Hydroponic methods

March 2, 2011

I’m compiling a pro/con list of the different methods of hydroponics (as listed on Jason’s Indoor Guide to Organic and Hydroponic Gardening).

This is a rough format of the chart:

One of the main reasons the Las Lomas community wishes to have a community garden is to enable them to grow some of their own fruits and vegetables.

Vegetable Gardening Online is an excellent website I found that talks about how to maximize vegetable growth in minimal space using vertical gardening.

“Vertical gardening can be anything from training one or two of your vegetables to grow upward in the garden, to creating an elaborate structure with a frame and cross shelving to contain an entire garden in a small space. Or anything in between! You can use wooden or metal trellises, hanging baskets, shelves, containers, a wood frame, or any combination of these, to create a space-saving vertical garden.”

Some of the vegetables that require vertical support (they are climbers):

  • Cucumber
  • Squash
  • Tomato
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Lima Beans

Some vegetables that do NOT require vertical supports:

  • Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Potato
  • Parsley
  • Herbs

As far as garden location, the site has the following helpful tips:

  • Most vegetable plants need 6+ hours of sunlight
  • Avoid shading trees or shrubs
  • Best if facing south

However, the leafy vegetables do grow well in shade or partial shade.

For region-specific produce, I found this article “The Best Vegetables to Grow in South Texas” by Christie Gross. She identifies the three “best” vegetables to be potatoes (especially red-skinned varieties), tomatoes (which need specific soil conditions), and eggplant (especially as a winter crop).

Also, the Texas AgriLIFE Extension of the Texas A&M System has produced an 11-page Texas Home Vegetable Gardening Guide. This is a fantastic and concise resource, discussing advantages for different crops in both small and large gardens. As well as covering specific needs, harvesting and yield of different crops, the guide identifies different growing regions and schedules through Texas and recommends various methods for soil fertilizing, pest control, and weed control.

Radio research

February 25, 2011

Love this concept! They designed a portable radio that would transmit the station from 30-100 km away.

http://thenextweb.com/ca/2010/12/30/canadians-design-a-portable-radio-station-in-a-box/

We will be designing a community garden for the Las Lomas community using hydroponic or aquaponic systems.

Here are some rudimentary research images and links on hydroponic gardening:

Jason’s Indoor Guide to Organic and Hydroponic Gardens is a website that covers many of the different systems/set ups used for hydroponic gardening. The following image is a diagram of the “Wick System.” Click on the image to go to the site.

Click on this next image to link to another blog that gives descriptions of several hydroponic e-books as well:

 

Las Lomas Community

February 22, 2011

How-To make a “bottleneck” candle with palm wax and an empty plastic bottle:

Alternative candle options using the same bottleneck mold:

To see other studio wax projects, visit the Class Blog!

Here are the images of the burning and remnants of the candle with a spiraled wick on the exterior of the candle.

One further candle experiment involved securing the wick along the exterior of the mold form. The intent was to melt the candle and leave an interesting wax sculpture at the end, carved by fire. View the slideshow below to see the set-up. The next post will reveal the images of the burning!

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The candle formed by pouring wax into water burned successfully. Here are the pictures:

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MicroXproduct – Wax

February 17, 2011

The burning of the internally spiraled wick was not as successful as hoped. The wick kept getting swamped by the wax, which was only melting in the center and couldn’t escape easily or burn off quickly enough. To keep the flame burning towards the end, the candle was tipped to allow the wax to drip out. Here are some images:

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