Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in nutrient-rich water without the use of soil. From a high-tech urban farmer growing fresh, organic greens year-round in shipping containers, to an online community crowd-sourcing continuous improvement of a do-it-yourself Windowfarm™, in this episode we see that hydroponics is no longer an idea only for space-age gardening and farming.
In the middle of winter, Joe and Nathan travel to Atlanta, Georgia to visit a former software developer turned urban farmer whose unconventional organic farm is completely invisible to the passing traffic – hidden inside used shipping containers! But step inside one of the Grow Pods, and you’re in the perfect environment for growing delicate lettuces and other greens. These are highly sought-after by local restaurants to feature local and organic greens in specialty dishes and salads, even in the dead of winter.
Next we meet a woman in Brooklyn who grows her own fresh herbs and vegetables in her Windowfarm™, a vertical, hydroponic garden. She constructed her system using recycled materials and inexpensive supplies from the hardware store.
The design began with one person, but the concept is now shared with an entire online community, with “Windowfarmers” across the world sharing ideas and collaborating ongoing improvements in a continuous cycle.
Chef Nathan heads to the kitchen to cook up a fresh basil pesto with angel hair pasta in only minutes, making it a perfect, refreshing meal after a long day at work. Whether your basil is grown in your front yard garden bed or a front-window hydroponics system, this light, fresh recipe makes fresh basil the star of the meal.
For more information:
- Windowfarms.org – Vertical Hydroponics for Urban Windows
- DIY hydroponics instructions (PDF) or purchase kit
- Joe’s blog post for Episode 206: Hydroponics
- Chef Nathan’s recipe for Basil Pesto with Angel Hair Pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Lily Julow says
Where would I find instructions on creating a vertical hydroponic garden like the woman in Brooklyn did? ?
Joe Lamp'l says
Hey Lily. I found this link online that might be what you are looking for: http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Food/How_To-Reservoir_System_Window_Farm.pdf
Pat Z says
I saw a show about a small company that sold fish tanks with a small planter for flowers that sat on top. the flowers got their nutrients from the fish tank water. I’d like to get the info for that company, please.
Joe Lamp'l says
The company is Back to the Roots. Here’s the website: https://backtotheroots.com/
You can also view this show on our website. Just type in the company name or “aquaponics” into the search bar and you’ll find the link.
Leonidas De Los Santos says
HI we are two crazy math teachers in a high school in the South Bronx NY. We are interested to learn how to make a hydroponic garden on our rooftop. Our district is the poorest district in NY city and we do not have much money to spend.
Where should we start looking?
Joe Lamp'l says
Check out the show we did on the school gardens in NYC growing hydroponically in their classrooms and check the links in the show notes for that episode. That should be a great place to start. Here’s the link to that show: https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/episode-401-rooftop-greenhouse-classroom/
need to find episode where you featured about small farm in Wisconsin that raised fish that in turn fed the water for hydroponics. also used manure to heat small green house
Joe Lamp'l says
This was the show at Growing Power with Will Allen. Here’s the link: https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/episode105/
I live in Wisconsin, we could get it to work in heated greenhouse, using warmed water from like a radiant heated system (pex tubing) as it’s extremely cold here?? I work with disabled persons and would need it warm for there health. Could it be done?
boo hanson says
I don’t believe you can call growing hydroponically organic. Correct me if I’m wrong
Carmen Pinckney says
I just watched your episode about hydroponics and was interested in the instructions you said would be on this site. I clicked on the “DIY hydroponics instructions” and it says that it is no longer there. Will it be re-installed? is there another place in which it can be found?
Thanks for letting us know. We’ll contact the company who provided that info to us and see if it’s moved!
I would suggest that you look in your download folder. I tried to find it to. In fact, what happened was an automatic download of a PDF file. I did not get redirected to another area. Like I said, look in your download file, it’s labeled (BalckBucketDrip.pdf). If you dont find it contact me and I will e-mail it to you.
Led Grow Lights Guy says
Actually, if you use LED grow lights, the energy consumption is quite low. LED lights are very efficient and emit almost no heat. Of course there will always be some electricity used for indoor gardening with lights, but it really isn’t as much as you think it is, depending on what and how much you’re growing. Technology moves fast to make electronics more efficient and more affordable.
Moja Mujaden says
Wow, what a great subject to tackle. I just have one question : how’s the energy consumption going? I mean, it seems like everything is automated and the lights/heaters/coolers and this stuff eats lot of electricity.
Cliff Ravenscraft says
Loved this episode. Makes me think I want to start growing stuff inside our home. 😉