Public, private tours welcome
After shutting it down in 2020 due to uncertainty with the pandemic, the Union County Clemson Extension Office restarted its hydroponic system this year. For those unfamiliar with the term, hydroponics is the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients but without soil. In this case, they use water. Clemson Extension has three different types of hydroponic growing systems. Ebb and flow beds fill and dump on a continuous basis using a bell siphon. Floating beds have a raft that floats in a continuous water supply. Dutch buckets have a continuous flow of water that filters through the bucket and growing medium.
Clemson Extension has operated the hydroponics system for the past 9 or 10 years, and over that time they have grown numerous vegetable crops and flowers. At times, they have added fish to the system to make it an aquaponics system. The fish provide nutrients for the plants, and the plants filter and clean the water for the fish.
Those attending the Union County Agricultural Fair on October 19-23 can view the hydroponics system, but Clemson Extension says they can set up a private visit for you to see it and learn how it works. Call Clemson Extension at 427-6259.