Sunday, October 23, 2011
Hydroponics and the Green Smoothie
Green Smoothies have renewed my interest in having a green thumb. I've grown my own vegetables in the past, but I stopped when I was constantly racing the clock to finish my graduate program. It's time to return to growing.
Last time, I grew hydroponic tomatoes outdoors. The system consisted of six large plants, each in their own growing medium, feed by a 30-gallon reservoir of nutrients. Best tomatoes ever.
I wanted to grow hydroponically because I wanted to control as many variables of my growing as possible (and partially because I'm just a little geeky like that). This system worked pretty well. Still, I fought flying and crawling bugs that also wanted to eat my plants. I really disliked that. Also, I've built a shed in my garden area, and there's now a growing family of rabbits that live under the shed. I'm sure my garden would be a feast for them.
So, this year I'm making two major changes. I'm going to grow lettuce, spinach and kale indoors hydroponically, and I'm going to invest in a plastic greenhouse for the outdoor season. You can get a 12' x 7' x 7' greenhouse on Amazon for just over $100.
Why hydroponics? I'm motivated by the knowledge that I'm eating pesticide-free food. I'm motivated by the internal reward of eating food I created, and I'm motivated by having a hobby that also provides tangible results that benefit my whole house.
Also, I can grow indoors cheaper than I can buy lettuce, kale and spinach, and that's what I will start after Halloween.
If you're interesting in growing your own indoors, check out this guy's blog.