What are Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants, produce or flowers in water-based, nutrient-rich solution without soil. With hydroponics, the root system of the plant gets support from an inert medium. The basic idea behind hydroponics is to allow the roots of the plant to come into direct contact with the nutrient solution, while also having access to oxygen, which is key to proper growth.
We chose to offer hydroponically grown produce not only for the enhanced flavor and health benefits but because of the advantages it offers as opposed to traditional farming techniques. While still in the development stages, hydroponics is considered the future of farming.
- No Soil Needed
Hydroponics allows farmers to grow to produce in areas where there is no fertile soil or very arid areas. Hydroponics is also a great option for places where land is limited and heavily contaminated (big cities, heavily populated areas, etc). It is a very clean method of growing produce where the soil is not needed at all, but rather a nutrient solution. An added benefit is the avoidance of soil-borne illnesses.
- Hydroponics is a Space Saver
With hydroponics, all that plants need for their growth are provided and maintained in the hydroponics system. This means you can grow in small spaces. The plants have direct contact with the necessary minerals for growth and utilize roughly 5% of the water of conventional farming.
- Water Conservation
The method of growing plants in a hydroponic system use only 5% of the water in comparison to field-grown plants. The water is recirculated. The growing plants take up the necessary water and the runoff is returned to the system. Statistics show that regular agricultural practices use up to 80% of the water in the US. Hydroponics is a potential solution to the global food supply issues with the population and the need for greater food production to meet the needs of the global population.
- Better Growth Rate
Hydroponically grown plants grow faster than soil-grown plants. Because you control the environment of the plants, such as temperature, lights, moisture and nutrients, the plants have an increased growth rate placed in ideal conditions. Nutrients are provided in sufficient amounts and come into direct contact with the root systems. They are no longer wasting valuable energy searching for nutrients in the soil, but instead can focus on growing and producing fruit. Likewise, there are no pests to sap the energy of the plant.
- Quick turnover. With hydroponics, there are no seasonal limits or restoration periods required for the farm. As soon as a plant is harvested, the next can be planted in its place allowing for maximum yield per square foot.
- No Weeds
Hydroponics eliminates the need for herbicides to remove weeds. No weeds exist to choke out the growth of your plants.
- Reduced Pesticides and Herbicides
Because hydroponics grows plants in a controlled environment sans soil, weeds, pests, and plant diseases are greatly reduced, eliminating the need for chemicals. This results in a cleaner, healthier and safer food product.
- Year-Round Production
Hydroponics allows the grower to have total control over the climate including temperature, humidity, light, the air composition. Because of this, you can grow foods all year round regardless of the season.