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Veg-Booster enables young cuttings or seedlings to better expand branches allowing for fuller growth In the later ﬂowering stages.
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E XC ELU R ATOR
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CONTENTS I GARDEN CULTURE
FRUIT 19 FOGPONICS
GROWING IN SPACE
40 IN THIS ISSUE OF GARDEN CULTURE:
36 MICRO GREENS
46 Extinct Food
10 Product Spotlight
51 Dutch Innovations for the Future
14 Genetics & Breeding
52 Fogponics: food from vapour
19 The Miracle Fruit
55 K.I.S.S. again
20 Greenwashing is Everywhere
56 Garden Efficiency
58 Sailing the Sea of Green
24 Eating fresh in Antartica
62 Growing Phytoplankton
29 Five cool finds
68 Life All-Inclusivetm
30 Living Food Pantries
36 Grow Your Own: Rosemary 40 Growing in Space gardenculture.net
website www.agriculturalorganics.com www.facebook.com/bloomadvancedfloriculture
The Essential Mix
FOREWORD & CREDITS I GARDEN CULTURE FOREWORD
Let’s look back, say 100 years. 1914, the world was in turmoil, war, famine, and some of the poorest work conditions imaginable. Agricultural technology was about to undergo a major transformation. Machines, biotechnology, irradiation, chemical pesticides, and more recently the advent of GMO’s. Yes, we are making more food for less money, but at what cost? Today, the government of Australia is trying to manage its agricultural system the best it can. Unfortunately, like in most countries, profits come before health. Not only is Ausveg and the government not promoting or funding community gardens, they are claiming that they pose a serious safety risk for the nation’s horticulture sector. “... infestations with either pests or diseases, and then that becomes a threat in itself to commercial horticultural operations that need to comply with strict adherence to quality assurance guidelines”
~ William Churchill, Ausveg spokesperson Please, are you serious? How about the contamination of someone’s organic garden with GMO pollen or seeds. Yes, there are plenty of GMO products in Australia and New Zealand. They must undergo a safety evaluation by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) before being accepted. FSANZ will not approve a GM food unless it is safe to eat. Safe to eat? It could take decades until we truly understand the impact of GMO’s on our health. We want the future to be about self-sustainability and health. We need to motivate you to be critical of the food system. Grow your own, start today and teach your children. It will be them who will fight for the future of food.
Eric Coulombe Executive Editor
Garden Culture™ is a publication of GC Publishers B.V. ED I TO RS Executive Editor: Eric Coulombe e. email@example.com Senior Editor: Tammy Clayton V P O PER AT I O NS: Annelies Lake e: firstname.lastname@example.org t. +31(0)181-728101 DESIGN Job Hugenholtz Special thanks the following contributors: Tammy Clayton, Jair, Mark, Anne Gibson, Everest Fernandez, Mike Nivato, April, Carlos Aguila and Jeroen Kateehm. PUBLISHER GC Publishers Postbus 483, 3200 AL Spijkenisse The Netherlands t. +31(0)181-728101 w. www.gcpublishers.net e. email@example.com ADVERTISING Eric Coulombe e. firstname.lastname@example.org t. +1-855-427-8254 SUBSCRIPTIONS e. email@example.com D I ST R I B U T I O N PA R T N ER • Growhard Australia ISSN: 2211-9329 © GC Publishers B.V. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without prior permission in writing from the GC Publishers B.V.
Website : www.GardenCulture.net facebook.com/GardenCulture twitter.com/GardenCulture
Gavita 6/750e DE FLEX fixture with new electronic lamp The new Gavita e-series fixtures have arrived in the shops! All e-series fixtures are suitable for external control with the Gavita Master controllers. A new fixture in the range is the 6/750e DE FLEX, which is equipped with a unique double ended Gavita electronic lamp. It has a wide control range between 375 and 825W and a very high efficiency (2 μmol s-1 per Watt) in a range of 600-825W. This flexibl e control range with high efficiency makes this fixture suitable for rooms where 1000W is a bit too much or even as a 1-1 replacement of traditional single ended air cooled 1000W fixtures, saving 15-25% of energy with the same output. The Gavita Pro 750W EL DE lamps have been thoroughly tested in large horticultural projects over the last two years. The Gavita electronics are developed specifically for this lamp. www.gavita-holland.com
b m o b d e e s ‘Run your fans completely silent’
Hybrid Controller Pro The new Hybrid Controller Pro combines mechanical fan speed operation with the latest digital temperature sensing techno logy. The result is a completely silent, twin fan speed contro ller with highly accurate temperature control. The Hybrid Contr oller Pro has a 5m NTC temperature probe, allowing the unit to be positioned in any convenient location. It is designed to mainta in a constant temperature inside your room whilst keeping airflow under control at all times. It is the ideal solution for those lookin g for the quietest running extractor fans as it creates No Buzz ing or Humming from any type of extractor GUARANTE ED!! Negative air pressure is ensured through the perfect synchronisation of both fans. The humidity sensor controls and removes excess humidity during your lights off period. www.stealth-garden.com
in the arsether weapon o an is re e f beauty ow th ndly blasts o Seedbom N ie fr se e h T a farming. send some nal of guerrill good aim to d an r e at w me ur own only need so t or even yo o sp n e tt o any forg power and blooms into read flower sp to ay w at even a gre garden. It is help bees or to d e gn si e d packs me targets even come in d choose so an t n ta ili m et sponshare love. G seedboms re w ro th s ay ing. Alw choosing for seedbom d chance by o go a m e th d light. sibly and give moisture an il, so e m so h targets wit k loom.co.u www.kab
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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT I GARDEN CULTURE
n a t s i s s a g n i al garden
g a garden conrter spinoff featurin Bitponics is a Kicksta th real time sensor comes complete wi e ag ck pa e Th r. lle tro y and lets ps, light and humidit m te ir r/a te wa , pH r readings fo owser. The Biten from any web br rd ga ur yo e ag an m you blueprint nal Grow Plan, the rso pe ur yo ns ru d ponics Clou s your sensors, rden care. It monitor ga of on as se l ful a for f, and nod accessories on & of te ec nn co s rn tu lly automatica e action. tifies you when to tak om www.Bitponics.c
d about e of the most talke Quickly becoming on effective, market, this highly products to hit the s switchcanister has grower user activated CO2 high rate globe. Delivering a ing over across the stly CO2 only to that of a co of C02, comparable scrams or er has competit system, the Enhanc unique t. The Enhancer’s bling to stay relevan release ability to slow the features include its overall ht cycle, improving of CO2 during the nig rs love al yield. Store owne plant health and fin the Eners are amazed how ow gr ile wh life elf sh its three year l natural’ categohest PPM’s in the ‘al hig e th s te ra ne ge hancer ter and ease of use (adding wa d an y cit pli sim s er ry. The Enhanc a top choice its no heat, makes it em it t fac e th d an ) shaking ormation, visit your owers. For more inf for knowledgeable gr om ww.tnbnaturals.c local garden store. w
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from black & decker Black & Decker have domesticated the chainsaw by making safety the main feature of this design so that anyone can use it around the garden. These gattors can cut branches up to 10 cm in diameter keeping users safe and in control with the patented alligator jaw. Comfortable and quiet to use, the B&D Alligator Lopper GK1050 makes any chopping a cinch and will not disturb the neighbors. www.blackanddecker.com.au
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and Breeding That offspring resemble each other is a fact that has been well known for ages. In the past, differences were attributed to superstition and supernatural powers. But scientist Gregor Mendel discovered in the 19th century that these differences can be explained and can even be mathematically predicted. Genetics has always been the key point in the breeding of plants, but now breeders apply more scientific and calculating methods than ever before.
WHAT ARE GENES?
HOW DOES BREEDING WORK?
Genes are a blueprint, a kind of manual statement of what should happen in a given situation. They are made up of code, what we call the DNA code. DNA is comprised of a double helix, which means that two long strands of code are twisted around each other.
Breeders play a game of chance. They combine two organisms and hope that this will create a more useful combination. But they also leverage the laws of genetics, which allow for the increase in certainty that specific properties can be passed down to the offspring. In practice, genes can occur in various forms. Each different form of a gene is called an “allele”. Not all alleles are the same. There are dominant and recessive alleles (i.e. submissive). In the event that an organism contains both a dominant and recessive gene, only the code of the dominant gene will be expressed. Hence, an organism must inherit both a recessive gene from the father and the mother for the recessive gene to be dominant and have an impact on organism.
A gene never stands alone. In the same strand one can find dozens, hundreds or even thousands of genes. These strands are often quite long and are called chromosomes. It is these chromosomes that make us who we are, physically speaking. Normally, an organism has a fixed number of chromosomes, though how many depends on the species. Chromosomes normally appear – with exceptions in pairs, with one derived from the ‘father’ and one from the ‘mother’.
PHENOT YPES The offspring can be influenced by preventing a particular trait in a population. It is possible to calculate how certain alleles, and thus individual organisms or “phenotypes” can be realized by intentionally cross breeding with the appropriate parent. Even with the right knowledge this remains a game of chance, and becomes considerably more complicated if more trait
BY JEROEN KATHEEM
GENETICS & BREEDING I GARDEN CULTURE
BREEDERS PLAY A GAME OF CHANCE. THEY COMBINE TWO ORGANISMS AND HOPE THAT THIS WILL CREATE A MORE USEFUL COMBINATION. BUT THEY ALSO LEVERAGE THE LAWS OF GENETICS, WHICH ALLOW FOR THE INCREASE IN CERTAINTY THAT SPECIFIC PROPERTIES CAN BE PASSED DOWN TO THE OFFSPRING
properties are taken into account. The number of individuals that is necessary in order to obtain the desired hybrids will therefore increase as attention is paid to more and more specific aspects.
However, as soon as it is known which piece of code relates to a particular gene, it is possible to test individuals for the presence of this gene. In this way, suitable plants can be selected for further breeding with higher speed and accuracy
WHAT IS F1?
In the breeding of plants one often encounters the term ‘F1’. This refers to the first generation. In many cases, crossing two very different subspecies within a plant species, the properties of the parents can surface more in the “child” than in the parental line itself. This advantage will again be reduced within the next generation, which is commercially interesting because offspring of F1 plants are less potent, making it necessary to obtain seeds again.
Genetic modification also makes use of these DNA techniques but takes it one step further by copying genes from one organism to another. With this technique it is also possible to utilize genes from completely different organisms. After all, DNA is a universal code.
DNA ANALYSIS Using modern techniques DNA can be analyzed, and the information gained put to good use. Analyzing DNA is widely done and it is very important to find out which property is associated with which piece of code. Unfortunately, this is not always clearly indicated by the DNA and is often guesswork.
WANT TO LEARN MORE? Since the discovery of genetics, breeding has been elevated from an art to a science. Genetics is a very broad topic which is not easily understood by the layman. Years of study are required to learn all the details. This article only covers the tip of the iceberg. The rest of that iceberg contains a lot of math, logic and more complicated terms that would require significant study to understand. Genetics is the source of life and is therefore very important for everyone, whether one is aware of it or not. 3
BY JEROEN KATHEEM
THE MIRACLE FRUIT I GARDEN CULTURE
The Miracle Fruit One Bite Sweetens Everything
Not into sour? You’re not alone. This berry changes sour flavors to sweet naturally by changing your taste perception. Synsepalum dulcificum, most commonly known as Miracle Fruit, is a native West Africa that is traditionally used as a sweetener. The berries grow on one-meter high bushes, and are well suited to the hot, humid West African climate.
