Bad Days are Great Days for Rain

Happy Earth Day 2016!

I have admit.  It’s been a rough day.  It’s been bad enough that I can’t imagine laying it all out in a blog post, or even in my head. I’ll just say that some days are bad for no reason in particular and some days are bad because of specific things that happen.  Today seemed to be a combination of a little from column A and little from column B.

It rained today.  It was a merciful rain.  It’s been beautiful outside, sunny 70-80 degree days for more than a week, but my allergies have been impossible for the last couple of days so it has been hard to enjoy the weather.  Today’s rain brought some much needed relief to my swollen sinuses and ear canals and also to my very thirsty little garden.

Though I was feeling pretty down and got a little damp, it was wonderful to spend some time poking around outside, transplanting some starts, and weeding what I hope is  going to be a really bountiful little garden.

Food Everywhere: Inexpensive Hydrogardens

For three years, while I was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, I worked in a store that sold hydroponic equipment and homebrew and wine making supplies.  The homebrew and wine making end of things was my domain, of course, but I managed to pick up quite a bit on the hydro side…more than enough to supplement my love of gardening and tinkering.

I have always been interested in hydroponic gardening as a unique tool, but one that encumbered by a damning limitation, cost–particularly the cost of lighting.  Indeed, the oversized high pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH) bulbs, at $50-$150 a pop, were some of the most frequently lifted items in the store.  Once you add the cost of a ballast to fire those bulbs, a hood to direct their saturated light, and ventilation to deal with the heat they generate, you are well out of my budget for a home garden.

Still, I’m not one to squander an opportunity to build something.  So I decided to create two systems that use natural light and see what I could get them to grow.

The Backyard Hydrogarden

This is PVC pipe based hydrogarden I built in my back yard.

 

The Office Window Hydrogarden

This is PVC pipe based hydrogarden I built in my office window.