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Hydroponic Vegetable Production

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  • parmbir
    While it is common knowledge that soil microorganisms influence plant nutrition by virtue of their role in decomposition and mineralization of organic matter,
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 18, 2008
      While it is common knowledge that soil microorganisms influence
      plant nutrition by virtue of their role in decomposition and
      mineralization of organic matter, the view that microorganisms
      stimulate plant metabolism and enhance plant nutrition is certainly
      more holistic in nature than the quantitative-mechanical view that
      soil microbes merely breakdown organic matter and release mineral
      ions into the soil solution. In this, there is an interesting
      correlation to research associated with bioponics.

      Bioponics is a new kind of hydroponic plant production system. The
      term bioponics means "life working," which differs from hydroponics
      which means "water working." Dr. Luther Thomas has published a
      series of articles on the emerging technology of bioponics in The
      Growing Edge magazine.

      Thomas is a marine biologist who discovered bioponics while working
      with sea plants. He found that a number of sea plants would not
      grow in artificial sea water. They only grew when he inoculated the
      solution with a few drops of sea water. Thomas figured out that the
      missing ingredient was not a nutrient or trace element; it was the
      living element, or the microorganisms present in the ocean, that
      enabled the plants to grow normally.

      In bioponics, marine algae adapted to fresh water conditions are
      introduced into a hydroponic medium. The microbes help stabilize pH
      and fix nitrogen. These microbes also produce enzymes which
      stimulate plant biochemical processes. Plant traits subsequently
      affected include such things as flavor and appearance of
      vegetables. Metabolites produced by the microbes -- such as
      gibberellins, auxins, and vitamins -- enhance plant growth.

      From: Hydroponic Vegetable Production
    • Robert Monie
      Hi Parmbir, Luther Thomas died a few years ago, and the products he originally recommended for bioponics are probably no longer available. The company that
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 18, 2008
        Hi Parmbir,

        Luther Thomas died a few years ago, and the products he originally recommended for bioponics are probably no longer available. The company that makes "Cornucopia" hydroponic fertilizer does attempt to contine his work as do certain other hydroponics and aeroponics devotees. Long before I started growing plants in the soil, I grew them hydroponically and aeroponically, partly because of an abiding interest I have in the NASA space program and CLESS. Bioponics can be very productive, and I still dabble in it, but I don't think it has the links to terrestrial evolution that geoponics or soil growing does. Plants can do well in water solution but they climbed out onto the land eons ago, and I'm not certain most of them want to go back into the water (though if global warming continues, and the icebergs melt, they may have no choice--swim, snorkel, or die).

        The essence of natural farming is that it can achieve a nearly closed circle in the soil. Eventually the roots and their associated microbe colonies pull all needed nutrients from the soil, which is replenished by natural return of biomass to the soil, by leaf drop, mulching and so on. Nitrogen is supplied by nitrogen fixers such as clover and certain trees, and other nutrients are supplied by dynamic accumulators. I know of no one, including Dr Luther Thomas, who has achieved this kind of natural nutrient cycling in hydroponic or aeroponic solution for an appreciable length of time. You have to keep ADDING the biology from the outside and it has to be processed extensively. Some genius of a marine biologist may eventually come up with an all living liquid system that does automatic and perennial nutrient cycling and produces quantities of food for humans. That would be a marine one straw revolution. But so far, I am still waiting. Actually, I hope it happens; let me
        know when it does.

        Bob Monie
        New Orleans, LA
        Almost Mardi Gras Time


        parmbir <parm1245@...> wrote:
        While it is common knowledge that soil microorganisms influence
        plant nutrition by virtue of their role in decomposition and
        mineralization of organic matter, the view that microorganisms
        stimulate plant metabolism and enhance plant nutrition is certainly
        more holistic in nature than the quantitative-mechanical view that
        soil microbes merely breakdown organic matter and release mineral
        ions into the soil solution. In this, there is an interesting
        correlation to research associated with bioponics.

        Bioponics is a new kind of hydroponic plant production system. The
        term bioponics means "life working," which differs from hydroponics
        which means "water working." Dr. Luther Thomas has published a
        series of articles on the emerging technology of bioponics in The
        Growing Edge magazine.

        Thomas is a marine biologist who discovered bioponics while working
        with sea plants. He found that a number of sea plants would not
        grow in artificial sea water. They only grew when he inoculated the
        solution with a few drops of sea water. Thomas figured out that the
        missing ingredient was not a nutrient or trace element; it was the
        living element, or the microorganisms present in the ocean, that
        enabled the plants to grow normally.

        In bioponics, marine algae adapted to fresh water conditions are
        introduced into a hydroponic medium. The microbes help stabilize pH
        and fix nitrogen. These microbes also produce enzymes which
        stimulate plant biochemical processes. Plant traits subsequently
        affected include such things as flavor and appearance of
        vegetables. Metabolites produced by the microbes -- such as
        gibberellins, auxins, and vitamins -- enhance plant growth.

