On learning Hydroponics at Xinchejian

August 24th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Bradford Hinkle writes: “I have absolutely no experience with hydroponics. I have almost no experience growing plants at all, even in the old fashioned way. I think the last time I grew something was in a 10th grade science class and I’m pretty sure it didn’t survive long. Why then did I jump at the opportunity to volunteer at Shanghai’s Xinchejian makerspace? Because I want to learn about technologies that potentially allow me to be more self-sustaining, healthy, and happy. Like most of you reading this, I live in a cramped inner city apartment and would like access to more fresh veggies. Sometimes the best way to do something is to do it yourself. I got in contact with Roger Mu, Xinchejian’s residential hydro and aquaponics specialist during an open night at Xinchejian and he talked me through the process. We agreed to a start date and I thought of some meaningful questions to help guide my learning process. With Roger’s help I want to answer the following questions over the next few months.

  • Can I keep a few plants alive and hopefully, get some nice veggies to eat?
  • What can I do to scale a home hydroponics system for yield and longevity?
  • Is the result or yield worth the time invested for the average person?

Answering all of these questions is the optimal outcome. Frankly though, if the only thing I get at the end of this is some nice jalapenos to garnish a salad with, I will be happy. I freaking love jalapenos. Roger already had some young plants sprouted and ready for transplantation. I like variety, so I went with a tomato, cucumber, and jalapeno plant. We filled buckets with Leca (Lightweight expanded clay aggregate). These small, porous clay rocks will act as a medium for the plants roots to sit in. The pores in the clay rocks allow the nutrient solution to wash over the roots and then easily drain out so as not to suffocate. image1 Once the roots were firmly in place, the next step was to get our shelves set up in the enclosure. It was a bit of a mess… image2 But once we cleared it out there was plenty of space. We then set up our watering system. Here’s an overview of the system and how it works. Basically, we filled a reservoir (bucket) with a nutrient solution (food for the plants). The water pump will rest inside this container and periodically pump the nutrient solution through the hoses to our plants, washing over the roots and flowing through a drainage system back into the reservoir. We didn’t have a proper hose outlet so I 3d printed one. (It’s nice find practical uses for my printer.) The pump is hooked up to an electrical outlet with a timer so we can easily set a schedule for feeding. Here’s a shot of the hose assembly. image3image4 Here’s a shot of my plants after running the hoses to them. image5 I’m excited to see these grow over the next few months. I’m excited to see what else I can learn about plants in the process. And, I am especially excited about jalanpenos.”

Basic Hydroponic System Construction|基础水培系统工作坊 -April 18

March 27th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

hydropnics
Sign Up 报名参加

Time: April 18, 2pm – 4pm.
Address: 1555 Middle Huaihai Road, F3 of Shanghai Library.
Fee: 200 RMB includes hand watered hydroponic system, watering bottle/spray, nutrients。
Description:
If you know nothing about growing plants or what hydroponics is, this workshop is for you. This workshop will cover basic plant growing and hydroponic techniques that will allow you to understand and maintain one of the most basic hydroponic system types (hand watered container) with some of the lowest maintenance and resilient edible plants available.
You will also learn how to assemble a basic hand watered container hydroponic system, and how to transplant seedlings into the system. At the end of the workshop, you will leave with a functioning hydroponic system with live plants and the knowledge to keep them alive. After that, all you will need for success is patience and motivation!

Basic Hydroponic System Construction 基础水培系统工作坊 – Dec. 21

December 7th, 2014 § 3 comments § permalink

上海静安愚园东路28号3号楼一楼 新车间
hydropnics
报名参加 Register

Time: 14:00 – 15:30 Sunday, Dec. 21.
Fee: 150 RMB (for xinchejian members) and 200 RMB (non xinchejian members, including hand watered hydroponic system, watering bottle/spray, nutrients。
Description:
If you know nothing about growing plants or what hydroponics is, this workshop is for you. This workshop will cover basic plant growing and hydroponic techniques that will allow you to understand and maintain one of the most basic hydroponic system types (hand watered container) with some of the lowest maintenance and resilient edible plants available.
You will also learn how to assemble a basic hand watered container hydroponic system, and how to transplant seedlings into the system. At the end of the workshop, you will leave with a functioning hydroponic system with live plants and the knowledge to keep them alive. After that, all you will need for success is patience and motivation!

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