Friday, June 17, 2011

Totally distracted

I have been horrible at posting all my photos and experiences with my window farm. Lots of pictures, but no posts!!

This will change soon, once I get organized. I'm in the process of 'downshifting' as it were, in preparation to go to university again.


In the mean time, this is what I have been up to.

I was inspired to make this today.

My dad offered me this huge jar and I wanted to plant something in it. I've seen some of the coolest terrariums lately. Especially ones that have perfectly green moss growing in them. And mini terrariums!

The cactus and moss are from the garden in front of my house. I used old aquarium stuff for the gravel in the bottom and the ruins.

This site for DIYing a clover and moss terrarium is so rad! I love clover!!!

So I am going to get my photos all uploaded and share more of my learning how not to grow food in a window farm.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Week 7.2 - Strawberry makes an appearance

March 10, 2011

One of the strawberry plants finally grew big enough to move in.

 Here it is once I washed the seed starting mix from the roots.

There we go. Now the whole column is inhabited!

Thanks for checking it out!!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Week 7.1 - The Dissection

March 6, 2011

So the algae got the best of my second column. As you can see from the
picture below the reservoir was full of the green stuff. The airlift
lines and everything else was infested too.

The plastic growing medium I was using seemed to be perfect breeding
grounds for the algae. You can see around the base of the plants there
was so much if it, it was greener than the plants themselves. I could
probably harvest this stuff to make biofuel. I guess this column would
be an excellent algae farm...

This is what the tempest medium looked like on the sides.
The algae grew on the side that was facing the window.
The white duct tape did not stop the light nearly as much as it needed to.

So the dissection begins...

The BF and I tried to save as many plants as we could.
You can see the roots did not grow very well into this medium.
There were a few that ventured into the plastic, but most of
the roots were stunted and only grew in their little pockets.

You can see the limited roots in the tempest, and the extent of the algae.

The roots didn't spread out much at all. I think this may have been
because the medium was squished into the bottles so tightly.
Or maybe because of the light shining through the bottles.

This bottle was pretty gnarly!

The chili peppers in the top weren't getting any nutrients because the
hose was positioned so that it just ran down the side of the bottle.

I think I might be able to salvage the two stevia, they didn't put out roots either.

I am going to use this black tubing from now on. Just try and grow now algae!!

Alrighty, I apologize this post has taken me ages. Life sometimes gets busy.

I will leave you with a picture of my some swiss chard that I harvested. LOVE the bright pink!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Week 7 - Attack of the algae!

March 4, 2011

My poor tomato's bottom leaves have gone from gnarly to really crunchy. Oops haha.

Not too much chlorophyll going on in these guys. I do, however, have some tomato flowers showing up!

The broccoli seems to be doing a little better, the leaves are getting really frilly. Hopefully this means that I might have a broccoli head on the way! I have been feeding the column flowering nutes so maybe it will start to flower.

It's a jungle!

Yay for beans! The BF and I have eaten two of them already. Those spots on the leaves have gotten worse though. I have no clue what this is! Most of the leaves are really healthy, its just the few that look messed up.

I am thinking I might take these leaves off if they start to get really messed up. But I don't want to cause the plant too much trauma either.

Now here we have a shot of the reservoir... this week I started to flush the system because I heard that you should flush with water before you eat anything. Not too sure why this is, but I wanted to try it out. Truthfully, I took this picture so you can compare to the horrors that are plaguing my second column...

 Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! It's the ATTACK OF THE ALGAE!!!

Gross. I don't know if it is the white duct tape, or the tempest stuff, but I don't have algae in the first column that I built. It's in the airlift and everything. It's EVERYWHERE! The other pepper doesn't show algae, but it has a bunch of salt on it's leaves.

Hopefully I can figure out this problem by next week. I shall keep you posted!

Week 6 - Bountiful Beans

February 26, 2011

Yay I have lots of beans! Well if you compare it to what I had before, which is no beans.

The tomato grew a little more this week. The new leaves are not showing those brown spots, so hopefully the nutrient lock up is not as bad. I still have to get some pH down. The hydro store is in the opposite end of town so it is a pain in the butt to get down there.

The broccoli is a lot less droopy too! Poor thing. They tend to rebound fairly quickly, however. It's probably pretty boring for a plant without a little bit of adversity once and a while... right?

Now as far as the peppers go, one bottle seems to be doing ok, but the other... not so much. There is some weird brown stuff going on in the tempest stuff. Still not impressed with it. I'm sorry for the blurry photos. I didn't have much time this week so I snapped a few and did not review them.

The stevia grew a little bit, but it looks like I'm getting algae. Bad news. I called the hydroponics store and they said that they carry 1/4" black tubing, so when I eventually get down there I'll pick some of that up too. The next column I build will definitely have black tubing. One less place for algae to grow.

That's all I did this week. Happy window farming!

Week 5 - Problems starting to manifest

February 19, 2011

This week things went a little bit downhill. I have been having some issues with my airlift, every once and a while it will decide to stop working. Which really sucks for my plants, especially if I am at work when the airlift starts bubbling into the reservoir and not lifting.

Here is my poor little broccoli. While the leaves have begun to fill out a bit more, it wasn't getting water for a while so it is a little saggy.

Also my tomato is showing more signs of stress. I haven't been able to get some pH down yet, and I think that I have some nutrient lock out going on.

At least we have been getting more clear skies and sunny days! It makes the tomato look a little less sad.

It seems that my bean plant is suffering too. I'm not sure if this is the same thing that is afflicting the tomato, however seeing as they are connected to the same reservoir, it probably is nutrient lock out for this guy too.

I have been watering my houseplants with the leftover nutes, and now there is some white stuff in the soil. Not too sure what this is...

The peppers and stevia have not shown much progress since last week. I think that the nutes dripping right onto the leaves of the plants is really bothering them. Unfortunately I need a bigger drill bit than the one that I have so I can put tubes into the caps of the bottles and direct the drips. The white tempest stuff I'm using for a medium seems to be discolouring as well. So far my opinion of this product is dropping every week. Even with it being free!

Also, I have had another causality. The swiss chard kicked the bucket. I have more of it growing in soil so it is not too much of a loss.
R.I.P. Swiss Chard, you will be missed.
Please ignore my horrible paint job... can you tell that I am impatient? Hopefully this gardening stuff will help.

Ok, here is the good news: My bean is coming along swimmingly! I cannot wait to munch.

There is also another baby bean! 

And here we have a few more flowers that are starting to turn into beans.

 Well I think I will leave you with that. Yay for fresh produce in your front window!