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Offline peter

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Food Production. (Part 1)
« Reply #60 on: December 09, 2012, 07:02:35 AM »
I'd be interested to know what the bare bones simplest and cheapest form of hydroponics would be.  Peter, do you think you arrived at the cheapest possible answer?  And that start up cost was 2500 dollars for you?

Actually, it comes in cheaper than that, around $1500-2000 I think after all is said and done based on what Peter has sent me so far in terms of materials list, and that is based on mostly buying New with little Scavenging.

Since WHD plans to set up in a smaller space, that cost will probably be somewhat less.  Since he already does the regular Gardening thing, this provides a supplement with thing he cannot grow in his climate outdoors.  Avocados, Bananas, Eggplant etc.  Also year round growing for fresh produce all the time.

I'm looking at a slightly bigger project in around a 20-25' Geodesic Dome I will put up with a friend on his property.  This will probably come in at around $3000 beyond the cost of the hydroponics, maybe $6K total. It has become quite a bit easier to erect such domes now than when I first built them back in the 80s.  I think the two of us with help from his son and brother probably can get it up in a month. I will be writing about this on the blog as things progress here.  This space likely can provide produce for several people.

RE

You can get into hydroponics much cheaper than this but not to grow a serious amount of food.

I tested out the concept with a $100 kit from http://www.stealthhydroponics.com/ that includes everything you need to get started such as lights and nutrient.


The results were very impressive and encouraged me to get serious about that method of growing. They make larger system but bang for the buck is not good.

Many companies make systems in the same price range as what I have put together but you will only get about 10% or so of the plant spots. Most of these kits don't include the lights or metering.

Offline peter

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Food Production. (Part 1)
« Reply #61 on: December 09, 2012, 08:20:19 AM »
I will certainly look forward to how all these hydro systems will work out .Peter's work he has shown is certainly very inspirational and i have enjoyed reading about it very much.I have only played around with hydroponics years ago with a very simple system of bottles attached by hoses to tubs filled with vermiculite.I would lift the bottles up to flood the tub , then later drop them down and nutrients would drain into the bottles.It worked pretty well and was very cheap to construct. DSCN0183 This is a photo of a 2m high by 4m wide dome i built about 7 weeks ago .It is a 2v frequency dome .I made it just to see if i was able to build one without committing to a major project , it really is too small to be practical .It is over heating due to small air volume i think. A 4m high by 8m wide dome  4v frequency would be ideal.Here is just the frame dome 2 , it is made from packing crate timber from work(destined for the tip) and was built using a $90 battery drill $400 sliding compound mitre saw and a $800 table saw(only used to rip strips from timber to screw plastic on).It is covered in greenhouse plastic about $ 150 worth , $40 worth of paint,2 boxes of screws $50 and is sitting on $ 160 worth of second hand besser blocks and bricks.I used the calculator from here http://www.simplydifferently.org/Geodesic_Dome_Notes  just put in the size you want , has to be metric and you will get all the dimensions and angles you will need to build one from scratch.There are no fancy connectors all the joins are just mitre joins screwed together.Note all these prices are for Tasmania, would be cheaper in most other places.
 This would be ideal to go together with hydroponics , this what has grown in 7 weeks in a mix of potting mix , soil , compost and mushroom compost. Fed with old chook poo and worm farm tea. The tomato's and capsicums were 100mm high when planted and radishes are from seeds we have been eating these for 3 weeks dome 1
there is plenty of room for hanging baskets above the plants .I am thinking a gravity fed drip irrigated hydroponics system would work for me.
 I live in a pretty mild climate here,so i started with just a basic set up.There is lots of rooms to expand on this set up as time and money is available.If anyone would like me to go into more detail about how i made it i will try and put a more detailed post together about it.Unfortunately i didn't think to take more photos during construction.

Nice job and great link... thanks.

I've been thinking about a small greenhouse on my property. A dome is probably the way to go.  I'm going to look at this seriously. I can scrounge enough material here to do this for next to nothing.

Offline WHD

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Food Production. (Part 1)
« Reply #62 on: December 09, 2012, 09:48:50 AM »
I am loving this thread.

