My name is Charlotte Bradley. I live in a small town near Ottawa, ON (Canada) with my husband, Zoltan, our sons Patty and Charlie, and a faithful golden retriever named Buddy.
I have always been interested in gardening. I love being part of nature, have great respect for our environment and take care to provide my family with organically-grown, pesticide-free herbs, fruits and vegetables.
We love our beautiful Canadian home, but the changing seasons we have place a limit on times of the year we can grow produce or flowers outside. Our first time trying to grow anything hydroponically began as an experiment to extend the growing season for tomatoes, a favourite food in my family. We did not know very much about hydroponics, but viewed it as a fun and interesting winter activity. My husband emailed back and forth with a professor at Cornell University to fill in the blanks where our knowledge lacked. We decided to construct a simple ebb and flow system using natural sunlight supplemented with a high pressure sodium grow light.
It was kind of trial and error. The intention was to transplant some seedlings to our outdoor garden, but everything grew more quickly than we expected. Before long, our cozy sunroom had turned into a hydroponic seedling jungle. It became a family joke to have to navigate these huge ‘seedlings’ to get around the sun room. Even though they were past the seedling stage when we transplanted them, they flourished really well outside in the garden; we could not eat the produce as fast as we were growing it. The excess harvest from our winter experiment was enjoyed by the nearest family members, friends and neighbours.
Our indoor gardening success fuelled even more enthusiasm for the following winter. Hydroponic gardening has now become a permanent family hobby in my house. Recently, my husband gave me an Aerogarden to add to our indoor garden inventory. I love it. It is wonderful to have fresh herbs to cook with right at my fingertips in the middle of a snowy Canadian winter.
Today, our five-year-old sons love gardening with me and remain very interested in hydroponics. Most recently, we harvested some fresh basil that they watched grow. Helping me cook with the herbs they tended daily is fascinating for them. They feel a sense of accomplishment every time we eat a dish that they helped grow and prepare.
I hope that the information you find on my website will encourage you to set up your own hydroponics garden. Please check back with me often. We are always adding new information to our blog and will consistently add informative articles, press releases and other sources you can use to maximize your own indoor gardening experience and keep up with alternative and sustainable energy sources.