Monday, February 01, 2016 by usafeaturesmedia
(Homesteading.news) It gets cold outside during the winter months where a of people live, making it impossible – without a greenhouse – to grow your own food. The good news is, these days technology has made it possible for you to grow fresh produce year-round, and for a minimal investment.
Grow boxes are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people – homesteaders and city dwellers alike – “go organic” and use them to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs year-round. Not only is box-grown food healthier for you but it saves you some “green” from your wallet.
A new, popular kind of grow box comes from Food Rising, a company founded by Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger. The Mini-Farm Grow Box system is easy to assemble and quick to produce results. In the video below, Adams introduces his concept as a “revolutionary, low-technology” concept for “decentralized, grass roots, low-cost, high nutrient density food production.
What is especially interesting is that Adams essentially gives the technology away; anyone who has a 3-D printer can download the parts files at the Food Rising web site.
The hydroponic/aquaponic-based system is based on a concept that Adams says has been used for years in Taiwan. “This is a self-reliant food production technology that can empower billions of people all around the world,” he said.
According to a press release from Food Rising, the system can be operated for pennies:
The Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box grows enormous quantities of food without using electricity or soil. It requires no weeding and uses no pumps, motors or complex parts of any kind. It grows highly-nutritious, mineral-rich foods using about 1/20 the water of conventional agriculture and about half the space of soil gardening.
“The Maker movement is about empowering people with innovative, grassroots solutions that can substantially improve the quality of their lives,” Adams explains. “This Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow System allows people to produce their own mineral-rich, better-than-organic foods for mere pennies.”
“In a world where children are too often raised on junk food, processed food and soda, Food Rising is precisely the kind of project we need to change course for the health of our nation in a positive way,” he added.
How it works is simple: Seeds are planted directly into the “grow medium” that comes with the kit (see the photo above), so there is no transplanting necessary. Also, they’re portable; when the weather gets warmer, you can move them outside. Plus, they were designed around easily-scavenged parts such as paper clips, pencil erasers, garden hose rubber washers and discarded vitamin bottles.
Here’s how the system works:
— After initial assembly, the grow box is filled nutrient water, which is made using Ultraclean Plant Food fertilizer. There are different formulas for tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, peppers and so forth.
— Net pots underneath the grow box lid are filled with coconut coir grow medium are placed in the holes of the precision-cut lid. Sprouting seeds are placed in the coconut coir to begin sprouting.
— As the seeds sprout, roots extend into the fertilized water and begin utilizing it; water levels will begin to fall.
— As the water level drops, the plant roots “chase” the water down to lower and lower levels inside the grow bin. This causes the production of “air roots” which hang in the air and become oxygen diffusers, replacing the need for electric air pumps.
— When the water level drops below the level of the installed float valve, the valve automatically opens due to gravity, allowing new water (and nutrients) to flow into the grow container at a controlled rate.
— The plants continue to grow and produce, using water and nutrients. When the water reservoir gets low, additional water and nutrients are added. You will not have to add water very often; perhaps as little as once per week depending on what you’re growing, humidity, etc.
— Once the crops from one growth cycle are harvested, the Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box can be rinsed out, sanitized with sunlight, and used again to grow a whole new batch of fresh food or medicine.
The pre-built systems are available here, as is the 3-D printer filament if you decide to go that route instead.
Users of the Food Rising and other hydroponic systems say that within weeks, you’ll have fresh produce sprouting up all over the place. And what’s more, you can produce a number of crops over and over again throughout the long winter months.
— If the spot you’ve chosen for your grow boxes receives little sunlight, experienced users say you can remedy that with an LED light. Adams says his system is fully compatible with Hydrofarm brand grow-lights but others will work as well.
Note: Homesteading.news is NOT a distributor of this product and receives no income from sales of the product.
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