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Old 05-19-2009, 03:30 PM
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Default Portable Farms?



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i just spoke with a guy who told me about a company in california called "portable farms", who make a small hydroponic garden kit. he says they claim it will feed a family of 3 indefinately in a 6'x8' insulated greenhouse that you build yourself. he also said it involved fish as a source of fertilization that could also be harvested.

has anyone heard of this?

here is the link:

http://www.portablefarms.com/

Last edited by dionysus686; 05-19-2009 at 03:34 PM.. Reason: found link
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:36 PM
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http://www.portablefarms.com/

didn't look very hard
Old 05-19-2009, 03:37 PM
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What a lame idea.

If you are forced to be on the move, or evacuate, or whatever causes you to move around...you simply will not be able to haul a 'farm' with you every time.
Old 05-19-2009, 04:26 PM
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the "idea" is to have a highly productive farm in a reletively small area that doesnt require much attention. in the event of evacuation or bugging out, any large amount of food stores arent going to be easy to take along. this is simply a self sufficient food supply. which is why i posted it in the farming forum and not the preparedness forum.
Old 05-19-2009, 05:08 PM
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Yes, I looked into this...and was going to make the appt. to go and check it out. But, had reservations. So, I am now looking into aquaponics and doing it piece by piece. Reason being is that I gave up on PF when I read that there were people who were going to purchase it - but backed out. From what I gathered it had to do with them having to sign some sort of non-disclosure agreement.

The way the PF system works is that the system circulates 80 degree F water through gravel trays which is to encourage fast growth for both the veggies and the fish.

Peace.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:12 PM
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I forget who it was but someone was telling about this in the chat room,sounds like a good idea to me.
Old 05-19-2009, 05:32 PM
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should have called the thread, "self contained" movable (or semi-portable) farm

My concern is it requires outside inputs, what is goping to heat all that water to 80 degrees?? Or the fish food pellets?
Old 05-19-2009, 05:48 PM
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they said it would cost about $10 a month in electricity to run the pumps and heaters, which could also be done with solar panels, and the fish food could actually be grown in the garden itself, since they recomend using tilapia for fish, and the are herbivors. i named the thread "portable farms" because its the name of the product. i agree its not really that portable though.
Old 05-19-2009, 07:43 PM
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Dionysus686,

Check out this vid, this is what we are considering doing...the guy on the video calls it barrelponics. Hope this can help you in some way.

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Old 05-19-2009, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dionysus686 View Post
i just spoke with a guy who told me about a company in california called "portable farms", who make a small hydroponic garden kit. he says they claim it will feed a family of 3 indefinately in a 6'x8' insulated greenhouse that you build yourself. he also said it involved fish as a source of fertilization that could also be harvested.

has anyone heard of this?

here is the link:

http://www.portablefarms.com/
Interesting concept, but why won't the company post prices for the system on their web site? You have to call them to find out the cost. Strange.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:20 PM
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Interesting concept, but why won't the company post prices for the system on their web site? You have to call them to find out the cost. Strange.
I simply read that as 'pricey'.

I presume that they've taken the concepts of aquaponics/hydroponics and are offering pre-configured solutions. I imagine this is useful for a person/group wishing to implement such a solution without having to figure out all the details themselves.

If I'm correct the value proposition is just a matter of how much is it worth to you to have someone else tell you how to do it versus having to do the research yourself (and the associated risk).

To me, half the enjoyment would be figuring it out for myself and I also feel that going through the process would give one a better foundation for problem diagnostic and expansion/improvement options.

Then again, if you have more money than time....

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Old 05-19-2009, 10:02 PM
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6x8? I'm thinking that is a hungry family
Old 05-20-2009, 03:29 PM
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thanks psimajick!
that guy seems to really have the system figured out, and probably built it at a fraction of the cost. this is something i would like to do in the future.
i agree with per ardua that it would be much better to build it yourself, and skip the middle man, though at the moment i dont think i have the time or resources to do this.
Old 05-20-2009, 06:14 PM
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You are so welcome Dionysus686...This is the very reason why we are building our system piece by piece - cost factors and time. It doesn't really take that *much* time - but you just need to be focused on the project at hand. I have my hands full with the container and yard garden, drying, tinking, and canning. So I have to budget my time well, on top of all the other prepping I do, and with the way things work for me when I get to trying to do to much too soon, it doesn't always work out.

Peace,
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:54 PM
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you can setup a 4x8 for under $500 including pool for fish. it would be foolish to use this middle man. it would take less than 2 hour to build, setup, and plant. i have 4 4x8 systems running, and it's ridiculous how much editables it creates. so much that we end us wasting 75% of it and that's after giving away vegetables to neighbors every weekend.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bailoutgirl View Post
you can setup a 4x8 for under $500 including pool for fish. it would be foolish to use this middle man. it would take less than 2 hour to build, setup, and plant. i have 4 4x8 systems running, and it's ridiculous how much editables it creates. so much that we end us wasting 75% of it and that's after giving away vegetables to neighbors every weekend.
Is there any place I can learn more about this system
thanks
Old 05-21-2009, 01:24 AM
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i recommend the following:

1. TRAYS - buy or make a tray - if you buy a tray, it's convenient and easy to clean but will run you between $90-200. if you make one, use a 4x8 sheet of plywood and some 2x6x8' for siding with some 4mm plastic lining for waterproofing. total cost should come in under $40. if you build 1 you might as well build 4.

here's what they look like:

http://www.gchydro.com/product_resul...3&txtCatName=3

2a. TANK - if you want to just do hydroponics not aquaponics, just buy a rubbermaid 50-100 gallon storage tub for about $20 at home depot.

