Jim invented the Autopot System which is used all around the world. His knowledge on hydroponics is extensive and is communicated in an honest way.
Learn about hydroponics and various systems available. There are detailed instructions on using the Autopot System, growing medium, nutrient managemant, pest and disease management and raising plants from seeds and cuttings.
Many years of experience have been documented in this book, including some great examples of how his system has been used. His shop is located at Gardenworld Melbourne Australia, at 810 Springvale Rd Braeside 3195, where there is always something interesting being grown.
After graduating with a degree in Agriculture some 35 years ago, Jim Fah always believed that there must be a simpler way of growing plants in pots or containers. It was with this belief that he invented the Autopot Technology and finally perfected the technology after years of perseverance. Now, it is one of the most, if not the most efficient water and feeding technology in the world today.
His creative ideas started when he was growing gloxinias in pots while he was a busy executive of a large multinational company having to make frequent overseas trips, often for several weeks at a time. Every time he returned from a trip and found several of his plants were not doing well despite having taught someone to look after them during his absence. It is due to this frustration that he started with this incredible invention.The key ingredient of Jim's approach to the invention was to have each plant determining its own water and feed requirements. If there are 100 pot plants, the watering and feeding system should be designed so that each gets watered exactly according to the individual plant's needs - what he termed as the "Plant Driven Concept". If each plant is allowed to do that, the timing and volume supplied to each plant will be perfect. Consistently never too much or too little. As a result, every plant will do very well.
At first, Jim worked with electronics to automatically water the plants using moisture sensors inserted into the potting mix. The prototype worked, but was not really practical for use because the battery in it needed frequent replacement and the cost of the unit was also high. The other problem was that all the plants were receiving the same amount of water. Some plants did really well, most were pretty average and some just would not grow properly. This has a lot to do with meeting the average requirements of plants (that is what the current irrigation technology is able to provide) rather than their individual needs which would entail every pot plant being installed with an electronic sensor. But this was really not practical. Just imagine if you were to cater for a couple of hundred pot plants, you would need a couple of hundred wires to be connected to a central power controller! Assuming that it was possible to provide each unit with its own miniature power source, such as a battery or solar gadget, the huge capital outlay and high unit cost would be prohibitive, and it would be a hell of a job trying to locate an individual unit that needed battery replacement. In short, the idea was too complicated and not really practical at that point in time.
So Jim abandoned the electronic version and worked on a mechanical version which could automatically water and feed thousands of plants according to the needs of an individual plant or group of plants within a growing container. This was really a mammoth challenge. Jim has succeeded in meeting this challenge successfully in getting the Autopot Plant Driven Technology perfected to do just that. It gives Jim tremendous satisfaction to see thousands of Autopot users around the world getting so much joy out of growing their favorite plants (including sensitive plants such as Phalaenopsis orchids) with great results.
However, Jim's work with the Autopot Systems does not end here. This is because, in his view, what he has discovered so far with the Autopot Systems "is only the tip of an iceberg!", as he puts it. He will now be working on the potential applications of the technology, currently focusing mainly on areas such as:-
- wind powered Autopot Systems
- solar powered Autopot Systems
- organic Autopot Systems
- aquaculture in conjunction with Autopot Systems
- non-electrical (mechanical) "solenoid" valves that can be regulated by plant or weather.
- Media free Autopot Systems
Jim Fah has long since turned his hobby into his full time occupation and now heads a Melbourne, Australia based organisation which makes a range of Autopot products that are marketed locally, and in the USA, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UK, Israel, throughout South East Asia and a continually growing number of other markets.>
Jim believes that it is not necessary to become a slave to your garden - you can get your garden to work for you. He has made the Autopot Systems very simple and has removed what until Autopot came along, was the greatest problem for people who wanted to grow hydroponically - the problem that conventional hydroponic needed constant attention, so that it was only possible to take a holiday by meticulous planning that left a period of the year when you had nothing growing.
Now, he has created several more inventions directly and indirectly connected to the current Autopot Technology. Several of which are yet to be commercialized.