Let’s face it, the price of vegetables at the market is getting crazy! How many of us count the number of stalks in a bundle of slippery cabbage? I do, sometimes to the annoyance of the market vendor, just trying to get my money’s worth that’s all I can say.
So here is an idea, a simple one, for those that want to start an easy to do vegetable gardening project. It’s called the hydroponic technique, a simple yet effective way to grow your own vegetable without worrying about the water bill, or those annoying African snails.
There are various hydroponic techniques, but the technique that seems appropriate for a sprawling urban town like Honiara is the Nutrient Film Technique System (NFT). This technique involves plants being grown in specific tubes, through which a solution of water and dissolved nutrients – balanced according to the need of each plant species – circulates.
This system has a reservoir where the nutrient solution is stored. From the reservoir the nutrient solution is pumped to the top of the cultivation bench, passing through the channels and collected in the lower part of the bed, before returning to the tank in a closed system. This system saves between 80 to 90% of water compared to traditional farming.
Before you get put off by the cost of materials do know that there are many local materials one can use, so instead of PVC pipes one can try using bamboos, there are plenty of them. One can also look at getting those nutrient rich soils sold at the market, they easily dissolve with water – make your own nutrient water solution.
At the end of the day you should achieve two things, you save money and you save water - that way you can stay healthy and have a good bucket bath next time the water goes out.