Complete hydroponic systems - Advanced urban farming technology
Anyone interested in hydroponic systems, urban farming, sustainable food, organic vegetable plants and a reduced carbon foot print should take a serious look at the Urban Food Farms offered in this section.
An Urban Food Farm is a highly efficient outdoors hydroponic vegetable growing system. Based on
Israeli agricultural technology, an Urban Food Farm grows 6 to 9 times
more organic vegetable plants, fruit and herb than the same space
planted directly in the ground. It is sold as a complete kit that includes everything needed to grow vegetables: a clear polycarbonate greenhouse, automated irrigation and fertilization, coco coir growing medium, hydroponic gutters with full drainage recuperation, even the seed. The maintenance only takes 1 to 2 hours per week and it requires not growing experience. This is the perfect system for a city farmer, not only because it gives high yields with little space but also because it is very tolerant. Since the watering and fertilization are fully automatic, the Urban Food Farm will continue to produce even if left unattended for up to a month. The vegetable plants grow healthy and strong so they resist disease, since the greenhouse is closed, there are not many bug problems.
The hydroponic food farm systems can be installed on any flat surface with full sun, a backyard, garden, parking lot, empty dirt lot or rooftop. They come in 4 sizes, 8x8, 8x12, 8x16 and 8x20. For larger areas, multiple units can be installed with 3 feet separation.
Please note that all the pictures show are from our 8x12 prototype.
Some people may wonder about the claim that these hydroponic systems grow 6 to 9 times more vegetable plants and herbs than the same space planted directly in the ground. Believe it or not, 6 to 9x is a conservative estimate. The first thing to look at is the actual planting space; a 8x20 space planted in the ground gives about 100 feet of growing space, climbing vegetables like tomato and cucumber plants may grow to 6 or 8 feet tall. In the basic configuration, the 8x20 hydroponic food farm system, offers 156 feet of growing space; in single crop configuration like for strawberry plants the growing space is 228 feet. Climbing plants can grow as high as 17 feet.
So the space layout accounts for 1.5 to 2 times more growing than in the ground. The greenhouse itself also does a great job at increasing production by keeping the heat in. Without the greenhouse, practically nothing would grow in the winter. All in all, the greenhouse accounts for another 1.5 to 2 times more growing.
Using commercial growing F1 hybrid seeds (they are organic, no GMO) increases the yield by 2 compared to regular store bought seeds.
Now we have the coco coir growing medium. Because it retains water much better than soil and has up to 1000x more oxygen, vegetable plants thrive in it. Used in combination with the automatic fertilizer it allows plants to grow another 40 to 60% more than when planted in regular soil.
There are many factors to take into consideration when comparing yields and crop sizes. Individual results will vary depending on climate zone, type of vegetable plants, season and other factors. An actual test of growing the same vegetable plants in the ground and in the hydroponic system was not conducted, the claim of 6 to 9x growing is based on the calculations listed above.