From Peter Offerman
Canada SUN Country Representative
Categories: Hydroponics, Renewable Energy, Construction
An Introduction to Hydroponic Indoor Food Production Methods.
A few early pics….
The room was completely unfinished when I started and full to the ceiling with junk. After I cleaned it out and paneled it I first tried covering it with reflective mylar film. I didn’t like the results at all and did more research on the most light efficient reflective surface. There are lots of pot grower forums with members which have long experience with indoor growing. The consensus was that a semi-gloss white painted surface worked best. Unless the mylar is perfectly smooth it tends to create uneven light.
You can buy plywood paneling with mylar on it but it is expensive and I wanted to use mostly what I had readily at hand so I painted everything white instead.
There is a great site on the web http://www.flexpvc.com which sells virtually every pvc plumbing fitting made. This box got lost in the mail for about 3 months.
These are all very early photos and many of the details have changed significantly but the basic layout remains the same.
The area in the foreground with 3 rows of 3 totes is for growing large vine type plants that have large root system. Things like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans squash, and potatoes.
The A-frame in the middle is for growing plants that stay relatively small and upright. Things like lettuces, herbs, chard, strawberries, green onions, radishes etc.
Hidden behind the A-frame at the other end of the room is a table with 6 grow pipes on it with wider spacing for growing shorter plants that need more elbow room such as broccoli, cabbages and so on.
This shows the drainage plumbing for the totes. It is made modular so any tote can be easily removed for maintenance. I’ll explain the details later. After constructing this I figured out a simpler and less part intensive way to achieve the same thing which I will show later. There was much learning from experience involved.
The other side of the room has 6 growing pipes on a table which are more widely spaced horizontally for growing plants that need more space such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, colrabi, eggplant and so on. The photo above is from before the pipes were plumbed.