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Quarantine Project: Garden Tower
07-08-2020, 12:37 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-08-2020, 12:39 PM by IdeaMakers.)
Wink  Quarantine Project: Garden Tower
Hey all, been awhile since the last meeting so I was wondering what projects people are working on. Here's my garden project.

The Garden Tower

[Image: Untitled-3.png]

Basically just a 5 inch square by 8 foot vinyl fence post that I cut 2 dozen half circles in. Would have been a lot easier on the 8 foot CNC table. Then using a heat gun and a wine bottle ( Tongue ) I shaped the openings so a 3 inch basket would sit at an angle.

[Image: Untitled-1.png]

We started the lettuce in a tray for about a week and these have been in the tower for two weeks so three weeks old.

[Image: Untitled-2.png]

The fun part is of course a solar powered pump. The 12 volt pump pushes water up a tube inside of the post which drains down the inside of the post into the 5 gallon bucket, Aquaponics. I mounted a 40 watt solar panel in a spot where it gets the most sunlight in our shady backyard (7 am - 4pm). Then ran the power to a 12 volt regulator (seen mounted to the siding in a plastic box) and on to the pump. Pretty happy with it so far and the 2 gallon per minute pump can probably run water for 3 of these towers or six dozen pots.

Hope everyone is doing well, John
John Woj
IdeaMakers Designs, LLC
"I'm on the the verge of something" Breaking Bad

07-08-2020, 05:58 PM,
RE: Quarantine Project: Garden Tower
Things went completely sideways with work so I've had plenty of time to work on the house, garden, cooking, and code projects. It's been strangely relaxing.

I'm in the middle of resetting to get rid of spider mites, but over the winter I setup a 3-tier 28-plant NFT hydroponics wall in the corner of my living room to grow greens. Kept us in delicious fresh salad through the dark months for rather cheap. Thinking of expanding to DWC for tomatoes since apparently they'll keep producing as long as you keep feeding. Definitely neat and useful!

Any chance of keeping it running inside once the cold kicks in?
07-08-2020, 08:30 PM,
RE: Quarantine Project: Garden Tower
Thanks for sharing, guys. Arthur, I'd love to see pics of your setup! John - looks pretty slick. What was the inspiration? Do you only have the one square foot in your back yard that gets sun all day?

Mine's a long shot: I've been planning a small house: octagon-shaped, ~20' across internally from flat to flat, two stories (floor level and loft), 8' deep sitting/project porch around the outside (so total of 38' across including 1' thick walls - maybe not so small?), built with simple 4x4 and 2x6 internal frame and clad with (here's the longshot) SIPs constructed of OSB sandwiching 11" of mycelium insulation (shredded straw innoculated with turkey tail or reishi, then dehydrated and pasteurized or vice versa).
Doing research and experimenting currently with oyster mushroom (spent-grain spawn bags are showing signs of life and smelling good; should be ready to innoculate straw in 7-10 days), but Ecovative's mycologist-in-chief says that polypore mycelium is significantly stronger (haven't been able to relocate that citation). Turkey tail and reishi liquid cultures are on their way. 

I keep playing with the design - here's the evolution so far from left to right (sorry, probably not real understandable). Trying to build around standard lumber and sheet sizes, easy angles, and to (ideally) be able to grow the SIP's within the plastic-wrapped wood frame throughout the summer.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
07-09-2020, 02:54 PM,
RE: Quarantine Project: Garden Tower
Hi Arthur and David, thanks for the reply. Not sure if I'm ready to go full time indoor gardening but will probably do small upgrades. A battery would be good along with an Arduino controller for intermittent watering instead of full on all of the time. I've been using a nutrient solution once a week but thinking a compost tea would be a lot better. Plants go wild for that in my experience.

We do have four raised beds in the front yard with full all day sun and with this years rain they are looking great. But the backyard is shaded for most of the day thankfully by a large maple tree. We did have garden beds in back but carrots, peas and dogs don't go well together, well only if we want any veggies.

David your house project sounds great, where are you planning on building it? I've worked with SIP panels, makes things a lot easier when you don't have to frame everything out. You should checkout this episode of Grand Designs where they assembled boxes into a house, maybe you could grow the fungus in the boxes and just seal them up.

Grand Designs

Keep us updated!!, John
John Woj
IdeaMakers Designs, LLC
"I'm on the the verge of something" Breaking Bad


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