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Hydroponics,Gardening,Fresh Produce,Fruits,Vegetable,IHidro

Hydroponics vs Dirt:

Some of the obvious reasons people are turning to hydroponics for their foods are fresh produce, the high quality of nutrients and foods can be grown and enjoyed all year long.

Another really big persuader for growing hydroponically is not having to wash your produce!  Let's face it, how many times have you gone to the supermarket or the local farmer's market and upon returning home, having to washing everything.  From removing unwanted pesticides to that clump of dirt hanging off the roots!

No matter how you slice it, dirt is dirt and there is nothing appetizing about eating dirt!

Not only are novice farmers jumping on hydroponic gardening, so are large and small farms alike.  Large greenhouses are popping up everywhere with state-of-the-art plant rooms, grow lights, extensive watering and filtering systems.

Recycled water uses a tenth of the amount of water needed for conventional gardens.  This nutritionally rich water travels down channels encompassing the young roots of every plant from an assortment of greens to herbs.

About Gotham Greens:

In an area of Brooklyn known as Greenpoint, founders Viraj Puri and Eric Haley along with their director Jenn Nelkin have set gardening on a whole new path with the largest greenhouse, to date, in the urban USA.  This $2 million dollar greenhouse is constructed on the space of a former bowling alley and light manufacturer.

All plants are grown from seeds that are embedded in tiny sponges of fiber created from volcanic basalt.  This greenhouse provides the very best produce on the market to restaurants and high end retailers.

The Tug Of War:

While there are many restaurant owners who enjoy hydroponic produce, they also believe that some foods should fall within the season they are preparing menus for.  Although they enjoy the fresh produce they purchase from hydroponic greenhouses, they aren't ready to give up on plants grown in soil.

Others feel having fresh produce directly at the fingertips is a heck of a lot better than shipped produce that is over 3 days old.

From restaurants to food stores, the biggest plus for hydroponics is without doubt freshness and accessibility.  Endives, lettuces and herbs do so very well in hydroponic gardens that this is a big step forward for this kind of gardening.  Many chefs like working with chervil, an herb in the parsley family.  Unfortunately,  chervil is very difficult to grow and does not travel well at all.  Now chervil is being grown in hydroponic greenhouses and is literally at the reach of chefs.  This is a huge win for hydroponics!

Those unmoved believe that if produce is not grown in soil, the plants lack in flavor.  Yet, due to weather conditions, too much sun or the lack thereof can also affect the final outcome of those plants too.  Management, growing conditions and various species can also dictate the final taste of any grown plant in any condition whether hydroponics or soil.

The More The Merrier:

With the growth of hydroponics and more farmers developing hydroponic greenhouses, the accessibility of fresh produce is definitely on the rise.  People are finding fresh food literally a block away and are willing to pay a little more for this quality of food.

There are those that argue growing hydroponic plants takes a great deal of labor and high-end maintenance and that water cannot replace the richness of soil.  Others cannot tell the difference between a plant grown in soil or grown in water because of the ability and knowledge of the farmers.

The Pluses in Hydroponic Gardening:

Without doubt, we are running out of land mass, people are growing their own foods on roof tops and they are not being affected by pesticides, herbicides, pest controls, etc.  Those same roof top gardeners are learning new techniques and enjoying hydroponic gardening.  They are setting up grow boxes, plant lights, adding vegetables and herbs into their gardens and feeding them all with rich nutrients.

Like anything new, there will always be negative thinkers believing - The Old Way Is The Only Way. With that kind of thinking, we'd still be getting around in a horse and buggy instead of in cars.

Hydroponics,Gardening,Fresh,Produce,Fruits,Vegetable,IHidro

Want to take up vegetable gardening at home? If you choose to grow plants in a hydroponics system over a traditional soil-based system, you can enjoy higher yields, conserve water and avoid the hassles of dealing with pests. You can even grow your vegetables indoors in a groom room under plant lights in any season. Just follow these steps to start your grow hydro system.

1. Start your seeds by placing two to three in a starting cube. Leave them under grow lights or in the sun, watering as needed until the roots begin to poke out of the cubes. This should take roughly 1 to 2 weeks.

2. Purchase a flood table, a rectangular plastic container that can hold 10 to 12 gallons of water.

3. Buy 2 drip emitters, which you can find in the irrigation section of hardware stores and at many nurseries. Choose ones with a 2 gallons per hour rating.

4. Create a setup with the flood table placed on a bench or stool, so that the ends protrude over the edges of the bench or stool.

