Roof Top Gardening

<http://www.denverpost.com/rss/ci_18302226?source=rss Taking gardening to new heights
"Aviad's rooftop garden serves not just as our apartment's source of herbs and produce, but also as a gathering place to have a beer, watch the sunset and talk about our lives," neighbor David Pflaum says. "This man has single- handedly educated us about the possibilities of urban gardening while simultaneously bringing together a diverse group of tenants that might otherwise not ever socialize beyond the simple mailroom pleasantries."
But gardening in the heights adds a complicated set of issues for the home grower to consider: Load. Weight. Drainage. Wind. Evaporation. Anyone pondering a do-it- yourself rooftop garden needs professional advice, says Ed Maurer, an associate professor of civil engineering at Santa Clara University.
"You must contact an expert on roofs ‹ either a roof contractor or an engineer ‹ who can tell you if your roof is safe. The expert can also tell you exactly what kind of load it can handle," Maurer says. "If you don't know what you are doing and are exceeding the load of the roof, you might be left with extremely costly and dangerous roof damage." Also, Maurer says: "Make sure you spend a lot of time and effort waterproofing between the bottom of your garden and the roof material, or else you will have a leaky roof on your hands."
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- Billy
Both the House and Senate budget plan would cut Social Security and Medicare,
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Billy wrote:
...about rooftop gardens...
check out a radio show called _The Story_ out of one of the Carolina state public radio stations. they did an excellent show on a rooftop garden in NYC a bit ago.
re: Denver,
i wonder if they have a graywater recycling system from the building plumbing available?
songbird
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It sounds like they shunt all the gray water to one line that can be switched to the garden, or the sewer.
Was that the question?
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Billy wrote:

yes, water being scarce out there i can't imagine it being feasible to keep a large rooftop garden off the regular water supply.
songbird
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They said that they wanted a bigger cistern, but they didn't have the room for it. If it would allow a 25% savings, that would be great. It doesn't have to save everything to be good. Many small solutions would be as good, or better than 1 big solution.
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Both the House and Senate budget plan would cut Social Security and Medicare,
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I would say try hydroponics but it was invented more than a thousand years ago and saves too much water!
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Gunner wrote:

Who invented hydroponics more than 1000 years ago? I'll bet it was William the Conqueror who used it to feed all those stormin Normans.
D
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I'm sorry, I posted 2 different articles: <http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/homegarden/2015513887_lowwater07.h tml> Couple incorporates cutting-edge water-savers in their home and <http://www.denverpost.com/rss/ci_18302226?source=rss Taking gardening to new heights
"Taking gardening to new heights" doesn't mention any special watering system.

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Dr. Howard M. Resh: "The hanging gardens of Babylon, the floating gardens of the Aztecs of Mexico and those of the Chinese are examples of 'Hydroponic' culture. Egyptian hieroglyphic records dating back several hundred years B.C. describe the growing of plants in water." Hydroponics is hardly a new method of growing plants. However, giant strides have been made over the years in this innovative area of agriculture.

This must mean something to ya, yet really nothing here....A slow winter for ya?.
Air...water... food... in that order.
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Gunner wrote:

This is interesting. I would like to see the primary sources for this to establish if (and how far) the author is stretching the definition of "hydroponics". Two things come to mind, why did Resh put the word in quotes, was he indicating that it was a stretch? I get the impression he was deliberately using a broad definition by his standards to make a point but not having read the man I can't be sure.
The second is that if you allow "growing plants in water" to be hydroponics then anybody with pond plants is doing it and it has probably been been carried out for much longer than 1000 years. If you define it as growing plants in nutrient solutions then it seems hydroponics was toyed with in the 17th century but only got going in the 20th. Which makes sense as the solutes would not have been available nor would the knowledge of chemistry. I would be interested to know if there is any evidence of it in ancient times by the tighter definition and how they did it.
David
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<http://www.growingedge.com/basics/tutorial/01_history.html Many different civilizations have utilized hydroponic growing techniques throughout history. As noted in Hydroponic Food Production (Fifth Edition, Woodbridge Press, 1997, page 23) by

