Monday, March 5, 2012

Don's lettuce farm

I have been trying to blog this for a week now but I have had so much computer trouble that I have even contemplated trashing the whole thing and going back to snail mail and smoke signals.  But I will try again and try not to lose anything in the process.  Nothing is more irritating than to write some really great prose only to have the computer lock up and lose it all.  (Can we say "Aw, Shucks"?)

Sometime back I did a blog on a hydroponic garden that Don and I visited in Leesburg.  It was pretty inspiring and really set Don on the path of creating his own 'balcony farm'.

Here is the bare balcony with a little of the morning sun.  Can you picture the crops growing?  Lettuce leaves swaying in the breeze of the overhead fan?  The picture below is of a head of lettuce that is more than two months old.

You think I'm kidding?  We bought a head of lettuce from the Hydroponic garden back in December.  I put the last few leaves of that lettuce on my sandwich in mid-February!  The roots of that lettuce sat in that cup of water the whole time and the head continued to grow! And the lettuce tasted great.

So Don began the project.  First purchase--a cabinet to hold all the stuff that kept accumulating. Something tells me that cabinet isn't big enough.

Then Don built a frame to hold the grow lights.  Turned out the frame wasn't what the owner of the hydroponic place (Brian) thought was strong enough--so he built another one.

Then there were plans--and more plans--and finally Brian came over and built the frame he wanted.

'We went to Lowe's and bought flowers--then found out we couldn't get all the dirt off the roots to put them in the nutrient enriched water--so now we have a 1/2 hydroponic garden and 1/2 dirt garden.
This project is getting bigger and bigger.

The Hydroponic pots arrived and then we went out and bought rollers for the bases so they could be moved around.

Everything is installed and ready to grow--We hope.

If you look very, very closely you can see the start of the lettuce plants.  So stay tuned.  I am on the road again until March 20th when I will return to Don's to see how the crops are doing.

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