        From: Hydroponic Vegetable Production






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Dieter Brand
        ... Bob, you are full of surprises. I used to work in the space industry during my time in Tokyo. Nothing as glamorous as manned space exploration, mind you.
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 19, 2008
          > ... partly because of an abiding interest I have in
          > the NASA space program and CLESS.

          Bob, you are full of surprises. I used to work in the space
          industry during my time in Tokyo. Nothing as glamorous
          as manned space exploration, mind you. Just plain old
          satellite launching. But that has is moments, especially
          during lift-off.

          Dieter



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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Robert Monie
          Well, Dieter, part of me is Thoreauvian/Fukuokan and another part is Bucky-Fuller Nine Chains to the Moon crazy futurist. Beause I think reality both stands
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 22, 2008
            Well, Dieter, part of me is Thoreauvian/Fukuokan and another part is Bucky-Fuller "Nine Chains to the Moon" crazy futurist. Beause I think reality both stands still (the perennial verities) and moves forward at the same time (though not at the same rate), such notions are possible for me.

            Nature should permit a hydroponic/aeroponic/bioponic system for growing veggies that would parallel what happens in a healthy self-sustaining field. Perhaps among the many sea plants that grow, some would fix nitrogen, some would dynamically accumulate nutrients; some would guild with companion plants; all sorts of--perhaps as yet unstudied--beneficial (amphibious) microbes would colonize plant roots and you could approach a closed cycle without a particle of soil. The system would then be alive and as unmechanical as possible; maybe each plant could be anchored on a little floating cork, or even bred to float gracefully as it interacted with the life teaming under and around it.

            Hope you like science fiction as much as I do.
            If nothing else, this would have made a nice story for Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradburry.

            Best wishes,

            Bob Monie
            Zone 8
            Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
            > ... partly because of an abiding interest I have in
            > the NASA space program and CLESS.

            Bob, you are full of surprises. I used to work in the space
            industry during my time in Tokyo. Nothing as glamorous
            as manned space exploration, mind you. Just plain old
            satellite launching. But that has is moments, especially
            during lift-off.

            Dieter


            ---------------------------------
            Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Dieter Brand
            ... May be so; yet to me, the most salient fact seems to be that each time we THINK we have it (reality, veritas or whatever) it has already moved on. But
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 22, 2008
              >... I think reality both stands still (the perennial verities) and
              >moves forward at the same time (though not at the same rate) ...

              May be so; yet to me, the most salient fact seems to be that each
              time we THINK we have it (reality, veritas or whatever) it has already
              moved on. But perhaps, in essence, that is not unlike what you are
              saying.

              >Nature should permit a hydroponic/aeroponic/bioponic system for
              >growing veggies that would parallel what happens in a healthy
              >self-sustaining field.

              Nature does permit an awful lot, even GM, the question is for how
              long! Ahrr, that's the Fukuokan in me.

              But you are right we shouldn't dismiss the possibility that science
              and human ingenuity have the potential to improve living conditions
              on this planet even if technological progress doesn't always go in
              that direction.

              My feeling is that much of Fukuoka's thinking on technological
              progess is inspired by the type of Zen story for example recorded
              by D. T. Suzuki in one of his essays about the farmer who is bent
              over his field all day long to cut the straw with a hand sickle. Being
              offered a sickle with a longer handle that would facilitate his work,
              he refuses point blank on the grounds that is father, and before that
              his grandfather, and before that ... had always done it that way.

              When reading Fukuoka's critique on science, we shouldn't forget that
              he too is a scientist and that he has meticulously researched and
              recorded his rice growing methods in true scientific fashion for years.

              Dieter Brand
              Portugal

              Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
              Well, Dieter, part of me is Thoreauvian/Fukuokan and another part is Bucky-Fuller "Nine Chains to the Moon" crazy futurist. Beause I think reality both stands still (the perennial verities) and moves forward at the same time (though not at the same rate), such notions are possible for me.

              Nature should permit a hydroponic/aeroponic/bioponic system for growing veggies that would parallel what happens in a healthy self-sustaining field. Perhaps among the many sea plants that grow, some would fix nitrogen, some would dynamically accumulate nutrients; some would guild with companion plants; all sorts of--perhaps as yet unstudied--beneficial (amphibious) microbes would colonize plant roots and you could approach a closed cycle without a particle of soil. The system would then be alive and as unmechanical as possible; maybe each plant could be anchored on a little floating cork, or even bred to float gracefully as it interacted with the life teaming under and around it.

              Hope you like science fiction as much as I do.
              If nothing else, this would have made a nice story for Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradburry.

              Best wishes,

              Bob Monie
              Zone 8



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