April 2008-- ..."Conventional greenhouse technologies are already widely used in Western New York; thus, Alfred State is focused on how greenhouse
systems can be made more sustainable, using new growing technologies. There are many methods of hydroponic production, including growing the plants in
solid media such as peat moss, perlite, or even sand. These media, which are lighter and less buffered than soil, allow growers to quickly and directly deliver
nutrients to their crops.
In the college’s greenhouse, hydroponics is being used for dynamic root growth. The plants are grown in polypropylene tubes which have thin streams of
nutrients running through them -- a technique known as Nutrient Film Technology. The results are remarkable: for example, full lettuce heads are ready for
harvest one month after planting."
..."Harbur and Alfred State students are currently growing lettuce in the greenhouse, which includes red and green Summer Crisp, Oak Leaf, red and green
Romaine, and Lollo lettuce. Other crops include herbs, edible flowers, other salad greens, and tomatoes. Volume will further increase as additional
greenhouse models are constructed later this year. The greenhouse hydroponics system promotes a more sustainable food culture and local food
production. The varieties of lettuce being grown now are provided by Johnny’s Select Seeds from Maine.
The development of an LED (light-emitting diode) light system for the greenhouse sparked Harbur’s interest in a hydroponics system. The lights use far less
energy than pressure sodium lights and there are no hazardous issues of florescent lights. The LED lights are used to supplement the winter sunshine,
which alone is too weak to support rapid vegetable growth. The first lettuce crop from the greenhouse was sold to ACES (Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and
Services—the campus dining and vending operation) to be used in the Central Dining Hall to feed ASC students. Soon ASC students will harvest 30 heads a
day, which is roughly 20-30 pounds of lettuce per week.
'Many people think growing with hydroponics isn’t as sustainable as growing plants in soil, but it reduces the greenhouse space that must be heated and lit,
and increases the competitiveness of local vegetables with imported foods,' says Harbur, who also serves as director of COSA. He added, 'There are a lot
of advantages with hydroponics: less footage required per pound of food produced and, in our system, the ability to grow additional plants below our
hydroponic system.' "
Kathleen M. Bayus
Office of Communications
TA Parish Hall
Alfred State College
April 2008--Propagation system utilizing LED plant lighting in a hydroponic system. Alfred State
learning the basics of "hydroponic how to".
|A group of lettuce plants that are just about to enter their explosive growth phase.
|The leaves are turning a nice
purple color under the LED grow
lights and you can see several 2-
3” roots extending out of the pot.
|The “plug system” used to start
The plug in a 2" Net Pot.
|Hydroponic Production of Lettuce
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|LGM LED plant light in the hydro greenhouse.
|April Press Release Published
For Hydroponic greenhouse.
Greenhouse Propagation with LED Grow Lights
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