Hydroponics: Sustainable farming

Fresh and pesticide free farm produce without use of soil.

Have you ever heard of soil-less farming? It’s nothing other than just substituting the soil with nutrient enriched solution/water and this method of technique is known as hydroponics. The two Greek words: hydro, meaning water and ponein, meaning to toil when merged together form word “hydroponics” technically means working water.

Invention of Hydroponics

Dating back to the thousands of years ago, the Hanging Garden of Babylon and the Floating Garden of China are the earliest examples when humans used these methods of gardening. While restoring general theory behind this gardening, new modern techniques are in use to make effective and more productive way of farming.

1920’s- Dr. W.F. Gericke, University of California. Who popularized the idea of growing plants in nutrient enriched water instead of using soil and named this technique hydroponics. He grew 25 foot high tomato vines using water and nutrients only.

Anywhere, anytime

Many considerations have to be taken in case of traditional farming such as type of soil, climate change, local environment, seasonal crops, amount of water, use of pesticides, harvesting time and land space, etc. Hydroponics is panacea to these factors but how? Let’s know about it.

The main reason to adopt this method is climate change. Irrespective of place, time and growing conditions like temperature and season, hydroponics systems can be created anytime and anywhere in the world for growing food to net higher yields with fewer resources.

In order to get fresh and pesticide free food, this will be better option.

Since plants are growing in close environment, they are protected from several pests and insects. Also water consumption is much less than soil farming. In fact we can conserve upto 80% water by recycling it. Harvesting time is reduced to half as plants grow 25% quicker than traditional method. Here land requirement is quite low so you can set up the whole system behind restaurant for getting ultra fresh produce.

Hydroponics system requirements

Five basic requirements for setting up a hydroponics system: Fresh water, oxygen, root support, nutrients and light. All core elements should be in controlled environment.

Since we don’t use soil, typical materials or medium used for supporting the plant’s roots such as vermiculite, rockwool and peat moss, etc. Macro-nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, etc. and micro-nutrients like manganese, zinc, etc. are required to keep farm healthy and productive.

Next level farming

As the world has need to be opting sustainability to counter the today’s environmental threats, there is something required to be more futuristic formula. This high-tech farming leads agriculture and farming industry to the next level. Also more food security will be there.

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