What Is The Salad Table?

After years of research, trials and tribulations, I woke up one morning and made the decision to become a farmer with the intention to supply fresh produce to everyone.

Over the next year - while also working two jobs - I built my hydroponic farm piece by piece. From there, I learnt how to grow bulk amounts of fresh ​​herbs and veggies for the supermarkets and developed a deep understanding of growing hydroponically.

Unfortunately, my hard work never really paid off financially because I was getting very little money for the produce I farmed.

I learned that the wholesalers and retailers were the real winners while the consumers were, are and will always be, the losers. To top it off, the fresh produce that left my farm did not make it to the supermarket shelves for many days - and sometimes even weeks.

It wasn’t long before I decided to develop a complete system to allow everyone to grow their own fresh herbs and veggies at home. I adapted the exact same principle as my farm but in a scaled down version, and The Salad Table was born.

My passion then became my vision – Create The Farmer In Everyone.

What led me to hydroponics were the problems I faced with my soil veggie gardens, which slowly accumulated since my interest in farming began in my teens.

These problems included:

The Salad Table is designed to use around 90% less water than a soil garden whilst also being many times more productive. In fact, you can grow up to 60 plants at a time in a space less than 2 square metres. You will never have to worry about weeds ever again, your plants will be fresh all year round, and you will save more by avoiding the supermarkets. You should expect a big bunch of herbs to cost around 40c each instead of the big $ we’re now paying - plus, you cannot buy the same size, quality, and freshness from supermarkets.

Hydroponics allows nutrient rich water to pass through a plants root system, and what isn't used is then drained back to a container for recycling. A small and efficient pump then transfers the same water directly back to the plants, over and over again.

The water is supplied as a trickle and as a result, the roots are not fully submerged which allows access to huge amounts of oxygen. It’s like having a soil garden with the perfect soil that never needs changing, tilling, weeding, feeding - which is impossible, believe me, I’ve tried.

Feeding your plants in The Salad Table is much easier than any other form of gardening. I only recommend the same nutrient that I have used for years on my farm and for all my Salad Tables for one simple reason: IT WORKS - for every variety no matter how big or small. And if you get in early you will receive a free nutrient pack with every system purchased.

The Salad Table is designed to use around 90% less water than a soil garden whilst also being many times more productive. In fact, you can grow up to 60 plants at a time in a space less than 2 square metres. You will never have to worry about weeds ever again, your plants will be fresh all year round, and you will save more by avoiding the supermarkets. You should expect a big bunch of herbs to cost around 40c each instead of the big $ we’re now paying - plus, you cannot buy the same size, quality, and freshness from supermarkets.

Hydroponics allows nutrient rich water to pass through a plants root system, and what isn't used is then drained back to a container for recycling. A small and efficient pump then transfers the same water directly back to the plants, over and over again.

The water is supplied as a trickle and as a result, the roots are not fully submerged which allows access to huge amounts of oxygen. It’s like having a soil garden with the perfect soil that never needs changing, tilling, weeding, feeding - which is impossible, believe me, I’ve tried.

Feeding your plants in The Salad Table is much easier than any other form of gardening. I only recommend the same nutrient that I have used for years on my farm and for all my Salad Tables for one simple reason: IT WORKS - for every variety no matter how big or small. And if you get in early you will receive a free nutrient pack with every system purchased.

Here is a list of just some of the varieties that I have grown in my Salad Tables over the years:

• Green Oak Lettuce

• Red Oak Lettuce

• Coriander

• Parsley

• Watercress

• Strawberries

• Thyme

• Dill

• Kale

• Coral Lettuce

• Cos Lettuce Butterhead

• Lettuce

• Choy / Asian Greens Celery

• Mint

• Mustard Greens Silverbeet

• Endive

• Swiss Chard

• Chives

• Mizuna

• Rocket

• Okra

• Shallots

• Spring Onion

• Tomatoes

• Cherry Tomatoes

• Cucumbers

• And Even Edible Flowers

Benefits of Growing Your Own

Here are just some of the benefits of growing your own produce hydroponically on a Salad Table:

1. SIMPLE FOOD SUPPLY

There shouldn't be countless confusing options when it comes to feeding your plants. The Salad Table Nutrient is the only plant food you will ever need to grow any variety you like. It is a perfectly balanced nutrient that contains all the essential elements that any plant needs to not only survive, but thrive and flourish. Having one food source without the need for multiple supplements is great but knowing exactly how much to use and when to use it is priceless.

