When we first decided to hit the road round Australia one of the main reasons was to discover and learn about self sufficiency and home food production, particularly hydroponics before we again put our roots down and develop what will be our “Final Garden”.
We had studied a particular type of hydroponic system a few years ago and we thought it would be the “mother of all systems”. It was an Aussie invention called the Auto Pot system.
As it was rather expensive we did not get to the point of trialling it at that stage.
Well the retail outlet for this system is here in Melbourne not far from St Kilda at Braeside so we decided to go over for a look.
What we found was truly fascinating and may have changed our whole outlook on the design of our future hydroponics set up.
Many of the negatives that we had accepted we would need to live with such as pumps running dry, rain diluting nutrient, power failure destroying the crop, needing to be on site continually etc., are eradicated with this system.
Although more expensive to set up it really is an “Auto system” with an efficiency far beyond what we were doing.
Here at the Garden World complex hundreds of different varieties of plants are growing using this method all being fed from a single very small reservoir and pump which is solar powered and having the nutrients mixed automatically.
They are growing full sized Olive trees, Bananas, Sweet potatoes, Water melons Baracoa, Asparagus, Oranges, Mandarins, Raspberries, ginger, and most every variety of household Veges including Carrots and Potatoes.
The tomatoes are exquisite, huge and with none of the massive root problems we encountered.
And flowers! Flowers of very colour and variety.
The huge choice of system configurations and growing choices is wayyyyy beyond our up to now limited vision of our own setup.
Kerrie and I were so exited at this place. We spent hours here learning and talking to the most helpful expert who has his own self sufficient hydroponics property using this system.
He even makes his own Pinot Noir from his hydroponic grapes.
We thought we had learned a bit about hydroponics but this chaps suggestions and advice definitely relegate us to the rank amateur status.
This visit completely changes the size and type of property we thought we would need. It would enable us to do all we want on a very small piece of land.
We have also spoken to a commercial hydropincs tomato and strawberry farmer from Point Lonsdale and he has kindly agreed to give us a tour of his farm next Sunday Morning. We are so looking forward to it.
We talked well into the night about the possibilities.
It is so good to get back that old enthusiasm!