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Yes, we’re still on the subject of growing our own food, even if we live in the heart of the city. Urban farming is very necessary for diabetics in order to have a wider variety of fresh, alkaline, raw food, at a reasonable price. This type of food helps blood sugar levels normalize and it helps you to detoxify if it is organically grown, as you can do with this system.
Vegetables, especially, should be first-choice and they should make up about 70% of your food intake. Hydroponic gardening can be as simple as tap-watering specially designed, easy-to-make planters made from 1 liter bottles, all the way to nutrient solution systems. Hydroponics has a niche for everyone.
I am referencing Professor Willem van Cotthem’s site as his sketches are very clear about how to make the simplest planters from 1 liter water bottles and a vertical rack set-up or just lining them up as a starter garden. Making a simple sub-irrigated planter from a drinking water bottle.
I do not want to make them from soda pop bottles, as I don’t drink these chemical mixtures and know they’re going to be polluted from that brew. So, I’m only using water bottles.
I have researched more sophisticated, yet still simple sub-irrigation planter (SIPs) designs and even more sophisticated systems for aeroponics and aquaponics. But, these are for later.
I’m just going to get you started, for now, and this system is skinny so it can be used indoors – in rooms or just in windows, outdoors on balconies and in any tiny space or multiplied to become a full-fledged serious growing area. You can even gather water bottles at the office; clean them carefully and then recycle them into your project for these planters or as fill tubes in my next design (which also requires food grade plastic).
The statistics for the poor recycling of water bottles, even in offices, is shocking. You can really help raise awareness about this. The plastic used in clear water bottles is very easy to recycle and is food grade plastic.
I haven’t found any really decent videos about these simple SIPs on YouTube, as the biggest fault is that they are sending you to use unsafe plastics. Frankly, I’m sick of watching all the poor videos.
See my discussion about safe and unsafe plastics in Part 4A last week; the link is below.
The plumbing tubing you need if you want to connect these planters into a system is the black kind of flexible tubing … not the clear kind (that’s PVC and its not food-grade!).
The reservoir should be covered with a layer of dark paper or plastic bag on the outside of the bottle. I think the versions with duct tape look ugly, and any paint used on the exterior may or may not actually be safe. Paper or a custom-size cut black plastic placed around the exterior is enough of a barrier to prevent algae growth in the water section.
You can also just water the planters in the one-by-one way, when you see the reservoir needs topping off. Never let them get the roots exposed, without touching into the water at some point.
For a beginning vacuum system, see Vacuum SIP System but the plastics have to be food-grade and use the narrow black flexible pipe, remember!
More next week.
Best to all — Em
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