Hydroponics, Cold Smoking and Working Towards Self-reliance with Andy Alder

Basic Hydroponics

DIY Hydroponics using readily available materials that are often found for free. We will look at different types of set ups, including: Bottle Hydroponics, Floating rafts, Wicking beds, Nutrient Film Techniques and Flood and Drain. We will construct a simple system using scrap materials and discuss the techniques for use at home. We will look at rain water harvesting and producing comfrey tea as a plant nutrient for the system.

Cold Smoking

Andy demonstrates how to oak-smoke food using a cold smoker. Whilst the food is smoking, he talks about how he set up a small permaculture business (Home Farm) covering: Growing and harvesting Willow, sustainable energy at Home Farm, cider making, perennial growing, forest gardening and his early inspirations of trying to live a low impact life style.

“We are not truly self-sufficient in food or power, but we wanted to move towards a lifestyle that was less dependent on the machine and where we were more responsible for our lives, power, and food.”

Working Towards Self-reliance

Andy is currently working on a book “Small Projects – Big World (A path to Self-reliance in Energy, Food, Home and Life) due to be published in Spring 2023. He regularly writes about self-sufficiency in the Bodger’s Gazette. He is available during the weekend to talk to people wishing to work towards a low impact lifestyle and to give advice to individuals or families starting out along this route.