Rooftop Framing - Hydroponic Systems

Underutilised urban spaces have been identified as spaces to conduct urban farming. There are a lot of urban farmers present in the City of Johannesburg. These farmers utilise hydroponic systems, which don´t rely on soil but instead on a constant water and nutrient flow. The great advantage of the technology is that it allows farming to be practiced indoors and in urban spaces, while using very little water and producing food locally compared to conventional agricultural practices. Hydroponically grown plants mature faster than crops grown in soil, which gives the farmer a faster turnaround time to bring their produce to market. However, hydroponic systems depend on electricity. This can become a financial but also existential challenge with on-going load shedding. Therefore, taking the hydroponic systems off-grid with solar panels is a suitable alternative. UJ-PEETS has supported Johannesburg´s rooftop farmers by off-grid solar energy solution, which can be combined with a sensor and control system to manage plant growth