Though very drought tolerant, the plants need good irrigation for consistently high fruit production.These bushes prefer a slightly acidic soil and plenty of sunlight. At harvest time the berries are freeze-dried to preserve the “miraculin” compound that changes the way foods taste.
HOW DOES SOUR BECOME SWEET?
MIRACULIN MAKES YOUR BRAIN PERCEIVE SWEET NO MATTER WHAT YOU’VE EATEN. GO AHEAD - DRINK STRAIGHT LEMON JUICE. YOU WON’T BE PULLING A SOUR FACE!
Your taste buds, depending on where they are located register various flavor sensations.When Miraculin is consumed, it temporarily changes taste by binding to those that register sweet flavors.At a neutral pH there is little to notice. Bite into something (with low pH) and the Miraculin bound taste buds activate to alter sour to sweet. Miraculin makes your brain perceive sweet no matter what you’ve eaten. Go ahead - drink straight lemon juice.You won’t be pulling a sour face.. The effects of the miracle fruit are not permanent. The taste altering effect wears off in about an hour, and your taste buds? Well, sour will definitely have pucker power again!
L IV E H A PPI E R W IT H M I R AC L E F RU IT Many foods have a low pH which would be impacted and changed to a sweet flavor after eating these berries. Beer and
coffee completely change flavor, as do cheese, nuts and fruits. For those on a diet, Miracle Fruit is quite interesting, especially if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Pre-sweetened foods naturally contain a lot of that forbidden sugar.You can cheat without cheating! All foods seem sweeter than they actually are. You can satisfy that sweet tooth without the unwanted after effects. If sugar calories aren’t an issue, consider the benefits to your teeth! Cane sugar is the number one cause of cavities.
T H E M I R AC L E F RU IT I N T H E F U T U R E The benefits of miraculin are here to stay, though the form may change in the future. Scientists are working to isolate the compounds that make Miracle Fruit work, and introduce them to other fruits and vegetables, as well as synthesizing them in laboratories.
W H E R E TO G ET M I R AC L E F RU IT Though it can be difficult to find in some parts of Europe, in England it is somewhat easier. Simply search on the Internet.You will quickly find many websites that sell it in several different forms.3
Greenwashing is everywhere
Something else that we’re going to see more and more in the future is called greenwashing. I looked it up in the dictionary and it says “greenwash - a superficial or insincere display of concern for the environment that is shown by an organization”. Sounds like something your not stupid enough to fall for right? Wrong! I’ll bet you that a lot of stores you shop at already does some form of greenwashing.
Gulf of Mexico. BP is really proud that they have “helped” business along the Gulf Coast with almost £15 billion. The true story is they only parted with the money because they are required so by law, and because of the generosity that is in their hearts.
All the big boys do it, take for example Britain’s most unsustainable company around, British Petroleum, also known as BP. They’ve launched a couple of big greenwashing PR projects after spilling millions of gallons of oil in the
Did you know that the word “natural” is totally unregulated, every brand can use it if they like. Take “Cif PowerPro Naturals” for example. According to Unilever UK, its “made with 98% naturally derived ingredients.”
copyright Cheryl Casey Shutterstock
I always imagine a CEO sitting there with a staff of people who also have other 3 letter acronyms for their job description saying: “Why don’t we say we’re doing something good for the environment, while in fact we’re not? We’ll get some nice press for free, and people will think we’re the best company in the world. A little twisting of the truth will bring us a rash of positive publicity, and more business equals a bigger bonus for us. The shareholders will love this trick!” Of course, his CFO, COO, CDO or CCO will applaud him in the boardroom, the directors will be impressed with the plot, and the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) will quickly draw up a plan for the brilliant greenwashing scheme.
GREENWASHING I GARDEN CULTURE
BY MIKE NIVATO
DO YOU BUY “ECO FRIENDLY” PRODUCTS? GOOD FOR YOU, BUT YOU’RE WRONG AGAIN
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well that’s where greenwashing comes in, the product is 95% water. Pure H2O, so only 3% of the ingredients that clean are natural and 2% is chemical. What a nifty way of saying you have a 98% natural product. Do you buy “eco friendly” products? Good for you, but you’re wrong again. A recent study shows that some popular consumer cleaning products such as laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid and hand soap that claim to be eco-friendly are not 100% petroleum-free as claimed.
technique to determine the origin of carbon in the cleaning products. The study showed incredible variation from brand to brand, and not one product being 100% “green,” or derived solely from plant based materials. Now you’d say but that’s wrong… Wrong again. Mr. CEO and CMO aren’t lying to you. There just simply isn’t a legal definition of “sustainable, natural or renewable” in product carbon content. So they can safely wash themselves green, and say they are not doing anything wrong. Dubai is another classic example. They say that they have some amazing “sustainable” projects going on there that will definitely make the world and the city a greener place.
The study employed a carbon-14 dating technique, which is traditionally used in archeology to determine the age of bones, cloth, fossils and other artifacts. The scientists used the
GREENWASHING I GARDEN CULTURE DID YOU KNOW THAT THEY COLOR THE FISH WITH THE USE OF ASTAXANTHIN, A DYE ASSOCIATED WITH RETINAL DAMAGE USED TO MAKE GRAY FARMED FISH VARIOUS SHADES OF “WILD” PINK. WITHOUT THIS CHEMICAL, THAT LOVELY PINK SALMON IN THE MEAT COUNTER WOULD ACTUALLY BE LIGHT GREY. HOW CAN SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO DIE TO SELL BE SUSTAINABLE?
They build the city in the middle of the desert with no big fresh water sources around!!! Seriously, sustainable?! What is sustainable in generating so much power for osmosis filters so you can water plants in the middle of the desert? Ahhh, gotcha - your oil is still cheap and flowing freely, so that makes it sustainable. Even Britain’s beloved salmon is in danger of greenwashing. Much of the salmon in the market today is farm grown or cultivated, because the wild salmon is becoming scarce. Did you know that they color the fish with the use of astaxanthin, a dye associated with retinal damage used to make gray farmed fish various shades of “wild” pink. Without this chemical, that lovely pink salmon in the meat counter would actually be light grey. How can something you have to die to sell be sustainable? Remember this the
next time you see non-wild salmon labeled ‘sustainable’ or ‘green.’ At least you’re wise to what’s going on. Greenwashing happens everywhere - even in your local hydro store or garden center. For example take organic bat guano (otherwise known as bat pooh) is not sustainable, however it is 100% organic. Bat Guano must age in an arid location, such as a cave, for decades before it can be harvested. The harvesting process disrupts the delicate ecosystem of the cave and deprives the other creatures living in the cave of an essential source of nutrients.
Additionally, shipping bat guano from Jamaica and other faraway places requires a great deal of fossil fuel.\ As its name suggests, rock phosphate contains a high concentration of phosphate, which makes it a popular organic fertilizer. However, it’s found in only a few places around the world and is harvested by strip mining. The resources are quite limited. Not only is rock phosphate not a renewable resource, collecting it isn’t ecofriendly. Last, but not least, our politicians are the biggest greenwashers of them all. They promise you dreams of a green future, while putting their hands in the greasy pockets of big oil and other major industries. They are the ones allowing the companies to greenwash. My prediction for the future? They will keep their greasy hands in the pockets of big company’s 3-lettered managers, because otherwise they will not raise the $1.000.000+ for their campaigns. No matter what country you live in, he who is owned by the biggest pockets wins. 3
BY TAMMY CLAYTON
Eating Fresh in
Antarctica “There is only one (food) delivery a year...” You might assume that food and supplies arrive regularly by air to the different stations Australia has established down south. Wrong. There is only one delivery a year, and it comes by ship. The station chef can’t pop up to the store to replenish resources. The food must last until the following summer.
Most of the food is tinned, dried or frozen on lar, though the Romas take longer to pro“HYDROPONIC arrival, though there will be ‘fresh’ fruits and duce ripe fruits. They are also growing GARDENS… AT vegetables on the ship. Salad ingredients, like cherry and Tommy Toe tomato varieties. THE BOTTOM OF lettuce, greens and tomatoes, have already While gardening at the pole is a past time, THE WORLD” seen a few weeks of storage when the ship they take the food growing part of it pretty docks. seriously. You will notice that there are no To offset this gastronomic imbalance and help stretch limited LEDs or fluorescent grow lights in use. All the station gardens resources, each Antarctic station has its own hydroponic garare running deep water culture systems and 400 watt HID den. It also provides a welcome recreational activity with a psylamps. Good eating depends on a successful grow. chological boost. Being able to spend time in a warm, brightly lit room surrounded by plants during the long, dark and cold It’s pretty amazing that there are hydroponic gardens providwinter down south does wonders for a person’s outlook. ing a variety of fresh salad fixings, greens, tomatoes, herbs, and strawberries at the bottom of the world. The only time Antarctic Gardening that the garden isn’t producing is for several weeks in summer The current head gardener at Mawson Station, Darron Lehmprior to staff changeover. This allows the departing gardeners ann, tells us that production is only limited by the size of the to do a thorough cleaning of the hydro facility and equipment facility. While Darron volunteered for the role of managing the to ensure that it is free of fungi, algae and pests. garden, he isn’t a seasoned grower. He’s never grown food before. Looks like he’s taken to gardening like a fish to water, judgProtecting the Eco System ing by the shots of his grow he has shared with us. He planted They are very vigilant about this down south. There are no his crops on 25th February, and as of early August has produced insects there. To make sure things stay this way, importing live almost 85 kg of fresh fruits and vegetables. He wasn’t done pickplants and ordinary garden seed is taboo. All food is grown ing and weighing his harvest for the year at the time of his email from sterilized seeds. Every precaution is taken to preserve interview. the plants and other life forms that are native to the place, and When asked what tomatoes Antarctic growers preferred, protect them from being infected or altered by imported pests Lehmann says Rogue de Marmande and Roma are very popuand disease.
GARDEN EFFICIENCY I GARDEN CULTURE
© Justin Chambers / Australian Antarctic Division
21 Week Crop Yields - Lettuces = 45.31 kg - Radishes = 4.61 kg - Pak choi = 8.38 kg - Silverbeet = 5.34 kg - Coriander = 0.11 kg - Mint = 1.67 kg - Basil = 1.19 kg - Tomatoes = 7.07 kg - Snow Peas = 2.48 kg - Cucumber = 7.20 kg - Spring Onions = 0.06 kg - Lemon Balm = 0.12 kg - Parsley = 0.25 kg - Dill = 0.42 kg - Chillies = 0.21 kg - Capsicum = 0.16 kg
© Darron Lehmann / Australian Antarctic Division
© G Denyer / Australian Antarctic Division
© Justin Chambers / Australian Antarctic Division
“IMPORTING LIVE PL ANTS AND ORDINARY GARDEN SEED IS TABOO”
It is interesting the length some aspects of this must go to ensure man doesn’t unwittingly pollute the pristine. For instance, no chicken or poultry is allowed on an expedition to prevent diseases these birds carry from spreading to Antarctic wildlife. Researchers on a trek are warned not to dispose of waste water outside at an outpost. It seems that native birds find this particular form of ice quite a feast. There are also restrictions on the types of crops that can be grown in their indoor gardens. Any plant that isn’t grown for its fruit cannot be allowed to set seed. This is done to avoid importing alien plants accidentally. Macquarie Island has a subantarctic climate and stricter crop selection in place. Here cabbage, kale and other brassicas aren’t allowed. They also cannot grow mushrooms, many herbs, micro greens, or lettuce mixes in the garden. These plants could conceivably thrive in the wild on the island as unwelcome exotics and forever alter the natural environment of this warmer location.
