Wednesday, November 30, 2005

$600,000 cannabis, hydroponic equipment seized

Inquiries are continuing after Tweed-Byron Local Area Command seized cannabis plants and hydroponic equipment with an estimated potential street value of $600,000.

Police attached to Strike Force Belconnen, investigating drug supply in the local area, searched premises at Tumbulgum yesterday afternoon as a part of ongoing inquiries.

They discovered cannabis plants and seedlings in various stages of maturity and a sophisticated hydroponic set up. The equipment included two air conditioning units worth a total of $30,000.

[taken from]

Hydroponic grow-op discovered

By: The Brandon Sun

Police unearthed an indoor hydroponic marijuana grow operation in a trailer just outside Brandon yesterday.

Blue Hills RCMP raided a Campbell’s Trailer Court home five kilometres east of the city at 11:28 a.m.

Inside, they found immature marijuana plants, some about 60 centimetres tall, growing in pots. They also seized other items, such as lights and fertilizer.

Mounties arrested a 45-year-old Brandon man. He faces various drug production and possession charges.

The suspect was released on an undertaking and is expected to make a Brandon court appearance on Dec. 14.

Organically & Hydroponically-Grown Vegetables

Scott N. Miller
November 27, 2005

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EAGLE-VAIL - For the past few years, the greenhouse at Battle Mountain High School has been a home for junk and wayward plants. That's changing.

For the past few Mondays, a group of local "slow food" enthusiasts has been in the greenhouse - which hasn't been used for classes for several years - cleaning, clearing, and generally getting the place ready for a revival.

When the first plants start growing, probably in early 2006, volunteers will have a place to grow vegetables and herbs year-round, students will have a chance to see how organically- and hydroponically-grown vegetables compare, and Marc von Stralendorff will finally get a break.

"It's really been a greenhouse of misfits and orphans," said von Stralendorff, a science teacher at Battle Mountain High School. "It's been a lot of work. I'm happy to have someone from the community helping out."

That help comes gladly from people who see a chance to put the greenhouse to use in the cause of slowing down their lives and exploring the tastes of foods not usually found in supermarkets. But it's taking a lot of work to get the place back into shape.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw it," said Susan Mackin Dolan, the education director for the local slow food chapter. "It was full of old, dead plants. You could hardly look across it it was so full."

Now, dead plants have been pitched, and plants that can be salvaged have been re-potted. Equipment has been sorted and stacked. It won't be long until it's time to plant.

"Slow food" enthusiast Patsy Batchelder has been helping clean the greenhouse at Battle Mountain High School. After a good going-over, the greenhouse will be used to grow herbs and vegetables for volunteers and student projects.
Preston Utley/Vail Daily

"We'll start with some greens, that's a good cool-climate crop," Mackin Dolan said. "Then we can grow whatever else the science department wants to grow."

Those plants will grow in a couple of ways. Those interested in growing herbs and plants in pots can, of course. The students involved in the school's Pro Start program for aspiring chefs will probably grow some herbs.

Pat Bultemeier, owner of Head Start Hydroponics in Edwards, has signed on to help growers who want to use hydroponics - a way to grow plants without soil and using a water-based solution to provide nutrients to plants.

Comparing how pot-grown and hydroponically-grown plants start and mature is one of the things von Stralendorff wants his students to look at. Mostly, though, the greenhouse will give the valley's small but growing slow-food enthusiasts an outlet for their own gardening urges.

"I'm just an old hippie," Mackin Dolan said. "I've done organic gardening for years. I've even grown tomatoes in Intermountain."

But, Mackin Dolan said, the local slow-food group is a diverse bunch, made up of landscapers, chefs and moms like Tara van Dernoot.

"The idea of slow food really appealed to me," van Dernoot said. "I'm on an ongoing mission to slow my life down."

Slow, or at least slower, food is part of that quest. But between jobs, kids in school and extracurricular activities, slowing down is hard.

What's "slow food," anyway?
Founded in 1986 by Italian writer Carlo Petrini, the "slow food" movement aims to preserve diversity in the world's cooking and food supplies, as well as to wean people away from the "... and run" part of life. A quick way to think of slow food is that it's more about cooking and less about just heating something up. Enthusiasts champion "heirloom" strains of vegetables, and the Slow Food U.S.A. Web site has a list of local farmers who are raising "heritage" turkey breeds for holiday dining.

What 'slow food' isn't

Being four cars back of the squawk box at the drive-through.
"I try to make as much ahead of time as I can," van Dernoot said. "But some weeks are better than others."