Thinking about my own garden, in three to five years, assuming there isn't an apocalypse of some sort, and my fruit trees survive, I get to remove the city trees I want to, I will be growing hundreds of pounds of fruit here, hundreds of pounds of veggies. Perhaps enough, from the soil, to feed two people year round? The yards of my neighbors for about 40 miles in every direction, about 3 million people, are mostly desiccated landscapes of sod, manicured by people who think consumerism is the highest form of evolutionary progress, if they think at all. Establishing what I call a legacy garden here, in light of the global predicament, may seem like a kind of madness, esp. as I have two nuclear facilities due SE and NW, 35 miles respectively.

Assuming there is some kind of widespread social breakdown, I cannot see how I could protect this place and the garden, with less than the help of about 12-24 capable adults with the means to protect it, and maybe not even then. I could reconstruct the house in such a way, to sleep 24-32 people comfortably, without increasing the size or the footprint overly much, but then, I would have to have food stored enough to sustain them about three winters, and water cachement. For that, I can imagine going undergound, while significantly increasing food production hydroponically. Long term that way I can even imagine exotics like citrus and avocado. Of course, the point about growing here is not about the food produced here sustaining many, but to provide a model for what the entire region could look like, long term.

As for growing hydroponically, I imagine the plants would love it, and would respond lovingly. Peter's example of nasturtium lifted me out of my seat. I grow them here outdoors and they grow maybe three feet. I agree with Luciddreams that something would be lost though, without the soil or insects. Over time, the seed of these plants would likely not be viable, outside. I don't think that would take more than a few plant generations, once the predator insect species were removed. That problem could be resolved somewhat by collecting seed outdoors, but that presents it's own special kind of challenge due to cross-pollination, and of course variability of weather and the wtf of climate change.  Perhaps you can merely open windows and let insect in, to maintain the genetic memory?  There is also something to the relationship between soil, bacteria and roots, that cannot be recreated by artifice, and while I understand that intuitively, I don't know it's something that can be measured. 

Ultimately I imagine closed systems with humanure, shickenshit and worm castings as the source of plant nutrients, with outdoor soil gardens surrounding greenhouses and artificial light hydroponics, for fresh consumption year round. And there is nothing about technology or human ingenuity that couldn't provide this for everybody, but political barriers, ignorance, and power relationships.

Anyway, with about $150,000 I could create that here in three years. I could do it for about 60,000 less if not for the tribute I am expected to pay to big bank, Federal, State, County and Municipal governance. If I'm free to scavenge, A LOT LESS!  Working for big bank assuming less than cost-of-living wage increases, I would make about $75,000 in three years, but more importantly, the bulk of the construction, particularly the underground stuff, is unthinkable. Every day I contemplate selling the place and paddling to the source of the Amazon, the situation seems so intractable, and maybe I'm wrong and there is no hope whatever of saving anything here.   

Anyway, start small. It will work itself out.

Offline peter

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Re: Hydroponics NOW!
« Reply #63 on: December 09, 2012, 10:38:05 AM »
I'm going to take a break from writing today and tomorrow.  I need to install a new sink in my bathroom and and also want to finish hanging my new lights so I can start the hydroponics up again.

Offline luciddreams

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Food Production. (Part 1)
« Reply #64 on: December 09, 2012, 11:27:15 AM »
I think the tragedy of the internet commons such as this is that we are all so far apart.  It's a tease in that sense.  I mean what could everybody on this board, pooling resources, skill, and labor accomplish in the real world?  We are all atomized in person. 

I can't help thinking that the world would be at a loss for somebody like William to paddle to the source of the amazon.  I mean because he wants to do what he just outlined but can't seem to because of money.  I would love to participate in something like that, but I don't have money.  There is nobody in my physical sphere of influence whom are not completely submerged in the American Hologram.  It's all very frustrating to me. 

