Hydroponics: A Brief Summary

Hydroponics, simply defined, is the growing of plants without soil in a water and fertilizer solution containing the necessary nutrients for plant growth. It is not a new science. Work in this area was being done by researchers as early as the 1600's. In the early 1930's, W.F. Gericke, of the University of California, did laboratory experiments in plant nutrition for the commercial scale. "HYDROPONICS" - the word was derived from two Greek words, "hydra", meaning water and "ponos", meaning labor, or literally, water working.

 

With the development of plastics, hydroponics took a large step forward and is now a widely accepted method of producing certain speciality crops such as tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and peppers. Other crops that can be grown by this method include herbs, foliage plants and flowers.

 

Advantages of Hydroponics

  • Superior taste, quality, appearance, uniformity and extended shelf life of hydroponic vegetables.

  • Less water is required and less fertilizer is needed compared to outdoor farming. 

  • Biological controls, such as beneficial insects, are used to control pests.

  • No sterilization of growing media is required and plant nutrition is easily and completely controlled within the nutrient tanks to provide a high level of nutrition.

  • No weeds, no cultivation, no soil borne diseases or insects. It allows for uniform water availability in plants.

  • Higher yields in a shorter period of time. Grown in a controlled environment to allow harvest year around.

Reasons to Choose Local Produce

  • Local fruits and vegetables are fresh and high quality because they are usually sold to the consumer within hours of being picked.

  • Hydroponic vegetables are more nutritious than what you can get at a grocer because they are fed optimal nutrition, while some soil used for crop production may be deficient in certain nutrients that the plant may need.

  • By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful and abundant food.