This is an experiment in raising microgreens without dirt, chemicals or synthetic media. The Bioponica™ bed itself is optimized for 10″ standard sized trays. The water levels are set to fill to the top of the rocks and can be adjusted with drain valve to any level. With a bioponic method it is possible to grow fish and plants from worms and worm teas and of course grow worms from waste. Outdoors, in the direct sun, with added warmpth using straw bales, we’ll grow algae, zooplankton and aquatic fly larvae as fish food, plus more algae as plant fertililizer.
I am using burlap as a saturation media to keep moisture close to seeds. On top of the burlap is fiberglass screen. We like fiberglass cloth cause it’s not toxic like more common PVC materials.
The fiberglass layer keeps seeds off the burlap, adding an air layer so they don’t mold. That means we don’t have to use the white polyester fiber that is the current convention. The screen also allows roots to be easily separated; the screen keeps roots separate from stem and also easy to pull up from beds without losing plants to the rocks when trays are lifted from the bed. No dirt means no dirt on the microgreens and a lot less cost and labor in handling.
These greens bedding materials are entirely reuseable, recycleable or plant derived and good retired to worm bins after months of use.
All plant material that’s not clipped and sold to market may be given over to the worms or algae beds for nutrient cycling.
Seeds set on top of this layer are sandwiched between the bottom and a second covering screen. I put the rocks on top to keep the pressure evenly onto the burlap so all seeds germinate simultaneously.
These trays are growing mustard greens, alfalfa, dill and fennel. Next we’re doing celery and clover. I’ll be reporting on the yum factor as they spring to life. The mustard seeds were nice like spice.