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Food Production. (Part 1)
« Reply #65 on: December 09, 2012, 12:06:32 PM »
I will certainly look forward to how all these hydro systems will work out .Peter's work he has shown is certainly very inspirational and i have enjoyed reading about it very much.I have only played around with hydroponics years ago with a very simple system of bottles attached by hoses to tubs filled with vermiculite.I would lift the bottles up to flood the tub , then later drop them down and nutrients would drain into the bottles.It worked pretty well and was very cheap to construct. DSCN0183 This is a photo of a 2m high by 4m wide dome i built about 7 weeks ago .It is a 2v frequency dome .I made it just to see if i was able to build one without committing to a major project , it really is too small to be practical .It is over heating due to small air volume i think. A 4m high by 8m wide dome  4v frequency would be ideal.Here is just the frame dome 2 , it is made from packing crate timber from work(destined for the tip) and was built using a $90 battery drill $400 sliding compound mitre saw and a $800 table saw(only used to rip strips from timber to screw plastic on).It is covered in greenhouse plastic about $ 150 worth , $40 worth of paint,2 boxes of screws $50 and is sitting on $ 160 worth of second hand besser blocks and bricks.I used the calculator from here http://www.simplydifferently.org/Geodesic_Dome_Notes  just put in the size you want , has to be metric and you will get all the dimensions and angles you will need to build one from scratch.There are no fancy connectors all the joins are just mitre joins screwed together.Note all these prices are for Tasmania, would be cheaper in most other places.
 This would be ideal to go together with hydroponics , this what has grown in 7 weeks in a mix of potting mix , soil , compost and mushroom compost. Fed with old chook poo and worm farm tea. The tomato's and capsicums were 100mm high when planted and radishes are from seeds we have been eating these for 3 weeks dome 1
there is plenty of room for hanging baskets above the plants .I am thinking a gravity fed drip irrigated hydroponics system would work for me.
 I live in a pretty mild climate here,so i started with just a basic set up.There is lots of rooms to expand on this set up as time and money is available.If anyone would like me to go into more detail about how i made it i will try and put a more detailed post together about it.Unfortunately i didn't think to take more photos during construction.

Nice job and great link... thanks.

I've been thinking about a small greenhouse on my property. A dome is probably the way to go.  I'm going to look at this seriously. I can scrounge enough material here to do this for next to nothing.


Glad you liked it Peter it wasn't that hard to make (easier than inserting the pictures of it in the post, which i just couldn't get to work).Having only had it nearly 2 months i can't make any real comments on how it will perform long term, but there is 1 thing i can say it would cancel out your indoor hydro systems fly under the radar advantage.This thing is like a magnet to people and it not even in a all that  obvious place. It is my backyard behind 2 sets of 6' high gates surrounded by mature trees and people still seem to notice it.If i can be any help in making one anyone feel free to ask .
   

Offline RE

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Food Production. (Part 1)
« Reply #66 on: December 09, 2012, 05:00:32 PM »

As for growing hydroponically, I imagine the plants would love it, and would respond lovingly. Peter's example of nasturtium lifted me out of my seat. I grow them here outdoors and they grow maybe three feet. I agree with Luciddreams that something would be lost though, without the soil or insects. Over time, the seed of these plants would likely not be viable, outside. I don't think that would take more than a few plant generations, once the predator insect species were removed. That problem could be resolved somewhat by collecting seed outdoors, but that presents it's own special kind of challenge due to cross-pollination, and of course variability of weather and the wtf of climate change.  Perhaps you can merely open windows and let insect in, to maintain the genetic memory?  There is also something to the relationship between soil, bacteria and roots, that cannot be recreated by artifice, and while I understand that intuitively, I don't know it's something that can be measured. 

I think you could maintain viability in your seeds for outdoor growth by each growing season planting the same species outdoors as well.  Of course if your climate won't allow for a given plant to survive outdoors you can't do that.  Also, though at first many of your seedlings would have trouble, probably a few would grow and you breed from them.


Quote
Anyway, with about $150,000 I could create that here in three years. I could do it for about 60,000 less if not for the tribute I am expected to pay to big bank, Federal, State, County and Municipal governance. If I'm free to scavenge, A LOT LESS!  Working for big bank assuming less than cost-of-living wage increases, I would make about $75,000 in three years, but more importantly, the bulk of the construction, particularly the underground stuff, is unthinkable. Every day I contemplate selling the place and paddling to the source of the Amazon, the situation seems so intractable, and maybe I'm wrong and there is no hope whatever of saving anything here.   

Anyway, start small. It will work itself out.