2. DIRECT FEEDING

Supplying the right food in the right amounts at the right time can be very hit and miss when it comes to soil gardens. Soil is purely a medium in which the nutrients are held and it's almost impossible to know what elements are present within it at any one time. As a result, we have no clue if how much food is needed or what has leached way down into the soil and out of reach.

The solution is to provide the perfectly balanced nutrient directly to the roots so that they can uptake exactly what they need, when they need it. With the Salad Table design we can achieve this all year round. Nutrient rich water passes through the root ball in the form of a very light stream, allowing access to optimal amounts of air, water and food.

3. USE LESS WATER

Knowing how much water to use is near impossible and every garden requires differing amounts depending on soil texture, depth, drainage and so on. With the Salad Table, all you need is to fill up a container and mix with the right amount of nutrients. That water is then pumped to your garden and recycled over and over again. As the water is used the container level reduces, and when the container is almost empty you simply refill it back up. This process reduces the amount of water used by 90% compared to most soil gardens.

4. COMFORTABLE WORKING HEIGHT

Having a garden around waist height is key to reducing ailments that we are all subject to after a few laps around the sun. Combined with not having to turn over any dirt with garden tools and not having to bend over on a regular basis, the Salad Table provides a much easier and less painful gardening experience.

With soil gardens, raised beds work to a certain degree but still the soil needs to be turned. Taking away the need for soil takes away the need for needless work. Doing less at a comfortable height is a win-win.

5. ELIMINATE WEEDS

With soil comes weeds and with weeds comes work - lots of work. Not only do weeds suck the nutrients and moisture away from our herbs and veggies, but more often than not we spray them with toxic chemicals because it's the easy fix. These chemicals can remain in the soils for years. Creating a soil free environment solves many problems in our gardening journey.

6. PLANT AND HARVEST CLEANLY

One of the biggest headaches when planting seedlings or harvesting the end product is dealing with dirt. It gets everywhere - fingernails, knees, kitchen sink, and even in your food. There is no possibility of removing and transplanting an established soil plant to make way for new seedlings or to find a better position… until now. Harvesting mature produce and replanting new seedlings should only take minutes not hours, and it should be clean.

7. GROW FASTER

Feeding your plants with a perfectly balanced soluble nutrient directly to the root system allows them to grow much faster than traditional dirt gardening. It only requires a thin film along the base of the grow channel as the roots will naturally draw the nutrient rich water up. Lots of oxygen (carbon dioxide) becomes available to the plant allowing it to flourish. A healthy, fast growing plant is less prone to insects and disease, meaning less chance of requiring harmful toxic chemicals.

8. VERY LITTLE MAINTENANCE

Time is a very important factor in this day and age, and quite often is the reason many can't be bothered with maintaining a veggie garden. Weed control, tilling, eradicating pests and disease, constant watering and maintaining the surroundings all consume valuable time. Some may see these chores as a pastime but to most they are quite literally a pain in the back.

Now you can have a very successful garden without having to spend many hours maintaining it. With the Salad Table, you can:

  • Harvest and replant in minutes
  • Water once a week or 2 (or less)
  • Never feel the need to weed

9. GROW ANYWHERE

Urban living is the choice for most of us and up until now the limits on space and lack of soil has almost decimated the traditional dirt garden. With new technologies constantly evolving it is now possible to grow your own nutritious herbs and veggies virtually anywhere. Hydroponics allows us to do this, and with the Salad Table you are able to grow twice as much produce at twice the rate in the same space compared with soil gardening.

Small systems that fit on most balconies, courtyards and verandahs are now readily available. They are also very popular in high-rise apartments.

Around 4 hours of sunlight a day will yield a plentiful supply of high quality, nutritious and great tasting produce. Using full spectrum LED lights can even negate the need for any direct sunlight at all.

10. CHEAP HERBS AND VEGGIES

If you don't grow your own produce, you either have to put up with poor quality at extremely high supermarket prices or go without. Unfortunately, going without has a massive impact on our health as it has been proven that a healthy diet must consist of vegetables among other things.

  • Growing your own reduces the cost of healthy eating and need only cost a few cents per bunch (or kg).
  • By growing from seed you can have an entire season of cherry tomatoes for less than $1.
  • You can grow a massive bunch of kale or a huge, healthy lettuce for less than 40c.
  • Setting up a successful hydroponic system can be somewhat expensive to start but the savings over a short period can easily be in the thousands.
  • By growing a constant year-round supply based on a 4 week average growing cycle, all on a 60 Plant Salad Table you can save in excess of $2,200.

In the next edition I'll discuss how to grow your own seedlings. It’s much easier than you might think.

Our range of Salad Tables, Walls and Towers are designed on the same principles as our farm – and we have a model to suit every space!