New growing consept

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moopups, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Just saw this on Fox 13 out of Tampa, conserning the well known Parks Strawberry farm and store, located in Plant City, Florida. They have installed a new growing system consisting of styrafoam growing pots which each have 4 plant areas, are stackable up to haveing 24 strawberry plants grow in place of one plant previously. The units are tapered, have a center pole, features a clover leaf shape 4 unit each area where soil is installed. Each growing area is 90 degrees to the one below it. It appears that there is a drip system for irrigation and liquid fertilizer.

    The news report said that 40 acres of standard strawberries can now be compacted into 3/4 of one acre. On camera the growing units appeared to be about 10 inches high each, tapered at about 40 degrees inward at the bottom, each interlocking with the unit below it. It is easy to see that harvesting labor will be at a minium in that the berries will be at taller levels.

    I am going to go search the local paper for the name of the units and possibably a source for them also, will return with the info here if I can find it. This looks like an end to standard garden practices at this time. If you could grow 400 plants on an apartment balcony what would this mean to those without land?

    I did not find what I saw on the tv this morning but did find a similiar system at
    http://www.growpots.com/ called an agritower which features a 6 unit growing system but appear way too costly for everyday use, any how the idea is visable to you now.
     
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    A simple, yet clever idea. I will consider this for next year if the MS doesn't get better. That way, I could just use the garden for large plants like sweet corn that can take care of themselves. I could just keep the weeds mowed, and keep the carrots and such in the towers. Hmm...
     

  3. stormwalker

    stormwalker Well-Known Member

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    My back really likes this idea. But I'm wondering about light. I suppose you could rig an automatic turner.
    I'm going to do some thinking, and try to make my own version of it.
    Thanks
     
  4. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    I built something like that for my college girl friend so she could have a garden in her dorm room. Guess I should have followed up on that idea!

    Sylvar
     
  5. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    This would work fine for shallow-rooted crops that don't require much depth/mass of soil, or much height for foliage either (like strawberries). However, it wouldn't be good for carrots because the sheer weight of soil necessary would be an enormous strain on the structure (including the structure of any balcony you tried to put them on). Conversely, it wouldn't suit a lot of leaf vegetables because they grow so high you'd only get about two layers of pots anyway. Great idea for strawberries, though. Anyone think of any other low, shallow-rooted plants it would suit?

    About light - you could probably try backing them with mirrors - that should maximise the light available.
     
  6. stormwalker

    stormwalker Well-Known Member

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    I like the mirrors idea.
    You could easily grow mesclun and micro-greens. Maybe radishes.
    I was wondering about cucumbers. They could climb each other!
     
  7. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I wonder how strong/sturdy they would be. It looks like they could fall over in a strong wind. I saw in one picture that they had them reinforced with PVC pipe up the middle... plus they are all sitting on some sort of wooden or stone base.

    I had a strawberry "tier" one time (Guerney's special from the 70's). It was a pain in the neck. The top tiers always got too dry and partially shaded the lower tiers on the back. This new thing looks good if you could turn it....which you can't easily.... so there will always be a "dark" side.
     
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    The tomatos meant for pot growing, like Tiny Tim. Buttercrunch lettuce, which is short, crunchy, and picked leaf by leaf. Green onions. Baby carrots. As mentioned, radishes. Water cress.

    Those are all salad veggies, aren't they? OK, call it a salad tree! :haha: