The land of the long green leaf

This week at Macquarie Island: 27 September 2013

It’s has been over six months now since the first seed was sown and life in hydroponics land has settled down to a regular routine. There were a number of learning curves along the way that caused a few setbacks but we have hopefully got most of them sorted.

Between Patty, Craig and myself, we manage to check the water levels daily and every few days, prune and pollinate. Being a constant ‘summer’ inside the hydro building, once the plants have established themselves, they will just keep growing and growing so regular maintenance is a must.

Lettuce is definitely the number one crop and we normally have plants in all stages of its life cycle to afford a continual supply. Tomatoes and cucumbers come a close second, though due to space limitation new plants can only be grown on a needs basis. Chillies were hard to get going, but with a couple of established trees now producing, their yield is a welcome addition at meal times. Numerous other varieties have been grown with snow peas and silver beet being an irregular extra.

The fresh greens are definitely a welcome supplement in the mess, so fingers crossed everything can keep ticking along smoothly.

By Aaron Tyndall

Lettuce. A close photo of a lettuce seedling with full grown lettuce plants in the background
Lettuce
(Photo: Aaron Tyndall)
A couple of Roma tomatoes hanging from a trellis with Aaron proudly looking on in the background
Roma tomatoes
(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)
A big, red and ripe tomato hangs off the vine which is attached to a trellis. You can see Aaron through a gap in the the leaves
Big red
(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)
A cluster of tomatoes, some red and some green, with the lettuce beds in the background
Full house
(Photo: Aaron Tyndall)
Thriving silver beet in a planter box with sweet pea creepers climbing the trellis behind
Thriving silver beet
(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)
Shows the hydroponics hut with Cucumbers growing in planter boxes on the left of an aisle and tomato plants also in planter boxes, clinging to trellis on the right
Cucumber and tomatoes
(Photo: Aaron Tyndall)
Aaron, with a garden hose in one hand, attending the plants on both sides of the aisle
Aaron tending to his plants
(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)