My Family’s Journey to Grow Our Own Food

Hydroponic was the answer. We can plant without soil but only water.


My wife’s dream after we married was having a garden at home. But at that moment, we were living in an apartment with a very small balcony. It’s theoritically impossible to plant anything. So, we discovered a way to plant vegetable at small space and we found it. Hydroponic was the answer. We can plant without soil but only water.

The Age of Farming in The Apartment

At the first time, we were growing spinach. It sprouted fast, only need 3 days to see the small leaves. After around 7 days, we were moving the sprouts to the hydroponic system for growing it. We chose wick system, the very simple hydroponic system. Instead of growing, the spinach was wilting.

The second time, we were growing lettuce. Because we read about lettuce is the easiest vegetable for hydroponic beginner. At that time, we added LED growing lamp to our hydroponic system, because we knew that our vegetables was getting lack of sun light. But we still got the same result like before, the lettuce was wilting.


We tried another shot. I forgot how many times we tried to grow vegetables in the apartment and got so many failures. At last, we knew the failure came from the temperature and the humidity. The temperature inside our flat were too high and the humidity level were too dry.

The Age of Farming in The Greenhouse

Few months ago, after we were living in the apartment for a year. We were moving to the new house. A house on the ground. At that time, Indonesia was in dry season. So, we got an idea to build our greenhouse at the front yard to isolate all the vegetables from the outside and also to easily controlled the temperature and the humidity.

Build the small greenhouse. Build the small greenhouse.

We are building our NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) system as a growing system for lettuce and kale. We are also building the drip system for tomato, eggplant, and cucumber. The result is satisfying. All the vegetables grow healthy and can be harvested.

Our greenhouse is not only for growing vegetables, that is also the place for me to learn IoT (Internet of Things) application development. Hydroponic farming is a suitable area for implementing the power of internet connected sensor and machine learning, because it generates a lot of data e.g., air and water temperature, humidity, EC (electric conductivity) of water, and PH.

iot-implementation The internet of thing implementation.

Why We Do All That Things?

We used to buy vegetables in supermarket - don’t ask why we are not going to traditional market. Usually vegetables in supermarket is not too fresh, and the price is also high-priced, especially for hydroponic vegetables. Thus, why we learn to grow our own food.

Despite that reason, successfully growing our own food is like getting a new life achievement. Maybe we are getting one step ahead to prepare our self for zombie apocalypse, nuclear war, or living on Mars.

growing-lettuce We are growing lettuce.