Hello to the OYOO community and fellow progressive thinkers!
It’s great to have the opportunity to share my story with you, I hope we will get the opportunity to talk personally going forward and share all of our ideas.
My name is Elliot, founder of Urban Farm-It based in the UK. My personal and business goal is to change the way we see our urban landscape. That being a bountiful place full of opportunity to grow food and reduce our negative impact on the world rather than the boundary to nature that it currently is.
But how do I plan to do it and take on such a big challenge? Well, Urban Farm-It firmly believes that lots of small changes cumulatively result in change on a grand scale and at the core of all of it is education and experience.
We offer products, education and consultancy using the methods of aquaponics, hydroponics and fungiculture. Within these three elements are the keys to enabling the conversion of urban space into a productive environment that works with nature rather than against it. All of our products are designed to “break the ice” for growers of all levels, giving people of all experience levels the confidence they need to try out their ideas and experience urban farming within their space. These introductions to the concepts are backed up by our learn section and growing courses (coming in 2021!!). The hope is that the seed of change will develop and our customers will grow with us, honing their abilities and helping them to take on larger and more beneficial projects, both on an economical as well as environmental level.
Aquaponics, hydroponics and fungi culture open up a wealth of opportunity that enables people to grow their own food, no matter where they live.
”Hydroponics gives us control and enable us to improve the quality and traceability of the food we eat. It is also great news for the environment as it lowers our carbon footprint, in effect hydroponics is a win-win for everyone.Elliott WebbUrban Farm-It
After years of working in a commercial food growing environment, I began to recognise the failings of our ‘globalised’ food systems and the impact that the corporate supply chain had on the environment. I wanted to develop a concept that could help bring food production in line with a new mindset, one that could enable change by encouraging an eco-friendly approach to food.
I drew inspiration from Elon Musk and Bill Gates, two people who I believe took scientific or modern concepts and made them available for everyone to benefit from.
Through Urban-Farm-It, we work to promote simple food growing methods including; hydroponics, aquaponics and fungi culture – all systems that could benefit the urban gardener, even those with no outside space.
So what’s the difference between aquaponics and hydroponics?
Aquaponics brings aquaculture, the farming of fish and hydroponics, the art of growing plants without soil together in a harmonious way that mimics natural ecosystems. More specifically the nitrogen cycle and this is what makes aquaponics a highly viable and supremely productive food growing method.
What is evident is that both methods deliver increased yields, require less water, little space and produce nutrient rich foods throughout the year.
Like everything, some crops are easier to grow than others!
Here’s our top 10 easy crops for beginners:
- Salad leaves
- Swiss Chard
- Herbs like Basil, mint and coriander
Top tips to hydroponic success:
- Research thoroughly before you start!
- Be realistic about the facilities and budget you have and choose a method to suit that, rather than simply what you desire.
- There can be no denying it. Quality nutrients = Quality Growth.
- Buy a decent water quality test kit and watch pH levels closely, this is one parameter that has a significant effect on nutrient availability.
- If possible try and opt for less energy-dependent lighting, or even better no lighting at all.
- Keep an eye on your roots, if something is wrong you may find indicators here very early on.
- As always, enjoy what you do and reap the rewards when they come.
- Remember don’t be scared to fail! Failure is often where the best success stories start.
Connect with Elliot on OYOO and find out about their range of aquaponics home kits and mushroom grow kits available to buy online. They also offer consultancy and installation of bigger aquaponics and hydroponics setups for homes or commercial use.