Living in a small apartment and no space for home grown vegetables?
Too busy! No time to tend to a garden?
How about a Do-It-Yourself – Automatic watering garden out of free-of-charge recycled containers?
Having no land and living in high rise apartments are NOT going to stop Singapore’s determined urban farmers from growing their own food ! 🙂
Lim San thought out of the box and created a ” farm in a cup ” (or bottle) concept to grow fresh edibles. I guessed once he tasted freshly harvested own grown edibles, and enjoyed the satisfaction of overcoming all the limitations to grow them, there is no going back!
Just look at his thriving small “farm” growing out of recycled paper cups in his apartment. 🙂
His crops so far include dwarf tomatoes varieties, bell peppers, lettuce, rosella, spinach and even strawberries!!
Here is another example of his creative small space farms 🙂
February 2016 – Okra in a cup !
Lim San did not stop upgrading his mini – farms ! 🙂
In late 2015, he built vertical farm out of recycled bottles which auto irrigated his edibles remotely and saved the dripping water in a reservoir to be recycled again! 🙂
This system of vertical farming was made famous by Britta Riley‘s WindowFarms, a simple idea to utilize only a window to grow food hydroponically in a vertical arrangement. For city dwellers around the world, her concept brought hope to grow food inside apartments without using a lot of space.
As I was experimenting with the same thing myself around the time Lim San had already improved his, I learned a lot from him with his video. My difficulty arose from not knowing how to connect the T joints to combine compressed air with water. Done in the right way, compressed air from the air pump will combine with water to become water bubbles. The bubbles will be dragged up the vertical tubing by pressurized air from the pump to the topmost bottle. Then trickled down through the rest of bottled “farms”, irrigating them, and finally ending in the reservoir (Coke bottle seen here).
This irrigation cycle began again from the reservoir as long as the air pump is on. A timer is usually used to regulate the irrigation cycles. And that’s basically how vertical farm irrigation system work! 🙂 Cool, huh?
No matter how many fancy vertical farms are available in the market now for home gardeners, nothing satisfy me and likely gardeners like Lim San and many like us D.I.Yers :), is to built something with our own hands and grow food out of the cheapest material possible! 🙂
But Lim San did not stopped here.
In January 2016, he decided to combine aeroponic and aquaponic systems with this vertical farm to grow more salads and edibles as organically as possible!
In Wikpedia, “aeroponic” was described as a process where plants are grown in an environment of air and mist, without soil as a medium. The word “aero” meaning “air” and “ponos” mean labor , came from Greece. Unlike hydroponics, aquaponics do not use liquid nutrients, instead it utilize water from fish (aquarium) waste to feed plants.
All these systems combined to allow Lim San to grow great harvest like these with only one window! His farm is suspended above ground and limited space used for his aquarium below it 🙂
What I like about about these 3 systems are that they all recycled water, but if I have to choose only one, it would be the aquaponics system because it utilized organic waste from fish and greatly reduced any possibility of mosquitoes breeding in the reservoir if the air pump malfunctioned! 🙂
If I ever get sick of growing strawberries, maybe this would be the NEXT project at home ! 🙂