Hydroponics

Hydroponic Growing, October 2021:

This is the latest innovation at The Good News Garden:  a really good Ph meter.  Even our hydro mentor, Professor Jameson Chase of Salve Regina, was impressed.  It takes very accurate readings.  It allows for weekly calibration…meaning we have to put it in special tester liquid to ensure it is still accurate.

We were introduced to the meter at North East Hydroponics in Fall River MA.  The hydro team is trying to source its supplies locally.

The new meter has been a lot of fun to use and maintain and it does take some of the guess work out.  Next step is to do a little research about our crops and really target the Ph more precisely to the plants. That’s in our future

In other news, we are chugging along with approximately 7 bags of lettuce and 8 bags of kale donated to the Martin Luther King Center each week.  Many thanks to Doris Shaw, Glenna Randall and Jasmine Sudarkasa for their volunteer hours.  They make it possible,

 

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In May 2021, Emmanuel Church fulfilled a long held dream: to have 3 hydroponic units operational in our gymnasium.  This helps us use our space in a way that works towards the fulfillment of our mission: serving those who need our help. That big space is actually filling up with light, water and food.

The Vestry gave the go ahead to order materials for the new units in the spring.  The materials arrived in early March  but then we had to wait for help assembling the units from our trusty friends at Salve Regina University: Professor Jim Chase and the Salve Hydroponic Club.

Assembly began on April 12.  It was wonderful to get technical assistance from graduating senior Jason Khambaylarsirikul and Hydroponic Club president Sophia Valiente.

Sophia Valiente helps with assembly of water distribution system. As Sophia says, “Plants want to grow. If you give them what they need, they will grow.”

Jason K (left) helps Prof. Chase assemble frames for new hydroponic units

Jason holds the ladder while Jim suspends the power source
from the rafters and out of harms way

 

 

Parishioner and electrical engineer Ed Gosling worked with the electrician to oversee installation of outlets for the new units and we have not blown a fuse yet!

 

3 Growing bays

 

 

 

 

The new units differ from our original units featuring some technical leaps.  First, the lights are fully LED,  do not have typical bulbs and should significantly help curb our electricity usage. Another energy saving innovation is that the lights can be lowered when the seedlings are small, and then raised as the plants grow.  This will increase the lumens they receive.

 

More excitement: Doris Shaw has joined Catherine Curtis and Glenna Randall on the Hydroponic Committee.  There is a lot to do with three units: start seedlings, monitor water levels as well as nutrients and Ph, harvest plants and bring them to Martin Luther King Center and just check in to make sure everything is running smoothly.   That last is important!

If you enjoy plants or science projects, this is the ministry for you!

Emmanuel parishioner Glenna Randall readies harvested lettuce for delivery to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center

 

Growing Kale

Harvesting weekly

First Sunday of Advent - November 28th.