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertilizer The modern understanding of plant nutrition dates to the 19th century and the work of Justus von Liebig, among others.
<http://www.bookrags.com/research/fertilizer-synthetic-woi/ The first scientific study of fertilizers was conducted in 1550 when Frenchman Bernard Palissy (c.1499 or 1510-1589), voiced the opinion that since plants absorbed minerals--which he called vegetable salts--from the soil, the minerals needed to be replenished. Olivier de Serres (1539-1619), also of France, suggested crop rotation as a way of preserving soil nutrients.
<http://www.madehow.com/Volume-3/Fertilizer.html Organized research into fertilizer technology began in the early seventeenth century. Early scientists such as Francis Bacon and Johann Glauber describe the beneficial effects of the addition of saltpeter to soil. Glauber developed the first complete mineral fertilizer, which was a mixture of saltpeter, lime, phosphoric acid, nitrogen, and potash. As scientific chemical theories developed, the chemical needs of plants were discovered, which led to improved fertilizer compositions. Organic chemist Justus von Liebig demonstrated that plants need mineral elements such as nitrogen and phosphorous in order to grow. The chemical fertilizer industry could be said to have its beginnings with a patent issued to Sir John Lawes, which outlined a method for producing a form of phosphate that was an effective fertilizer.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroponics> Researchers discovered in the 18th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water.[citation needed]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroponics> The very earliest published work on growing terrestrial plants without soil was the 1627 book, Sylva Sylvarum by Francis Bacon, printed a year after his death. Water culture became a popular research technique after that. In 1699, John Woodward published his water culture experiments with spearmint. He found that plants in less-pure water sources grew better than plants in distilled water. By 1842, a list of nine elements believed to be essential to plant growth had been compiled, and the discoveries of the German botanists Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop, in the years 1859-65, resulted in a development of the technique of soil less cultivation.[1] Growth of terrestrial plants without soil in mineral nutrient solutions was called solution culture. It quickly became a standard research and teaching technique and is still widely used today. Solution culture is now considered a type of hydroponics where there is no inert medium.
<http://ag.arizona.edu/hydroponictomatoes/history.htm The earliest food production in greenhouses was possibly the growing of off-season cucumbers under "transparent stone" for the Roman Emperor Tiberius during the first century. The technology was rarely employed, if at all, during the following 1500 years. <http://home.howstuffworks.com/lawn-garden/professional-landscaping/alter native-methods/hydroponics1.htm> History of Hydroponics and Soil-less Gardening While it's easy to imagine this kind of process being labeled as a bunch of new age science fiction, hydroponics has actually been in use for thousands of years. The famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, are largely believed to have functioned according to hydroponic principles. Built around 600 B.C. in Babylonia, or Mesopotamia, the gardens were situated along the Euphrates River. The area suffered from a dry, arid climate that rarely saw rain, and it's believed that the lush gardens were watered using a chain pull system, which carried water up from the river and allowed it to trickle down to each step or landing of the garden structure.
Khin Maung Win/AFP/Getty Images Farmers from Myanmar's Intha tribe pick tomatoes from a floating garden in the famous Inle Lake. These gardens are probably similar to the ones cultivated by the Aztecs on Lake Tenochtitlan.
During the 10th and 11th centuries, the Aztecs developed a system of floating gardens based on hydroponics. Driven out of their land, they settled at Lake Tenochtitlan. Unable to grow crops on the lake's marshy shore, they built rafts out of reeds and roots. These rafts were topped with a bit of soil from the bottom of the lake, and then floated out to the center of the water. Crops would grow on top of the rafts, their roots reaching through the rafts and down into the water. Marco Polo's writings indicate he witnessed similar floating gardens while visiting China in the late 13th century [source: Indianetzone.com].
<http://www.k12.hi.us/~ckuroda/history_of_hydroponics.html <http://www.k12.hi.us/~ckuroda/Start_hydroponic_garden.html Starting a Simple Hydroponic Garden
or
<http://www.howardresh.com/Hydroponic-Kitchen-Garden.html
Dr. Haward Resh Hydroponic Services The AeroGarden - Grow vegetables in your kitchen - Microprocessor operated, self-watering, self-feeding, auto-grow system - Pre-Seeded kit included (Gourmet Herbs)
Everything necessary for a complete growing experience. Introductory Offer Reduced to $99.95
Seed Kits To order additional seed kits, description of seed kits, click here
Accessories more information, click here
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I will ask the Hydroponic ALLOWING committee to reconsider per your comments.
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Gunner wrote:

