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In 1990 in Sebastopol, California, William Texier and myself created one of the first hydroponic micro farms in the world, the “White Owl WaterFarm”, which inspired several hydroponic operations since then.

During a few years this is where we acquired most of our knowledge and experience, growing a large variety of plants from tomatoes to peppers and chilies, salads, herbs, peas and beans, kale, chard, as well as strawberries and physalis and many more. We even tried carrots and beets, just to test feasibility.

The White Owl was a 450m2 setting covered with different size AeroFlos. We used Flora Series and our pH regulators, nothing else, and got the best results. Our greenhouse had a very basic but sufficient program regulating ventilation and temperature, as this is priority.

We wanted to keep it a low-cost but durable investment and accessible to our purse, so we kept it simple, with the human eye as the main control.

For sales, we specialized in Genovese basil and yellow and red sweet peppers following the demand from the North of San Francisco bay restaurants and fine groceries. With fresh, flavorful produce and rapid local service, the White Owl became rapidly fully self sufficient.

 

Our hydroponic micro farm concept would not be possible without the systems. Our choice goes to the AeroFlo. After 25 years growing plants in hydroponics, and trying many other systems, this is still our favorite for small and large operations.

The AeroFlo is a high-tech machine adapted to our daily needs. It maintains the perfect level of oxygen in the nutritive solution, and has an excellent circulation rate, two basic conditions for good growth. It is fast, flexible and modular, and may be used for propagation as well as production.

The AeroFlos adjust to all growing areas. It is a onetime, long-term investment, low in maintenance and user friendly. Depending on crops, we may also use our “DPS hydro” systems, especially for rhizomes like ginger or mint production.

 

If hydroponic micro farms like the White Owl WaterFarm were a little too advanced for their time in 1991, they are right on the spot in 2014.

Some already exist here and there on the planet, and they are spreading fast. Wherever they are, they encounter large success. Today one of my goals is to develop hydroponic micro farms as widely as I can because they are the right answer to many social and ecological difficulties humanity is facing.

Those small size, low investment/high return operations will provide healthy food locally, and participate to the community’s welfare, bringing back the production of basic foods into the hands of each and everyone of us, exactly what our society needs today.

Noucetta Kehdi

English