One of the most remarkable things that’s happened in the past month or so has been that our new hydroponic green house has started full time production. The old one (which is still going) was able to generate enough stuff for us to have about one small salad a week. The new one on the other hand is amazing! We’ve had some sort of salad with our meals almost every day this week; usually about five different kinds of lettuce with a homemade dressing, but we’ll soon have more tomatoes and cucumbers coming up.
The old greenhouse was a community effort…two people per day would volunteer to go up and do checks on it. We’d take readings of Ph levels, water temperature, and water conductivity. The whole thing was completely manual, and it did the job. Now, the new one is completely automated. It’s got its own sealed area, with a carbon dioxide enhanced atmosphere. The lights are intense..one kilowatt each, and specially designed to emit the perfect spectrum of light to enhance plant growth. All the chemicals for the hydroponics are added automatically by computer as needed, and the University of Arizona, who designed the system can call in over the Internet anytime the satellties are up to check on it.