Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gardening Aboardship

Or:  The Floating Empire farms the North 40

One of the few things we've missed living aboard has been gardening.  In times past, shantyboaters would simply anchor to the tideline and set up summer gardens on unused land. . . . try to find some of that around Baltimore.

So after doing some research, we decided to try a vertical "wall" garden.  These things are currently all the rage in Europe, so we thought we'd give it a shot.

The methodology is rather simple.  We took plastic bottles that we usually recycle, and cut off the bottom.
watch the fingers
Then we drill some holes in the lid to facilitate drainage.
And CONTINUE to watch the fingers.  
Put a bit of gravel in the new "bottom" to keep the drain holes open, then fill with garden soil.
We secured the top with a couple of brass screws and the bottoms with zip ties and adhesive bases.

The bottles are set to drain into one another, and then into a small drip pan at the bottom.  Looks pretty good, actually.
Can't wait for it to leaf out.
Here's a short video describing the construction:

We planted lettuce that we'd sprouted up on the land.  Note the lovely root structures.
Little baby lettuce, rooted up on shore.

A column of lettuce, one of herbs...
And the drainage from bottle to bottle works perfectly.
Yes, that is a drop of water.
Now imagine it green.
We're pretty pleased with the way this turned out.  We'll be adding a similar column to the other soon as we drink more of this orange juice.

All in all a wonderful day.  Hey, check out our other blogs at Life, Art, Water, Onboard Cooking, and The Grindlebone Village Project


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