Why Hydroponics?

After, “Are you growing pot??” the next most common question we get is, “Why?”

Why grow your own stuff?
Why hydroponics?
What’s wrong with going to the store?

Well, we live in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  For the geographically challenged, that’s here:

In the warmer months, there are quite a few farms and shops where we can get some pretty amazing local produce.  But in the winter months, everything has to be shipped in and by the time it gets here, a lot of it is in a pretty sorry state.  And that’s assuming a shipment has arrived because with some of the rougher weather in the winter, shipments can be delayed.  There was one week this year where I could not find chicken breasts in a single grocery store – they were all out!  Now I can’t grow chicken breasts in a garden, but you get the idea.  There are also some things that we can’t buy at any grocer here in town, such as Thai basil.  There just isn’t enough demand, but we love cooking and Thai basil has such a unique flavor that it’s hard to find a substitute.

So with all that in mind (and a huge unfinished basement at our disposal) we set about trying to figure out how we could grow our own veggies and herbs so we could have fresh produce no matter what the weather was like outside.  The first thing we noticed is that it is pretty much impossible to google “hydroponics” without being inundated with a plethora of sites about growing pot.  I’m convinced we’re now on some ATF watch list because of all the links we’ve clicked on trying to figure out the best way to set up a grow-op in our basement.  But we did stumble across a couple useful sites and videos and combined what we learned with a bit of creativity to build our own custom hydroponic garden.

our hydroponic garden growing in our basement, full of vegetables and herbs

Our set-up as it looks today, in our 2nd growing cycle

Now that we have been growing our own herbs and veggies, I don’t think we’ll stop anytime soon.  Even whenever we leave St. John’s and go back to the States, it’s nice knowing I can have all sorts of yummy edibles at my fingertips and when I can grow basil with leaves 2-3 times the size of what I can get at the store, why give that up?  We’re currently in the middle/end of our second growing cycle (depends on the plant – we just finished off one arugula last night, but the zucchini and yellow squash are just starting to produce veggies) and we’re planning to expand our operation so we can better accommodate larger plants.  It has been quite a learning process and hopefully you can learn from both our successes and mishaps.


Thinking of starting your own hydroponic garden?  Click here to check out some things to consider before getting started.


  1. Eva Ramberg Lopez says:

    Love this 🙂

    • Tyler says:

      Eva, you’ll be happy to know that we’re growing both Jalapenos and Habeneros this batch. Ready to try to replicated Hans’ Mango Habenero salsa!

  2. patt says:

    FINALLY!!! I found a site that understands my “not pot” hydroponic garden interests. Not that stoners don’t have good advice, as they have as much interest in success with their plants as I do with mine, but I enjoy hearing about actual vegetables. Thank you. I’ll be following this for sure…..

    • Tyler says:

      Thanks for following, Patt. We just upgraded our growing lights and will have so much more coming. Starting seedlings this week!

      • Patt says:

        Looking forward to following your progress. I just put my first ever seedlings in my hydroponic system and am only now beginning to realize all that I’ve yet to learn. Like how often do you start seeds, how long can you count on one head of lettuce to keep growing? etc. Thinking of staggering my crops. Anyway too many questions for you so I will just sit back and read. Thanks again for your blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *