HUGE flavoursome tomatoes, sweet strawberries delicious eggplant and fresh herbs in copious amounts are what amateur gardener Dick Clapp and his wife, Helen, are able to enjoy since he decided to try hydroponic gardening in the back garden of his Southdowns home.
Clapp is experimenting with his home-made hydroponics systems, attempting to find the ideal system with minimal wastage.
“Hydroponics might be a bit expensive if you go out and purchase kits, but you can do a lot of it yourself,” said Clapp who, aside from the submersible pumps and timers, has built his systems from scratch. “The garden keeps my wife and myself with enough home-grown food to keep us happy, and we give most of it to family, visitors and the neighbours.”
Clapp also wants to start a club for novices and experts to get together, say once a month to swap ideas and build a knowledge base in the community.
“I want to learn more about hydroponic systems, and pass on what I already know to others,” he said. “Maybe we could start a market stall where we could sell excess produce, not to make a profit but to cover costs.” But, Clapp added, the systems he has created have already paid for themselves many times over.
Talk of the Town had an opportunity to taste some of Clapp’s hydroponically-grown produce and can vouch for the fact that the taste seems stronger and more flavoursome than most commercially-grown produce.
“If everyone was to set aside a little space in their garden, we could all help to feed the nation,” said Clapp.
Read the full story in Talk of the Town.