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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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The Omnivore's Dilemma by Lounge Trekker on 10 March 2008 5:04am
This vast subject needs it's own thread.

The geographical realities if where I live, climate and strength of sunshine, make life without any meat require a lot more effort to just survive. With the outdoor growing conditions so demanding, I've looked into indoor growing.

For about $100 each, 500w halide lamps with a reflector would light about 16 square feet. $20 per month in power and a guy could keep a few plants going. An herb garden, cucumber, tomato and pepper plants, for example.

May as well do it hydroponically so the timers would keep everyone happy when I leave for the weekend or longer. I can have moisture meters water and timers add fertilizer.

After the first year or two of set-up, and the regular planting...my job would be...harvest!

I did think a lot about this. Right now, I am unwilling to commit a substantial part of my living space. It is do-able. And it would be very beneficial. Two issues reduce the benefits on a philosophical level. A lot of electricity would be burned, and the fertilizers most people use in hydroponics are a commercial, chemical, fertilizer.

All the electricity used in BC is hydroelectricity, so it doesn't pollute, but thousands of square miles of relatively fertile valley bottom have been flooded as reservoirs. I could use a blend of seaweed tea, ammonia and sugar for most plants as a timer activated food, should I be away at length.

I would move a ton of soil right into the greenhouse so the watering and feeding would be less time-critical.

Lounge Gardener
Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by tucsonmike on 10 March 2008 5:30am
Sounds like an interesting project.
Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by canaveralgumby on 10 March 2008 5:54am
Wow. You are dedicated. You know, we all use up resources one way or the other. That being the case, you should go for the option which makes you feel better. Use a little more electricity and don't eat as many animals.
Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Lounge Trekker on 10 March 2008 5:54am
It really is, Mike. And it is so possible. I'll work towards it while I look for people farming livestock and poultry in a sustainable way...and while I watch out for Ms. Natural-system Gardener so we can team up on our own little patch of holistic farm.

I haven't done it yet! It is something I've been around a little, just haven't done myself. And swooping into the supermarket any time or season is just too easy.

Ground Lounger
Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by suzulu on 10 March 2008 12:49pm
You've certainly worked it all out! Good luck!
Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by canaveralgumby on 10 March 2008 4:45pm
Trekker is definitely being "part of the solution." My only dilemma as an omnivore has been, I don't want to eat animals but DAMN I love a good steak.
Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by geordiegirl on 10 March 2008 6:09pm
When would you like to start this, Pete? I can only admire.

We do our bit for the environment in lots of ways but wouldn't have the vision to do what you intend.
Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by elina on 10 March 2008 6:49pm
That's wonderful, Pete! You have really thought it through. Best of luck!
Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by mrsthing on 11 March 2008 7:27pm
That sounds like a great idea, Pete! I thought about it, too, but can't imagine finding 16 square feet (4x4, right?) that I could dedicate to an indoor garden. And what with my allergies to mold, mildew, and pollen, it probably wouldn't be a good idea, anyway. If you do decide to do it, keep us posted on how it all goes.

This isn't an ad, but I've been getting a lot of good info from Gardener's Supply Company. They have pages and pages of information about all sorts of organic gardening, composting, etc., and they have many products for people who only have a little space for a garden.
Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Lounge Trekker on 11 March 2008 11:34pm
It would work as an herb garden and a few vine-type vegetables like a tomato and a cucumber and a pepper. Yeah! I could have Greek Salad all year. An olive tree might be out of my league, although I've heard some dedicated Italians grow them outdoors near here...by laying them flat and burying them every winter.

A story was related about a woman plagued with a fatal cancerous disease. Her husband converted their garage into an indoor garden and cured her with the love he fed his plants...all natural feed. I would simply need to keep a year's supply of seaweed so it composts well and isn't as aromatic.

Now to dedicate the space to this worthwhile activity. The earliest would be this fall.

Greenhouse Trekker
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