Research

Plans for the Research Centre (ARC) are developing quickly. We are receiving increasing requests for hydroponic and aquaponic courses and there is a growing demand for research and training which cannot be carried out on the bus.

Plans for the Research Centre (ARC) are developing quickly. We are receiving increasing requests for hydroponic and aquaponic courses and there is a growing demand for research and training which cannot be carried out on the bus.

We have now been granted full use of a 30 acre farm that will have a dedicated to aquaponics research centre and hydroponic training facility allowing us to expand the work we have done on the original growers ARC which was limited to a double decker bus.

Our current research aims to provide food security within a fully comprehensive survival pack. Using cutting-edge hydroponic techniques we are now able to produce hydroponic barley in seven days and mushrooms in ten days providing both fibre and protein. However, there is yet still a long way to go!

We are currently trying to develop methods to ensure that the same equipment and growing media can be used again and again.

We are also conducting trials to ensure the adaptable to various climates as well as developing different crisis packs based on the different regions of the world. Therefore, making the incorporation of the plant most suited to the environment possible.

This enabling us to combine the knowledge of more individuals. Thus we have been able to make great progress in research and development and feel we are drawing ever closer to a viable design to work in various crisis situations.

If you feel you can offer any assistance or useful statistics please do not hesitate to contact us.

All feedback is welcome from any level of expertise. We are always happy to share our research in the belief that knowledge is power and together we can change the world.

Over the last 3 years we have used the Double decker bus to demonstrate to schools, and the public in general, the various methods of growing hydroponically and the ways that advances in science are helping with modern day cultivation, alongside many edible crops grown in soil in the alleyway each year it has been was remarkably effective in creating interest and interaction with the local community there is a tank is downstairs with the aquaponics propagator, demonstrating how fish waste can be transformed into plant food in an aim to create a closed-loop growing system, which helps to show how our planets ecosystem works.

Upstairs we have kept the roof on the front part of the bus and used the windows to create an upstairs greenhouse, this has been remarkably successful in propagation as the temperature has been optimum conditions for young and rooting plants.

Finding a new lease of life for the double-decker bus was great fun but has enabled us to show how it is possible to grow anywhere. It adds an element of nostalgia to the experience, one of the most common comments we get from people is how long it has been since they were on a double-decker bus and how many memories it has rekindled.

How2Hydroponics

Conventionally grown plants extract water nutrients and oxygen from soil, but because of the physical characteristics of soil it is likely that one or all of these essential nutrients are of limited availability to the plant roots.

When plants are grown in water i.e. hydroponically, the system (if set-up correctly) provides the plants access to an unlimited supply of water, containing exactly the right amount of nutrients along with a perfectly balanced pH. Enabling a grower to keep their plants growth at a much more vigorous rate throughout the crop and achieve maximum yield.

  • Flood & Drain

    Flood & Drain

    Otherwise known as Ebb & Flood, in its simplest form, consists of a tray above a reservoir of nutrient solution.  The tray is filled with growing medium (clay pebbles being the most common) and planted directly, or pots of medium stand in the tray.  At regular intervals, a segment timer causes a pump to fill the upper tray with nutrient solution, after which the solution drains back down into the reservoir.  This keeps the medium regularly flushed with nutrients and air.
  • NFT

    NFT

    In NFT, the plants grow through light-proof plastic films placed over shallow, gently sloping channels.  A steady flow of nutrient solution is maintained along the channel, and the roots grow into dense mats, with a thin film of nutrient passing over them (hence the name of the technique).
  • Aeroponics

    Aeroponics

    In Aeroponics a fog or mist of the nutrient solution is sprayed over the root system.  This has the advantage of minimizing water usage as well as giving the roots ample access to oxygen.  Aeroponics is mainly used for cuttings and seeds because the system needs to be quite large for older plants.
  • Deep Water Culture

    Deep Water Culture

    DWC is a method of hydroponic growing in which you submerse your roots in a highly aerated nutrient solution. The key to a successful Deep Water Culture System - or Bubbler as they are more commonly known - is maintaining a very high level of aeration.

 

By combining one or all of these methods with Aquaculture we create Aquaponics and a recipe for sustainable living.

Aquaponics

Contrary to some expectations, the roots of the plants grown hydroponically are not usually totally submerged in water.  As having the root totally submerged in water would be counter-productive, the reason for this is oxygen is a key factor to all hydroponic systems.

The idea of hydroponics might still intimidate some people, most gardeners prefer and enjoy the simple, quick and easy process of Hydroponics.  It is no more complicated than traditional gardening methods, and the same growing principles apply to the both. Although slighty more technology is used in Hydroponics you should not be daunted by this.

Small Hr

Biofilter

At it's most basic a biofilter seperates fish waste allowing only the goodness that plants need into the feeding system and keeps the stuff which could harm the plants out of the root system.

 

Full diagrams and how-to's coming soon.

Small Hr

Bell-Syphon

A Bell-Syphon is simply a syphon that can start and stop itself in response to changing water levels. They are used to control the Flood and Drain cycles in a growbed.

Share this project

Downloadable Documents