These two systems for hydroponics / aeroponics grows look good to me. They are simple, cheap, and work.
I could easily set one of these on a a small wire “bookcase” sized shelving unit (that I already have) under a “grow light”. I have a couple of shop lights that are almost never used. In fact one of them is over my garage “workbench” that has become a junk storage depot. It has a south facing window. Just clear the bench off and I’ve got room for 2 tubs with the artificial light fixtures already in place. Buy a few “Gro-Lux” bulbs if I want to speed up the growth. Easy starter experience (if you consider cleaning out part of the garage “easy” ;-)
The first video is a simple deep water Kratky Method in 5 gallon buckets. I’ve seen another video that I can’t find at the moment that uses rectangular tubs, like the 2nd video, but with an aquarium pump and bubble stone in the bottom to give some aeration. For now, I’ll put a different video I don’t like as much in the Bonus Section. (It is too long and the guy kind of oversells it). This video is 8 minutes:
This second one is fancier. They build an aeroponics unit in a tub using spray nozzles. 20 Minutes, but with a lot of build specifics and a way more interesting design.
While many of these put the plant holes on a square grid, I’d be tempted to offset them to more like a hexagonal packed order:
H H H H H H H H H H H H
Though I doubt it matters as the light is from straight above and there’s plenty of room for small leafy plants.
I think I could easily give up a “desk sized area” or a “book case sized” part of the wall space to have green salads all year round and fresh vegetables for cheap in the dead of winter.
This bonus video uses a “kit”. I doubt I’ll do that just because I’m cheap and I don’t want that small a system, even for getting started. BUT, the video is fun ;-) From IKEA, so “some assembly required” ;-)
2 minutes with catchy music:
Here’s the one that’s closer to what I want to make, but in a video nearly an hour long. A first few minutes view will give you the basic idea. Rectangular tubs, bread rack, aquarium pump and aeration stone. One hour:
I could be happy with a “Salad Closet” all winter long ;-)