Author Topic: Hydroponics; growing without soil [i.e. quickly]  (Read 1068 times)

Socrates

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Hydroponics; growing without soil [i.e. quickly]
« on: October 08, 2016, 10:48:42 PM »
Hartman: Well, typically, if you go to a grocery store and buy a tomato, it looks lovely. It can be blemish free, bright red and look so nutritious. But typically, those tomatoes—from a hothouse or even out of the ground—have 12, 14 or 15 elements. Tomatoes are genetically disposed to pick up 56 elements, and it’s always the same 56 in a certain proportion.  That’s what tomatoes pick up. Every vegetable and fruit is different, but that’s what tomatoes want. When people buy fruits and vegetables, and take them home and taste them and they taste like cardboard, people say, “What happened?” What happened is that they were completely depleted. They are like virtual food.

The above is an excerpt from a Mike Adams interview with the producer of sea minerals for growing food.

But it's not just about quality; one can also use sea minerals [i.e. simply: diluted seawater] for hydroponics. You can grow your food in gravel, for instance. In the end all the plant wants is minerals. The soil is what recycles minerals and holds onto precipitation and other water but if you have water with the right minerals in it, your plant couldn't care less about soil. Plants in a gravel bed with diluted seawater grow closer together than they would in soil and their yield is greater per plant.

This is good to know when you don't have soil, for it takes a while to come about. If one were to lay down wood chips, for instance, it might take a year for them to start breaking down, becoming soil. If you laid the wood chips on poor ground they would eventually enrich it, loosen it up and make i possible to hold water. However, it might take a few years worth of wet seasons before that materializes and do you have the time? For a long haul strategy wood chips and the like are good options but in a pinch you might be buying manure. Or growing in diluted seawater.

'Farming', in the hydroponic sense, starts off with containers that will hold water so you can periodically soak the gravel and roots of your plants growing in it. Hell, in an emergency survival situation over an extended period, you might just have a pond you fill up with gravel and catch and return the water coming from it... by hand. Then all you'd need is a bucket.
Don Jansen has entire acres of hydroponically grown produce and supplies first rate vegetables for restaurants and grocery stores that are eager to have his to sell.

I guess you could farm in some kind of sand, especially since it tends to float up when immersed in water. If you're next to a beach all you need is to find a place that will hold water, fill it with sand, fill with fresh water and add some seawater.
Only things like salicornia and mangrove will actually grow in seawater but once the salts are diluted down to acceptable levels [different per plant species], you should be able to grow most foods if you just have seawater, fresh water and something for the roots to grab onto [there will be beneficial bacterial growing on the roots and in the sand or gravel].
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 09:49:34 AM by Socrates »
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Socrates

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Hydroponics; politics and culture...
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 03:13:20 AM »
Flora have been known to thrive on volcanic rock void of soil. That's possible because in the end it's all about minerals and volcanic rock is full of them. So if you're in a humid climate where a sprout or seedling won't dry out, it can thrive on 'rock'. Rare but possible.
Similarly, one can grow plants hydroponically using a solution of seawater with great success; the roots grow through gravel and have access to all the minerals in the world that are all to be found in seawater.
Barring such rare or cultivated conditions, however, most of life on Earth depends on soil...

I learned in the past 35 years that diet is everything and that nutrition has everything to do with minerals [your body won't absorb vitamins without the appropriate minerals, for example].
Now, seawater contains all minerals; why is that?
In the end it is quite natural: billions of years of rain have transported minerals to the world's oceans; this is why they are so salty. Therefore... seawater = life!
Now, perhaps you say... there is life everywhere! Why is 'seawater' so special?

Well, for one, all great cultures of mankind developed where sea minerals were abundant:
- Rome
- Egypt
- Tibet [ancient dried seabeds]
- China (Tianjin [a river delta] and colloid-rich river deposits)
- etc.
The human brain has need of a wide range of minerals to function optimally, and especially iodine is important; and this is typically found in seaweed and fish.

Now, all minerals are found in seawater. And 50+ years of research by Maynard Murry have proven that seawater [or seasalt] is very well suited to fertilizing soil.


Now, throwing 'salt' on soil may upset most folks... Did we not learn that the Romans 'salted' the lands of their enemies in Carthage?! But, in truth, there is great ignorance here; for one, when we're talking about "salt", we're usually talking about "tablesalt", which is not 'dried seawater' but is rather the 70% of seawater that crytalizes as seawater evaporates...
What does this mean?

Seawater is 70% sodium chloride and this (chemical) compound is in itself toxic. However...!
Seawater is made up of some 90 minerals and sodium and chloride are but 2 of these. Yes, they together make up 70% of seawater, but apparently [...] seawater is not toxic [clearly], or otherwise it would not be full of life!
But when seawater evaporates, it creates a beautiful white crystaline crust on top made of sodium chloride; this is easily scraped off and offers a 'salty' taste; hence: tablesalt.
However... the rest of the minerals that make up seawater are also essential to life. Unfortunately for our tastebuds... they tend to taste bitter. So sodium chloride has culturally grown to mean "salt", though it's just 2 of the 90 minerals to be found in evaporated seawater.


Now, when we're talking about feeding plants with seawater, it is important to realize that the "salts" we're talking aboiut [i.e. from the seawater] have little-to-nothing to do with the toxic [when isolated] compound that makes up 70% of seawater (i.e. sodium chloride).

In the 19th century [i.e. the 1800's] seasalt was indeed the 2nd most popular fertilizer around; and for good reason [if we consider Maynard Murray's research]. But then... chemical companies filled our minds with ideas about modern fertilizers, just like pharmaceutical companies changed everyone's ideas about health...

You must realize that in the past century corporations, economics and politics have dramatically changed the popular view of what is true... And that these views do not at all support a prepper's options and potential future reality.

Seawater works fine as a substrate for hydroponics. This is commonly unknown because using seawater to fertilize or feed plants is politically and economically unpopular knowledge; using seawater doesn't make anybody any money. But when you're talking about survival and reality, politics and economics are moot points.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 08:39:48 AM by Socrates »
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R.R. Book

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Re: Hydroponics; growing without soil [i.e. quickly]
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 08:20:41 AM »
Quote
"Hell, in an emergency survival situation over an extended period, you might just have a pond you fill up with gravel and catch and return the water coming from it... by hand. Then all you'd need is a bucket.

Socrates, Thank you so much for the clarifications about using sea water.  Do you garden  hydroponically at home, and do you currently use the non-electric method that you described?

Socrates

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Re: stocking up for hydroponics
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 08:36:36 AM »
Unfortunately, this is for me all just research (and common sense considerations).
I wish!...   ::)

To be fair, i've never been very interested in hydroponics because if you have the time, soil is a better option. Hydroponics is a hands-on technique that requires constant attention and work. The way i see it, planting a seed in good soil and coming back months later to harvest is the better option by far.
But again, to be fair, it would be far far easier to stock up on a good supply of salt than it would be to lay away enough soil to make a difference somewhere.
(And don't forget cow manure; pulverized this makes an excellent medium in which to allow seeds to sprout.)

Quigley: "Said i never had much use for one; never said i didn't know how to use it."...  8)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 08:50:58 AM by Socrates »
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Re: Hydroponics; growing without soil [i.e. quickly]
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 06:09:04 PM »
Hi Socrates,

You have me convinced to try hydroponics on a very small scale via indoor microgreens.  I guess it will be missing the fish poop aspect though :)

Not sure how to keep my cats out of it...