It is this type of project that I envision "Diner, Inc" taking on.  You haven't yet chipped in your thoughts on that thread (back room, mods only).  I will write Grant Proposals to various Foundations and Da Goobermint to get this kind of start up money.  I have no moral or ethical issues with taking some Illuminati and Taxpayer money for a Worthy Cause.  :icon_mrgreen:

The whole concept of trying to Protect & Defend your own personal Food Production Facility, be it Permaculture or Hydroponics has so many problems in highly populated areas it is just about impossible to imagine how you could make that work until MANY people are all doing it.  So the real objective here has to be setting an EXAMPLE for others and then using expertiese you develop to help them be successful at it also.  this is exactly what Peter is already doing, the trick  here is to make many more "Peters" distributed around the country.

RE
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 05:02:22 PM by RE »
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline RE

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Food Production. (Part 1)
« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2012, 05:18:29 PM »
I think the tragedy of the internet commons such as this is that we are all so far apart.  It's a tease in that sense.  I mean what could everybody on this board, pooling resources, skill, and labor accomplish in the real world?  We are all atomized in person.

One of my many hopes for the Diner is to establish IRL "Bugout Locations" where Diners can head for when TSHTF, and come together to buid these types of systems and also of course Protect & Defend them.  In the top Ten North American Bugout Locations article I identified the locations I think would be good for such communities to start.

We also already have a few Doomsteaders here, and the expertiese passed around here on the Diner can help get these places even more ready to accept/feed more Diners.  When TSHTF, Diners with Doomsteads will need all the help they can get to Protect & Defend their Doomsteads.  Most of these Doomsteaders are older folks, and could use the help of young strong backs, sharp eyes and fast legs.

So though we are split up now, this may not always be the case.  Planning and prepararation and then a good Bugout Plan when TSHTF are the important ingredients right now we can be effective with working on even while split up across the continent (in fact across the world if you include Tasmania, NZ UK, etc.)

Quote
I can't help thinking that the world would be at a loss for somebody like William to paddle to the source of the amazon.  I mean because he wants to do what he just outlined but can't seem to because of money.  I would love to participate in something like that, but I don't have money.  There is nobody in my physical sphere of influence whom are not completely submerged in the American Hologram.  It's all very frustrating to me.

You can forget paddling to the source of the Amazon, you'll have to Climb for that.  Its high up in the Andes Mountains.

It is a bummer when everyone around you IRL is utterly clueless.  It was that way when I first got here, not so much anymore.  Many more doomers around here now.  Still, most of them don't understand the real reasons for it, they just blame it on Obama.

Anyhow, that is why we have the Diner.  After a day of frustration out in the Hologram, you can retreat here and vent to the other diners who do have a clue.  Plenty of venting goes on here, that is for sure.  LOL.

RE
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Offline Bot Blogger

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Re: Hydroponics NOW!
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2013, 12:42:05 PM »
Peter:
Just wanted to say how impressive your Hydroponics project is. Thank you for your work and inspiration.

This is an interesting TED video about hydroponics in apartments. Small by your scale. But the talk is actually more political than economic. They call it RDIY (Research and Develop it Yourself). I liked this idea from the video about the way the group of people working on testing their systems:

Test First
Be Supportive (support others' ideas rather than come up with your own)
Recognize Diversity
One thing at at time

Sorry I couldn't figure out how to embed the video...

http://www.ted.com/talks/britta_riley_a_garden_in_my_apartment.html

Offline WHD

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Re: Hydroponics NOW!
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2013, 01:50:02 PM »
Peter:
Just wanted to say how impressive your Hydroponics project is. Thank you for your work and inspiration.

This is an interesting TED video about hydroponics in apartments. Small by your scale. But the talk is actually more political than economic. They call it RDIY (Research and Develop it Yourself). I liked this idea from the video about the way the group of people working on testing their systems:

Test First
Be Supportive (support others' ideas rather than come up with your own)
Recognize Diversity
One thing at at time

Sorry I couldn't figure out how to embed the video...

http://www.ted.com/talks/britta_riley_a_garden_in_my_apartment.html

Loved that video, Bot. Thanks.

Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Hydroponics NOW!
« Reply #70 on: January 14, 2013, 08:31:48 AM »
I'm not savvy enough to fix the embed code either. 

I like their development method.   Hard to hijack that!

For those interested, their community site is here
"A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest." -  Simon and Garfunkel

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Hydroponics NOW!
« Reply #71 on: October 23, 2014, 01:33:30 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/YhvfOlPYifY?feature=player_detailpage" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/YhvfOlPYifY?feature=player_detailpage</a>

embedded for WHD
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 01:35:41 AM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

 

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