As an avid Margaret Atwood fan I devour her novels almost as soon as I can get my grubby gardener hands on them. But what with the move to, and all the renovations at the small holding I’ve not found the time to read.
With all the major DIY projects finally behind us this year, the main growing season over and the dismal, Fifty Shades of Kodak Grey skies, hampering any robot building efforts, I finally picked up Atwood’s The Year of The Flood. An aptly titled book, since it hasn’t stopped raining?!
In the book we’re introduced to the “Gardeners” a vegetarian eco group who take Vegivows and cultivate secret roof top gardens to grow their own food in preparation for the coming of the waterless flood that will destroy civilisation.
Even though Atwood’s “Gardeners” were not great fans of technology, I feel hydroponic technology is a great way to produce your own food when space is limited or you do not have access to a soil garden or allotment. You can even do it on a window sill!
How Does My Garden Grow?
Simply put, plants grow in oxygenated water containing dissolved nutrients.
The plants sit in small net pots filled with clay pebbles with their roots growing in the air. A water pump then pumps nutrient rich water through a sprinkler system that sprays the roots. Surplus water drains back into the tank to recirculate.
Last year we grew our winter herbs and salad leaves in an enclosed aero-hydroponic system, with artificial light and heated water.
However this year, we’re trying to grow them in an unheated polytunnel with just natural daylight.
I’m not sure how well this will go, as they are predicting a harsh winter because of the possibility of La Nina weather front.
On the book tour for the The Year of The Flood, Atwood said they would follow what she called the “Vegivows” – a list of things to make the tour as green as possible. One element of these vows was to eat locally produced and if possible organic food.
I guess the reason for NotJustPots is to abide by our own set of “VegiVows.”
- Grow as much of our food as possible.
- Make everything from scratch.
- And what we can’t – Know it’s provenance. Be it sourced locally or from small independent suppliers that grow or raise their products naturally.
Here’s hoping for some dry weather, so we can crack on with the robot build!