Growing Spirulina, General Hydroponics, Strawberry Tower and Worm Composting Bin

This is John Kohler with
Today we’re at the Maker Faire here in San Mateo, California. It’s all about do-it yourself
inventors and people that make things. So I’m really excited to be here and check it
out and see if there’s anything having to do with gardening here at the Maker’s Faire.
So let’s come inside and check it out. Alright, so here’s an excellent way to grow
your own food in your house if you don’t have a yard like I did to convert into all raised
bed. You can grow in an apartment in the middle of New York City, even if you live in a trailer
you can grow this in your RV Kevin, if you’re watching my show. But this is algae, you can
grow your own Spirulina wherever you are. All you need pretty much is like an aquarium
and this is it and you need a good kit like from They’re going to explain
the process, they teach classes. They’ll teach you how to do this stuff.
So we’re here with Eric, he’s from and he’s going to show us how to harvest this
Spirulina. Eric: That’s right. So one window, growing
Spirulina can supply enough to transform the diet of a person. It’s very easy to harvest,
basically you down here the, your live Spirulina and you’re going to syphon it through here,
through this cloth so over here. This cloth has 40 micron openings, it’s screen-printing
fabric and it’ll catch the Spirulina and then the water will go through and put the water
back in and spirulina’s very water, it uses very little water to grow because you recycle
the water. Then you’re going to have a live, fresh super
food you cannot buy live, fresh spirulina, you can only get the powdered stuff and it’s
extremely sensitive to the drying process, so you get much better nutrition from the
live stuff. As you can watch it here and you can see the
green area growing that’s live spirulina getting caught on the cloth and you’ll see it getting
denser and getting bigger. We’re just going to get a little bit. Normally I’d filter out
about a quarter of the tank and that would give us a good tablespoon or so of live spirulina
and you can do that about every other day with a tank this size.
Then you just squeeze out the remaining water. Just kind of gather it up and squeeze out
that last bit. Because that’s very, very alkaline. One of the things about spirulina is it’s
an extremophile. It grows in extremely high alkaline environments which means nothing
else will grow with the spirulina because the alkalinity is so high. Then when you’ve
harvested you get this. Live spirulina has almost no taste to it and
it’s got a nice creamy texture and is extremely healthful. That’s basically all it takes.
You just pour the liquid back and you’re done. You can keep doing this day after day after
day. Because spirulina grows very quickly. It’s like a pet or a house plant except that
it feeds you every day. John: So I think is the first time I’ve had
fresh, live spirulina. I’ve often eat the powder, but this is cool that you do this
fresh and watch for a future episode where I will be growing my own spirulina one of
these days. So all do is you take this little toothpick here and scrap some off on the toothpick
and wow man, that’s good stuff. Nice really creamy texture. I can just imagine adding
that to a banana fruit smoothie. It’s going to be so good and I can’t wait to grow spirulina.
So everybody out there don’t say I can’t grow anything I live in an apartment, you can grow
spirulina. So we’re here at the general hydroponics booth
at the Makers Faire. They’re demonstrating how easy it is to grow hydroponically and
here’s the really easy set up. All they’re really doing is using coke bottle and that
seem system to be a nice theme here at the Maker’s Festival to, Maker’s Faire.
To basically, they cut the coke bottle in half, they glued in some tube on the bottom
and that’s the return line. On the top they have a tube that’s basically feeding water
to it. They got some hydroton ceramic ball things in there and some medium. This is not
soil and tomatoes. So you got to make sure you have a good nutrient solution in there
to allow it to grow. You can see the return line comes into this
little bucket, it’s about a one gallon or two gallon bucket and you can see they just
have a simple pump in there and that basically the return line’s in the bottom and that the
pump pumps up the water into the hose and goes into each of the bottles, into the cut
down coke bottles. That’s how easy it is to grow hydroponically. Now this is just a demonstration
system, I don’t know if this would work on a real big scale. But if you’re screwing around
you could do something like this. So if you’re really serious about growing
hydroponically you should get the general hydroponics water farm. It comes with eight
different, basically five gallon buckets to grow your own food hydroponically. Now this
system is going to set you back approximately $500 so it’s not cheap, definitely lot easier
to grow in soil but there’s many advantages to growing hydroponically.
Alright so General Hydroponics now as a new line, it’s called General Organics for the
home gardener to use in their, to grow plants outside. It’s really cool, such as this one
here Bio Thrive. It’s a vegan plant food in a bottle. Bio Thrive, another one, plant food
this is called Bloom, this one’s called grow. They have Bio Root booster. They even have
something I really like Bio Weed which is a cold processed seaweed. So basically this
a raw food for your plants now. So one of the cooler products here, I get
the question a lot, John what do you do about the bugs? Well now I can use AzaMax for all
my bugs. It’s an insecticide that’s basically OMRI listed for use in organic gardening.
Basically what it is is basically it’s extracted from neem oil. So you could use neem oil which
has the same properties of this but this is more of a concentrated version which may actually
work better. We’re here at the Maker’s Faire and we’re
here at the Master Gardener’s Food for San Mateo and San Francisco County. They have
this cool strawberry tower that you can make. So this is a great way to save space and grow
lots of strawberries with two five gallon buckets, yet another use of buckets that I
didn’t talk about before. So this is great, here’s the instructions
here, but if you’re not here to see the instructions, you can actually download the instructions
to download your own instructions of how to build your own and plant a strawberry tower
made out of waste five gallon buckets and a whole bunch of strawberry plants and it
looks like they have several dozen strawberry plants in here and I’m sure it’s going to
yield quite well, so check out the Master Gardener’s in your area for hints and tips
an instruction on how to help you to grow your own foods at your house.
Have you ever wondered what you can do with your old window shade? Well you know I have
lots of plants in my garden that don’t have tags. So an old window shade is the perfect
material to make plant tags. All you have to do is grab a scissors and literally cut
it out and then right on there. So I’m growing carrots, I’m going to put carrots, real simple
and then you can just stick it in your planter and there you go, easy plant tag.
Everybody should do it. I know you all got extra window blinds out there. Label your
plants, especially the varieties if you’re growing many varieties you can get confused
some times. A great thing to do with your old window blinds. You can do ones with the
metal as well and what I used instead of the blinds actually is I go out and buy roof flashing,
aluminum roof flashing, that works as well. You can cut that up if you don’t have your
window blinds. Now we’re going to talk about worm composting,
another booth here at the Maker’s Faire has composting regular composting also worm composting.
So you could buy something like this, it’s called the wiggly ranch and this is to keep
your worms. This is approximately $100 and they have other ones that will hold your worms
as well. Basically it’s a nice design, it just comes off and the worms go in here, you
put your food scraps in here and you fill them up at the bottom first and the worm pee
actually you can collect with this little spigot in a jar that’s really good for your
garden. As the worms finish off you keep only putting the produce in at the top and then
they move their way up. So then you can take off the bottom trays when it’s finished.
This is about a hundred dollars but if you want to do it the low tech method you could
just go to your local Walmart or big-box store and buy some of these roughneck, Rubbermaid
containers or even other similar containers. Basically you just got to punch a whole bunch
of holes in it for air circulation and there’s also some holes in the bottom there because
the worm pee needs to drain out somewhere and then you simply nest this one into another
one so that the worm pee can drain out in there. It’s really neat and easy.
Then basically you can see we’re going to go ahead and you just put your food scraps
in here. If you do it right it’s not going to smell and it’s not going to stink. You
definitely want to keep it in a nice area that stays pretty stable temperature, not
outside in the hot sun and not freezing. But you can see here’s all the stuff, all the
different things you can put newspaper scraps if your mixtures too wet. And different food
scraps and you’ll see all the different worms in here, let’s go ahead and use the hands,
let’s see if we can find some worms in here. It’s going to compost faster with more worms
and less fast with less worms. There’s little worms all in there, they’re going to eat all
this stuff and in about a month here this will be turned into rich compost, worm castings
is probably one of the best things you can put in your garden. So you can do this at
home, you can check online for a little of different instructions on how to do your worm
box at home in your kitchen or get outside. So I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my clips here
at the Maker’s Faire, it’s getting late and there are sculptures and some many kinds of
things to see here at the Maker’s Faire [ {unclear} they got a big train going here that’s taking
off and I think it’s time for me to take off too. So this John Kohler with
We’ll see you next time.