5. Heat a nail over a hot stove using pliers. When it is red hot, drive it through the bottom of the tray in two spots.

6. Use a sharp knife and sandpaper to make the holes large enough to fit the drip emitters through them. Seal with hot glue to keep them in place and prevent leaks.

7. Hydroponic growing requires nutrients, so you'll need to create a planting media mix for your gardening. Try mixing coconut fiber and perlite. For dry climates, use more coconut fiber than perlite and vice versa for more humid environments.

8. Purchase 4-inch square planter pots with holes in the bottom.

9. Fill the bottom third of each pot with your growing media.

10. Place one of your started seeds into each pot and then fill in with media.

11. Water the pots and then arrange them in your flood table.

12. Purchase a plant food of your choosing. Make sure that the nutrition it contains is suitable for the plants that you are growing.

13. Mix the plant food with 5 gallons of water, following the instructions on the plant food packaging.

14. Pour the mixture into the flood tray, not into the plants.

15. Place the bucket under the flood tray.

16. After dripping stops, cover the bucket with a lid.

17. Every day, pour the plant food and water back into the flood tray. If it begins to smell, dispose of it and make a new batch. Even if it does not begin to smell, pour it out and make a new batch every week.

18. Always keep 5 gallons of water in your bucket to pour onto the plants. This will require you to add extra water during the week.

19. Monitor the growth of your plants and harvest when ready.

This method is best for growing plants outdoors, but you can also start an herb garden or garden of flowers and vegetables indoors with grow lights. You'll find all of the supplies that you need to join the ranks of gardeners who are using hydro growing to enjoy lush, bountiful gardens in our grow shop.

vegetarian, vegan, semi-vegetarian, vegan society, food, healthy, diet, vegetables, hydroponics

A vegetarian obstanes from eating any form of animal product that is made available through the slaughtering of animals. A vegan also obstains from consuming or using any animal products from meats to dairy products to lotions or creams.

The term Vegan was first coined in 1944 by Donald Watson, co-founder of the Vegan Society in England. Originally the term meant non-diary vegetarian. Later on the vegan's doctrine said man should live without exploiting animals.

In the early 2000s, due to the growth in popularity, many supermarkets and other stores started selling foods and products catering to vegetarians and vegans. They have several top athletes and celebrities that have been practicing veganism for some time now to share their stories.

The Vegan Diet:

Researchers have found that vegan diets are higher in fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, E, iron, magnesium and phytochemicals. Vegan diets are also lower in calories, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, saturated fats, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12. It is suggested that those on vegan diets should take a vitamin B12 supplement.

A really well-balanced vegan diet may offer protection against various generative conditions, including heart disease.

Vegan vs Vegetarian Diets

Vegans:

Vegans, as a general rule, will not consume or use any animal products.

Dietary vegans will not consume any animal products, including diary products and eggs.

Ethical vegans will also stay away from any products such as shampoos, lotions, etc that have any form of animal components or products tested on animals.

Vegetarians:

Vegetarians, similar to Vegans, will steer clear of red meat, poultry, seafood, any flesh from an animal or by products of slaughtering animals. Many object to meats in their diets because they feel animal meats are unhealthy, or due to religious beliefs, or the rights of animals.

Semi-Vegetarians normally stick with vegetarian foods but may also include fish or poultry. Once in a while they might consume read meats but rather infrequently. Some who incorporate fish and poultry in their diets will not eat red meat because they are mammals.

Ovo-Vegetarians will consume eggs and diary products mainly because they suffer allergies from various other foods such as seeds or various beans.

Most long-term strict vegetarians and vegans will stay on strict vegetarians diets, and not revert back to any form of animal products.

In many cases, vegetarians and vegans feel the consumption of animals is unhealthy. Due to products used for raising beef or chickens, the processing of eggs and many other health reasons.

For whatever reason, should you choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, there are many wonderful recipes and dishes that will leave you more than satisfied with your choice to move away from animal products.

Hydroponics:

vegetarian, vegan, semi-vegetarian, vegan society, food, healthy, diet, vegetables, hydroponics

While collecting wonderful recipes for your new found vegan/vegetarian diet, why not start your own indoors hydroponic garden? You can grow fresh vegetables and herbs in the comfort of your home and enjoy every morsel of freshness!

Hydroponic gardens are easy to setup and easy to take care of. There are so many gardeners that have been successful with hydroponic gardening -you'll get a lot of help in getting started.

Start off with a nice size grow box, a few plant lights, a good nutrient for feeding your plants, a water filter and read up on water treatments. Depending on what vegetables or herbs you want to grow and your available space will dictate the size of garden you want to start off with.

