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Outdoors Episode

Hydroponics

Hydroponic squash and green beans
Izz

Today we're looking at hydroponic vegetables.

Dex

Hydroponic? Is that a race of mutant robots; half vegetable, half machine? Captain Carrot and the Invincible Onions? They take on giant earthworms and badgers with pointy teeth...

Izz

Er... close but not exactly. Actually you're not close at all. It's just a neat way to grow stuff without soil. I went to see some friends who have a hydroponic garden. Elsa and Rudy can tell us more: it's their garden.

Elsa

Hey, Izz. Hi, Dex. Our dad put this all together and now we're growing fruit and vegetables in these containers. We put water in these little hoses. We water the top one and it drips through each one and down to the ground.

Rudy

There's no soil. The plants grow in this mix of old coconut husks, styrofoam and rocks. Plus there's a little plant food. That's it.

Izz

Do the poles help keep animals off?

Elsa

Deer ate all my grandma's tomatoes once. Animals can't climb these poles. We don't have deer, but we do have rabbits.

Dex

Mutant rabbits? Robotic alien rabbits?

Elsa

Regular non-mutant rabbits. Just as dangerous where veggies are concerned.

Izz Hydroponic garden

Rudy, what have you grown here?

Rudy

Tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans, chili peppers, watermelon, eggplant and cantaloupe.

Elsa

We even grew some of those from seed in our greenhouse. I had this whole code thing tracking them with which seeds were which and how much they all cost.

Izz

So did you sell anything?

Elsa

We could have — we grew more than we could eat. But no, we gave a lot away. We did get some salsa back in return from one of our neighbors. Dad made some too. The salsa made with some of our Cherry Bomb peppers was REALLY spicy.

Izz

Thanks for sharing all this with us.

Dex

Okay, so that was pretty cool after all. Even if they didn't meet Captain Carrot and the Invincible Onions.