But as people try to slow down, they're also gearing up for coming events. Local groups are required to have several events a year to maintain an official slow food chapter. There have been a few this year, and next year plans include taking part in an Earth Day celebration at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion.

"We have a lot of big ideas," Mackin Dolan said. "We'll just see what happens."

Police Make "Huge" Hydroponics Cannabis Bust

Police in Auckland have busted what they describe as a "huge" and sophisticated hydroponics cannabis operation.

Up to 1,000 plants and tens of thousands of dollars worth of cannabis heads were discovered in a warehouse in Onehunga yesterday.

Police also found a crossbow and a quantity of what appears to be methamphetamine, or ice.

A 35 year old from Onehunga was arrested and was due to appear in court today on charges including cultivating cannabis and allowing a building to be used for cultivation.

Detective Sergeant Dave Nimmo says the cannabis plants range in size from seedlings to fully grown trees.

He says officers will execute further search warrants over the next few days, and further arrests are expected

[Story from]

Bronx teens going green with Hydroponics


Brittany Jacobs (l.), 14, and Manuel Tejeda, 11, participants of after-school program at New South Bronx Police Athletic League, measure their plants as they learn about hydroponics, the science of growing plants in nutrient-rich water rather than soil.
A tree might grow in Brooklyn, but basil, lettuce and cabbage grow on a rooftop in the South Bronx.

"You wouldn't expect to see all of these plants growing in the Bronx because we're in the middle of a city," said 11-year-old Crystal Melendez as she inspected a freshly picked basil plant. "But this is like our own little farm. Except without the dirt."

Crystal and nearly 1,000 of her peers at the New South Bronx Police Athletic League in Longwood are learning about hydroponics, the science of growing plants in nutrient-rich water rather than soil.

Students in the after-school program not only learn about agriculture and biology, they plant, pick and package the produce in the league's rooftop hydroponics lab and even help sell it to local supermarkets.

"Our goal is to make science fun, interactive and hands-on," said the league's science coordinator Katharine Panessidi, a recent University of Massachusetts grad. "It isn't school. It's after school."

The rooftop hydroponics cell is an urban oasis where bright green heads of lettuce spring from futuristic-looking white pipes. Water splashes into blue pools. The smell of sweet basil permeates the air.

Winter weather will force a smaller version of the program indoors, but Panessidi said that hopefully with some new funding they "love to see a year-round rooftop greenhouse built."

When the kids arrive, the scene is anything but relaxing. The young scientists flutter around, eager to get their hands on the plants.

"Our students love the hydroponics cell," said Tom Rosatti, director of the Longwood league. "It is definitely one of the favorite activities around here."

The hydroponics program is run in conjunction with the Cornell University Cooperation Extension. The cell was built in 1996 by Philson A. A. Warner, the Cornell University agriculturist who pioneered modern hydroponics.

The students, whose ages range from 6 to 13, participate in every aspect of the project.

The process is simple: the plants' roots are suspended in PVC pipes and bathed constantly in a secret nutrient formula developed by Warner. In the hydroponics cell, plants grow quickly because they expend little energy searching for nutrients, Warner said.

Students also learn about the marketplace. Each year, they raise more than $5,000 from produce sales to area Gristedes. These funds cover nearly the entire operational costs of the cell, including the agricultural supplies and classroom materials.

"This is a deliberate strategy," said Warner. "The youngsters must be able to understand the science. Then, they must be able to connect to the real world and see the produce they grow in the marketplace."

The remaining funds come from the league, Cornell and donations, Panessidi said.

Over the past five years, the hydroponics program has made a scientific splash in the South Bronx. The first 15 students to take part in the hydroponics program in 1996 all graduated from college this May. One even pursued a degree in agriculture.

At just 11 years old, participant Justin Melendez, of Hunts Point, has high hopes of doing just that.

"The roots were all tangled up," said Justin as he plucked a basil plant from a PVC pipe. "This is hard work, but it is really fun.

"I think I'm going to study science in college one day."

Farmer thinks hydroponics will grow sweet berry success

By:Kathryn Bursch

Plant City, Florida - The Parke family has been growing strawberries in Hillsborough County dirt for 50 years, but now Gary Parke is breaking with tradition.

Parke has started growing berries hydroponically. Instead of soil and fertilizer, the plants grow from a nutrient solution. And a field now looks like something out of a science project.

Gary Parke, Strawberry grower:
"Yeah, pretty exciting. The two guys that help me say it’s like working at EPCOT everyday."

Parke says by growing the plants on vertical stands, he can put over five times the number of plants on an acre and the method saves on water too.

Gary Parke, Strawberry grower:
"Everything looks good on paper, but what I’ve actually seen…like half the growth time, more production, better taste; how can I not?"

