Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and Indoor Growing | The Organic Garden Center

Archive for February, 2014

Growing an Octopus’s Garden: Hydroponics and the Beatles

I was listening to a radio show reminiscing about the “British Invasion, 50 years ago”.  The talk turned to the first time Bob Dylan met The Beatles in 1964; it took place in their hotel room in New York City.  Dylan asked them if they would like to smoke some pot with him and they said they had never tried it. Dylan said he was sure they smoked because of their lyric in “I want to hold your hand”   “I get high, I get high, I get high”.  John Lennon corrected him, the lyric was really” I can’t hide”.  They smoked.

“Rubber Soul” followed. You can find a longer, more detailed version of this meeting on beatleswiki.org or beatlesbible.com

Sometimes I, along with the many others who can remember the British Invasion, reminisce the lawlessness and rebellion and for that matter the innocence of those times.  With new laws across this country regarding cannabis, what do we hope for?  Do we want the Phillip Morris Co. to start manufacturing products with names something like Kush or 420? rolled into packs of 10?  Do we want to see again the old “Head Shops” with heavy curtained back rooms of yore?  And while I do believe in very important medical applications, do I want to disrespect those who truly are sick, by pretending I am, just for recreational purposes?  Do I want to pull up to a stop light next to a car full of “20 somethings” with a cloud of smoke coming out their sunroof?

50 Years of Beatles - A Tribute

I guess what I want is a culture were you can grow a little for yourself, share some with your friends, give or even sell some to your elderly next door neighbor for an ailing loved one.  While I want cannabis to be legal, I would prefer it to remain behind closed doors, somewhat private.  I want the slight lawlessness and innocence and naturalness (if that is a word) of the past.  Let local government agencies offer a yearly permit or license to grow a limited amount.   OK, they can collect some fees for these licenses and leave us alone in our own homes. Think of the advances that could be made across the whole line of indoor growing; if you are already set up to grow weed, why not grow tomatoes,  cucumbers, and peppers…healthy stuff… at home?  Why not grow, even in the winter?

Let the dispensaries and cultivation sites exist, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for medical quality purity,  but let average folks farm at home.  The government can work out the limits and the fine print.  I don’t want the guy living upstairs from me growing 200 plants, but if we could grow a little for ourselves, the guy upstairs wouldn’t have the motivation.  For that matter, he could set up a proper business for himself in an appropriate commercial space, with safeguards concerning such things as overflowing water tanks and fire suppression.  Not everyone has the time or interest to grow their own garden.

It’s been 50 years, old Beatles and Dylan songs are still  being played.  What could be better than taking out a little of your harvest and enjoy listening to some old vinyl without a care in the world?  Support the grow at home movement!

Groovy Grower

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Want to Learn More About Aquaponics?

Aquaponics Set-Up 2We have been running an aquaponics set up for 6 months now with some very good results. Because this store is connected to Old Orchard Aquarium, we designed our aquaponic system for the fish’s health and vitality. Our 75 gallon fish tank uses a sump system to provide continuous filtration and water flow for the fish; we then use a separate pump,operated on a timer, to push nutrient rich, particulate free water up to flood troughs where the plants grow. The return water from the flood troughs is filtered again before returning to the fish tank sump. Our system allows the flexibility to turn on or off the fish tank flow or the plant watering side. We can grow plants requiring very wet or dry conditions or anything in between, without sacrificing the fish’s water quality.

Many aquaponic operators will keep tilapia, an African cichlid fish that is often bred as food, because we don’t propose to eat our fish (especially because we sell tropical fish as pets) this store is keeping simple comet goldfish in our system. Goldfish are relatively easy to keep, live well with each other, make a lot of waste (plant nutrient) and are always happy to see you.

Aquaponics Set-Up 1What I like about aquaponics is that once set up and properly cycled, it is quite easy to operate. You feed the fish, the fish feed the plants, light makes the plants grow, the plants remove waste from the fish water, you harvest the delicious cucumbers.

I could tell you more, but I’ve got to go,

Paul