The Encyclopedia Hydroponica

Your Hydroponics Compendium

Pre-Emptive FAQ 11 May, 2008

Q: What the heck is a “Pre-Emptive FAQ”?

A: This is.

Q: That’s not what I meant.

A: That’s not a question.

Q: …

A: Okay, basically it’s the questions I anticipate will be frequently asked, and therefore I answer beforehand. Except, obviously, for those special people who’ll go ahead and ask anyway, even though I’ve already answered them.

Q: Who are you?

A: I am the blog. I use the same name, “Encyclopedia Hydroponica” because I can’t foresee any reason why I’d need an independent identity. To quote Max the arms dealer, “I don’t have to tell you how comforting anonymity can be in my business. It’s like a warm blanket.” Granted, I’m not doing anything illegal, but I don’t need to be “me”. Think of me as the librarian.

Q: What about “that plant”?

A: I figured I’d go ahead and get this out of the way early on. Yes, there will be links and references in the Encyclopedia regarding marijuana. I don’t grow it, I don’t condone growing it, and I don’t condone using, transporting, or really having anything to do with it. I don’t care if you do, I’d simply rather not have first-hand knowledge about it. (So be smart. It wouldn’t be remotely difficult for our friends in law enforcement to find out who I am, so don’t tell me anything you don’t want them to know. I don’t want the trouble and neither do you.)

Oh, and if the boys in blue are reading and decide I’m probably lying about everything, please come over and visit. You don’t need a warrant, I’ll happily escort you around and give you a tour. Leave the SWAT guys at the station, I’m very cooperative as I’ve nothing to hide. ‘Kay? Thanks.

There’s a very simple reason that marijuana and hydroponics are so closely intertwined: a combination of several factors have converged to make it one of the primary crops grown hydroponically. Furthermore, due to its illegal status, it is significantly more expensive than it could ever be legal, and thus pushing the cutting edge of cultivation is at the forefront of any grower’s mind. Simply put, the pot growers are doing more to advance the boundaries of hydroponics than most people realize.

To ignore that aspect of hydroponics culture – as desirable as it might be to do so – would be a grave injustice to hydroponics. Modern indoor marijuana growers have more than doubled the yields they can produce in a matter of years. We can learn a thing or two from them.

Q: What’s your personal stance on marijuana/medicinal marijuana/legalization, etc, etc, etc?

A: Ultimately it’s unimportant, but I’ll go ahead and clarify this just so everyone can understand where I personally come from.

1. I think it’s absolutely ludicrous to outlaw a plant. What’s next, does “being a squirrel” or having squirrels on your property become a felony?

2. Compared to many other legal substances, I think pot is the least of society’s concerns.

3. Ultimately it doesn’t matter to me – I wouldn’t grow or smoke it if it were legal. Like most adults, I’ve tried it. It was interesting, but I didn’t find it to be useful to me in any real way. I’d rather have a beer, and I don’t drink a lot of beer. Nothing against alcohol, weed, or anything like that. It’s just not my thing. (If they outlaw caffeine I’ll bootleg big-time.)

So academically I support legalization. I also support gay marriage, but I don’t want to marry a man. It simply isn’t important enough to me to do anything about it, but I think that the people who do feel passionately about it are on the right side. I’m happy to cheer you on from the sidelines. While I drink a beer.

All I ask is that people be smart. If it’s a household of adults who know the laws and the repercussions of breaking them, that’s one thing. If you’ve got kids… is messing up their lives really worth civil disobedience? I’m all for the “exercising the moral imperative to break immoral laws” thing – if that’s what you really believe stick to your guns. Just make sure the war you fight doesn’t have collateral damage, that’s all I’m saying.

But I’m not going to preach to either side; I simply don’t care enough to make a big deal of it. I’m just here to collect the information, organize it, and learn. Whether marijuana is legal or not makes no difference to me: I don’t have a dog in this fight.

Q: Do you smoke/grow/sell/etc?

A: No. And I don’t want to know if you do, either. Please, do not put me in the position of being between you and law enforcement. There are very few people I’m willing to go to jail for. The odds of you being one of them are somewhere between “none” and “zero”. Cover your own backside because I can’t do it for you.

Q: So if you don’t grow that, what do you grow?

A: Well I’m still relatively new to hydroponics, still getting familiar with the ins and outs of actual hands-on soil-less growing, so I’m sticking with simple plants. Herbs, salad greens, and so forth. I’m trying my hand at some bell peppers and tomatoes, and might go crazy with a pumpkin plant or something. To be honest, most of the plants I have right now are in dirt. Perhaps at some point I’ll have an actual greenhouse full of fun stuff like broccoli, strawberries, okra, and so on. Probably happen right after I win the lottery, which I don’t play. I’m a science nerd. I’m in hydroponics for the fun of it more than the plants. I want to build a better mousetrap.

Q: Your site sucks

A: This too is not a question, thank you for playing but I don’t have any parting gifts. If you have constructive criticism please feel free to pass it along. Most of the pages here will not have comments enabled, mostly to keep out the riff-raff, but you can certainly send your input to me at my email address. It’s “encyclopediahydroponica” at that address.

Q: Why don’t you have <fill in the blank> listed on your site?

A: Three possibilities: One, I plan to add it but haven’t or have forgotten. Two, I want to but I forgot to bookmark it and can’t find it again. Three, you haven’t told me about it and I haven’t found it yet.

If I’m missing something, send me a link. If you like, I’ll throw up a “Contributors” page or something and put your name on it.

Keep in mind the site is still new and I’m not exactly getting paid to type all this in.

Q: Why not just do a wiki instead?

A: I considered it, but to be honest I’m a control freak. (A control freak who’s into hydroponics? Who’da thunk?)

Seriously, I’m not looking to make this into a site with a lot of local content. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel – all the data is out there somewhere. I’m just looking to make an index. The goal is to create an Encyclopedia where, no matter what you’re trying to find out about hydroponics, if it’s available to be known this site can tell you where to find the answer. I don’t want to rewrite it, I don’t want credit for having written it or even for knowing it. That’s why I use the same name as the site. It’s not about me. It’s about the information.

All the work that’s been done can stay where it is. I just want to make it easier to find. One central location that identifies all the sparkling gems of data out there.