27 thoughts on “Growing Spirulina, General Hydroponics, Strawberry Tower and Worm Composting Bin

  1. @H8RbyN8URE- I've heard most newspapers are printed with vegetable based inks these days. I've done a little and it decomposes fairly quickly.

  2. Looked up the instructions on the Master Gardeners site. The design looks great but I would ad a few pvc pipes with holes drilled to assist with easier watering. What a great way to use spare buckets, thanks for sharing John.

  3. nd with aquaponics u could feed the worms to ur fish and the castings to the plants, so u dont have to buy fish food anymore, then u can eat the fruit from the plants, the plants and the fish

  4. I recently started a worm bin and they are composting really well. I was wondering if you have any info on bokashi composting. I live in an apartment and want to try it to feed the worms and I do currently have a bin with dirt that I can bury the bokashi in after it has fermented. Just wondered if you have any info. Thanks for all the great videos I have learned alot from you.

  5. For the most part it isn't good to introduce animal products of any kind into your compost. There are some very nasty things that can start to grow. Remember…YOU are made of meat.

  6. I don't like to complain Discount Juicer guy but.. Your sound on your recordings is always terrible and it makes your voice sound like a buzzsaw on my speakers… Just FYI

  7. Algae Lab is featuring found Dr. Aaron Wolf Baum with a full day workshop on how to grow your own Spirulina at home in Berkeley on March 9th. Check out his website (algaelab) for more details. I'll be there too 🙂 just helping out a friend promote it.

  8. i've put craw fish in my compost after checking it a year later they are still in there but alot more softer than when I first dumped them in. I think that maybe by next year they will be gone. So go ahead and dump them in but don't expect them to be composted right away, you'll have to wait a few years.

  9. OMRI IS BULL CRAP, YOU CAN PAY TO GET THAT OMRI STICKER!!! I work that business I know that im talking about. u no nothing about indoor gardening or nutrients!!

  10. HYDRO IS EASIER THAN SOIL!!!!! SOIL IS ONLY LESS FORGIVING BECAUSE HEAT AND SALT BUILD UP! With constant reservoir change and flushing you'r basically just making your nutrient water! AND WATERING MORE OFTEN that's all!

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