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Unlike the weather at the time of writing the last posts, today is only around 23°C (it was nearly 40 last time!) and it has been raining for nearly two days solid, with a few more days to come. With the climate disaster rolling out, it’s hard to predict what a season will be like, if we still have seasons at all, that is!
The structure for the new Kratky hydro system is built out in the back garden with space for about 50 plants. There’s quite a story behind it, which I’ll tell you about now…
The whole setup is built from all donated/recycled/repurposed stuff. I found the frame on the roadside a couple of years ago and it’s gone through several incarnations around the garden. The backdrop is some reused panda plastic to reflect light in (reclaimed from a local hydro grower). Panda plastic reflects more of and a wider spectrum of light than silver foil. It’s also more weather resistant.
The blue plastic tubs are repurposed from Boost Juice Gawler via the Gawler Compost Collective and the seedling tubes were surplus to requirements at the Gawler Community House.
Money for the nutrient solution and the initial seedlings came from Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery in Gawler and Gro Pro Hydro gave us a decent discount on the nutrients and Perlite.
This hydro setup is mobile too, so we can move it inside during the extreme weather and use lights and fans that were a gift from Barossa Gourmet Mushrooms.
The Kratky hydro system is the easiest to use. You fill the tubs with nutrient solution and water, put in a plant and away you go. The plant roots grow down into the mix and as the plant grows, the liquid level drops, allowing more oxygen to get to the roots.
It’s the simplest system to run, with no pumps or moving parts and a wide range of fertilisers can be used. I’m trialling my home made liquid fertilisers in 1/4 of the tubs. The commercial nutrients will give me a good baseline to compare with.
Having one more system of growing makes us more resilient and part of the purpose of this setup is to keep the Poetic Justice Cafe going during times of lockdown and supply chain failures. It’s my favourite Cafe and the locus of a lot of community projects and nurturing. A few locals (us included) decided that it was a vital place to keep going in hard times and have all put our particular fields of expertise towards keeping us supplied and running.
This project is an awesome example of community coming together to provide resilience during possible upcoming hard times. We don’t need governments or councils, folks are perfectly capable of self organisation and when left to their own devices, will come up with something good.
More often than not..
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