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Old 07-10-2006, 10:34   #1
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Hydroponic Gardening on Cruising Sailboat ?

Hi guys,

Have you guys ever seen a hydroponic garden on a boat for growing fresh fruit and vegetables while underway? I wonder if it would work?

I'm betting it would pose a problem while clearing in customs... importing live plants.

Zach
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Old 08-10-2006, 14:12   #2
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If your curious too, here's what I've learned so far:

There are three basic kinds of hydroponic gardens.

1. Passive Subirrigation. Plant's roots are suspended in rock wool or pellets. The nutrient solution is dripped down the roots. From the roots it runs into a tray, and back to the pump. An airstone (Like what is in a fish tank) is needed to introduce oxygen into the water.

2. Ebb and Flow. Roots hang down into a solution, which is pumped from the vegetable tray down to a collection container. Runs pump on a timer, when off, vegetable tray is empty of solution. An airstone (Like what is in a fish tank) is needed to introduce oxygen into the water.

3. Aeroponics. Roots are suspended, very fine mist of nutrient solution is sprayed around in a nearly sealed container. Fastest growing of the three. Air stone not required, because of the atomized mist... which is also why it is the fastest growing, more oxygen.

... Most systems are done indoors with bright lights that strive to imitate the suns rays. When the plants are started, the lights run 24 hours a day, when fruiting 12 hours a day.

The other way land based systems are done, are on window sills, using natural light.

On the veg light (24 hours a day) a plant can grow inches per day, reaching maturity in two-three weeks. After that, the lights are turned to 12 hours and they begin to fruit. The plant then on provides fruit until it dies, which may be years... from insects or disease only! You harvest, it grows more...
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Old 08-10-2006, 21:45   #3
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I used to grow many differing plants with with Hydroponics. I don't anymore. I reckon there are greater benifits with growing in good soil. Mainly in the fact that no matter what additives you put into the water, you will never ever be able to compensate for what a plant takes up naturaly. So as a result, hydroponics may provide fast growing lush looking fruit and vegies, but are they really any good for you.
The other aspect is, I don't really see any easy way of growing on a boat using hydroponics. It is large scale cumbersome stuff in reality to what you get back. Glass house scale yes, boat scale no. Plus it uses HUGE quantities of water. It's then main reason why they grown so fast and lush looking. I think you would be better off buying and storing Fruit and vegies on board rather than trying to grow. However, if you really have the time and room, it can be very fun.
My favorite was growing Strawberry's. You had fruit daily. Mmmmmmmmm, strawberrys, droooollllllllll
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:24   #4
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I have heard of a cat owner that had a vine growing up their solar panel stand.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:39   #5
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We have a little herb garden hanging off the pushpit. Has to be washed off occasionally to keep the salt off it and needs a little wind break but overall it works well. We start a new one every time we go cruising in the fall and it lasts the six months we're away. Lots of cruisers keep a small patch of grass for their cats.
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Old 10-10-2006, 21:20   #6
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Yea I used to grow oregeno and other fine herbs this way, there's a couple of people in our anchorage with crap growing everywhere, but I can't maintain a vege garden on land I can imagine how many plants would die in vein on the boat.
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Old 11-10-2006, 00:45   #7
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Hey Vasco, why do some cat owners have a patch of grass???
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Old 11-10-2006, 01:17   #8
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Zach,What you have discribed about lights is for pot!Most comercialy grown hydrow veg's and so,are actually done in huge light-open green house's."Sprungo dude!!"Hydroponics on a food level is mainly about controlling the nutreients which the plants absorbes,not,the light hrs it reseaves.Granted you can use lights to make it all happen Quicker but on a commercial side of things it is not cost effective to produce FOOD this way."With lights I mean"Mudnut.
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Old 11-10-2006, 07:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
Hey Vasco, why do some cat owners have a patch of
grass???
Wheels,
You obviously aren't a cat owner. I'm talking about the four legged
ones. They love to munch grass, I think it helps them barf up fur balls.

C-A-T




hey, how come I suddenly can't attach pictures.
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:37   #10
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Yep we love cats, and have two new crew that are now six months old. But have never heard of the Grass thing. That's a new one on me.
Your Cat looks great by the way :-)
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:56   #11
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Thanks. We used to take her cruising but she'd always get seasick and get sick (and worse) in our berth. She wouldn't stay in the gimballed oven. OK, I'm joking but she stays home now.
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Old 11-10-2006, 13:05   #12
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You all have to realize that even if you could do it on a very small scale salt spay is a major concern....you need a lot of light so this could not be done inside the boat,now growing few herbs is really possible in small containers.
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Old 27-11-2006, 01:11   #13
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hyproponics on board

I grow alflafa sprouts, mong beans, wheat grass, many legumes can be grown in one gallon plastic containers, I also grow a manchurin mushroom on board. before clearing costoms, emty out everything except manchurin, that goes into the cooler as tea. the start over, takes about four days to have food again, also carry four intertubes and 10'by10' greenhouse cloth, while in the dodrums, make a flooting reef for smal fish farming,90% of all my food can be fabrecated out to sea. that is of course you build boats like I do,that being multi hulls. besides engineering skills, Iam an hebalist. comes in handy when you are on remote attols,I dont know about all you other sailors out there, but anybody that has ran out of food stores out to sea has learned how to farm in a 4ft by4ft area[salt spray is NOT a problem when growing sprouts in mason jars
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Old 21-03-2007, 05:48   #14
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I have successfully grown sprouts following the directions I found in an old Lats & Atts issue. Mung beans work the best - bigger seeds that don't get stuck in the drain holes, and fast sprouting time. Just the thing for your stir fry supper.

The Earth Box looks interesting - a plastic box with a water reservoir and staking system. Plants are potted in lightweight medium. Amazon sells a system in the $50 range. With tomatoes at $3.59 lb., might pay for itself. However, we subscribe to the "no plants crawling around on our tidy deck" philosophy, so not sure where we'd put it.

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Old 22-03-2007, 03:10   #15
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From:
The Beansprout Book

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pisces
Found a great book on sprouting at a second hand store. Quite likely it's out of print but I'll give you the details . . . .who knows, maybe you'll find it on Ebay!

The Beansprout Book by Gay Courter
(Everything about sprouting beans, seeds and grains)
Copyright 1973 Published by Simon and Schuster

Tells how to sprout, what equipment, what grains/seeds to use, cooking directions, recipes, storage and preservation, etc.

If anyone is interested, I could post some of the recipes.
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