The Division maintains three research stations on the continent – Mawson, Davis, and Casey – and one station on subantarctic Macquarie Island. The AAD oversees a sophisticated science program investigating climate processes and change, terrestrial, nearshore and Southern Ocean ecosystems. Australia is active in the Antarctic Treaty System, the international collaboration to manage and protect the Antarctic environment.
About the Australian Antarctic Division The Australian Antarctic Division is part of the Australian Government, and is responsible for: ‘Advancement of Australia’s strategic, scientific, environmental and economic interests in the Antarctic by protecting administering and researching the region.’
About Mawson Station The longest continuously operated station in Antarctica, Mawson was established in 1954. It was named after Australia’s most significant Antarctic explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson. For more information, visit http://www.antarctica.gov.au/livingand-working/stations/mawson/living 3
BY ANNE GIBSON
Microgreens Small But Mighty
You might assume that food and supplies arrive regularly by air to the different stations Australia has established down south. Wrong. There is only one delivery a year, and it comes by ship. The station chef can’t pop up to the store to replenish resources. The food must last until the following summer.
“4 TO 40 TIMES MORE NUTRIENTS THAN THEIR MATURE EQUIVALENTS”
Microgreens or ‘Micros’, are colourful miniature vegetables and herbs with tiny delicate leaves. Sandwiched in size and maturity between sprouts and baby greens, microgreens are grown in soil – either in sunlight or under indoor lighting. Microgreens mature from ‘seed to feed’ when they have developed tiny roots and their first true leaves (cotyledons) - on average in 1-3 weeks. They are best harvested just before serving for maximum nutrients and flavour. These petite plants are continuing to grow in popularity - not only with gourmet chefs and fine dining restaurants serving up living fresh ingredients, but also with discerning, health-conscious consumers and urban farmers. As demand increases, more growers are producing these pint-sized products. Home cooks are also enjoying the economical convenience of growing their own fresh gourmet ingredients for everyday use, rather than paying premium prices when dining out.
Colour, Flavour & Texture Many chefs are ‘culinary artists’ using microgreens as their new ‘paints’ to create masterpieces on the plate. Chefs use these living ingredients as flavour accents and gourmet garnishes to enhance the taste and presentation for a wide range of dishes including soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees, mains and even desserts. It’s easy to see how they’ve earned their ‘Vegetable Confetti’ nickname with colourful good looks and attractive textures making them pretty on a plate.
Growers and seed suppliers are offering a widening selection of individual leaf varieties and even cuisine specific blends like Mediterranean and Asian. Despite their miniature size, microgreens pack a surprising punch in the flavour department - ranging from mild to an intense taste depending on the variety. Micro herbs and salad greens like peppery rocket, coriander, celery, basil, fennel, cabbage, spinach, tatsoi, tangy radish, spicy mustard, mizuna and endive are popular with chefs. Bull’s Blood Chard with an attractive two-tone appearance and distinctive beet flavour, kale and rainbow chard are also colourful favourites.
Nutrient Value These micro mouthfuls are now in the spotlight for their superior health benefits. Until recently, little research was available on the nutritional value of microgreens compared to fully grown plants. In 2012*, researchers at the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR), and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) were surprised to discover that microgreens contained 4 to 40 times more nutrients than their mature equivalents. Researchers found “In general, microgreens contain considerably higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids than their mature plant counterparts, although large variations were found among the 25 species tested.” For example, red cabbage had the highest concentrations of ascorbic acids, coriander (highest carotenoids), garnet amaranth (highest phylloquinone), and green daikon radish (highest tocopherols). “In comparison with nutritional concentrations in mature leaves… the microgreen cotyledon leaves possessed higher nutritional densities.”
* ‘Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens’. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; 60 (31): 7644 ** ‘Regulated Water Deficits Improve Phytochemical Concentration in Lettuce’ – J Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. May 2010 vol. 135 no. 3 223-229
GARDEN EFFICIENCY I GARDEN CULTURE
BIO “colourful good looks and attractive textures making them pretty on a plate”
The research team continues to study the nutritional aspects of microgreens and it will be interesting to follow their future findings. These results supported a 2010 study** reported in the Journal of American Society for Horticultural Science: “Young seedlings, 7 days after germination, had the highest total phenolic concentration and antioxidant capacity” and were “rich in phenolic compounds and antioxidants” compared to lettuce harvested at maturity. This study found “total phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity declined rapidly and reached their lowest level at the time of harvest”.
Anne Gibson is author of the SOW SIMPLE™ Guide to Growing an Abundant Organic Edible Garden eBook and publishes The Micro Gardener, an inspiring DIY garden website. She is a writer, consultant, speaker and community educator and teaches people how to grow highly productive edible gardens on a budget in urban spaces. She is also Editor/Founder of Green Journey (www.greenjourney.com.au), an award-winning sustainable living website. Anne is passionate about helping people grow nutrient-dense food, upcycling materials in the garden and maximising yields for minimal time, money, and effort. Visit www. themicrogardener.com for your complimentary eBook
Sourcing seeds Whilst there are many Australian seed suppliers, for health reasons it is recommended to choose organically certified or untreated seed to avoid seeds that may have been fumigated or treated with a fungicide. Suitable seeds are available from companies such as Green Harvest (greenharvest.com.au), Eden Seeds (edenseeds.com.au), Diggers (diggers.com.au), and 4 Seasons Seeds (4seasonsseeds.com.au). With supportive evidence of nutritional and health benefits, microgreens are likely to be on the menu for some time. 3
All House & Garden base A&B are 100% made in Holland, composed of pure liquid base elements, unlike most other â€œpremiumâ€? nutrients on the market, we dont use powders or bulking agents. Because H&G only use a liquid mineral base, this ensures plants can uptake all the available food without having to separate out the unusable compounds. All our base nutrients are made with computer controlled precision, slightly heated during mixing for extended periods of time to ensure our base nutrients are blended to perfection. All nutrients are batch tested in our state of the art factory in Holland to ensure the outstanding quality H&G is renowned for. Our base nutrients come in three variations - Hydro / Cocos / Soil, to accomodate the various substrates available.
GREEN PRODUCTS I GARDEN CULTURE
cool finds Plants definitely make the world a better place. Here’s some great ways to spread hope, beauty and nutrition around.
P L A N TA B L E W R A P P I N G PA P E R
Presents are always lovely, but the beauty of your thoughtfulness increases dramatically when you add a whole lot of food to the package. Seeded paper in a variety of yummy fresh veg. Simply tuck pieces of into the soil, and add water to grow. Recycled, sustainable gift wrap from www.EdensPaper.com.
LED WICKING GARD EN
Smart looking Sun Garden offers a compact, leak-proof indoor garden unit that will keep you in fresh greens and herbs all year. Stack them up to increase your garden space without a huge energy bill. It only uses 40W of electricity. Available at www. WeimarBiotech.com.
R EC YC L E YO U R O W N PA P E R
Handmade paper is beautiful stuff. Why toss out waste paper or haul it to a recycling center when you can make your own paper? Get creative! Add colour, flower petals, seeds, fiber, glitter... whatever inspires you. Greeting card, stationary, and envelope kits from www.PaperGoRound.com.au/kits.php
M ATC H ST I C K H E R B GARD ENS A great way to share the goodness of fresh herbs. Pass ‘em out in person, by mail, or practice guerilla gardening on the fly. This trendy little book of 20 herb matchsticks has a mix of oregano, parsley and basil.
WAT E R F R O M A STO N E
Say goodbye to ugly water reservoirs. Keep your potted plants and container gardens from being parched while you’re away with some style. Sold in pairs, the hand-blown glass stones hold 207ml, and replenish soil moisture only when needed. A nifty idea available at www.Biome.com. au/629-gardening-gloves.
Available at www.BotanicalPaperWorks.com/ catalog/stationery-gifts/matchstick-gardens. 3
Living food Pantries
FRESH PRODUCE ALL YEAR ROUND
Have a black thumb? Start small and grow big. A basic living pantry can be growing onions in the kitchen window or rosemary and basil bought potted from the grocery store. It is something that can be grown year round and is ok with available light, such as from a window. Grab a pair of scissors and trim a bit of mint for a drink, or snip some basil for a caprese salad.
LIVING FOOD PANTRIES I GARDEN CULTURE
A food pantry can also be in the form of a mushroom kit. Mushrooms are fresh, easy to grow and high in nutritional value. Mushrooms can be grown from plugs or kits you can purchase at local hydroponic stores or ordered online from Fungi Perfecti (www.fungi.com). Mushroom’s can be grown in as little as 3 days in a small space on the kitchen counter or a dark cupboard. You don’t need lots of space. It can fit on the kitchen counter or a window sill. For fresh herbs grown in minimal space, you’ve got options in the AeroGarden and the Jr. Ponics FishGarden. Both of these are small enough to fit on the counter and come with all growing items needed. Small countertop gardens can also be made with components found at a hydroponics store. There’s a popular DIY plan at my.windowfarms.com made using parts most people will find available locally. Countertop designs are best for growing herbs. They require little additional light, quickly germinate and are fast growing. Larger food pantries that will still fit comfortably into a living space can be bought in the form of smaller hydroponic hobby units. These are good for growing herbs and even some larger plants such as peppers with limited need of
additional light, such as t5 lighting. The all in one kits are great for beginner gardeners who want access to fresh food year round. Larger pantries can also be made from baker racks, grow tents or custom built in furniture. Custom grow cabinets and drawers can add an aesthetic experience, as well as a the health benefit of living food pantries. Urban Culitvator makes systems customized to the kitchen or dining room. Herbs and wheat grass are easy, fast growing for year round plants for these spaces. Putting your imagination and a little engineering to work, you can create a hydroponic living pantry from many things. Items found at Ikea to can be used to build tents that produce food year round at home. There could even be a handmade hydroponic find just right for you on places like Etsy.com. Moss isn’t a food staple, but this idea could be applied to finding space for growing herbs when you think you have none. Hydroponic and aquaponics could be the wave of the future for living pantries. North American restaurants have also started using living pantries and creating urban gardens to supply fruits and vegetables for patrons. Bell,
LIVING FOOD PANTRIES I GARDEN CULTURE
Chicago’s O’Hare airport
Book & Candle in New York City has a hydroponic rooftop garden. Chicago’s Uncommon Ground in had the first certified organic rooftop garden in the United States. These are just two examples of living food pantries being integrated into modern fresh restaurants. Jsix in San Diego where fresh is always on the menu, also has a rooftop garden for garden to table dining. Using just cut herbs in both cocktails and meals ups the flavor factor for many a chef. Food grown from pantry to table can have stronger flavors and fresher taste, than crops grown with conventional methods. Living pantries can also be found on a larger scale at grocery stores, such as the butter lettuce sold at Whole Foods and other upscale retail markets. These are grown by companies like Bella Verdi Farms, Sweetwater Growers or Gotham Greens and sold freshly harvested on location from rooftop hydroponic gardens. Living food pantries can be seasonal or become a dedicated grow space in the house for year round fresh food. Its the
BESIDES PROVIDING FRESH PRODUCE FOR COOKING, THESE PLANTS CAN ALSO IMPROVE A PERSONS MOOD AND PRODUCTIVITY perfect solution for giving a family piece of mind as to where their food comes from. Hydroponic display gardens can also be visited around North America, like the O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Epcot Center at Disney World and the Science Barge in New York, NY. Besides providing fresh produce for cooking, these plants can also improve a persons mood and productivity. Plants also provide cleaner, fresher air in a living space. Living food pantries can be as large or as small as your space and your needs. Herbs and plants can be grown from seeds, starter plants known as liners, or even food scraps like onions. Indoor gardens like these can provide year round food options. They also offer the option for locally grown food during specific seasons versus the same being flown in for a faraway source. It presents chefs around the world with the ability to grow organic or hard to locate herbs, and to preserve the harvest by drying their own harvest for future use. 3
Are you looking for healthier and more bountiful yields from crops? At Nulife Technologies we have the answer for you in our extensive range of nutrients and additives. Nulife Technologies has the largest range of APVMA licensed products available for you today in the Australian hydroponic industry.
