Polar Gardens

The challenge of growing food in a region where the average temperatures are subfreezing, and where there are nearly 4 months of polar night, is no simple task. Here are some of our solutions:

Indoor Hydroponic and Aeroponic Systems

Our indoor hydroponic garden utilizes the innovative and efficient “easy2grow” AutoPot Watering System. This set-up requires no power or pumps and is completely gravity-fed. The water is fed directly into the pots eliminating wasted water.

The aeroponic garden grows plants without the use of a soil or aggregate material, using water to transmit nutrients.

Sustainability

In this garden we have grown: parsley, coriander, basil, paprika, summer squash, mini corn, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, red chili peppers, and more.

Compost

We utilize a type of worm bin called Worm Inn to process our food scraps and create great soil for our plants. We currently host 2 types of worms in our Worm Inns: Red Wrigglers that stay shallow and the Super Reds that dig deeper. We started with 1500 Red Wrigglers and 250 Super Reds. The bins are very productive.

In addition to using our own food scraps, we partner with a local pub to collect and utilize their food waste, reducing the amount of waste they have to ship off the island, which can get very expensive. Then we sell our fresh produce back to the pub, helping them reduce their food-miles.

We currently host 2 types of worms in our Worm Inns.

Mushroom Cultivation

Growing mushrooms is a great option for this region because the process doesn’t require sunlight, and actually many mushrooms prefer less light for optimal growth.

We’ve found that it’s best to use the coffee grounds within a day of collecting them. If you cannot get enough within that time, freeze what you have until you can fill half a bucket with them. This is because if the coffee grounds age too long the mushroom spores may have to compete with molds growing on the grounds, and may produce less fruiting bodies.

We soak the cardboard in boiling water until it is soft enough to tear apart, and then make a mixture of 50% coffee grinds and 50% cardboard for the shiitake mushrooms, and about 70% coffee grinds and 30% cardboard for the oyster mushrooms.

For the past year we have been growing mushrooms in 5-gallon buckets on a substrate of soaked cardboard and coffee grounds.

Indoor Living Wall


Sustainability

We developed this vertical growing system to utilize more of our small indoorspace for growing food.