School

School of Humanities and Sciences

Department

Environmental Studies and Sciences

Abstract

Over the past two semesters I have been taking on this project to gain experience in managing an efficient hydroponic system that provides locally grown food for the on campus dining hall. The planning and attention to detail that goes into running such a system has given me a lot of experience and knowledge of how to operate similar systems in the future. This project’s main goal is to provide locally grown ingredients for on campus dining in order to reduce the dining company’s carbon footprint. This will be done by regularly cloning or sprouting plants from a different location on campus. Once a first batch of plants is planted in round soil plugs, they are placed onto a misting table. 1-2 weeks later, once these plants develop roots in these soil plugs, they are transported up to Terrace Dining Hall and placed into the system. This process is repeated until the system is filled entirely with plants. Once the first batch of plants is entered into the system, the pH and nitrate levels of the system must be regulated. This is done by measuring the pH level with a pH water testing kit. If the pH is above 6.0 then pH down chemical is added into the system until the pH reaches 6.0. Nitrate is regulated using a nitrate meter. The desired nitrate level of the system is at least 700 ppm. If the nitrate levels are below this, Floragro and Floramicro are added into the system until the nitrate level is at least 700 ppm. Careful adherence to this methodology has allowed the operation of a system that has operated at 100% capacity and has produced a substantial amount of ingredients for the on campus dining hall. This project is important because it is a method of producing locally grown food and reducing one’s carbon footprint that can be easily replicated by any similar company across the world. The main problem with this idea is that not enough people know about and spreading the word about it can help reduce the carbon footprint of dining institutions.

Document Type

Poster

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Hydroponic Food Production and Campus Dining

Over the past two semesters I have been taking on this project to gain experience in managing an efficient hydroponic system that provides locally grown food for the on campus dining hall. The planning and attention to detail that goes into running such a system has given me a lot of experience and knowledge of how to operate similar systems in the future. This project’s main goal is to provide locally grown ingredients for on campus dining in order to reduce the dining company’s carbon footprint. This will be done by regularly cloning or sprouting plants from a different location on campus. Once a first batch of plants is planted in round soil plugs, they are placed onto a misting table. 1-2 weeks later, once these plants develop roots in these soil plugs, they are transported up to Terrace Dining Hall and placed into the system. This process is repeated until the system is filled entirely with plants. Once the first batch of plants is entered into the system, the pH and nitrate levels of the system must be regulated. This is done by measuring the pH level with a pH water testing kit. If the pH is above 6.0 then pH down chemical is added into the system until the pH reaches 6.0. Nitrate is regulated using a nitrate meter. The desired nitrate level of the system is at least 700 ppm. If the nitrate levels are below this, Floragro and Floramicro are added into the system until the nitrate level is at least 700 ppm. Careful adherence to this methodology has allowed the operation of a system that has operated at 100% capacity and has produced a substantial amount of ingredients for the on campus dining hall. This project is important because it is a method of producing locally grown food and reducing one’s carbon footprint that can be easily replicated by any similar company across the world. The main problem with this idea is that not enough people know about and spreading the word about it can help reduce the carbon footprint of dining institutions.

 

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