Building a sustainable life - gardening for the environment

Lifestyle Choices

A very topical subject these days is enabling a sustainable lifestyle. All of us who grow our own vegetables and fruit have, at least, the desire to know where our food comes from. From the small container Autopot type garden to the big vegetable patch, we are achieving some contribution to reducing the food miles, greenhouse gases and other pollutants that are contributing to the insane weather we are now experiencing. When we first bought our land, self-sufficiency was on the agenda and we quickly established a vegetable garden, greenhouse, fencing and livestock to pursue that goal. In fact, all that was there before we even built the house. We studied organics, permaculture, hydroponics and other options before we planned out how the site was going to be used. We used the Permaculture principles to determine where to put the herb and vegetable garden, chickens, orchard, and livestock. We use organics in the vegetable garden and hydroponics in the greenhouse. The rewards are that we always have something available to eat in every season. What is my favourite harvest? This year we once again have a full beehive and we have achieved a very good harvest from our smallest workers. It never ceases to amaze me how I can stand in a swarm of bees to take frames of sweet golden honey. We're always very careful to ensure that the bees have time gather more and we leave plenty on for the winter. A couple of months ago I was asked to contribute to Hydroponic article for a site in the USA called Garden Ambition on what you Need to know to grow successfully with hydroponics. This month Lucy has contributed an article that is a great introduction to benefits, options and why to grow hydroponically.

How Hydroponics Promotes Sustainable Life

A closer look at hydroponic gardening- a no soil, nutrient and water-based solution method of growing food.
Hydroponic gardening is an industry that has been gradually making its way to the innovative systems of the future, especially in the developed countries like New Zealand. At this point, this discovery hasn’t reached its full potential yet. With its ability to broaden gardening in areas where there is a scarcity of land and space, enthusiasts are accepting its potential to change the course towards sustainable life. Hydroponics: A Short Overview Hydroponics is a system in which plants are being cultivated even without soil. Instead, a solution using water and significant nutrients are utilized to grow a specific plant. The nutrient solution or growing media can be vermiculite, perlite, coconut coir, and other mixtures. If you had tried placing a plant clipping or seedling in a glass of water and observed a few roots had grown, then you already practiced hydroponic gardening. See more ...

Autopot News

A new container arrived today. I always get excited about the new products we have brought in from England. The Pea and Bean rings that were so popular before Christmas are in this shipment and will be back on the shelf as soon as I can find them in the container. Next week I’ll detail the new products available. We have a Grow light garden that provides great microgreens all year round. If I had to choose just was one product in the shop to take home it would probably be this one. It's so versitile. One of the areas we talked about with the guys at Autopot was the possibility of growing large quantities of microgreens for restaurants as well as home consumption. Autopot have now “upsized” the concept of micro green growing and are doing trials on growing in a rack system. We have bought in some racks and trays to give it a go ourselves. I can’t wait to see how it performs. You can read their article on micro herbs and the innovative media they are using.

Heather's corner

Our Grow Light Garden has been great. We started off last year raising seedlings and also striking cuttings in it, and that was good, but more recently we’ve been growing microgreens and they are more satisfying to grow. They germinate really fast and are ready for use in a week or so, our salads have been delicious. Our favourites have been the Rambo Radish seeds and the Pea Fiji Feathers Tendrils. Kings Seeds sells both of those. The Grow Light Garden has full spectrum grow lights to replicate natural sunlight for year around growing. It has 4 reusable growing trays for easy succession planting. It includes a raised platform insert and capillary matting allowing the plants to self water for up to 14 days (subject to climate conditions). And as an added bonus the table top design is perfect for use in the kitchen. Microgreens are so good for you and this makes it simple to keep your own fresh supply all year round.