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Made In Australia
Grow Your Own Series
y r a m e s Ro HISTORY
A delightful herb with something to offer just about everyone,
Rosemary originates from the Mediterranean region. Arriving in England with the Romans, the plant thrived just as well as in its native land. Prized since ancient times, Rosemary spread through many cultures. You now can find it growing in every country in the world.
BY TAMMY CLAYTON
ROSEMARY I GARDEN CULTURE
ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT INDOOR GROWING IS YOU CAN START NEW CROPS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, PROVIDING THE SEED OR STARTER PLANTS ARE READILY AVAILABLE RECOMMENDED VARIETIES There is no need for tracking down any special cultivars. Grow the original (latin: Rosmarinus officinalas). You will find an assortment of named varieties available. The differences they offer are purely ornamental, and would only be noticeable in landscaping and floral arrangements.
GROWING ROSEMARY INDOORS One of the best things about indoor growing is you can start new crops throughout the year, providing the seed or starter plants are readily available. Rosemary can be grown from both seed and cuttings. However, it is notorious for being difficult to impossible to start from seed. It also has a very low germination rate, yet some seed houses in the USA offer ‘primed’ rosemary seed that has great reviews for an excellent sprout rate. If it proves too difficult from seed, cuttings or a starter plant will work too. Rosemary is a slow growing plant. Seed takes 4-8 weeks to germinate. The plants take 15 months to mature, and years to grow to full size. To speed up the process, many people start new plants from cuttings. In a greenhouse or grow room situation, this is not always the wisest choice. If you do try starting it from cuttings, you want soft growth about 10 cm long that has been cut below a leaf node on an angle. Rooting hormone is not necessary, but media warmth is
ROSEMARY I GARDEN CULTURE A NATIVE OF THE WARM AND SUNNY MEDITERRANEAN AREA, YOUR PLANTS REQUIRE LONG DAY LENGTH AND STRONG LIGHT. FOR BEST RESULTS, YOU’LL WANT ROSEMARY IN THE INDOOR GARDEN TO BE BASKING UNDER LIGHTS FOR A MINIMUM OF 11 HOURS A DAY - maintain it at 24 C with a heat mat. Cutting stock may not be readily available year around. Herb plants are generally sold when in demand, during outdoor planting season in spring and early summer. Do remember to strip the leaves from the lower end of the cut stem before sticking it into your media. First harvest in the indoor garden will be 6 weeks in summer or 8-12 weeks in winter from the time of transplanting.
GYO Fast Facts • pH range 5.5-7.0 for best results • Rosemary likes a normal humidity • 21-23 C best for leaf harvest • 11-hour daylight minimum • Harvest per sowing: 2-3 • Harvesting year round is possible
WHAT DO I NEED? A native of the warm and sunny Mediterranean area, your plants require long day length and strong light. For best results, you’ll want rosemary in the indoor garden to be basking under lights for a minimum of 11 hours a day. High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps are best at mimicking the strong sun in their native climate, but you can get by with compact fluorescent grow lamps too. If you choose the more budget friendly CFL, it would be wise to run your lights a couple more hours a day. Skimping on the day light hours causes lower yields, at best. Death from light starvation is also possible.
Propagation temperature needs to be 24-29 C with 75% humidity. Once your crop has been transplanted to grow on, maintain day time temps used in propagating and nights at little cooler at 18 C. It’s preferred pH range is 5.5-7.0, and good air circulation is a must.
Rosemary does well in hydroponic systems. Use rockwool starter cubes for germination. Sufficient root growth for transplanting takes 1-2 weeks after germination. Once you have roots penetrating the cube, transplant them to slabs or into the NFT trough. For frequent shearing, you’ll want them spaced 10-15cm on center.
Preserving your harvest is very simple with rosemary. It is still tasty and pungent dried, which is done by hanging loose bunches upside down in a dark place or in drying racks. You can also freeze it by laying the sprigs on a baking sheet or tray and cover it before placing it in the icebox. The next day, simply strip all the frozen leaves off the stem into a freezer box. They will keep very nicely for up to 6 months and provide you with just picked flavor in cooked recipes. 3
If you’ve decided to grow this crop in traditional containers, start your seeds in an uncovered germination tray using peat or perlite as the cell media. Transplant them to growing pots at 5-8 cm tall, and be sure to pick a quality soilless mix with good drainage. Rosemary requires a well-drained loamy soil.
A light fertilizing periodically is all that is required. The thing that will be important for you to do is not over water. Mist the foliage several times a week.
growing I N S PAC E
Orbiting approximately 350 kilometers over the surface of the Earth is the International Space Station (ISS). Since 2002 the ISS has a greenhouse where plants of all varieties are grown hydroponically. It is truly amazing to think of the dozens of plant experiments happening above us, but we live in a world where new advances occur on a daily basis, including miles over our heads. The coolest part about this technology is the type of experiments they are doing up there.
GROWING IN SPACE I GARDEN CULTURE
fresh veg for astronauts
Mizuna lettuce in the ISS
SPACE PL ANTS NEED MORE WATER
green thumb, and astronauts are no different. While they may not be excellent gardeners, they still require fresh food, especially for extended periods in space. Enter VEGGIE, a vegetable production system that is being prepared to go up to the space station for this very reason. The cool thing about VEGGIE is that it is a very simple idea, essentially a “do it yourself kit”, but it is supercharged with water, nutrients, and a bit of electricity. Edible plants like lettuce, radishes, and other leafy greens can be grown in a matter of days. Plants like tomatoes or beans could be fully grown in little time. The way the lights, water and nutrients work together in VEGGIE make it extremely speedy, and the eventual goal is to not only feed astronauts, but to use VEGGIE at home and even as a sort of outreach for impoverished groups here on Earth. Imagine growing your own veggies in half the time, not to mention with half the money of a typical organic grocery bill!
IN THE CASE OF THE MIZUNA, THE EXPERIMENT SHOWED THAT THE LETTUCE LEAVES GREW TWICE AS FAST AS THEIR EARTHLY RELATIVES
In one of the most recent experiments, scientists were growing a plant they have not grown before, at least not in space. This plant, a type of Japanese lettuce known as Mizuna, grew much faster in space than it does on Earth. After a sensor malfunctioned and more water poured into a module than was planned, the Mizuna shot up. This shows that plants in space may need more water than those on Earth if optimal growth is to be achieved. In the case of the Mizuna, the experiment showed that the lettuce leaves grew twice as fast as their Earthly relatives. This is extremely significant, as over the next several decades, humans will go further from the surface of the Earth than ever before. Sending food to those travelling through space will certainly not be an easy thing to do. The combination of microgravity and water, in this case, has shown that it is possible to grow food quickly, even in the confines of space.
FASTER HARVESTS ANYWHERE Another experiment soon to be going on over our heads is something that probably isn’t completely foreign to gardeners here on Earth. You probably know that not everyone has a
TAMING THE ROOTS OF SPACE PL ANTS Another experiment that has been done in the vast reaches of space, well... aboard the ISS that is, may be an exciting innovation to those interested in how plants grow. Known as HydroTropi, this experiment takes a look into how plants grow in
FOR THE PAST EIGHT YEARS OR SO, EXPERIMENTS HAVE BEEN GOING ON TO FIND OUT IF PLANTS CAN GROW IN ENVIRONMENTS SIMILAR TO THE MARTIAN ATMOSPHERE
The International Space Station
GROWING IN SPACE I GARDEN CULTURE THE POINT OF THE EXPERIMENT IS TO FIND OUT IF IT IS POSSIBLE TO MANIPULATE ROOT GROWTH, WHICH COULD LEAD TO BETTER GROWING CONDITIONS ON EARTH. WITH THIS INFORMATION, WE COULD REALLY MAKE SIGNIFICANT ADVANCES IN GARDENING AND AGRICULTURE RIGHT HERE microgravity and whether or not microgravity has a positive or negative effect on root growth. What is known already is that in microgravity situations, roots grow haphazardly and not up and down as they do on Earth. The point of the experiment is to find out if it is possible to manipulate root growth, which could lead to better growing conditions on Earth. With this information, we could really make significant advances in gardening and agriculture right here.
HOME AND LUNAR AIR FILTR ATION If these ingenious experiments arenâ€™t quite enough to satisfy your sci-fi thirst, you might be more interested in some gardening experiments happening in China. Right now, they are exploring the possibility of putting a vegetable garden on Mars! To test the theory, a 300 cubic meter cabin was constructed. Inside of that cabin, lived two people and four types of vegetables. Because the plants gave them oxygen and they in turn gave the plants carbon dioxide, there was a perfect environment for both to live. The cabin served as a prototype for the Chinese space programâ€™s astronaut life support system. Eventually, they intend to use it for housing on the moon, or even on Mars.
LOW PRESSURE: A LONG, DRY LIFE Speaking of Mars, for the past eight years or so, experiments have been going on to find out if plants can grow in environments similar to the Martian atmosphere. When you think about this possibility, growing plants on the moon seems like old news. In order to make it happen though, scientists will have to figure out how to overcome the pressure problem. Atmospheric pressure on Mars is a lot lower than that on Earth. This causes plants to act as if they are drying out, which means they will not have sufficient output.
There is good news though. The latest experiments done by NASA on these potential Martian gardens have been promising. Scientists have been able to manipulate pressure, light, water, and nutrients. This makes it possible to adjust conditions in slight increments for more accurate results. Hopefully, it will allow them to prevent plants from behaving as they would in drought conditions. On the other hand, plants in low pressure environments tend to live longer because of more efficient hormone production. While you may not be growing your balcony or backyard garden in any low-pressure zones quite this extreme, these experiments could result in more productive crops during drought years, leading to better and cheaper produce for all of us. The gardening experiments being done in space could have a significant impact not only on the future of space exploration, but also on garden innovations here on earth. Whether they help us reduce the amount of land, water, or nutrients needed to grow our food or help our astronauts better survive on distant planets, they will surely help us move forward when it comes to how we grow food. Essentially, as we learn more about how plants grow in zero gravity and without the comforts of their native soil, we are also learning more about how to feed the future of humanity both here at home on earth and in space. 3
NF COCO A&B
W H AT WO N â€™ T W E E AT 50 YEARS FROM NOW? In the course of the last ten thousand years the human diet has changed dramatically. Slowly, but surely, we have changed from the famous hunter gatherers into farmers. Humanity has taken matters into their own hands by organizing nature. Now, a few thousand years later, agriculture is still very important for humans, with supermarkets offering hundreds of fresh fruit and vegetables types from all over the world. The choice of new species only seems to be increasing, but is it also possible to imagine that the future would see a decline in the diversity of our diet?