Parke’s first field is a “you pick it” endeavor that opens to the public on Tuesday.

Parke admits this new way of raising berries, may raise some eyebrows as well. But he thinks this new way of growing red will generate a lot more green

Hydroponics targets market opportunities

Hydroponics targets market opportunities
Thursday, 17 November 2005

GOING hydroponic has proven a successful means of exploiting seasonal market opportunities for Giru growers Trevor and Beverley Shand.

Mr Shand had previously grown sugar cane with his family for 25 years – long enough to get ideas about trying something different.

“In the last year we grew 8000 tonnes; we had a big contract and the whole thing went pear-shaped,” he said.

“Getting into hydroponics has been a steep learning curve. When we first started I knew nothing about it.”

The Shands grow Lebanese cucumbers in a shed of 820 square metres – generally around 3000 plants are squeezed into this space.

The frame of the shed is enclosed with a clear plastic material called solar weave, and the plants are grown in pots of sand.

It’s a run-to-waste system – the opposite of reticulated – with a dripper for each plant supplying four litres/hour.

The beauty of a hydroponic operation, Mr Shand said, is that waste is kept to a bare minimum, both in terms of crop losses and nutrient/water usage.

“Out in the field you can easily experience losses of a third of the crop. Indoors, losses are extremely low and you use much less water.”

“Prescription” is a word that peppered Mr Shand’s description of his hydroponics operation. Nutrients are delivered at strategic times and in close to ideal doses. The shed opens up at the top and the sides to allow air to filter through.

He said you can grow almost anything in there; the previously owners were producing continental cucumbers and parsley.

But the biggest advantage the Shands enjoy is being able to supply produce to southern markets during winter when sheds south of Sydney close.

“There are lots of sheds down there, and their yields drop right off.”

Last year, between the months of July and September, the Shands were supplying Coles with up to 100 boxes/week, and the prices per box rose markedly from $20/box to $35/box.

“Next year, whatever we grow here Coles said they will take. We were trialling different varieties this year. Next year it will be all the one variety, so we should be able to supply 150 boxes per week.”

While Mr Shand admitted that southern sheds are beginning to become more sophisticated, some being sealed and temperature controlled, this is rarely cost effective. Tropical North Queensland, however, doesn’t have this problem and can therefore cut down on overheads considerably.

“It’s a market you can have control of with hydroponics. You can look for a niche market and take a versatile approach to growing.”

While the cost of production increases every year, Mr Shand said their needs to be a base price beneath which production is unviable. If it goes up, it’s a bonus.

Indian family makes a breakthrough in hydroponics

Hydroponics, the practice of growing plants in water instead of soil, received a giant lift from a New Delhi family that created a purely organic nutrient mix that has sustained tomatoes and Arjun.

Original source:


* An Indian hobbyist has created a purely organic nutrient mixture for growing plants in water.
* Although it is still an evolving science, hydroponic agriculture (growing plants in water solution rather than soil) is spreading fast the world over.
* The nutritional requirement of the plants in this system of soilless farming is met by the nutrient mixtures, called hydroponics fertiliser mixtures, added to the water in which the plant roots are kept submerged.
* These mixtures are made of chemical plant nutrients.
* A breakthrough has now been achieved by an Indian hydroponics hobbyist in creating a purely organic nutrient mixture for growing plants in water.
* This wholly chemical-free plant growth solution has been tested successfully for growing several plants, including common vegetables like tomato and arbi and some high value medicinal plants like Brahmi, Arjun and Cineraria.
* Indeed, a good deal of research is underway in this system of soilless farming in the US and Europe but not much headway has been made anywhere in organic hydroponics.
* Of course, some hydroponics enthusiasts abroad have been experimenting with various kinds of organic manures and mixtures of plants, but successful and commercially viable organic hydroponics models are still not available.
* His daughter, Shweta Singh, a Delhi University botany student, has been assisting him in discovering and further improving the biofertiliser mixture for growing plants in ordinary water.
* "I will work on it for a couple of years more before thinking of launching commercial production of this bio-fertiliser for hydroponics.
* However, if some government organisation, such as the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), comes forward, I am willing to cooperate with it in promoting organic hydroponics in India," he says.
* He believes that nearly 200 commercially important plants can be grown by hydroponics technique

Hydroponics Marijuana Grow Operation

Two Otonabee-South Monaghan residents have been charged following the execution of a search warrant Monday at a Villiers Line residence.

Members of the Kawartha Combined Forces Drug Unit searched the home, discovering an indoor marijuana grow operation as well as a quantity of dried marijuana.

