For the past three years SD Hydro has been asked to install, staff and manage the FarmScraper installation at the San Diego County Fair, located inside the CA Grown building. The purpose of the FarmScraper exhibit is to showcase the future of farming technology and focusing on environmentally friendly gardening practices. We look forward to this opportunity each year and we are always thinking up ways we can improve our systems and educational materials for the next year!
This year, the showcase of the exhibit was our vertical hydroponic system. The curved system was custom built by SD Hydro staff and is capable of growing 55 plants with a fraction of the amount of water used in traditional gardening practices. The vertical system utilizes a specific subset of hydroponics, called aeroponics, that uses mist to deliver water and nutrients to the plants roots. Aeroponic is the most water efficient out of all other hydroponic growing methods.
Our other hydroponic displays included a “floating” raft and Aeroflo system. All of the varieties of lettuce were donated by the Encinitas based commercial hydroponic farm, Go Green Agriculture.
The FarmScraper once again displayed our “living wall” with around 75 hanging planters donated by Smart Pot. The living wall demonstrates how to use available space to efficiently grow food or plants in a “future” scenario where horizontal land could be scarce, especially in urban settings. We’d like to thank Olive Hill Greenhouses for donating the indoor plants that made our living walls lush and colorful. According to Olive Hill Greenhouses, indoor plants also, “…decrease the amount of indoor air pollution by reducing concentrations of formaldehyde and other volatile organic chemicals. Interiors with plants have 50% to 60% fewer airborne microorganisms and 20% less dust than interiors without plants; moreover plants are able to adjust transpiration rates, thereby stabilizing relative humidity to levels ideal for human health and comfort.”
This year we added a weekly seed planting activity as part of our exhibit. It was a huge hit! Everyone loved planting pumpkins in the biodegradable pots donated by Jiffy! We chose to start pumpkin seeds so they would be ready to harvest in late October.
Another fun addition to our exhibit was the 20 ft. interactive mural wall! Kids and grown-ups alike had a great time “leaving their mark” at the fair. Our mural was so popular we went through 4!
Special thanks to all of our sponsors!
Olive Hill Greenhouses
House & Garden