BY JEROEN KAHTEEM
EXTINCT FOOD I GARDEN CULTURE
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF AGRICULTURE THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO, MAN HAS INCREASINGLY FOCUSED ON MONOCULTURES. THESE LARGE MONOCULTURES LIMIT THE NATURAL CROSS POLLINATION OF MANY PLANT SPECIES SIMPLY BY REDUCING THE AVAILABLE HABITAT
MODERN AGRICULTURE The discovery of agriculture is certainly one of the developments that rank high on the list of important changes that made humans into what we are today. The crops that were bred at the beginning of the agricultural times are nothing like the crops that we now accept as normal. The thick ears of corn that are familiar to us now once appeared more like the seeds of wild grasses along the road. Most of these age old species are still present, but are now no longer grown due to the availability of more efficient crops. Due to humanity’s success and the immense population growth there has always been a high demand for food. Despite that we encounter limits of what is possible; fisherman are likely the most familiar with this. Several important species of fish such as tuna and swordfish, but also many others, are endangered because of over-fishing, but that has not lessened the demand for fish. If no successful method is invented to breed these fish, the fish will be lost to the success of humans.
NATURAL EVOLUTION The extinction of species is a natural process of evolution. Species that are not strong enough to survive in a particular environment will slowly become extinct. The presence of other competing species can have a strong causal effect on that process. Since the beginning of agriculture thousands of years ago, man has increasingly focused on monocultures. These large monocultures limit the natural cross pollination of many plant species simply by reducing the available habitat.
GENETIC MANIPULATION Another major problem that has only recently been acknowledged is contamination with genes from genetically modified plants. A familiar example is corn. In many places around the world corn is grown and very often this is a genetically modified variant. The genes of these man-modified plants are now also found in wild corn plants. It is quite possible that in the future only the genetically modified version will be available because the other will have simply disappeared. This is a serious problem. Unfortunately it will probably only be recognized and appreciated by the majority for its impact when it is too late.
RISKS There is a trend towards increasing genetic manipulation of crops. Through accidental pollination wild variants are being lost. It is therefore possible that the most frequently eaten crops ‘disappear’. The most important, and most frequently cultivated crops, strangely enough face the most risk for becoming extinct. This change will be hard to spot, especially for consumers who just shop for fruits and vegetables in the stores. Right now, science‘s position is that genetic engineering won’t do much harm, but this perspective can easily change in the future. Asbestos was also initially also seen as harmless.
SEED SAVERS Fortunately, there are projects focused on saving such variants and species for the future to explain. For exam-
mammoth tent pioneers in mobile climate rooms original manufacturer - designed in holland
A high quality tent for the hobby grower, this mid-range grow room has features normally associated with higher end tents • High light prooﬁng (Level 1) • Equipment tubes are strong enough to hold 20kg • Large doors - easy to access and work in • Various intakes and exhausts make setup ﬂexible • Straps and hooks for easy integration of equipment • Material is washable inside and out Sizes: 40, 60, 90, 100, 120, 150, 200, 240L, 240
Offers the price-conscious grower an easy and effective way to manage and contain their grows • Equipment tubes are strong enough to hold up to 20kg • Light proof highly reﬂective fabric • Material is washable inside and out • Assembly is quick and easy Sizes: 60, 90, 100, 120, 150, 240L
Mammoth Pro A high end range, ideal for the professional grower • High light prooﬁng (Level 2) • Polypropylene corners for maximum rigidity • Equipment tubes that have 30kg load capacity • Large doors - easy to access and work in • Material is washable inside and out • Straps and hooks for easy integration of equipment • Light, easy-to-transport material and is easy to assemble • The range also features Mammoth Dual (90 & 120) Mammoth Propagator (90 & 120) and Mammoth Dryer (90) Sizes: 40, 60, 90, 100, 120L, 120, 150, 200, 240L, 240, 300L, 300
Mammoth Elite The ultimate in quality for the professional grower • Heavy duty frame, corners and fabric, with stainless steel / aluminium click system • Dual multiple intake and extraction socks • Equipment tubes that have a 75kg load capacity • Wide easy access door, with jamproof / waterproof zipper. Waterproof ﬂoor • Large doors - easy to access and work in • Material is washable inside and out • Modular: customize your own grow room by combining different Elites sizes - unique linkable panels - your shape, your size Sizes: Micro, 120, 150, 240, 300, 480, 600 New Sizes: 120Q, 150Q (square foot print)
Mammoth Accessories We have a comprehensive range of accessories to complement your tent including: • TCL Bulbs (Bloom, Daylight, Blue Sky), Neon Ballast (36w, 55w, 75w), Web, Dry (45 & 80), Hook, Strap, Adjust
Distributed exclusively in Australia by Growhard www.growaustralia.com
EXTINCT FOOD I GARDEN CULTURE Modern style farming!
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
ple, there are difTHIS PROJECT IS ferent seed banks DESIGNED LIKE A which store seeds ‘NOAH’S ARK’ FOR under the optimal conditions so PLANT SPECIES AND that they can be IS THEREFORE BEING preserved for as FILLED AT BREAKNECK long as possible. SPEED. CURRENTLY IT Since 2008 the CONTAINS MORE “Svalbard Global THAN 750,000 Seed Vault” has DIFFERENT SAMPLES operated on the island of Svalbard. This underground building is in the permafrost, and will in the case of power failure, warm up very gradually. This project is designed like a ‘Noah’s Ark’ for plant species and is therefore being filled at breakneck speed. Currently it contains more than 750,000 different samples. Still, it is possible that different food sources will be depleted and disappear. Though the trend still appears to be going in the direction of a wider range of foods, there is always a possibility that a certain type of plant will dissapear. It is up to the consumer to ensure that all products have a future. In some cases, a greater demand for products will be important for the survival of the species, like non genetically modified corn. In other cases, such as endangered species of large fish, a lower consumption is recommendable. In both cases, there certainly is no harm for consumers to understand where the product comes from and what it takes to create and sustain it. 3
ADJUST-A-WINGS DEFENDER REFLECTORS HIGH REFLECTIVITY, TITANIUM WHITE, POWDER COATED H18 ALUMINIUM
Australia’s favorite reflector
Single 1000 watt or Twin 600/400 watt lamps
Advanced technonlogy Affordable price... Mimic seasonal changes with a large range of adjustments.
Single 400 or 600 watt lamps
Follow our “LayOut Tips” for optimum results. (included) Resists corrosion or loss of brightness. Increase the growing area under each lamp by up to 75%
Single 150 or 250 watt lamps
Control the dreaded “Hot Spot” with the optional “SUPER-SPREADER”. (Shown on the LARGE & MEDIUM models) (Not required for the SMALL model)
Please visit our website.. www.adjustawings.com Manufactured for Hygro International Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia
BY MIKE NIVATO
INNOVATIONS I GARDEN CULTURE
Dutch innovations for the Future
“Green” energy is hot in Dutch greenhouses. Some of the world’s most innovative energy solutions are being developed in the Netherlands for its energy-intensive greenhouse farming industry. Dutch companies are re-using heat that is created by other sources, such as an IT data center and a fertilizer factory, in greenhouse cultivation. In turn, greenhouses are being used as solar panels to harvest and supply surplus energy to schools and retirement homes. This cross-sector innovation is a growing trend. Take the Dutch energy project, ‘Warm CO2’. It has turned Terneuzen, in the south of the Netherlands, into the most sustainable horticulture-under-glass area in the country. Warm CO2’s innovative heating network which derives residual heat and CO2 from a artificial fertilizer plant and distributes it through its own 5 km pipeline to nearby greenhouses. The system produces up to 84 megawatts of residual heat and 70,000 tons of pure CO2 per year.
DUTCH COMPANY, PARTHENON, HAS COME UP WITH THE WORLD’S FIRST ‘GREEN’ IT SOLUTION. IT HAS BUILT ITS NEW DATACENTER RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A VAST GREENHOUSE FARMING AREA
Greenhouse farmers traditionally use a gas-fired furnace to produce both CO2 and heat for the entire growing season. By taking advantage of the WarmCO2 system, farmers can reduce their use of fossil fuels by 90 percent. That is a drastic reduction in their carbon footprint. Similar reductions are being made by greenhouse farmers in the northern Dutch town of Wieringermeer, but here the energy source is an IT datacenter. Dutch company, Parthenon, has come up with the world’s first ‘green’ IT solution. It has built its new datacenter right in the middle of a vast greenhouse farming area. The heat from the datacenter, which in conventional buildings disappears through the roof, is being channeled to the greenhouses to grow peppers and tomatoes. This will save up to 800 tons of carbon emissions per year.
A similar but also unique approach is being taken by a tomato grower in Venlo, in the south of the Netherlands. This tomato grower is actually harvesting surplus heat from his greenhouses and using it to heat a nearby home for the elderly, a school for disabled children and a public swimming pool. The savings in energy costs that these new partners enjoy are subsequently channeled into their core tasks, such as providing care for their clients. The grower Joep Raemakers explains: “I want to grow tasty tomatoes, decrease the use of fossil fuel, reduce the carbon footprint and integrate my company in the local society.” Many of Raemakers’ peers in the greenhouse industry have already expressed interest in the sustainable system. We’re sure that in the future we’ll see more similar initiatives, if you’ve seen something online or in real life, please shoot us an email : firstname.lastname@example.org 3
FOOD FROM VA P O U R Futuristic plots never cease to grab our attention. Man is all agog over new thrills, cool gadgets and the next big thing. In the world of indoor gardening, fogponics is the next generation in soilless growing. This advancement of aeroponic principles is based on NASA innovations for the space program. Once again, overcoming the challenges of grow food in among the stars offers us solutions needed here on Earth as well.
