Aeroponics

Aeroponics is a process for growing plants without soil or substantial amounts of another supporting medium. All nutrients are transmitted to the plants by a fine mist of nutrient solution applied directly to the roots. This aerosol can be created in a number of ways, usually an inexpensive aquarium pump.

Aeroponic growing has some advantages like disease free cultivation, higher crop yields, and more harvests. Theoretically there are some ecological benefits in comparison to other "lab" grow techniques like hydroculture, although that is probably set off by the use of a traditional lightbulb to achieve a self-heating setup. In the end I am just doing this because tiling the earth with my bare hands is not worthy of a real computer scientist.

Building the Bollbox

This growing system was made with lots of duct tape, aluminium foil and generally wholly inappropriate tools. Like movies by Uwe Boll, propably the worst director under the sun. Hence the name.

The cost for this system were around 40 Euros, although you can probably save some bucks by not building a green house around it. Sadly this is necessary as our hackerspace doesn't have any heating and most edible plants don't thrive in sub-zero conditions. A single 50W plant-growing lightbulb dissipates enough heat to keep the whole apparatus at around 20 degree Celsius (temperature graphs). For this build you'll need the following parts and tools:

Required tools are minimal. Just some duct tape and a cutter capable of putting a hole into the plastic tub lid.