Hydroponic Plants

I'm looking to build an enclosed hydroponic plant growing unit thing.
The main feature was supposed to be the LED growing lights that I'm going to build (since LEDs produce such a narrow spectrum of light, I can precisely control what wavelengths of light and how much the plants get, rather than wasting energy on parts of the spectrum [greens mostly] that are just reflected by the plants), but some other things have come up.

One being what type of hydroponics system I'm going to build and what type of enclosure to use. Right now I'm thinking of using a "video cabinet" type thing with doors that close, and the entire inside lined with mylar. The growing medium will probably be something like pea-gravel. And I'm thinking of using a system pressurized by an air pump to push the nutrient solution up to the plants.

Another issue is deciding what to grow. Ideally I'd be growing things that I could eat. Plants that don't get very tall, and don't creep or spread. Right now all I've come up with is lettuce and strawberries. I need some suggestions for other things to grow though! Any idea?

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Sustainable Gardening

Does anyone want to help me fund a crazy idea for a small-medium scale hydro/aeroponic greenhouse? The goal would be to grow the greatest amount of food in a given space, using energy and space saving designs. The greenhouse would be sectioned off into separate climate-controlled units, allowing a wide variety of plants to be grown under optimal conditions.

By using hydroponics and aeroponics, the need for soil is eliminated. This would allow plants to be spaced next to each other both vertically and horizontally, which would enable "3D" utilization of space, rather than the "2D" of traditional "in the ground" farms. A vertical farming system would also allow for plants to be moved more easily, and spaced more closely (like movable compact shelving in a library.)

The lighting system would be a hybrid system using both sunlight, and LEDs in light frequencies chosen specifically for optimum plant growth. By using both natural light and artificial light, the amount of light that plants get each day can be completely controlled, removing the limitations of clouds and even night.

As a bit of an afterthought – a section of the greenhouse could be used to grow algae. When the algae is ready to be harvested it could be sold off to supplement companies (depending on the type of algae being grown), used to create bio-diesel (to help power the lighting and climate control systems), and be used for other foodstuffs (algae can be made into flour.)

Just an idea.