New thinking leads to better alternatives: the fight against plastics

Edinburgh inventor creates biodegradable water bottle to fight plastic problem

Read more at:

Using natural materials from plants and trees, this clever dude has created a biodegradable water bottle that will self-erase in sea water after three months. While plastics have obviously had tremendous impact in pushing forward economies, research, and medicine, it’s now time to fold sustainability into that production. This sounds great, and it’s especially exciting for plant nerds like me.

Cellulose and lignin are the most common materials on the planet, and sporopollenin (the material that codes pollen grains in flowering plants) is the strongest bio-polymer known to man. Plant fix carbon dioxide, produce sugars, and now produce the raw materials for industrial use, as seen with the above water bottle example. All in all, turning perceived ‘waste’ outputs into valuable inputs for alternative uses is one way to push civilization forward. And as someone fascinated by controlled production of plant and algal material in efficient, sustainable ways, it’s great to see that I’ll be busy in the coming century.


a small thought for a rough day

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is your power to choose, and in that choice is your growth and freedom.

–  Viktor Frankl

The mystic in me says that, in observing the universe, one participates in it. You are a co-author for your own subjective little reality. Define your experience or be defined by that lack of definition. A scary, but liberating idea. Tell your story!


Hydro Methods: Kratky

Kratky How To Guide – The Kratky Method is a Simple and Fun Way to Grow           Shannon McKee | March 6, 2017

I’ve dabbled with quite a few systems over the years, and while each system provides advantages, disadvantages, and costs, there is something of an Occam’s Razor perspective to sticking plants into media they love and just letting them be. When considering the potential for hydroponic influence as a medium for food security, less tech is better: it requires less capital, less upkeep, less know-how, and less babysitting. To that end, the Kratky method is king.

The Kratky Method is a viable, low-tech approach to both hydro and aquaponics. For hydro, Kratky is a passive, closed system, requiring no power, pumps, or plumbing. Furthermore, if you’re using short cycle plants like salad greens and herbs, you can limit your nutrient input to a single event. Understanding precisely how much nutrient is left in your reservoir over time (and it’s effect on salinity and pH) is one of the great difficulties in hydroponics, and single event nutrient input completely erases this issue.

While you can assemble Kratkys on the cheap using five-gallon buckets, plastic storage bins, and random containers, I built my boxes from salvaged wood and waterproofed the reservoir with 6mm shower liner. There’s an inch-wide indent running around the perimeter of the box that supports a pink insulation panel (the type for insulating drywall in your home) that holds the net pots, the growing media (if any), and your happy little green fellows. Just control the amount of rain run off that infiltrates your closed system (which would throw off your nutrient balances) and you’ve got a fire and forget hydro system for fresh herbs and greens. Would recommend 10/10.

august 25th, 2017

How I make $75,000 on 1/3 acre in a residential neighbourhood!


Kelowna, BC Canada. Setup with 5 urban sites focuses on high yield, high-value small veggies for local restaurants. Microgreens, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, zucchini.

Rotational planting with good planning. Works on the mentality of ‘focus on tasks that produce income, minimize those that do not’. Some information on irrigation technique, weeding technique, pruning. Good information on infrastructure like coolers, washing tables, and drying racks. Looks like a lot of work, but well-rewarded.

Great winter nursery setup inside the main house for starting microgreens in trays. Also a nice soil block setup outside on an elevated table.

link: youtube


I recently found that while I had been methodically plodding along in my university education, I had neglected my personal research and development. I can’t realistically expect my formal curriculum to drop me into the world prepared and ready. This blog will document the personal work I’ll do, and serve as a library reference for future works. If an idea or notion sounds familiar, perhaps I’ll find it in the archives on this page.

My intent will be simple, at first. Each day, I’ll watch one plant-related video and record it by date, summation, useful/learned elements, and keywords for later searches. That’s it. I’ll incorporate more ambitious goals later, but for now, baby steps. Work son!