It was great meeting all of you - we had twenty four attendees and two presenters. I started the discussion with the need for change in "how" we garden - 40 acres and a mule is no longer sustainable. Besides looking at going vertical, there are alternatives to dirt gardening. Presented several examples using assorted containers, mediums and fertilizers.
Dissected one of my Aero Gardens (aerogardens.com) which had been "planted" only 72 hours earlier, showing the seeds had sprouted and the parts that make a aero - water system work. Grow lights, water pump, aerator, water reservoir, grow medium and fertilizer. Showed how these parts can be cloned using ordinary household items and it's usage, especially in seed starting.
Next, was the discussion and samples of other methods of growing indoors using the 4' work bench indoor light fixtures with grow lights (cheaper then the garden specific ones). Earth Boxes excellent for root vegetables, large dark plastic garbage cans for potatoes. There was mention of having used this process with indoor lighting, coconut fiber (used in hanging baskets and can get as closeouts at end of summer for 50 cents each) and the long plastic gift wrap boxes to grow rice.
Moved on to hydroponics, explaining how that works and having counter top planters as an example - like the Salad Tree which I had put together almost twenty years ago using a planter as base, Five foot 3" PVC pipe, Perlite and Miracle Grow. See Photos.
This transitioned into Nicci Williams presentation on the Tower Garden (www.veryberry,towergarden.com) Nicky is a distributor, so contact her for more information. (See Photos) This is a vertical garden using aeroponic technology and food grade quality materials and products. She says they will be adding indoor grow lights as an option this November. (I plan to use the Work Bench fixtures) This will be my this year's Santa's gift as I've been a very very good girl!
Given my Aero Gardens and soon to be acquired Tower Garden, I'll have all the year round edibles I can handle. Hope you will go to those websites and have a look - truly worth your time as examples of alternatives and technology that works. We closed the Meet Up with raffling off a Aero Garden, mingling and each attendee left with a counter top hydroponic planter and/or an Easy Sprout sprouter/keeper.