From The Editor

Blog by Managing Editor Christine Brown-Paul

Blowin’ in the wind

At the time of writing, in the US, Hurricane Harvey – deemed category 4 – continues to cut a swathe of destruction, leaving in its path countless numbers of damaged lives, homes and businesses as the death toll in its wake continues to climb. Record amounts of rain have fallen in Texas as a state of emergency has been declared with more than 30,000 people left homeless. So far, 15 trillion gallons of water have fallen on Houston – more than twice as much as fell on New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

The devastation of the Gulf Coast environment and agriculture is incalculable, threatening Texas’ economy and will likely have huge impacts on farmers in the area and around the US. Heavy rains and winds of up to 215kph have effectively wiped out many farms, smashing greenhouses and leaving a trail of untold damage. See More

A taste of paradise

Welcome to the August 2017 issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. As usual, we have a great line-up of stories awaiting your reading pleasure. How many of us have dreamed of escaping to an island paradise not only for a holiday but also perhaps to live a carefree, permanent existence? Tucked away in the Eastern Caribbean, Anguilla is the epitome of such a dream – beckoning visitors with spectacular beaches, breathtaking blue seas and a casual elegance. However, despite its idyllic lifestyle, Anguilla is relatively arid, with islanders relying on imported fresh fruit and vegetables. See More

Consumers choose health

Welcome to this issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. Natural medicine has long held that blueberries provide health benefits. Native to North America, they are rich in proanthocyanidin, and believed to help in the fight against cancer and obesity as well as promoting glowing skin. Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, containing vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and a broad range of antioxidants. On the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score – a lab test that attempts to quantify the total antioxidant capacity of a food – blueberries rate 9,621, making them one of the highest antioxidant foods available.  See More

Learning from the past

Welcome to this issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. Our lead story for this issue, Aquaponics in China traces the resurgence in popularity of aquaponics in that country – from the time when 6th century Chinese farmers reared ducks in cages with partially open floors positioned above a pond of finfish to the present day when a revolution in food security and sustainability is underway; one that is seeing growing numbers of Chinese middle-class consumers, concerned by food safety scares, turning to growing their own food via urban farming. See More

Seeding the future

By 2050, the world’s population is projected to rise to 9.6 billion people and sustainably growing enough food for a hungry world will be one of the greatest challenges facing humankind.  A recurring theme in a number of our stories for this issue is the question of what measures need to be taken to feed this growing global population and what will be the challenges along the way. See More

Using ammonium to correct pH drift

This is not actually someone’s question, but it is a problem met by many hydroponic growers both hobby and commercial. Unfortunately, it is rarely mentioned in most hydroponic books and forums.

For growers using media based systems, pH drift is a significant change in pH between the dripper solution and the run-off solution. It is usually a rise in pH. For a water–based system without pH control, it is a change in pH with time, For a water-based system with pH control, while the pH remains steady, it results in the addition of an excess amount of acid. In turn this results in the nutrients in the recirculating solution getting out of balance.

So, how and why can ammonium be used to correct thisdrift?

Answer by RICK DONNAN See More

A growing industry

Happy 25th Birthday to us and welcome to this Silver Anniversary issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. Our first issue was published as a bi-monthly magazine in November/December 1991 – we look forward to the next 25 years! See More

Foods of the future?

Christine Brown-Paul

Christine Brown-Paul

Functional foods have been defined as those that go beyond merely providing nutrients—they actively help prevent diseases for those at high risk, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the science of functional foods is the convergence of two major events in our lives— diet and health. The association between food and disease is widely recognised as the bedrock of preventive nutrition and reflects the oriental philosophy that: ‘Medicine and food have a common origin’. See More

The Rise Of Urban Agriculture

Christine Brown-Paul

Christine Brown-Paul

Welcome to this new look issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. We hope you like the new, refreshed design – thanks go to our new designer, Steve Harrison who has done a sterling job in giving PH&G an attractive makeover (Steve worked for the magazine about 15 years ago). And on the subject of changes, I’ll be sitting in the editor’s chair while our trusty editor Steven Carruthers takes a long overdue and well-deserved break. Let me take this opportunity of saying hello to all our loyal readers and of course to new ones – many of you might recognise my byline, as I’ve been writing for the magazine for many years. See More

Food Recall Plan

Food safety is an issue that should be foremost in the minds of everyone involved in the supply of fresh food products. Following highly publicised foodborne illnesses worldwide, in this issue we focus on food safety with news of electrifying new technology for sanitising fresh produce; rapid infrared analysis, which could streamline food processing tests in the production line; and a commercial grower’s experience conducting a fresh food recall. See More