FOGPONICS I GARDEN CULTURE
Fogponics came about as NASA’s solution to issues found in aeroponic growing. Perfecting food production for astronauts means heavy production in a compact space while conserving every ounce of resources possible. Their agenda also includes doing away overcoming pests and disease. It’s not like astronauts can run up to McDonalds if crop failure strikes. The ‘dry mist’ technology used in fogponics is generated true ultrasonic foggers, with the nutrient droplets being only 5-10 microns. A huge difference in the 20-50 micron size of the mist droplets used in aeroponics. There are shortcomings with aeroponics, one being that the wet mist is not all used by the plants who best absorb in the 1-25 micron range. While the excess drains back into the reservoir, this causes some undesirable effects. The development of algae on the surfaces inside the root chamber, and the possibility of waterborne pests and diseases are aeroponic issues that fogponics reduces. Fogponics uses less water and energy to complete the growing cycle than the parent aeroponics system. The growth rate difference is also remarkable. Speed of food delivery in space is critical to survival and the benefits of faster harvest with even less possibility of pest or disease issues found in fogponics ensures that astronauts will not go hungry. It also reduces water and energy use, translating to cheaper food production on Earth. Timing your misting cycle is critical in fogponics. If the misting cycle is allowed to run too long roots cannot absorb the dry mist and water droplets form on them that can bring about the issues of heavier moisture present in aeroponics. If the cycle is not long enough, insufficient moisture is being supplied which translates to drying roots. Additionally, a rather weak nutrient solution is used to offset the constant absorption rate. A regular nutrient dilution causes root burn and alternatively the proper dilution allows for higher efficiency in nutrient uptake. Like all the different types of
FOGPONICS USES LESS WATER AND ENERGY TO COMPLETE THE GROWING CYCLE THAN THE PARENT AEROPONICS SYSTEM. THE GROWTH RATE DIFFERENCE IS ALSO REMARKABLE hydro growing, here too you must monitor your system and nutrients very well. Fogponics systems have come available for propagation in the USA for the past couple of years but we haven’t seen one through in the UK yet.We called up a couple of industry insiders located in the UK and they assured us a system is in the making. No specific dates were mentioned though. If you like to experiment with with fogponics yourself we advise you to do some research online. Researching this method of growing online will also turn up DIY instructions. Essentially all you need is a tray or bucket with a cover and an ultrasonic fogger to start. Have fun experimenting! 3
DIY Video Fogponics www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjWLyA-w4Bo
K.I.S.S. AGAIN I GARDEN CULTURE
BY DAVID GREEN
again! Keep It Simple Stupid
I last wrote to you about the famous phrase coined by Clarence Johnson, Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S). We told you to start small, take it slow, and most importantly - SPEND SOME TIME IN YOUR GARDEN!
Well, now let’s chat about what you found while spending that much needed time in your garden! Did you find your garden’s layout or design was hard to navigate? Did you find yourself tripping over power cords? Did you find you are having issues controlling temperature or humidity?
AGAIN I CAN’T EMPHASIZE ENOUGH, THERE ARE REAL PROFESSIONALS RIGHT THERE IN YOUR LOCAL HYDRO SHOP WHO HAVE ‘BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT’ AND CAN HELP YOU SOLVE PROBLEMS YOU NEVER REALIZED YOU COULD EVER HAVE!
These are variables that you, The Grower, can control. If you tripped over a cord, take the time to tie it up out of the way correctly. The last thing you want is to trip and rip an appliance off the wall or worse even, short out that expensive 1000w ballast. Another key to a successful garden is perpetually dialing in your system.
Take it one step at a time, identify the problem, isolate the problem and then begin to troubleshoot and solve the problem. Again I can’t emphasize enough, there are
real professionals right there in your local hydro shop who have ‘been there and done that’ and can help you solve problems you never realized you could ever have! Sometimes the problem isn’t going to have a solution as simple as tying up a loose cord... you might even have to bust out that high school geometry and figure out volume, cubic feet and area. When problem solving, especially hard to solve to solve issues, don’t forget not to over complicate things. Always
remember to K.I.S.S Your garden will give you back just as much as you give your garden. Don’t get discouraged. Take it one step at a time and most importantly, KEEP IT GREEN! 3
garden efficiency Waste is a bad word in the twenty-first century. We need to focus on efficiency - not just in the vehicle we drive or appliances and electronics we buy, but in everything we use and do. Efficiency in gardening boils down to input versus output, which just happens to be the general definition of efficiency.
Everything is becoming more efficient. Electronic ballasts have increased efficiency over magnetic ballasts. Newer greenhouse materials have better insulating capacity. These are just two examples of increased efficiency. Energy efficiency is important for all indoor growers, but is crucial to very intensive systems where a lot is at stake and maintaining a constant climate is critical. Energy can be lost in a number of ways. Ventilation being a big cause of energy losses. Excess heat must be ventilated out, but where no excess in temperature is present, fresh air does have to be added to insure proper plant growth. In both cases energy will be lost through ventilation. Closedoff or semi-closed off systems counter this problem by adding CO2 to the air and recirculating it, instead of ventilating the air out. There is also energy lost when heat is absorbed by surrounding material. For instance, concrete floors provide good summer cooling, but also suck up winter heat. It is best to have proper insulation for efficient energy use. In turn, your utility bill is lower and stabilizing the growing climate is easier Then there is biological efficiency. Every plant has an optimal temperature, humidity and other parameters. Maximizing biological efficiency means meeting all parameters
and keeping them as stable as possible. Many times this comes from experience, though rough parameters are established for most plant species. The most important aspect is to keep the climate as stable as possible. Plants adapt to a changing climate, but productivity is greatest with very little climate variation. Large swings in temperature and humidity impedes growth, and eventually noticeably affects quality and quantity of your harvest. Several factors define your maximum attainable yield light, temperature and genetics. These set the upper bar of possibilities. To attain this the grower must provide sufficient water, nutrients and CO2 to ensure the plants efficiently use all available light at the temperature their photosynthesis is most active. Meet these parameters and crops will convert the input energy most efficiently into a harvestable output. Hydroponics is especially suited for very efficient production. It allows for very precise constant monitoring of the complete climate including root-zone. Hydroponics allows for rapid reaction to changes. It is usually less susceptible to pests that can be real efficiency killers - wasting input energy by lowering output yield. This environment is perfectly suited to control and stability. Insulated containers or systems can be used and nutrient heated for maintaining root temperature.
BY JEROEN KAHTEEM
GARDEN EFFICIENCY I GARDEN CULTURE
SEVERAL FACTORS DEFINE YOUR MAXIMUM ATTAINABLE YIELD LIGHT, TEMPERATURE AND GENETICS. THESE SET THE UPPER BAR OF POSSIBILITIES. TO ATTAIN THIS THE GROWER MUST PROVIDE SUFFICIENT WATER, NUTRIENTS AND CO2 TO ENSURE THE PLANTS EFFICIENTLY USE ALL AVAILABLE LIGHT AT THE TEMPERATURE THEIR PHOTOSYNTHESIS IS MOST ACTIVE Some will argue that growing plants at their highest biological efficiency is a contradiction, and won’t reduce the energy use. Yes, more equipment is needed to stabilize the climate, but what is the goal? You must choose growing a high quality product using biological efficiency, or greatly reducing energy use by sacrificing harvest size and quality. We all want to reduce waste, energy use and costs - but reduced harvest is inefficient too. Labour is also an energy input. A grower’s chores can be done with absolute perfection or just adequately. Both ways mean time and effort is invested. It’s up to your perspective in choosing which details matter most. Planning is the most vital chore a successful grower has to do. Efficiently using space, time and other inputs all require planning. Although plants don’t seem to move very fast at some growth stages, they still require a quick response. Properly planning ahead reduces the chance of messing things up or being overwhelmed with work all at once. Especially when juggling a variety of plants at different growth stages planning becomes difficult and a vast amount of experience is required for best results. Many times, planning ahead will be save you time working later on.
Efficiency may not be equally valued by everyone, but only compostable waste is valued by anyone. Now it’s not exactly waste, but the base material for fertile soil amendments production. Recycling is yet another way to increase garden efficiency. Finding total efficiency is a struggle for more output from less input. The solution varies by each grower’s perspective on which parts of the garden must run efficiently. With planning and innovation there are solutions possible to deliver savings in time, money and effort or energy. In the end you must choose which inputs are most valuable to you, and use them most efficiently in your situation. 3
Sea of Green gardening, commonly referred to as SOG, is the method of cultivating on a small scale with a large number of plants. Packed closely together, they produce an even and uniform canopy layer of equal height, much like a well kept mowed lawn. There is also a similar and related acronym sometimes used synonymously with sea-of-green called “Screen of Green”- or SCROG. These both share the same principles. It is my objective to define and describe what sets SOG and SCROG gardening apart from other cultivation methods, detailing its many advantages and few disadvantages.
SOG was first popularized, by TO UNDERSTAND SOG AND ITS when we harvest, there are no accident, in Europe by inparts of the plant that are useful ADVANTAGES WE MUST LOOK AT and others that are considered door gardeners in the early to A KEY PRINCIPLE: THE CANOPY. AS ‘waste’ or byproducts. Whethmid 80’s. It was during this time WITH CULTIVATING ANY PLANT, that indoor cultivators realized er we are seeking to harvest the WHEN WE HARVEST, THERE that the single largest bottlestems, fruits, roots, seeds, juiceneck is lighting - our primary extract, or flowers from a parARE PARTS OF THE PLANT THAT source of energy and most imticular plant, we want to tailor ARE USEFUL AND OTHERS THAT our cultivation method around portant growth-driving factor. ARE CONSIDERED ‘WASTE’ OR that goal to maximize our yield Though we wish we could bring BYPRODUCTS of that particular product. The the mighty sun indoors, we are limited to our light source beSOG cultivation method was ing a 250w, 400w, 600w, 750w, or 1000w High Intensity designed precisely to maximize harvesting flowers and apiDischarge (HID) light. With the advent of LED’s, Compact cal or terminal flower buds. Fluorescents, Plasma and Induction Lighting, SOG has beSince we are limited to artificial forms of lighting when come ever more feasible than ever before. growing indoors, the light source is limited to a maximum penetration of no more than 40.6 cm of canopy. Even when To understand SOG and its advantages we must look at a key principle: The Canopy. As with cultivating any plant, we use the mighty 1000w HID lamp That is to say, even if
BY CARLOS AGUILA
SAILING THE SOG I GARDEN CULTURE
NOW HARVESTS TAKE PLACE SOONER- YIELDING THE SAME BUT TAKING MUCH LESS TIME IN BETWEEN HARVESTS. THE TURNAROUND TIME IS GREATLY REDUCED, SAVING YOU NOT JUST TIME, BUT ELECTRICITY, NUTRIENTS, AND REDUCING THE OPPORTUNITY FOR MISTAKES AND PESTS AND DISEASE
Green area signifies the canopy and the most useful part of the plant we wish to harvest
I were to grow a 3 meter plant using a single HID source, only the top 40.6 cm will be green and healthy and benefit from that light source. The rest will be yellow and starving for light energy. In nature we see this principle in the tropical rain forest in South America, where, on the ground, it is actually quite a dark place, being shadowed by immense canopies of very tall trees. Low-light and shade loving plants thrive on the ground. However, near the top of the trees there is quite a different panorama, with totally different wildlife living in the super-bright and sun-baked environment.
