I am very fond of plants thus I often overwinter tropical plants to use in my garden the next season. I am also fond of red wine. Turns out I sometimes have unwanted house guests who are also fond of red wine. These unwanted guest can sneak into my home when I overwinter tropical plants inside during the winter months. I am speaking of fungus gnats that sneak in with my plants. These little gnats seems to love red wine so much that if a glass of red wine is left untended when gnats are around they will soon be swimming in the wine. This is very annoying and also embarrassing when drinking wine with invited guests. There are ways to prevent this from happening. You could switch to white wine. Gnats, like me, have a strong preference for red wine. Instead of switching to white wine I have chosen to prevent the gnats from propagating.
In the News
Aquaponics offers flexibility of design – fish and plants can be produced almost anywhere, including roof tops.
What is aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the marriage between aquaculture and hydroponics. Essentially it is a “clean and green” method of growing fish and plants together in a closed system. The fish are reared in tanks and their water is pumped to the plants that are growing in soiless conditions. The plants take up the waste produced by fish for growth and the water is returned to the fish. The two systems actually benefit from each other.
Photograph by Linda Rosier, NY Daily News/Getty Images
Curt Ellis (pictured) and Ian Cheney won rave reviews for their 2007 documentary King Corn, about the drawbacks to industrial agriculture. They built on that success by filling up the back of a 1986 Dodge Ram with soil and planting tomatoes.
By Boy de Nijs
Growstones in Bato buckets in a commercial greenhouse trial in 2009 with tomatoes.
Crushed glass has growing media. It may sound a little crazy, yet controlled research trials done by Wageningen University and The University of Arizona/Controlled Environment Agriculure (CEAC) show that plants thrive very well on foamed glass aggregates manufactured for horticulture applications. This is how Growstone, Inc. was born in 2005. The substrate is already available for the hobby grower, but currently Growstone is looking to widen it’s reach and transit into the commercial greenhouse market.
At the time the first trials were done by the University of Arizona, Paula Costa was a graduate student at Agriculture & Biosystems Engineering Department. “I was finishing my research project at the CEAC and very quickly got directly involved in setting the first informal greenhouse trials with Growstones crushed foamed glass in the Fall of 2005,” says Paula who is now Growstone’s R&D Director.
Photograph by Carlos Osorio, AP
Teens at Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit learn to grow plants in a greenhouse. The school serves pregnant and parenting teens, and teaches farming and gardening in addition to core subjects.