Research online, talk to people growing hydroponic plants, or visit your local plant shop for tips and tricks. You'll discover a whole new world of fresh and healthy produce.

Nutrition,food,health,life,fruits,vegetables,hydroponics

With the ever growing popularity of hydroponic gardening, along the way come questions regarding the nutritional value of hydroponics vs soil grown vegetables and fruits. Nutritional value has become a very important part of our lives, therefore knowing what you are growing and consuming is an important factor.

Without doubt, hydroponics is an environmental giant but are the nutritional values on the same scale as soil grown plants? Elements and nutrients found in soil have a strong impact on the plants' values. Hydroponics, on the other hand, are grown in water vs soil. It could be said that hydroponics are therefore lacking in important nutrients and elements. That is not the case though because hydroponic growth relies on a liquid nutrients fed to the plants and therefor hydroponic plants are given the same essential elements and compounds as soil grown plants.

Some will say that soil grown plants will always have a higher level of nutrients than those grown in water. If the hydroponic gardener chooses his or her nutrient supplements wisely, they will have plants that are just as robust and loaded with great nutrients as those grown in soil. There are higher-end nutrient solutions on the market that are probably a good investment to ensure the bumper crops within your home are top quality.

Pros and Cons:

Hydroponics, grown the proper way, have exactly the same values as plants grown in soil. Those interested in hydroponic gardening must do their homework and learn how to grow plants the proper way in a hydroponic system. Without the proper lighting, nutrients and water, whether grown in soil or hydroponically the plants will not do well.

If you are just starting off with a hydroponic garden, it is strongly suggested that you get with someone who has been doing this for some time. Your local nursery might have hydroponic systems and people experienced in how to grow plants correctly.

Humidity must be controlled regularly because these plants are using water for their base of growth. Too much water can cause rot and wilting but this can be said with plants based in soil as well. Getting advice and learning from knowledgeable hydroponic gardeners is going to save you from unexpected mishaps and get you on the road to great gardening success.

Some of the Pros for hydroponics is not needing soil which makes for a great alternative for apartment dwellers. Hydroponics can be grown in the middle of a desert as long as you have an ample water supply.

As the water stays within the system, you will save on your water bill unlike soil gardening. Nutrients can be controlled as well as deciding whether you want a lower end nutrient or a higher end, it's your choice. You will not have to worry about pesticides and other chemicals that are sprayed on produce you purchase from the store. Hydroponics is extremely environmentally friendly and cost efficient.

Learn from those with experience and you will have year round wonderful produce for your table and fresh aromatic herbs for your many wonderful dishes. You will have the same high quality nutritional value as you have come to experience in an outdoor garden.

Always include a good amount of vegetables and fruits in your daily diet. These foods are loaded with vitamins and proteins that your body needs to stay healthy. Experiment with a variety of vegetable and fruit dishes for a wonderful change of pace.

food,healthy,diet,vegetarian,meat,vegan,vegetables

Veganism (pronounced VEE-gunism) is the act of refusing to consume or use animal products, the participant is referred to as a Vegan (VEE-gun).  There are different types vegans from dietary to ethical to environmental.

Dietary Vegans:

Dietary Vegans do not consume animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy products or other animal related substances.

Ethical Vegans:

These Vegans not only refrain from consuming animal products but also will not use any animal products for other purposes such as products developed through the testing of animals. They do not use leather, wool or silk products as well.

Environmental Veganism:

Environmental vegans stay clear of any animal products on the belief that using animals as a product is not only environmentally destructive but also unethical.

Where the Term Veganism Comes From:

In 1944, Donald Watson created the expression "veganism" when he was the co-founder of The Vegan Society in England.  Originally the term meant vegetarians who also refused consumption of all diary products.  Later on, the concept evolved into man being able to live without the manipulation and abuse of animals.

Vegetarianism actually dates back to cultures in both ancient Greece and ancient India but the actual term came about in the 19th century meaning to avoid meat.

The American Vegan Society:

The American Society was first founded in 1948 by Catherine Nimmo (1887 - 1985) and Rubin Abramowitz in California.  Nimmo, a native of the Netherlands, had been a Vegan since 1931 when the society was first founded in England.

H. Jay Dinshah (1933 - 2000) had visited a slaughterhouse and read many of Watson's literature.  He turned from all animal products on Feb. 8, 1960 and started the American Vegan Society in Malaga, NJ.

