A sustainable feast

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Comment by JAZZY_SUNYA on December 10, 2012 at 4:57pm

Look very nice and tidy, must be lots of work and effort.

I grow all sort. Do enjoy watching, nurture them then multiply. Must be rich if could make money from this. Need to learn a lot more.

Thanks for pictures.

Comment by Shaun on December 9, 2012 at 9:08am

Good question. Firstly all of the plastic is recycle so I have stopped anther load going to the tip face of a landfill, leaching poison into our soil and atmosphere for decades to come. The Autpots use no electricity what so ever, while supplying a constantly correct amount of water and nutrients direct to the plants root system. The gullies are run by one 240wt pump which runs fifteen minutes on and fifteen minutes off. So this only uses 120wts of power an hour, just slightly more than a light bulb. But this power is taken from a 200wt solar panel going to a 12vlt house battery. These sorts of hydroponic systems use 3-5% of the water that soil based growing uses and is all rain harvested. The nutrients are all non petroleum based, and are made from basically crushed rocks and then powdered, the same as they are found in soil. I have 20kg delivered once a year by a general freight company, which deliver to other companies in the area, so any  carbon foot print on the delivery is shared. The left over roots are all composted and go into my outdoor garden as are any leftover nutrients when the gully systems is flushed (the Autpots don’t need flushing). Any leaf matter goes into my worm farm. This gives me an incredibly productive vegetable garden. So I use no petrol to grow anything in the tunnel, I have extended my warmer growing season, I have a higher yield and quality, and I have almost no waste product. One of the most important factors with hydroponics is that you get 2-3 times the yield of soil based growing and a much quicker grow time, healthier plants with no soil born disease, all at the height you want it at, making your time harvesting and sowing more profitable. You can put it anywhere, on a roof disused quarry, old car park or industrial area, even in the centre of a city so the food miles can be zero and so is the quality soil requirement zero. I know people who have organic gardens that are constantly using their cars to go to the beach to collect see weed or horse manure or the garden centre for organic sheep pellets. They are constantly pouring water on everything. I was recently at an organic Lasagne Garden demonstration a while ago where rather than toil with the soil they laid down some cardboard, spread some straw and layers of compost and seaweed, all bought in by car. then put the hose over it for about twenty minutes. A town water supply delivers about 6000 litres of water an hour, so they used about 2000 litres of precious drinking water. I don’t use this much in a month. Into this they planted a mix of vegetables with huge amount of space between them. I would say this area was about 2 square meters and had maybe 25 vegetables and then watered it again. There was no way these vegetables were going to do any good as the nutrients in this mix would not be available for some time. I have seen some great organic and permaculture gardens, bit these have taken may years to build up the correct nutrients. We have had our permaculter garden growing for four years and is just starting to get there. The first three years providing undersized undernourished vegetables. On the other hand our hydroponic greenhouse has provided us with bountiful produce since day one, has helped our garden at the same time and will last for many many years to come


Comment by carla on December 7, 2012 at 7:33pm

Umm - can you enlighten me what is "sustainable" about this system?

While it looks very nice and tidy it uses a lot of energy in form of pumps, electricity, plastic etc.

For me "sustainable" means something you can keep doing for hundreds of years without depleting the soil or any other resources.

I am interested to hear your views.

Comment by Shaun on December 7, 2012 at 6:47am

Comment by Shaun on December 7, 2012 at 6:39am

Comment by Shaun on December 7, 2012 at 6:37am

Hi. How are you? What are you growing at the moment. I have just closed that part of the business down as I am going back to full time education to study advanced horticulture. But still growing at home in our permaculture garden and hydroponic greenhouse

Comment by JAZZY_SUNYA on December 6, 2012 at 2:38pm

I hope to have this one day. Any new picture this year?

Comment by Tara McFarlane on October 15, 2012 at 11:30am

Looks great!  Hydroponics or Aquaponics?

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