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Crazy Hydroponics Story: Cheshire Football Club Gets Free Gear


Sometimes you hear about some pretty crazy stories related to hydroponics. If you're used to reading the garden-variety guides about water and minerals, you could benefit from doing a little more eccentric reading about how these types of systems are practically used.

One interesting example showed up on the Cheshire Constabulary site in Cheshire in jolly old England. It kind of illustrates the versatility and multipurpose use of hydroponics equipment, and also some of the dynamics that affect today's growers around the world.

The headline is – “police give hydroponics kit to local football club” -- and if you're up on the general football culture in the UK and elsewhere, you might be forgiven by thinking that police were handing over the equipment to try to keep football hooligans out of trouble.

If that's your first impression, the actual facts might surprise you. The article shows police officers gave the Crewe Alexandra Football Club this confiscated hydroponic equipment to help them cultivate the grass in their playing area. It's called a ‘pitch’ in England.

It turns out all of the various equipment, including lighting, plant containers, and a whole lot more, came from a police raid on a marijuana grower. Marijuana is illegal in the UK? Yes, and in most of the rest of the world as well. Although some decriminalization is taking place, cultivation usually crosses the line and sometimes brings pretty heavy consequences. In this particular case, reports show a 41-year-old man was sentenced to over five years in prison, along with fines of nearly 300,000 pounds.

“The cannabis farms were extensive and left us with a lot of kit which we knew could be put to good use by the club.” said police inspector Kate Woods. “We wanted this gesture to highlight to the community that we are taking illegal drugs off the streets all the time, and couldn’t do this without their help. You are integral in helping to tackle drug dealing in your community so I would urge anyone with information to contact 101.”

“We would like to thank Crewe Police for the kind donation and we are sure the ground staff will be able to use the equipment to help with certain areas of the pitch.” said Crewe Alex's stadium operation manager, Bev Dyer.

One thing you learn is that marijuana cultivation is no joke, and often results in law enforcement confiscating all of the gear that is used to grow. But beginners also get a little more information in terms of the nature of hydroproducts equipment -- they learn that it's versatile and usually pretty portable, and that there are a lot of ways to set up hydroponic gardens.

Take a look at the equipment in the supplied photo. Stacked up and fanned across the ground, this kit resents a pretty significant investment in growing fresh green produce. Yes, you need grow lights, plant pots and a reservoir. You need a certain amount of power to make your hydroponics garden tick. And all of this equipment takes up a good amount of space.

One alternative is a closed, compact grow box. These smaller systems often include everything you need to do effective gardening in a small space. Lighting sits at the top of the interior, with plant pots below. Everything is often neatly encased in a durable cabinet, and many of these cabinets are built to seem like regular furniture, so that nobody even knows there's gardening going on. Lock and key systems also help protect plants from tampering. Odor filters work to eliminate smells coming from the grower area.

Manufacturers often put an interior reflective substance into these boxes to help light bounce around and get distributed to plants.

When you look at the design and build of these innovative small compact grow boxes, you see that manufacturers have really thought of everything. There are air fans and air handlers to keep air from becoming stagnant, and effective irrigation systems to help make sure that water gets to plants. You can even add things like carbon dioxide to micro-tune the environment of plants.

These types of systems can actually be pretty affordable and provide beginners with a comprehensive solution for setting up a garden. Check out what's available from your hydroponic retailers and look for the right deals on this kind of gear and equipment.

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