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Botany with a focus on hydroponics


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Muppet Boy has expressed an interest in delving deeper into Botany next year. He's particularly interested in hydroponics, aquaponics and sustainable farming.

 

Have any great resources to recommend for a rising 10th grader?

 

I've seen the Guest Hollow curriculum. :)

 

BTW -- this right here... this is why we're homeschooling and something I am so THRILLED about. When this boy was little he had so many interests. We checked out entire shelves of library books on interest topics every week. School robbed him of that but we didn't feel that homeschool was an option. Now that he's homeschooled? He's started to HAVE personal, in-depth interests again... for the first time in YEARS. He gets excited about something and rabbit-trails. And you have no idea how happy that is making me!

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Check for hydroponics and Aquaponics farms in your area. Also check with universities. Also check FB and forums in these topics.

 

Last year I was putting together a program on Aquaponics for 4-H and found multiple hydroponics farms and one Aquaponics farm within my state. I also found that one state U had a significant program in Aquaponics. By cruising YouTube videos on the topic I realized that the woman who wrote the book, Aquaponics for Dummies, lived one county over. I arranged for a tour of her setup for the club. Then I broke at ankle and missed the tour. :(

 

These are very interesting topics. I hope you can find resources. I still have a small tank with goldfish and lettuce/herbs.

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If he wants to DIY, lettuce is one of the easier ones to try.

 

This example quite common and easy to set up. We tried something similar growing bean sprouts since my patio door gets strong afternoon sunshine.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125504307

 

This one is an IKEA hack

http://www.urbangardensweb.com/2013/06/01/how-to-build-indoor-hydroponic-gardens-using-ikea-storage-boxes/

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We don't really have a good indoor place and we're not done with snow and freezing ... So bigger setups will have to wait til summer. We are thinking of starting with herbs in a small beta based aquaponic tank. Just to get our feet wet. But we are doing our first field trip first so we might get additional ideas.

 

Anyone have any books or videos or other study resources to recommend?

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Since hydroponics is actually more ag science than pure botany, you will want to check not only with your local extension office for ideas, but with your big land grant state flagship as they likely run seminars and workshops teaching the basics to the general public. Usually these are reasonably priced as they are heavily subsidized by the state and the AG industry.

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