EVEN IF I WERE TO GROW A 3 METER PLANT USING A SINGLE HID SOURCE, ONLY THE TOP 40.6 CM WILL BE GREEN AND HEALTHY AND BENEFIT FROM THAT LIGHT SOURCE. THE REST WILL BE YELLOW AND STARVING FOR LIGHT ENERGY
This leads us to one key benefit of the SOG method its quick harvest or ‘turn-around’ time. Since plants are grown and harvested very short (anywhere from 25-50 cm) the amount of time spent in the growth stage is greatly reduced. What matters most is not the size of the plant, but the maturity and quality of the final product. It is intuitive to want to grow huge plants, because we know that the bigger the plant the more yield – per plant. However, growing two, four, six, or eight, times as many plants, that are half that size or smaller, will fill the same canopy space at least twice as fast. Now harvests take place sooner--
GARDEN CULTURE I SAILING THE SOG MANY SOG GROWERS DO NOT HAVE ANY VEGETATIVE GROWTH PERIOD. THEY SIMPLY AND LITERALLY PLACE THEIR CLONES RIGHT INTO THE FLOWERING STAGE UPON ROOTING. OTHERS, MYSELF INCLUDED, ONLY SPEND A MAXIMUM OF 3-10 DAYS IN VEGETATIVE OR GROWTH STAGE AND IMMEDIATELY BEGIN FLOWERING THEREAFTER. REMEMBER WE ARE GROWING A CANOPY OF FLOWERS, NOT STEMS. yielding the same but taking much less time in between harvests. The turnaround time is greatly reduced, saving you not just time, but electricity, nutrients, and reducing the opportunity for mistakes and pests and disease. With SOG, multiple points of light create a more thoroughly even canopy. In the following picture you can see three possible light source scenarios. In SOG cases, bringing the wattage down from one 1,000w to 2-400w or 4-250w light sources will be more effective in increasing light intensity and even distribution of it. The canopy should be horizontal and even.
ONE 1000W HPS VS. TWO 400W HPS VS FOUR 250W HPS Notice the much brighter (more intense) drop of light on the canopy (simulated by the floor) and wider footprint when bringing the reflectors closer. Splitting the source points from 1 to 2 to 4. Achieving far better efficiency particularly in SOG Gardening. Even the 1K watt bulb will not penetrate beyond a 36’’ canopy. It’s just no the sun
1 x 1000W
2 x 400W
4 x 250W
In the case of the TWO-400w Reflectors, you are dropping the same brightness as the single 1K but saving 200 watts in electricity! The Intensity = 1/D^2 rule applies more than ever!
Air cooled reflectors are the preferred choice in SOG. Generally, we want reflectors that will produce a perfect column of light versus those that spread the light far-andwide. I used Hydrofarm’s Radiant 8” in my example. It is an air cooled reflector with a near perfect column of light, that lets me bring a 600w bulb in real close to the canopy. At a distance of only 40 cm away this delivers a powerful blast of 16,500 foot candles of light onto the Sea of Green. That intensity is equivalent to the tropical sun at noon, on a clear sky, near the equator! We can bring the sun indoors after all. Many SOG growers do not have any vegetative growth period. They simply and literally place their clones right into the flowering stage upon rooting. Others, myself included, only spend a maximum of 3-10 days in vegetative or growth stage (depending on the plant variety) and immediately begin flowering thereafter. Remember we are growing a canopy of flowers, not stems. The usual SOG plant densities are one plant per 15-30 cm2 square inches. In the following pictures, I use Grodan Delta 10 blocks (4x4x4) which will easily suffice enough substrate for SOG purposes. In a 4x6 tray you can place and array of 5 or 6 rows or columns with 7 blocks per row. There are very few disadvantages to the SOG method. One of the disadvantages is that you require a much larger plant count. The number of plants that can fit in a 1.2x1.8m tray can easily exceed a 50 count. You will need far more clones (don’t we all) than in traditional cultivation methods. Also, all plants are started and finished at the same time. There is no efficient way of adding plants halfway through for continuous harvest. As with SOG, the Screen-Of-Green method (SCROG) is also aimed at maximizing canopy space. In this method fewer plants are grown (compared to SOG) but through pinching, super-cropping, bending, trellising, and pruning. Every square inch of the horizontal productive canopy space is filled, creating a “blanket” of green on the screen or trellis. This method is perfect for those who don’t want high plant counts, and have limited vertical space (called working height). Whichever method you choose, hoist those sails and happy sailing to all my fellow indoor gardeners! 3
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Hydro expanded round clay pebbles have a very solid outer ceramic layer, which limits the uptake of water. They are ideally suited for intense irrigation hydroponic styles of growing. We recommend top watering systems for Hydro.
Gold Label Hydrocorn and Coco is an ideal match for high water capacity, lower watering frequency and better rooting. We utilize the 8-16mm Hydrocorn from Gold Label and the purest Gold Label Coco to give to give you the perfect ebb and ﬂood growing media which also works well in any pot based systems.
BY JEROEN KATHEEM
GROWING PHYTOPLANKTON USEFUL GREEN STUFF
GROWING PHYTOPLANKTON I GARDEN CULTURE
Yes, this article is about cultivating that ‘green stuff that grows in the water’. Actually, phytoplankton can be almost any color. At the moment you’re probably wondering why would anyone want to grow watery goo? The best reason is off course; because you can. It’s an amazingly fast and simple process that’s fun to watch, but there are some things this goo can be used for.
There are thousands of different species of phytoplankton, but what is it ? Plankton is a general name for all organisms that inhabit water and simply float around. This means, they go wherever the current takes them. These can be anything from animals to bacteria, but in the case of ‘Phytoplankton’ we are talking about plants. Microscopic plants. Although their tiny cells can grow to great numbers making the waters they live in heavily colored.
THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO BEGAN GROWING THEIR OWN PHYTOPLANKTON WERE AQUARIUM OWNERS. IT’S A GREAT BENEFIT TO BE ABLE TO CONTROL THE WHOLE FOOD CHAIN
In nature, phytoplankton is on the bottom of the food chain. Like any other plant species, phytoplankton consume sunlight and minerals from water. In turn, phytoplankton is consumed by larger organisms living in the water. The first people who began growing their own phytoplankton were aquarium owners. It’s a great benefit to be able to control the whole food chain. This is especially important when dealing with ecological systems with a high density of living organisms in a small space where a lot of metabolism is happening.
From a medical perspective phytoplankton is also interesting, specifically marine phytoplankton that grows in the oceans. Salt water is quite dense in minerals that are vital for life. Phytoplankton very efficiently concentrate these minerals and incorporate them into their cells. It can then be dried and turned into a powder containing a range of essential minerals in nearly ideal ratios for human consumption.
Huge benefits are claimed to come from taking phytoplankton supplements. Many problems and diseases are said to be cured - according to specialists on the internet. No one knows how many of these claims are true. Considering the wide range of minerals and other nutrients, they could be onto something here.
HOW TO GET STARTED First, identify and find a specimen of the species of beneficial goo you want to grow. Maybe you’ll find it in a sample of water from a local creek with tools you used in high school biology. You can also order
GROWING PHYTOPLANKTON I GARDEN CULTURE
BE PATIENT. IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME BEFORE ANYTHING REALLY HAPPENS. GROWTH OF THESE TINY PLANTS IS EXPONENTIAL
a scientifically prepared culture online. A number of places will happily sell you a tube of the exact species requested. Specimen in hand, you have to find out the condition this species likes, the tolerable pH level along with its required nutrient density (Electric Conductivity, PPM). Next make a solution to meet these needs using basic plant nutrients. Make sure to use nutrients with a wide variety of micronutrients, or you’ll fail to create a mineral dense supplement. Marine phytoplankton require marine conditions. Special salt mixtures are available to mimic their native ocean realm. You can grow phytoplankton in almost any translucent container, glass is probably best. Now you need to introduce carbon dioxide. Like all other plants they consume carbon dioxide, which is easily introduced using an aquarium air pump. These bubble carbon dioxide sufficient air into the water regularly for your crop of goo. Be patient. It will take some time before anything really happens. Growth of these tiny plants is exponential. A moment will come when the color of the water starts to change. The color of the water changes according to the pigments that are contained in the cells.
THE RIGHT LIGHT
You must have light, but the color of the light depends on the type of phytoplankton you’re growing. The amount of light depends on the amount of culture, however with air bubbles agitating the solution, all the cells’ light distribution is better than in most other agricultural systems. Fluorescent lights seem to perfectly suit phytoplankton, but it may well be that Plasma or LED lighting is even better. These are still unknowns since growing phytoplankton isn’t ‘mainstream’ yet. Once the density of phytoplankton is high enough, you can harvest. Separating the phytoplankton from your solution is done with a sieve, and may require ultra fine sieves. Depending on the planned use, the material can either be used fresh or dried and turned into a powder. Be advised! There can always be harmful microorganisms when consuming raw products. So you have dried your phytoplankton harvest. What to do with this powder? It may enhance soil life, by increasing the availability of micronutrients and add proteins and phytohormones that are the same hormones found in plants on land. It can also be used in aquariums or to brew compost tea. 3
BY EVEREST FERNANDEZ
The Looming Specter of 21st Century Fascism
“ALL OUR PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE STRICTLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF GROWING NON-NUTRITIVE PLANTS ONLY. DO NOT ASK US ABOUT GROWING FOOD.”
“What’s with the sign?” I asked. The old guy sighed without looking up. I waited for a few seconds but he appeared to be totally absorbed in the perusal of a thick product catalog. “Which part of it don’t you understand, kid?” he grunted with a well-practiced, jaded sarcasm, still refusing to even look at me, his stubby fingers pinning down a pair of the directory’s biblically thin pages with an unkind precision. I glanced about the store. There was nobody else around. “All of it.”
LIFE ALL-INCLUSIVE TM I GARDEN CULTURE
WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON IN THIS CRAZY PLACE THEY USED TO CALL AMERICA ANYWAY? The old guy finally looked up at me bringing his white, wiser-than-thou beard into full view. Well into his sixties, his long, receding hair was scraped back into a rat’s tail while his tired, beady eyes conveyed a longing to be retired somewhere up in the Old Oregonian hills, presumably tending to his own plantation of edibles. Somehow though, he’d ended up being stuck serving noobs like me at a franchise of OrnaMental™—the region’s premiere vendor of ornamental growing equipment. He looked at me as if I personified everything and everyone he’d ever hated. “You’re not from round here are you?” “No—I just moved to the areaah,” I lied, affecting my accent a little more in the hope of softening his contempt for me. His eyes narrowed further as if discerning whether I was for real. “You see that potting mix?” he pointed to a pile of bags slumped on a wooden shipping palette dumped precariously in the middle of the floor. “Yeah.” “That’s available—but only if you’re growing 93 percent of plants.” “93 percent?” He sighed again. “The non-edibles. Roughly 93 percent of the plant world. If you want to grow premium quality, non-nutritive plants, then this potting mix is ideal.” “But what about….?” I began. “Uh-uh,” he interrupted, pointing up at the sign, “Don’t forget—93 percent of botany is open for discussion here today. The other seven percent is out of bounds. That ain’t so bad now is it?” There was a strange desperation in his laugh. I looked at him blankly not really wanting to play along. “Let’s say you wanted to grow Argemone mexicana, the Mexican Poppy,” he began what seemed to be a well rehearsed setpiece, “I’ve got growing systems, nutrients, lights and seeds— yellow or white. You can use them in certain herbal applications if you have a license. But you can’t eat them, y’hear?” The old
man’s catalog flopped itself shut on the counter. He looked mildly irritated at losing his place. “What if I don’t want to grow Mexican poppies?” I asked. The old guy just stared at me. “You know … is it really so bad? I just want to grow some of my own tomah-toes!” That did it. Conversation over. He stood up all of a sudden then he asked … no he ordered me to leave, right there and then, cussing loudly, but strangely gleeful with it too, like he was glad of the drama to brighten his day. “Stupid friggin’ idiot!” he yelled. I got straight out of there of course—I even felt a mild push through the door. It was the same in every store I’d visited. I walked hurriedly back to my car, then navigated my way home via intersections, strip malls and burger joints. Distinct landmarks were hard to find. On my drive home I reflected on another wasted day. Technically I hadn’t asked about growing tomatoes—I’d only stated my intention to grow them—entirely different to that which was prohibited by his stupid sign. What the hell was going on in this crazy place they used to call America anyway? I looked up and noticed the video billboard: “CHILL TIME!” it declared with a bunch of young, guffawing jocks sprawled on a couch, swilling on beers, eating potato chips, and playing total-immersion video games. It was an advertisement for the latest, voguish lifestyle package aimed at young men called “CHILLAX™.” Americans—if you could even call them that anymore— were living a different kind of life to the rest of us on the planet. Admittedly, they were historically early adopters. Things always seemed to happen there first and, whether the rest of us liked it or not, we would all end up taking our lead from them sooner or later. But this latest stuff? The “lifestyle packages,” the “governmental corporations?” It was just unthinkable.