2b. TANK - if you want fish, go to wallmart or search the internet for a 6' or 8' hard plastic kiddie pool. i've seen then for under 200. you can also use rubbermaid 300 gallon stock tanks. these will last forever. $209. that's cheap for an extremely heavy duty tank. btw - ordered some from link below on a sunday, was delivered by truck by Tuesday. wow.

http://www.home-improvement-supersto...tock-tank.html

3. WATER PUMP - for plumbing go to online hydroponic shop and buy the cheapest water pump. 185 gallon to 250 gallon per hour is good enough. we're not pros and don't want to burn power right? a cheap 185 gallon water should cost 15 bucks or less.

4. FITTINGS - buy or make fittings. i will take some pictures sometime this week. but anyways, there are two fittings. one to fill the tray and the other is to drain the tray. the fill fitting uses half inch tubing, the drain uses 3/4 tubing. total cost should be 20 bucks or less. if you make your own from pvc, you might spend 2 dollars.

5. AIR PUMP - people will tell you that you need an air pump and air stone. if you believe them then spend $10 at an aquarium shop to get the cheapest one. we don't use air pumps as we let water drain over the tank. the fall of the water aerates the water well enough.

6. GROW MEDIA - most people use hydroton. these are basically clay pebbles that stay moist. they keep roots moist by sucking up water. if you go this way, you will need about 8 big bags for a 4x8 tray. at 30 bucks each bag that's 240 bucks. the cheap way is to go to a landscape shop and get a scoop of small pebble type gravel for 50 bucks. depending on the size "scoop", you may be able to fill
a half ton pickup bed with a scoop. This would be enough to fill 2-4 4x8 trays.

7. GROW POTS - you either break down and spend 1.25 per 7" square pot which you would need about 90 to fill a 4x8 tray. which is about $100. or skip the pots and plant straight into the media. the upside of the pots is that you can get higher density growth. i would just go cheap and skip the pots.

8. NUTRIENTS - don't waste your money on expensive designer stuff. we did our homework. the following is the best damn place to get nutrients, that is if you are not going to use fish poo. i still recomend buying some nutrient because getting a fish system up and running and stabilized is a whole project in itself.
if you don't screw around and just want to stock up, get the 25 lbs of 5-10-25 and 25 lbs of calcium nitrate. total cost is $100. this will most likely last you a lifetime. not kidding at all.

http://www.vertigro.com/products/fertilizers.php

9. FISH - if you do aquaponics, there are few online places that sell tilapia. find a place that can ship to your state as regulations vary.

Overall recommendations: if you want to dabble, get a 4x2 tray for about $70. if you know you are definitely going to do hydroponics or aquaponics big, don't wimp out, just do it. set up two systems. one hydroponics and the other aquaponics. that will give you maximium food while you are learning.

let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:38 AM
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i didn't mention how these systems work.

i don;t know the technical terms but basically there's like 5 types of hydroponic systems. the most common are ebb and flow and continuous flow. for aquaponics, you will be filtering the water constantly in order to keep the fish healthy. basically you will be pumping water into the tray from above or below, the tray will be slightly tilted so it drains at the bottom. the drain tubing sticks up about 1-3 inches in the tray which means you have 1-3 inches of water contantly circulating. the plants suck up the nitrates and keep the fish happy.

it's best to grow lettuce in these type of systems.

ebb and flow works the same way except you use a timer. timer goes on the tray flloods for about 15 minutes then drains out. you run 4 or more cycles per day. i cycle mine every hour during daylight, and my plants probably grow up to 2-10 time faster than in very good soil.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:50 AM
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seed sprouting and planting - go online or to a good nursery and spend the 1.50-2.00 bucks to buy the 72 compartment grow tray. buy 10-20 of these. use either a mix of 50/50 peat moss and perlite or use "coco". for 30 bucks you should be able to buy 3 cu ft of peat and 3-4 cu ft of perlite. this should last you a lifetime. you can buy coco from hydronpic shops. it costs about 20 bucks for a bag and you can fill about 20 grow trays. so all in all, you're spending about 1.5 cents per plant including seed using this method. the coconut is superior, idiot proof, and lenient for seed starting. if you're like me and very busy or forgetful, the coconut stays moist better and gives you close to 100% success rate.

when the sprouts are big enough simply plant to the plants like you would in dirt, but in the grow media. it's that easy. i can get crowns of brocoli in 6 weeks. it's unbelievable.

we're still experimenting with everything. we have sunflowers, corn, brocoli, beans, pease, tomotoes, cucumbers, strawberrry, bok choi, 20 different types of lettuce, on and on growing. it's astonishing and can be done cheap. we highly recommend trying this. not to put down the OP vendor, but this is not rocket science. it's a weekend project that just goes.

btw - hydroponics grown outdoors works just as well as indoors. dont' be fooled that you need expensive grow lights and such. go cheap, go big, and just do it.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:03 PM
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wow, thanks bailoutgirl for all the great info, this is way more info than i expected!
it definately sounds do-able, even for me with little time and limited disposable income. i think this project will take priority though in how productive it can be, and most likely pay for itself in time.

thanks again!!!
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