Photosynthesis -The importance of Illumination/Light

Why do Plants need Photosynthesis? All living things need energy to grow and reproduce. As for plants, they use cellular respiration to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things. This respiration process needs glucose thus photosynthesis. Just like humans eat food to survive, plants make their own “food” through photosynthesis. Moreover, carbohydrates are also needed by the plant to build plant cell structures, like the cellulose cell wall. How does photosynthesis work? In the simplest explanation, it is a process where plants use light, water, and carbon dioxide to make glucose to survive. The complex explanation is that plants take in and use carbon dioxide through tiny holes in a plant’s leaves, flowers, branches, stems, and roots. Water is then absorbed by the roots to make the plant’s food with the presence of lights. You might be wondering by now; How does a plant take carbon dioxide and water to generate food? This is when the light comes in. The energy from light causes a chemical reaction that breaks down carbon dioxide and water to make sugar (glucose) and oxygen. The sugar is then broken down into energy that can be used for the plant’s growth. The oxygen that
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Categories: Information.

#WhatMakesSG – Digital Farming

This year is Singapore #SG53. NatGeo is celebrating it with a campaign called #WHATMAKESSG. They are gathering response from the public to determine what makes Singapore one of the most diverse, dynamic and innovative countries on the planet? The photo competition has recently gone viral and you probably saw the winning entry with the Otter enjoying it catch with MBS as background. But this is not why I’m writing this post. Part of the campaign has a report on how Singapore is leading the world in Hydroponics Farming. Yes. Hydroponics! You can read the reports from this link. Sadly, the whole report did not have much new information with alot of mentioning to Sustenir Agriculture. Yes. The same company on the strawberry farming….. Nevertheless, its a good development for hydroponics farming in an urban environment!
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Categories: News Update.

Sprout 2018

A Farm-to-People Festival is the main mantra for Sprout 2018 organized by Suntec. This is their debut event at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre on  7 – 8 July 2018. I was able to visit it today (7th July) with my family and was presently surprised on the quality of the vendors (still not as many I’ll like but pretty decent for a debut) and the crowds that gathered. Aerospring is showcasing their vertical planter with LEDs around the system. I can see why they do it but the whole setup no longer looks like the cool impressive system they used to be without the lights. Greenspade is there promoting their products. Was tempted to buy their neem oil… Sustenir Agriculture (yes, the indoor strawberry company we wrote about in the previous post) is on site also but sadly did not see their famed strawberry. Vegepod has an interesting idea of placing a raised bed in your garden. and many others. Go take a look if you have time. Tried a few food vendors also. The main theme is wholesome food. Yummy Takoyaki had 5 fillings to choose from. Greendot has some fine tastes for their bento set. Tiong Hoe
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Categories: Business and Events.

Commercial Hydroponics Strawberry Farm in Singapore

A local farm (Sustenir Agriculture) has announced that they have successfully “crack the code” to farming Strawberry indoor using hydroponics system by controlling the temperature. If you are wondering, yes, they are using the Ebb n Flow (EBB) system. To find out more on the EBB system, read this post. The interesting news-worthy part is that they are using high technology like robotics to germinate and transplant the seedlings. You might be wondering, how are they pollinating the flower? Are the robots able to take over this tedious task of growing Strawberry indoor when we do not have natural pollinators? Sorry to say, they are also doing it manually.
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Categories: News Update.

What am I growing?

I was at friends gathering a few days back and the topic of discussion when into urban gardening. Had a great discussion sharing our experience in gardening in an apartment. Most of them tried growing flowers types like orchid and hibiscus. When I mentioned I mainly only grow edibles, it seems like I’m one of the minority. Some of them did try growing herbs but not vegetables like Lettuce and Xiao Bai Chai. As I thought it will be a good time for me to start a post to list the type of edibles I had tried growing and hopefully extend the list as I progress. Will list the easiest to grow to the most difficult, at least in my context using mainly Hydroponics. Basil Xiao Bai Chai Kale Peas (microgreens) Mint Rosemary Mizuna Colinada Sunflower (microgreens) Okra Cherry Tomato Chilli Brinjal Bitter Gourd Onion Japanese Cucumber Watermelon Brussel Sprout Cabbage Lettuce Chilli Pepper Tomato Sunflower Squash Strawberry Peas Japanese Melon Carrot  
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Categories: Information.