Vegetarianism vs Veganism:

Vegetarians do not eat meat, poultry or fish.Vegans go further by avoiding all animal products such as milk, cheese, eggs, honey, the use of leather, wool and silk.  Across the board, vegetarians find their diets healthier, it's better for the environment and their ethical beliefs.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics confirms that a vegetarian diet offers all nutritional needs and is key to healthier living.  As with other diets, the idea is to have a large variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, whole grain, seeds and beans.  Also, as with other diets, laying low on sweets and fatty foods.

Facts Regarding the Vegan Diet:

Research in 2009 showed that vegetarian/vegan diets are higher in fiber, folic acid, vitamin C and E, magnesium and phytochemicals.  These diets are lower in saturated fats, cholesterol, calories, long-chair omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, zinc, vitamin D and vitamin B12.

As a vegetarian/vegan diet does not provide vitamin B12, it is suggested that you incorporate a daily supplement of this vitamin.

The Growing Popularity:

More reports are showing the decline in consumption of animal meat.  Although there are various reasons for this decline, studies have shown that health concerns lead the list.  The higher costs of animal products, especially red meats, have also played a big role with consumers.  Although there is not a great deal of data regarding the well being of animals, many consumers are turning to leafy diets due to animal treatment.

Like all diets, dieters come and go with the latest trend. Those who have chosen vegan diets for ethical reasons seem to remain vegan dieters.  These people are really concerned about the treatment of animals, the raising of animals in order to slaughter them for food.

food,healthy,diet,vegetarian,meat,vegan,vegetables

How To Transition From Other Diets to a Vegan Diet:

People have changed their diets in various ways by slowly changing their eating habits.  Some people prefer plant-based foods that resemble animal products while other simply removes animal products all together.  Some people have become quite creative by incorporating various international cuisines that are animal free. Many have found growing their own produce is not only healthier but also cost efficient.

Grow Your Own Foods Hydroponically:

Start your own hydroponic garden and grow vegetables and leafy greens for fresh, year-round excellent foods.  Hydroponic gardens are actually quite easy to setup from purchasing or building a grow box and setting up grow lights or plant lights.  Starting an herbal garden will add wonderful flavors to your salads.  Home gardening has never been easier or more rewarding.  More gardeners are turning to hydroponic gardens because there are no harmful additives and water filters and treatments allow for healthier plant growth. Hydroponic nutrients create a more robust plant growth as well.

Get Creative:

For years, many people have played around with salads by incorporating their own fruits, vegetables, spices and salad dressings.  With a Vegan Diet, grab a cookbook, experiment with various foods and find those that best suit your taste. Grow these foods in your own hydroponic garden and discover fresh, tasty foods right at home. You'd be amazed how easy it is to create wonderful dishes every day.

Some Suggested Replacement Foods:

Dairy:

Soymilk and other milk products that do not contain real milk.

Nut milks such as almond and coconut

Soy margarine and soy sour cream

Eggs:

Egg replacers found in natural food stores or other egg solutions for those who have no tolerance to real eggs.
Bananas are a great replacement for sweet dishes such as pancakes

Tofu

Cornstarch

Vegetariansim and Veganism in a Nutshell:

Go online and read up on people who have turned their eating habits in a healthier life style.  Find great recipes and talk with others to help guide you to the best choices for starting a vegetarian or vegan diet.  If you think your diet will be limited, you couldn't be more wrong!  There are so many wonderful, tasty, healthy foods out there that you will absolutely amazed!  So come on over and learn to live a healthier life.

0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening By Karen B. Vance
dehydrated snacks, organic food, healthy diet, growing vegetables, fruits, vegetables, lifestyle, health

Dehydration is a method of preserving foods that involves removing water from vegetables, fruits, seafood and meats to help them last longer. With dehydration, you retain many of the health benefits of the vitamins and other nutrients in foods without having to worry about botulism. Dehydrated foods are easy to store and don't require refrigeration or freezing.

Here is a quick guide to DIY food dehydration to help you get started enjoying the many benefits of dry-food.