THE CHANGES WERE SUBTLE, ESPECIALLY AT THE BEGINNING. NOBODY REALLY CARED THAT, OVER THE COURSE OF FIVE YEARS OR SO, THE OFFICIAL NAME OF THE STATE OF OREGON HAD BECOME NEW OREGON™ AND THE WHOLE STATE BECAME PRIVATELY OWNED CORPORATE PREMISES.
You have to understand. It was a really, really big deal when America was sold—at least for those with access to alternative news sources. No mainstream media outlet dared use words like “sold” or “purchased.” And nobody, and I mean nobody, mentioned the “C-word”—China. To the average American it was all about “international debt consolidation,” “book balancing,” “modernizing paradigms of civic administration” and “making good on our collective fiscal commitments.” The changes were subtle, especially at the beginning. Nobody really cared that, over the course of five years or so, the official name of the State of Oregon had become New Oregon™ and the whole state became privately owned corporate premises. Life felt the same for most regular people. The fact that everything from schools, healthcare and transport to military, police, family planning and food production was now operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of a Chinese banking mega corporation, Zhìzào Jong, called “New Oregonian Incorporated” was largely academic and irrelevant. What really mattered on the ground was that life got better for everyday Americans. Genetically modified food three times a day? It sure tastes good when it’s subsidized though! Sodium fluoride in the water? Hey you can drink all the soda you want!
The Chinese hired some awesome American PR of course. Huge American flags seemed to be flapping on every street corner as if to counteract any notion of its devolved status. Some evil genius had come up with the strap line, “Life— All Inclusive™” and the idea really caught fire. It wasn’t so much luxury but the idea of “choice” and a life of “ease.” Now you could choose where you lived and what you did with your days, without having to worry about money, insurance, food, healthcare and all the other distracting details. You didn’t need to save for retirement or budget for vacations. Everything was available on a new form of credit and, unbelievably, the majority of young folks I spoke to actually believed they were born with a microchip in their right arm. I kid you not. Some didn’t even know it was there. Very quickly, it seemed, the all-inclusive lifestyle had become all-pervasive and totally normalized in postAmerican society. The billboard cycled through another loop of lifestyle propaganda, the young jocks started slapping their thighs again accompanied by big bold letters. “Screw 9-5! It’s time to CHILLAX™!” You got a free apartment with up to four other likeminded males. Internet—free. (Some restrictions applied.) Video games—yes, you got to play them all day, every day if you wanted to. Work—optional! Yes, optional! Meals—delivered hot, three times a day, right to your front
LIFE ALL-INCLUSIVE TM I GARDEN CULTURE
I spent five fruitless weeks searching for folks who opted not to live according to some predetermined “lifestyle package.” I’d been certain that I’d find some hippies up in the hills stoically defending their “old way” of life, growing their own open-pollinated crops either independently or communally—but they were nowhere to be found. Some places were eerily quiet, like everybody had left town at once. The only people I met were blithely happy, overweight consumers, wandering around cities that resembled theme parks, insistent on telling me how happy they were now that they didn’t have a care in the world.
door with sachets of your favorite condiments. The video finished and the lights finally turned green. Millions of young men had subscribed. They couldn’t build the apartments quick enough. There was a sixmonth waiting list but still they advertised it incessantly. None of the young men, it seemed, had read the small print or, at least, they paid no mind to their contractual obligations to provide monthly semen and urine samples to authorized representatives of New Oregonian Medical Research Cooperative LLC. After all, it was just part of the obligatory “healthcare program” included in the CHILLAX™ package—and in no way had any substantial clinical evidence ever been produced that linked statistically significant differences in fertility rates among men who chose the CHILLAX™ lifestyle package compared with those who had not. Got two or more kids and vocational qualifications at level 3 or higher? Choose FamilyGuy™. You could drive a Class 2 luxury saloon or people carrier and change it for a new model every year—and arrive home each night at your Suburban ENVY™ class C dwelling in a triple-star rated urban residential zone. 150 LeisureCredits™ every month. Subsidized daycare was available when you took advantage of the free contraception offer.
I took my flight back to Europe, a little disheartened. At the airport they showed ads for HighFlyer Aspire™—the lifestyle package for the “Type A, city-slicking go-getter.” Work hard. Play harder. The screen showed slick-haired executives sealing deals in “elevated goal-orientated business environments” then drinking cocktails with doeeyed supermodels in exclusive bars and nightclubs, eating in the city’s best fine dining restaurants, and working it all off in prestige gyms below their SkyView™ apartments. My flight was finally called. As I sat on the plane wondering what story I could concoct for the obscure independent gardening media outlet I’d convinced to fund the trip, I could just make out the huge robots tending the “nutritionally optimized” biotech crops in the heavily fortified “megafarms” below. I wouldn’t get any closer than 40,000 meters—those places were locked down tighter than Old Fort Knox. How had “The Land of the Free” changed so much in just a few decades? Or had it, really? Maybe I was just having a delayed realization of the way things had always been heading? It didn’t seem right though—all that power, all that production, concentrated and monopolized. I sure hoped that there were still folks out there growing more than just “ornamental” plants, saving seeds, sharing genetics, educating their kids, and living free. ~ Everest Fernandez September, 2035.
Mini Foods you can grow yourself SMALL IS Call them whatever you want. Miniature, midget, baby or dwarf - diminutive vegetables are available in big numbers in stores throughout the world. The number of different types are literally growing too.
WHAT ARE MINI VEGETABLES? Mini-vegetables are bred to mature at a smaller than average vegetables or are normal sized but picked prematurely. They are available as seed, seedlings or cuttings in most gardening stores or online. Mini-vegetable gardens are a sustainable food source that can be grown virtually anywhere. These gardens can produce enough vegetables to help feed a small family, and they can be grown without the use of pesticides. They are even easy to plant and grow, needing only a little strategy and maintenance to keep them growing.
WHY MINI VEGETABLES? In the old days the purpose of growing big vegetables where for simple reasons: Feed as many people as possible. Now in our society of abundance, people choose mini for a number of reasons. Size; big vegetables are crude on the plate, clunky and sometimes hard to handle. Taste; some mini variants simply just taste better than their larger cousins. Efficiency; lotâ€™s of people are more conscience about waste. Why throw half of what you buy in the dump?
MINI FOODS I GARDEN CULTURE
Cherry Tomatoes Bio : A cherry tomato is a very small variety of tomato. Cherry tomatoes range in size from a thumbtip up to the size of a golf ball. Growing Cherry tomatoes indoors are easy and simple, the tomato are sweet, juicy and versatile. You can start picking your tomatoes after +/- 60-65 days. pH: 5.9 - 6.5 Humidity: 40 to 80 % Light Hours: 12-16 hours per day
Mini Iceberg Lettuce Bio: Waste is a big problem with full size head lettuce. Mini Iceberg Lettuce is tennis ball sized, producing the perfect salad for one. Growing lettuce in the indoor garden is very simple - its one of the most common hydroponic crops around. Enjoy garden fresh salad in 65 days. pH: 5.5 - 6.0 Humidity: 60 to 80% Light Hours: 16 hours a day
Mini Cabbage Bio: Don’t want aging cabbage hanging around in the fridge? Great tasting, tight 15 cm diameter heads on mini cabbages like ‘Gonzales’ provide just enough for serving one or two people. A surprising addition to the hydro garden that does well. Seed to harvest in about 66 days. pH: 6.5 - 7.0 Humidity: 50 to 60% Light Hours: 16 hours a day
MINI FOODS I GARDEN CULTURE
Bio: Here’s one of those veggies that you can harvest large or small and maintain great flavor. Cauliflower ‘Freedom’ was aptly named, but there are improved versions like Bishop available. You can start harvesting 5-10 cm heads in 60-70 days from seeding with the right hybrids.. pH: 6.5 - 7.0 Humidity: 50 to 60% Light Hours: 16 hours a day
pH: 5.5 Light Hours: 16 hours a day
Mini Pak Choi pH: 7.0 Light Hours: 16 hours a day
Baby Eggplant pH: 6.0 Light Hours: 16 hours a day
Mini Watermelons pH: 5.5 - 6.5 Light Hours: 16 hours a day
Baby Peppers pH: 5.8 - 6.3 Light Hours: 16 hours a day
Mini Pumpkins pH: 5.5 - 7.5 Light Hours: 16 hours a day
Baby Corn pH: 6.0 Light Hours: 16 hours a day
Baby Spinach pH: 6.0 - 7.0 Light Hours: 16 hours a day
Mini Romanesco Broccoli Bio: Not a new development, Romanesco is a 16th century Italian hybrid that is uniquely beautiful on your plate. A cauliflower - broccoli cross with incredible flavor for eating raw and lightly cooked. You can harvest individual florets or the whole head in +/- 75-100 days. pH: 6.0 - 6.8 Humidity: 50 - 60% Light Hours: 16 hours a day
The new Hybrid Controller Pro combines mechanical fan speed operation with the latest digital temperature sensing technology. The result is a completely silent, twin fan speed controller with highly accurate temperature control. The Hybrid Controller Pro has a 5m NTC temperature probe, allowing the unit to be positioned in any convenient location. It is designed to maintain a constant temperature inside your room whilst keeping airﬂow under control at all times. It is the ideal solution for those looking for the quietest running extractor fans as it creates No Buzzing or Humming from any type of extractor GUARANTEED!! Negative air pressure is ensured through the perfect synchronisation of both fans. The humidity sensor controls and removes excess humidity during your lights off period.
RRP $480.00 inc GST The Hybrid Controller Pro is plug and play. Just plug in your fans, set the desired temperature and minimum fan speed, and the Hybrid Controller Pro will take care of the rest. The Twin Controller Pro is software controlled with Motion Flow Technology and not mechanical. It scans your room to make an evaluation for the gradual increases and decreases of your fans. Negative air pressure is guaranteed through the perfect synchronization of both fans, creating a ‘vacuum’ inside the room. The Twin Controller Pro also has a secondary function, that when activated will safeguard against high humidity during the dark cycle. Humidity function can be switched on or off at any time.
RRP $280.00 inc GST
Detection and protection of your goods by sending a SMS text alert up to 4 telephone numbers. We recommend using pre-paid sims for your peace of mind. SMS Alarm basic includes: - SMS Alarm module - Water detector - Motion detector - Smoke detector - Breaker point and key switch - 12V Adapter RRP $650.00 inc GST - 9V Back up battery
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Extinct Food, sailing the sea of green, genetics and breeding, 5 Cool Finds...