Alaska Educators Guide to Hydroponically Growing, Harvesting, and Learning about Food and Plants in the Classroom

NFT Hydroponics setup growing lettuce

This guide is for Alaska educators to incorporate hydroponics into your classroom. There are five sections included in this guide, and they are presented in order,  with the beginning sections giving you what you need to know/do first to get started,  following with a section on lesson plans to help you teach important aspects of growing  plants. There are many resources out there to help with this process, and this guide  concludes with some of those resources. Using hydroponics in the classroom is a wonderful way to connect students to Read More …

Easy To Grow Houseplants

Houseplants Have Benefits Houseplants are a wonderful addition to any home. They add beauty, improve indoor air quality and uplift our spirit in the dead of winter. Some houseplants are difficult to grow, others not so much. Lets focus on a few inexpensive examples that are both common and easy to grow. One of my favorite houseplants is the snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata). This plant is very forgiving. You can forget to water it, and it will still survive for days being completely dry. In fact, it’s better not to Read More …

A Reservoir of Information for Urban Farmers: A General Analysis of Upstart University

Intro: Upstart University Powered by Plenty Of all the searching for a reservoir of information that is relevant to large-scale vertical hydroponic and aquaponic farms, there is only one source that floats on top. Upstart University is an online college that is semi-specific of ZipGrow and Deep Water Culture systems that are primarily set up to empower those in growing food systems in all areas. The ZipFarm is a vertical water working system that Dr. Nate Storey with Bright AgroTech designed to use less space and less energy compared to Read More …

Growing an Indoor Edible Garden

When we moved into our house in October, I started itching to grow something. This is the first time I’ve owned my own little part of the earth, and that is about as tangible as life gets for a gardener. The weather was turning colder, and everyone around us was settling in for winter. Cutting wood is a more appropriate fall time activity in Alaska, or so my husband tells me, but I decided I was going to grow food in our tiny cabin. So, I did what I do Read More …

It Just Takes Some Mist: Aeroponic Hydroponic Cloning

I normally use a clone dome, rooting hormone, and my trusty sheers in the cloning process with great results. Recently, I was introduced to a method of cloning that has: lowered my day to day maintenance, decreased my total clone time, and lowered the waste when cloning my own plants — this method is called Aeroponics. Aeroponics, when used in cloning, does not require one to add nutrients to water in order to achieve results. When comparing the total time of 14-21 days using my standard method of cloning with Read More …

Poinsettia Progression: The Origin, Growth, and Care of Euphorbia pulcherrima

  The holiday season is upon us once again, and what holiday decorations would be complete without the addition of colorful poinsettias?   The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) in its many varieties can bring stunning colors to your holiday season display, but did you ever wonder what the origin of this symbolic holiday plant is,  how the colors develop, or how to grow and care for poinsettias yourself? I.   Tropical Origins Poinsettias are indigenous to Mexico and belong to the Spurge (Euphorbiaceae) family.   Its native habitat is at moderate Read More …

Gardening When You Don’t Have a Garden

I really struggled to find a topic for this blog post. I wanted it to be something personal and relevant to my own gardening experiences. And that’s when I realized why it was so difficult for me to find a topic: I don’t have a garden and I am not a gardener. Not in the traditional sense. I live in an apartment in south-central Anchorage and my only slices of “land’ are my east-facing deck and the counter space in my kitchen. I also travel extensively for work during the Read More …

Bubbles Escaping The Bottom: The Deep Water Culture Hydroponics Story

Hydroponic gardening is what first interested me in gardening: the idea that one can take the essential ingredients for plant life, and apply them directly to that plant.  A plant needs three basic things to survive: light, water, and nutrients. When using hydroponics you are feeding that plant directly through its roots without soil. There are many types of hydroponics such as Deep Water, Ebb and Flow, and Aeroponics — each one has advantages, and disadvantages of its own, but it comes down to personal preference when choosing a setup. Read More …

Tropical Alaska: Growing Indoor Tropical Plants in Anchorage

It’s October and the birch and cottonwood leaves color the ground yellow outside, while the annual flowers planted around Anchorage have been pulled up.    The termination dust has already frosted the peaks of the Chugach Front Range, and it won’t be long before winter arrives.   So what is a plant enthusiast to do during the dark and cold winters in south-central Alaska? One solution is to visit the Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse in Anchorage.   Operated by the Municipality of Anchorage from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm daily, Read More …