Why do you have to be caustic to me? When have I ever said anything about allowing hydroponics?
I am interested in the history of the technique, maybe you can enlighten me. Feel free to offer your knowledge and we will have a conservation. If all you want to do is take jabs at people or ideas that you see as targets then we won't.
David
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Then put it in neutral... wait...then and ask yourself why you framed it as an either/or?
Don't get too wrapped around Resh's quotes, I grabbed the first one from a long time hydro advocate I trust. It was one of Resh’s books that started me on Hydro 20+ years back.
Resh has been at this for a while (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Howard_M._Resh). The Wiki link even refers to Resh's contributions to the roof top technology lil billy is advocating even while billy is attempting to denigrate Resh using juvenile propaganda tricks. billy boy still does not read past his googlie searches and sonstantly screws them up. FWIW The “thousand years” was a slight to the songbird's touting her Organo low/no cost superior technology used for "a thousand years" that the other side just “can’t” claim. That 1000 year reference is “Irony” lost on zealots as you may see later .
Most of the hydro history blurbs are not accurate… they’re pretty much the same hair splitting anal or overly liberal hype among the many advocates, as you can see from a quick scan of the billy's googlie BS expert references. The myth/truth (most likely myth) claim of the Hanging Gardens being hydro is not an important issue. It was the use of the Archimedes screw ( think automation and pump flow) that helped in building an oasis in the desert city that the Hydro advocates relate with. ( Think business/home farms in the future.) If you are of the mind set your still going to live in the little house on the prairie and grow your own manure and be all “Locavore” http://www.locavorenetwork.com/content/hydroponic-gardening … (BTW, note the sponsors on that site!)..good on ya, but there are predictions that 80% of the US population will be living w/in 100m of a coast line by 2035. Water and space are gonna be biggies and the term “urban” is going to take on a whole new meaning. So not just roof tops but the whole building will be a hydro farm structure.
The Egyptian claim? I really do not care. No real follow-up leads there but if you feel anal ..go for it.
The Aztec chinapasis claim on the other hand showed that the Mesoamericans knew enough about plant biology to dig up the nutrient rich lake silt to float their plants on (Deep Water Culture)and they had an extensive knowledge/use of medicinal plants, most likely more advanced than their “Saviors” had. Good bet it was these folks that also developed one of the first GMOs; Corn. Plus, they knew enough of the corn/bean secret to develop the three sisters to combat dietary problems. So infer or not if they possessed mastery at a level you are comfortable with. Yet we are still trying to learn their secrets. Seems the zealots de jour decided the heathen's culture/language be obliterated and so we cannot be sure we are interpreting the small information saved is correct. They were in many ways farther advanced than their Euro saviors.
as for your comments;
"The second is that if you allow "growing plants in water" to be hydroponics then anybody with pond plants is doing it and it has probably been carried out for much longer than 1000 years.
and
"If you define it as growing plants in nutrient solutions then it seems hydroponics was toyed with in the 17th century but only got going in the 20th. Which makes sense as the solutes would not have been available nor would the knowledge of chemistry.
Initially I did find your questions strange until I realized the internet is redefining the term hydroponics as; plants growing in solution and this group has been tempered in the organic/inorganic camps for so long because of the likes of billy et. al. that you are looking for a similar "us or them" pattern. As for "allowing" or not? I don't know as there is an "Hydroponic Allowing Committee" nor do I believe should there be. Any ignorant fool that wants to split hairs on hydroponics is welcome to bark at that moon. They obviously a.) do not understand science, b.)are a sophist or c.)a zealot or d.) all three and named billy.
You do understand that hydroponics can be what you term "organic" as demonstrated by the Chinapasis methodology. There are potential biological issues that must/should be recognized, and monitored just as there are in a hydroponic chemical environment. Which are really no different than conventional or organo farming. Piling up a bunch of bullshit before the snows fall is the same as overloading with inorganic nitrogen. Sounds all organo but pure BS in practice. I digress. Man was growing plants in waters on at least two continents long before some European WASP started cataloging mineral salts and essential elements for plants and this ludicrous organic debate began Today most growers however, find it is much better to use the actual mineral salts the plants use and in as pure a form as possible. You don’t want to introduce potential pathogens in your system from some suspect source and you don’t want to keep piling up crap hoping Nature will have enough good bacteria in her bank to overcome your stupidity. For those that are still in denial of science… The plant does not care how it gets its essential nutrients, they are exactly the same to a plant , just remember liquor is quicker. Now for more stupid, If “chemferts” kill , how in hell does Hydro grow so well? So for Stupid to assert a Hydro grower doesn’t understand his eco system is, … well, what Stupid does. The water savings along should be driving this train. Despite billy's little lame attempt at denigration in highlighting the little Aerogarden which has hired Resh for branding value, the product does work. I think of it as a toy gimmick, not so much because of the hydro part but because of the lighting, it has no horsepower.
Here is the challenge if you’re up for the game and you got the science down. Develop an easily transportable hydro system to grow a near complete 2000 k diet for a family of 4 refugee/displaced persons in a camp situation. What caveman chemistry will work to keep it growing. You should be able to outline the fertilizer requirements, number of seeds, develop an effective IPM or some type control for that region. Solar stills will/may help with H2O as does this concept:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIDzBQ6meYY
. Portable pumps as well as portable filtration systems Realizing everything will have to be region dependent, to include consideration of the medical status of the indigenous population ( i.e. Don’t consider urea from a high-risk group unless…!)
If you want to see where we think Hydro is headed:
http://www.highpants.com/renovation-planning/?p=588 vertical walls http://www.tuvie.com/search/sun+flower Kitchen Nano Garden
http://asia.cnet.com/crave/vege-62101032.htm or http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/12/electrolux_desi.php Electrolux VEGE Hydroponic station
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