ISH IN NIGER
Institute of Simplified Hydroponics Unveils New US Training Facility
by Peggy Bradley
In March of 2009, construction began on a new training center for the Institute of Simplified Hydroponics in the USA. After
over a decade of setting up training centers in developing countries, ISH is excited to be offering a training facility right at home.
The ISH board approved a US training center years ago, and a very small facility has been operating in the home office of El Dorado Springs, Missouri. But efforts were hampered due to the small area (only a half acre) and limited resources.
Thanks in part to additional donations to ISH through campaigns such as Hydro for Hunger, funds were available to lease a five acre facility and construct a training center.
A 20 by 60 foot commercial greenhouse was purchased and delivered to the new site in May, and a second small home size greenhouse was purchased in June. Site preparation began in mid-June and by August 1, the two greenhouses were set up and in full operation mode.
The smaller greenhouse is a demonstration of a food producing greenhouse for temperate climates. It is a combination of high
tech and low tech hydroponics. The set-up of the greenhouse and the hydroponic systems was filmed for a future DVD set on setting up and operating a small hydroponic greenhouse.
The larger commercial greenhouse is set up to test products offered by the hydroponic industry. So, it partly serves as a
research facility to prove hydroponics works. Any supplier of hydroponic products is invited to participate in the experiments at the large greenhouse. Nutrients, substrates, additives and systems will be tested and demonstrated in
The training center has the existing simplified hydroponic garden made of shipping pallets and recycled materials. That garden
is operated in the growing season from May until November. It is used to train people on simplified hydroponics for personal use or for setting up other demonstration gardens.
The simplified garden has been used to train people from countries such as India and South Africa. It has been helpful in
setting up ISH India and our future ISH South Africa. Now the garden has a larger home and can be expanded to include organiponics and a fertigation demonstration.
The current classroom at the facility is a gazebo with seating for six people. A new classroom has been designed for at
least 20 people. The estimated costs for the indoor classroom is about $5,000 and fundraising is underway now to build this structure. With the indoor classroom and the greenhouses, classes can be held year round.
ISH plans to invite Ministers of Agriculture to send students to be trained in hydroponics, organiponics and fertigation at the
training center. This campaign is planned to begin in May of 2010. Currently the training center is being used by a few students and volunteers helping to set up the gardens. Anyone interested in volunteering and being trained can get in touch with ISH for classes from now until November 1.
Next year ISH will be offering a three day training course in simplified hydroponics which should cost about $180. A few of these classes will be held this fall. Check the website for information.
Classes for trainers will be offered that take three weeks. A few internships will be offered for people who wish to set up ISH training centers in developing countries.
Classes for US Citizens
One of the reasons for setting up a larger training facility in the US was the economic downturn that has an estimated one out of eight people in the US going hungry. This means that the technology of simplified hydroponics is also in need in the US.
ISH still maintains its resources in film making, and DVD production. Perhaps the classes at the training center can be offered through existing educational channels in the US, further expanding the technology. The training center will be available to media for writers and publications throughout the world.
It is thanks to the help of Hydro for Hunger, its sponsors and personal donations, that the training center was possible. This campaign has produced more that $100,000 in financial resources and has made many advances with ISH possible.