There have been several developments and innovations within the field of environmentally conscious efforts, but one of the most amazing is hydroponics. The concept of hydroponics has actually been around for a few decades now, but it’s only recently begun to catch fire in the scientific community and translate to mainstream culture and media at large.
Hydroponics may hold the key to producing a vastly greater amount of food and feeding the planet in an efficient and effective manner as humanity has never been able to do before. Here’s a brief guide to what hydroponics is and why it matters.
What is Hydroponics?
There’s a great deal of scientific thought and complicated jargon behind the process of hydroponics, but the simple answer is this: hydroponics is a way to grow food without soil, instead growing food directly in water. Hydroponic growers substitute in other materials to keep roots healthy and growing, rather than soil.
There are many ways and methods to using water to grow plants. The most common is using fresh water to substitute many of the nutrients. The water is filtered and maintains a consistent and healthy pH balance to keep the plants alive, from 6 to 6.5. The oxygen of these tanks is pumped in by oxygenating the tank or suspending the plant in air. As for root support, moss, vermiculite, or perlite are usually added to the tank to do the heavy lifting.
Of course, plants need more than oxygen and water. They nutrients and light to grow healthy, big, and strong, and hydroponic setups allow for these considerations. It’s actually simple to buy a bag of mixed nutrients for plants and simply add it to the tank, giving plants the nutrients, they need and desire without the need for soil and other dirt.
Special lighting can also be bought, even for those on a strict budget. These lighting specialties help keep photosynthesis going in the plants and keep them growing and producing year-round. Of course, hydroponic setups can be established outside, eliminating the need to buy special and artificial light sources.
Benefits of Hydroponic Farms
The hydroponic revolution is actually one of the most important of the century. Researchers and farmers are looking into scaling the processes of hydroponic farms, in order to create greater sustainability and resources on a global scale. Growing food without the need for soil allows anybody to grow food, at any time and in any conditions. Weather, sunlight availability, and a myriad of other factors are no longer necessary to consider when growing food.
This is important on a small scale, as anybody can become a farmer no matter what region they live in or what food they’re trying to grow, but it’s also critical for the globe at large. The scaling of these techniques and methods will allow for the growth of massive farms in a variety of regions, allowing more diversity of food. This hydroponic mindset can curb climate change and lead to greater sustainability efforts all over the globe.
On an economic level, hydroponic farms can help restaurants grow their own food, offering customers ultra-fresh produce without the need for transportation. This will save on both fuel costs sand consumption, further curbing climate change. It may sound small, but global hydroponics is set to change the world in its own way.
The environment and businesses won’t be the only ones benefiting from the hydroponic revolution. Farmers will also benefit because of lower costs to themselves and the higher yields their farms will be capable of. For example, foods grown in hydroponic farms usually produce an astounding twenty-five percent greater yield than those grown on traditional farms. Although growth rates vary, just like any farming process, this excess food can be kept or sold off by those growing it.
As mentioned, hydroponic farming also takes far less resources than traditional farming, which will improve soil conditions and save farmers all over the world a substantial amount of money. Finally, this type of farming also negates several variables, allowing farmers and growers to assess damage easily and fix the problem before it becomes out of control.