarium, providing fish lovers with an easy solution to keep their tank clean, and turning the waste water and nutrients into fresh, edible produce?That's the idea behind AquaSprouts .
And they are looking to KickStarter to help take their early prototypes into mass-production. Donate what you can to help get them started.Jack Ikard, one of the founders of AquaSprouts, tells me they hope to work on systems for bigger fish tanks more suitable for edible fish too.




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