Anyone doing/trying this form of gardening? I hadn't considered it before, because of the needed infrastructure (water moving and plant supporting). But, recently I see suggestions that it might actually use less water (it recycles and evaporates through the plant instead of all dissipating through the ground).
If you are, I'd love to hear what you're finding:
- how are you moving water (wick, pump, etc)?
- are the power outages difficult to deal with?
- what about controlling mosquitoes in water supply?
- what unique problems compared to ground-based planting?
Thanks eagleray, do you have one/more in USVI? Are they working OK? What are you doing about mosquito control?
They had one in Anguilla for years & now there's another there (don't know if the original is still going or not.)
Their website has a video showing that the gov of Tobago is experimenting with them.
You can contact UVI on STX. They do it. Maybe you could even take a class there.
Tours will be given on Sunday Oct 19 as part of World Food Day events.
Thanks folks, I think it might be worth pursuing...
Hi aquaponics, thanks for the info. I wish I were going to be there for the short course; it sounds very interesting.
I don't think I'd start out trying to take on fish and plants (aquaponics). And, I get very worried about power outages. The EarthBox looks like a reasonable compromise, and an easy first step into this field. With my house design, I could have many EarthBoxes, or the equivalent that I might design myself, right on the uncovered section of the galley - right off of the kitchen... easy to maintain... easy to harvest! So, hmmmm, an EarthBox might have to go on my xmas or B'day list (no reason to wait til I get to STX to start the experiments).
Also visit; agardenpatch.com
nothing nicer than a fresh salad off your porch in paradise.
Sometimes fresh greens are hard to come by, and green onions too!!
Remember in the tropics you are dealing with 12 hour days +/-, no long day length crops.
Yeah, fish and plants is a whole other.......
i have friends here that have had wonderful production of herbs and greens using Earthboxes. I don't think you will be disappointed.
For some simple systems you can build yourself, do a search for hydroponics and DIY. DIY = Do it Yourself. There are some really neat systems out there.
Maybe we'll see you here at UVI for World Food Day??
I used to be editor of he Growing Edge magazine. Check out the Web site at growingedge.com. Hydroponics is a lot simpler than it was, there are a LOT of options. We ran a story on the UVI aquaculture program, and there are several features each issue about low-cost, simple ways of growing hydroponically. Also stories about full-scale, industrial and pretty expensive programs, of course.) I've heard of a farm on the west end of STX that uses hydroponics, but haven't tracked it down yet. I don't have a hydroponic garden yet, because I only moved here three months ago and I'm still renting. But as soon as I get a long-term place, I'll definitely be setting up a system. It's the only way to go to have tomatoes year-round while still conserving water.
Thanks again folks, for even more info...
Charlie, sadly, I won't make it this year, but in the future I most definitely want to check out everything UVI is doing, agriculturally (at a minimum).
EagleRay, yup those somewhat constant 12 hour days is attractive to me... fairly stable light conditions make it a bit easier to study+control related issues (watering cycle, pest schedules, etc.)
JohnB, thanks much for that lead also.
I saw ideas to control mosquitoes with EarthBox:
1) put BT tabs in fill hole, periodically
2) block overflow spout with custom sliding cover (off while watering; on other times)
3) cotton in overflow spout did not work, but local birds were happy about the soft nesting material
4) a few drops of mineral oil in water will form film that suffocates larve - unfortunately, not good for plant roots and soil either (not confirmed).
There was once a farm here in Bolongo many years ago. Just phased out I guess.
Congrats on the move down John! I hope you and your wife are settling in safely. Let me know if you want to link you sometime. I'm not familiar with a hydro system out west, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. Out east there used to be a hydro farm. It's now called Southgate farm. they only do organic soil production currently and I can testify the food is delicious! They are located at the corner where Cheesburgers is located.
Maybe we'll see you for World Food Day?
Thanks, Charlie. I look forward to it. Just let me know when and where.