Officers seized 227 grams of marijuana bud, 44 mature marijuana plants and hydroponics equipment. Police estimate the value of the marijuana at $47,405 and the grow equipment at $1,000.

John Venema, 52, and Shelly Petrollini, 46, both of Villiers Line, are each charged with possession for the trafficking and production of marijuana

Marajuana Hydroponics Man Jailed

A LUDMILLA man was caught with an elaborate hydroponics set-up when an off-duty detective caught a whiff of it while inspecting a house for sale.

The house-hunting detective became suspicious there was cannabis being grown in the Wells St house when he noticed a locked bedroom door during the inspection with a real estate agent.

"It wasn't just your ordinary lock, the door was deadlocked and that was the main factor that raised my suspicions," the Drug Enforcement Section detective said.

"There was also a slight odour that was consistent with what you would expect with plants growing.

"I thought it was a bit strange the door was locked but the real estate agent just said there was personal stuff in there."

Further investigations by the detective during the inspection only heightened his suspicions after seeing two air-conditioners feeding into the room.

There were also pipes running into the bedroom window and black plastic behind the curtain to keep out natural light.

Drug Enforcement unit members returned to the house last Monday with a search warrant and seized 15 cannabis plants from the bedroom after breaking the deadlock.

A further 1.1kg of cannabis was seized during a search of the house.

The real estate agent, who showed several people through the property on Saturday, said the first he knew of the hydroponics room was when police contacted him yesterday.

"I had no idea," he said. "It's not the sort of thing you expect to find when you are preparing a house for sale."

A 38-year-old tenant was charged with cultivating cannabis, cultivating a trafficable quantity of cannabis, possessing cannabis, supplying cannabis and administering a dangerous drug to himself.

He was bailed to appear in Darwin Magistrates Court at a later date

Hydroponic Lobster!!??

Fresh garden-grown tomatoes year-round. Now that's what I'm talkin' about. Say hello to Hydroponic Shops of America. They've opened a Central New York location, at 2606 Erie Blvd. E. in Syracuse, across from Fuccillo Hyundai.

Hydroponic Shops harbor supplies for indoor gardening and organics, including organic seeds and nutrients to grow organic, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables year-round. Flowers? Those, too. The store also carries hydroponic gardening supplies and lighting. Hydroponic gardening is done without soil.

E-mail, from Martha Potter: "Please, where is Red Lobster located in Clay. In a shopping center on Route 31?"

Not really. It's on Route 31 next to Chili's, across the highway from the Wegmans-Chase-Pitkin-Wal-Mart-Sam's Club compound.

E-mail, from Lisa A. Sterritt: "I have a question regarding your article in (last) Sunday's paper. It was the article about Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. You stated that they would not be entering the Rocklyn Development project across from Camillus Commons but instead 99 Restaurant & Pub is going there. Which Rocklyn Development site were you referring to: the one on the corner of Vanida & Genesee or the one on the corner of Richlee & Genesee?"

It's going at West Genesee Street and Vanida Drive.

Gardening in the winter - Hydroponics Option = Good!!

Snow and cold weather don't have to keep you from tending to your garden, as long as it's inside. More people are turning to hydroponic gardening as a way to grow their favorite plants year-round.

Store Manager Rick Kolceski said, "Plants will grow typically in two-thirds the time they will in soil because in soil the plant is not only pushing up to the plant, but it's pushing the roots down looking for the nutrients. Hydroponics you're just giving the roots everything they need."

Hydroponic gardening, as the name suggests, uses water instead of soil. All you have to do is add nutrients.

"It's very simple. It's like baking cookies. You just follow the instructions. You measure out how much nutrients to put in, and you put them in at a certain time every day," says Kolceski.

Hydroponic flowers

There may be snow on the ground, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on gardening. News 10 Now's Heather Ly tells us about a way to grow flowers, fruits, and vegetables in the dead of winter.

You can also put your system on a timer, so you'll never forget to feed your plants. Anything that grows in soil can grow in a hydroponic garden. Some people garden indoors all year-round, while others use hydroponic gardening in the winter, so their plants are good to go once spring arrives.

"They'll get a jump start on their plants by growing them indoors, and with hydroponics you make strong healthy plants. It's able to be transplanted and thrive," Kolceski stated.

Kits average about $65, but you can start your own hydroponic garden for as little as $20. The most expensive investment is a lighting system which runs anywhere between $75 and $400 dollars, but it's a one time purchase, and the bulbs will last you three to five years.

So you don't have to worry about putting your plants in a sunny spot. And since there's no soil, there's less mess and no soil-borne diseases or bacteria