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A Peek at Hydroponics

What do you know about hydroponics?

I’ve heard about it years ago, but never really try to understand what it actually is about. Until yesterday.

Couple of weeks ago, one of my best friend asked me to join this hydroponics workshop. I think the concept is pretty interesting and I would like to know more, so I said yes.

December 1st, 2012, we went to the workshop in Cibubur, one of Jakarta’s suburb. It started at 8.30 am-2.30 pm. We went with our other two friends from college, so it sort of feels like we’re having another class on college again :))

The main speaker of the workshop, popularly known as Pak Tani. In front of him is an example of floating raft technique.

These are some chunks of what I got from the workshop:

>> Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. Instead, it uses water as a medium to transfer mineral nutrients plants need. It also uses some other supporting medium that is not containing mineral in it, such as: sponge, rockwool, coco peat, perlite, etc.

>> The idea is to overcome the lack of soil especially in big cities. With this method, we could also give plants the exact amount of the nutrients they need without spoiling the soil for too much unused chemical residue. So we can grow plants in more places, it produces better plants in quality and quantity, it’s good for the environment.

>>There are some systems in hydroponic: Floating Raft, NFT (Nutrient Film Technique), Wick, Drip Irigation, Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain), Aeroponic. Some are more simple than other, some is more efficient for commercial purposes. We should decide which system that fit the most with our situations and purposes.

Hydroponic NFT System in a green house. Pretty cool isn’t it?

>> There are two basic steps of growing plants in hydroponic method: 1. Create a seedling; 2. Move it to other place with any hydroponic system you choose right after it has roots.

>> Basically, all plants need four things: Lights, Oxygen, fertilizer (nutrient), and water. Make sure that each plant get all of that in the right amount they need, than it will grow just fine. In hidroponic method, you also need to pay attention to: a. The pH level of the water (5,5-6,2 is save level to grow most plants, especially vegetables); b. The amount of dissolved materials in the water (you use PPM/ Parts per Million measurement, the higher the PPM means the more nutrients you have  inside your water).

The participants! I’m somewhere between the crowd :)

Well, I think that’s all for now. We also got a hydroponic package (contains some seeds, two bottle of nutrient solutions, a slab of rockwool, couple of small plastic cups, few wicks made of felt) from the workshop so we could try to plant once we get home.

I might post what my package will turn into some days later. I won’t  promise you anything though :p


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