Romaine Lettuce Warning

CDC in the United States posted a warning on an outbreak of E.Coli on romaine lettuce grown around Yuma, Arizona. The warning say all consumers should throw away all romaine lettuce originated from Yum and it includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine. When visiting a restaurant, do check with the establishment if they are using any from romaine lettuce grown in Yuma. If in doubts, do not order any dish that uses romaine lettuce as an ingredient. How bad is it? Apparently, 53 people have been infected (dated 20th April) with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 from 16 states. 31 people have been hospitalized, including five people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported yet. In a nutshell, if you are living or visiting the US this period, please stay away from romaine lettuce grown in Yuma.
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Categories: News Update.

DIY Hydroponic Starter-Kit

One of the most effective Do-It-Yourself (DIY) hydroponic starter-kit systems you can build at home with minimum tools and DIY skill is the Deep-Water Culture system. To build this system, you need the below-listed item. Materials A Plastic container. It can be of any shape with a stable base. Start with a decent size around a square foot. A circular or rectangular container does not really matter for this project. Do you have a pail or some extra storage container lying around, you probably can reuse/recycle it for this project.DWC need to be able to inject bubble into the reservoir (container). To achieve this, we need to have an air pump with an air stone. You can head to your nearest aquarium shop and get one. You don't need a powerful pump, something around the range of 6 to 10 watts is sufficient. Remember to grab a few feet (depending on the height of your container) of air tube while you are there. Air tube is needed to hook up the air pump to the air stone.  While you are in the aquarium shop, do check with them if they have any spare net pot used to hold the aquatic plant for sale. If you
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Categories: DIY and How-to.

Hydroponics System – EBB, DWC, NFT?

Starting your indoor farming using hydroponics and considering which hydroponics system is best suitable for your case? In this article, I'll be discussing the most common hydroponics system in use today and hopefully, you can use the information to decide the best system for yourself.The 7 SystemsLet's start the list from beginners to expert level.  I'll share my experience on each of these system and any recommendations using them. We can break these systems down to 3 main topics; 1) Is it a circulating or non-circulation system.  2) Is it possible to build it yourself or better to get it off-the-shelf from manufacturer.  3) How much time needed to maintain the system weekly. KRATKY SYSTEM - The idol proofIt is the only system in this list that allow you to grow without any moving parts that need electricity. It can be a 100% "hands off" system if you choose the right crops to grow. This system was first research and recommended by Dr. Bernard A. kratky from University of Hawaii at Manoa, hence named Kratky System. Dr. Kratky published a whitepaper on this topic in 2010 and has made it available publicly.  In this system, we fill the bucket/reservoir with nutrient water to the top touching the net pot holding the
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Categories: Information.

Hydroponics – What is it?

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. The nutrients in hydroponics can come from an array of different sources; including byproduct from fish waste, duck manure, or normal nutrients. - wikipediaA Brief history of HydroponicsAncient examples of humans adopting technique of hydrocultureHanging Gardens of Babylon created in  3rd Century BC was the first of the seven ‘wonders’ of the world that used up 8,200 gallons of water a day. There are trees and plants in small man-created fields constructed on top of roofed colonnades which gave an impression of plants suspending in mid-air.An illustration of the gardens by the 16th century Dutch artist Martin HeemskerckAztecs and Chinese developed a similar system of floating gardens. In Aztec, their engineers created “floating” gardens using rafts anchored to the bottom of the lake, or to a strong tree. On these rafts, they piled dirt and muds to plant seeds to grow chilli peppers, corn, tomatoes, beans, and squash. These raft garden became extensive gardens reaching up to 22,000 acres across the surface of the lake. Marco Polo discovered similar floating gardens during his exploration of China in 13th centuries. A
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Categories: Information.

Indoor Urban Farming. Is it worth the efforts?

Do you know anyone around you that are doing Urban farming today in their home? Have you ever wonder what are these urban farmers farming and why are they doing it? We’ll explore the “why” in another article but for now, let’s try to understand what we mean by Indoor Urban Farming. In order to do that, we need to explore 4 important concepts that enable us to be successful in Indoor Urban Farming. 1) What is an Urban Farming Movement? Urban Farming is when people are able to create food on unused land and space regardless it is a private or public housing estates. Urban Farms has also been created successfully in eateries, malls, schools, and offices. Many developing and developed countries worldwide are adopting urban farming in their city master plan mainly due to food security. Many non-government agencies are promoting the movement to grow your own food in suburban and urban cities because it provides fresh food, generates employment, recycles urban wastes, creates greenbelts, and strengthens cities’ resilience to climate change. 2) What is Indoor Farming? Indoor farming moves the creation of food from outdoor setup to an indoor environment. In Singapore, AVA is providing financial support to the farmer who is keen
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Categories: Information.