Getting Started

  1. Carefully select the foods that you want to dry. Select fruits and vegetables that are fresh and ready to eat. Fish, crab, lobster and other seafood and meats should also be as fresh as possible.
  2. Ready your foods the way you would to enjoy them. You need to do all of the cutting, slicing, mincing, trimming and chopping of your foods prior to dehydration. Foods in thinner 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch pieces will dry more quickly.
  3. If you're dehydrating any fruits, vegetables or plants that include skins or outer coverings, such as grapes or herbs, be sure to wash the foods first.
  4. When you're drying light-colored fruits and veggies, coat the foods with lemon juice or an ascorbic acid product to help prevent drying. Vegetables should also be steamed or blanched to help prevent them from becoming tough during dehydration

Successful Drying

  1. You can dry foods in the oven, in an appliance called a dehydrator or even in the sun. Dehydrators are by far the fastest and most efficient way to dry, so you may want to invest in one if you plant to prepare your own dry-foods frequently.
  2. Before you begin to dry and throughout the drying process, you should get the temperatures of the oven or dehydrator to 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and then maintain the temperatures at that level. Air should also be allowed to circulate through the space to ensure optimal results.
0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Karen B. Vance

Garden Delights In Every Season: Growing Vegetables Indoors With Hydroponics

Imagine plucking a juicy red tomato right off the vine to top off your burger or put in your salad. See yourself picking a freshly grown spicy hot pepper that you can use to flavor your dishes. Picture yourself harvesting your own cucumbers or squash for your recipes. Now, imagine that you're picking these veggies in your pajamas inside with a foot of snow covering your backyard!

This delicious vision isn't just a dream; it can be a reality with a hydroponics vegetable garden. Hydroponics is a way of organic gardening indoors in any season without having to deal with messy potting soil. You can grow a wide variety of vegetables indoors in a hydroponics system, and this step-by-step guide will tell you how.

1. Take a plastic seedling tray and fill it up with peat moss, which you can purchase online and at home and garden stores. Spritz the peat moss with a water bottle until it is wet to the touch. You want it to feel like a sponge that is damp but not dripping wet.

2. Plant your vegetable seeds according to the depth instructions on the packaging. For best results when you're starting your first garden, pick vegetables that grow low to the ground and that grow quickly, such as leafy greens like kale or lettuce, broccoli or cauliflower.

3. Put plastic on the tray and place the entire setup on a windowsill that receives light but not direct sunlight.

4. Check your plants every day. If the peat moss is dry, spritz it the way that you did in Step 1. When the seeds sprout, remove the plastic.

5. Continue checking the seeds daily. Continue until the plants are beginning to outgrow the tray.

6. When the plants are too big, take each one gently out of the tray. Use water on low pressure to clean the peat moss away from the roots.

7. Take an aquarium fish tank and encase it with aluminum foil to block out the light and help the plants grow.

8. Purchase a hydroponics nutrient solution and mix it with water as directed on the packaging.

9. Pour the nutrient and water solution into the fish tank.

10. Connect a fish tank bubbler to a tank air pump with plastic tubing and gently put the bubbler down on the bottom of the tank.

11. Use scissors to trim a piece of Styrofoam sheeting to slightly smaller than the length and width of the fish tank.

12. Make holes inside of the sheet that are slightly smaller than the mouth of the Styrofoam coffee cups that you purchased.

13. Use an exacto knife to make slits in the sides of the cups.

14. Fill each cup up completely with vermiculite.

15. Make a depression enough to accommodate your plants inside of the vermiculite-filled cups.

16. Carefully set one plant in each cup.

17. Put the Styrofoam cups into the holes of the Styrofoam sheet.

18. Put the Styrofoam sheet with the cups inside of the fish tank.

19. Turn on the bubble.

20. Put the fish tank underneath hydroponics growing lights.

21. Monitor your plants and wait for your vegetables to grow!

These simple steps will have you enjoying your own fresh-from-the-garden vegetables all year round in no time!

0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Indoor Gardening By Charles R. Sword

Hydro, Hydroponics, grow plants, grow lights, grow shop, grow room, grow box, herb garden, plant lights, gardeners, gardening, vegetables, water filters, water treatment, nutrients, nutrition, seeds, flowers

 

Common Hydroponic Systems That are Used Commercially

Many commercial growers adopt certain hydroponic techniques to grow commercially. One of the most common systems are drip systems. These systems never fully submerge the roots or grow medium while also never allowing it to dry out. The process is simple: a timer controls a submersible pump and water/solution is dripped onto the base of each plant via small drip lines. When it is done the water drips back down into the reservoir where it is reused.

Another common system is the continuous flow system. Water is pumped constantly through pipes while plants are placed on the pipes, allowing solution to bathe the roots before returning into the tank.

 

Some commercial growers opt to use a nutrient film technique. Plants are grown in equally spaced holes in plastic gullies. A nutrient solution of minerals and water is pumped into the higher end, supplying roots with nutrients before returning to the tank where the process is repeated.

It can be a small system for home gardeners and for a commercial grower it is scaled to fit. Virtually any system can be scaled to commercial size.

3 Comments | Posted in Hydroponics Details Indoor Gardening By Florence B. Harrell

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