Nurturing Growth: A Recap of the Hydroponics Webinar with Hope and Scott Kennedy

By: Lindsay Zilly

Hope and Scott Kennedy, educators and renowned experts in hydroponics, recently led an insightful webinar with our Climate Action Schools Community that delved into the fascinating world of soil-less cultivation. The webinar covered a variety of topics, ranging from different hydroponic methods to intriguing student-led projects and practical tips for enthusiasts. Let’s take a closer look at the key highlights from this enriching session.

Hydroponic Methods: Kratky Method and Deep Water Culture:

The webinar provided an in-depth exploration of two popular hydroponic methods:

Kratky Method:

  • Ideal for small/tabletop setups, making it a great introduction for students.
  • Involves suspending plants in water, ensuring roots receive both water and oxygen.

Deep Water Culture:

  • The most popular hydroponic method.
  • Simple and space-saving, relying on air pumps to maintain oxygen levels in the nutrient solution.

Recommended Resource:

If you’re venturing into the exciting realm of hydroponics and looking for a beginner-friendly resource, look no further than the recommended playlist by an experienced hydroponic enthusiast. The curated content, available from MIgardener is a treasure trove of insights tailored for those just starting. This resource provides easy-to-follow guidance, often utilizing materials you may already have lying around, making hydroponics accessible to all. The creator’s YouTube channel is highly recommended for anyone eager to delve deeper into the world of hydroponics, offering a wealth of knowledge and practical tips for enthusiasts at every level. Follow this channel for a continuous stream of valuable insights and inspiration on your hydroponic journey. But if that feels too overwhelming you can just start here.

Systems: Gardyn, The Farmstand, Tower Garden:

The webinar highlighted various hydroponic systems, including Gardyn, The Farmstand, and Tower Garden. We explored the distinctive features of Gardyn, The Farmstand, and Tower Garden, three popular hydroponic systems that cater to different needs and preferences.

  1. Gardyn:

  • Vertical Farming: Gardyn excels in vertical farming, making it an ideal choice for those with limited space. The vertical design allows for optimal plant density, maximizing yield in a compact footprint.
  • Smart Technology: Gardyn incorporates smart technology to monitor and manage the hydroponic system efficiently. Users can control lighting, nutrient levels, and other parameters through a mobile app, ensuring optimal plant growth.
  • Subscription Service: Gardyn offers a subscription service for plant pods, simplifying the process of obtaining seeds and nutrient capsules. This feature is convenient for users who want a hassle-free and curated approach to hydroponic gardening.
  1. The Farmstand:

  • Modular Design: The Farmstand boasts a modular design that can be customized based on users’ needs and available space. This flexibility makes it suitable for both beginners and experienced hydroponic enthusiasts.
  • LED Grow Lights: Equipped with high-quality LED grow lights, The Farmstand ensures that plants receive the optimal spectrum of light for photosynthesis, promoting healthy and robust growth.
  • Educational Focus: The Farmstand emphasizes educational value, making it an excellent choice for schools and educational institutions. Its modular and user-friendly design encourages hands-on learning about hydroponics.
  1. Tower Garden:

  • Aeroponic System: Tower Garden utilizes an aeroponic system, where plant roots are suspended in air and misted with nutrient-rich water. This method promotes faster growth and efficient nutrient absorption.
  • Space-Efficient: With its vertical tower structure, this hydroponic system is space-efficient, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments. It’s an excellent option for urban gardening and those with limited space.
  • Durable Construction: Tower Garden is known for its durable construction, often made from high-quality materials. This durability ensures a long lifespan for the system, providing a reliable solution for sustainable gardening.

We learned from Hope and Scott that The Gardyn, The Farmstand, and Tower Garden each bring unique features to the world of hydroponics, catering to different preferences and needs. Whether you’re focused on vertical farming, customization, educational aspects, or efficient aeroponic growth, there’s a hydroponic system among these three that aligns with your gardening goals.

Nurturing Growth: A Recap of the Hydroponics Webinar with Hope and Scott Kennedy

Featured Projects:

The webinar showcased several exceptional projects, each demonstrating the versatility and innovation possible with hydroponics.

  • Brackish 4 Better:
    • Students engaged in salinity tests, experimenting with different amounts of salts.
    • Utilized styrofoam containers for trial and error.
    • This project highlighted the importance of understanding and managing water salinity in hydroponic systems.
  • Food Miles Matter:
    • Explored the environmental cost of transporting food over long distances.
    • Identified herbs best suited for hydroponic cultivation.
    • Calculated food miles and transportation costs, emphasizing the economic and ecological advantages of growing locally.
  • Mangrove Miracles:
    • Focused on growing keystone species trees hydroponically.
    • Trees were later harvested and planted in the wild to restore shorelines.
    • This project showcased the potential of hydroponics for environmental conservation and ecosystem restoration.

Q and A and Share What You Are Doing:

The interactive Q&A session allowed participants to engage directly with Hope and Scott Kennedy, gaining valuable insights into hydroponic practices. Attendees also had the opportunity to share their own hydroponic endeavors, fostering a sense of community and collaboration among enthusiasts.