As the name suggests, has more to do with water than with anything else. Hydroponics consists of two words – Hydro, meaning water and ponics, meaning work. It is a form of agriculture that deals with plants growing in the water rather than soil, thus eliminating the need of land space. As with the soil, where you need additional fertilizers, hydroponics uses water infused with necessary nutrients required for plants to grow.
Depending on the type of hydroponic system used, the plant’s roots are either suspended in, flooded with or misted with nutrient solution to provide necessary elements for growth.
With the growing culture of multi-level apartment buildings and offices, the desire to grow plants has been limited to the little space available in balconies and corridors. Also, with the prices of land soaring high, hydroponics gives us a wonderful opportunity to grow crops underground, on rooftops and in greenhouses.
Several hydroponics stores have come up in all major cities that specialize in helping people use the method to grow food at their convenience. There are also online hydroponics stores that offer essential products like nutrients, garden accessories, lights & ballasts etc.
Companies like General Hydroponics have state-of-the-art facilities in North America and Europe where researchers develop products, solutions and systems that help you care for your plants in a way that delivers the best possible results.
General Hydroponics also offers advanced systems powered by solar energy, as well as filtration products that make the most of organic components and nutrient formulations.
RimWorld is an indie space colony management game developed by Ludeon Studios, a Montreal-based game studio founded by Tynan Sylvester. The game has a futuristic setting with a randomly-generated story, on a non-earth planet and an objective of expanding and managing a colony of people living there. One large aspect of game-play is electricity, which is central to the colony. Electricity is used for almost everything. Also interesting is the role hydroponics plays in Rimworld Hydroponics. The technology is used by colonists since food is of utmost importance to anyone, even in a game setup.
The idea is to grow food faster since it would result in more supplies for the colony. Why settle for the traditional ways when you can use hydroponic farming to feed your people? Also, you get an option of creating an indoor area using the sunlight in combination with the basins to make sure you can grow food all year long.
Why use hydroponics?
Given the diversity of land and climate in every part of the world, hydroponics acts as a saviour and helps in the production of more and more crops.
For example, Arizona and Israel have have arid climatic conditions and thus hydroponics has been in use there for decades. People are able to enjoy locally grown produce and expand their food production.
In dense urban areas like Tokyo, land comes at a premium. Here also, hydroponics is used as a popular form of plantation. Now, coming to remote areas like Bermuda, that have limited space for farming, hydroponic helps as it takes only 20 percent of the land required for crop growth. Some countries or areas that do not receive consistent sunlight or have warm weather can also benefit from hydroponics. Examples are Alaska and Russia. Here, hydroponic greenhouses are used so that light and temperature can be controlled for better crop production.
Apart from the above mentioned uses, there are significant environmental benefits that makes hydroponics a wise choice.
- Hydroponics systems require only around 10 percent of the water that soil-based agriculture requires.
- Water wastage is eliminated because hydroponic systems allow for recycling and reuse of water and nutrient solutions. In areas like India, Middle East and parts of Africa, where there is scarcity of water, hydroponics can largely help by using limited water.
- This system uses little or no pesticides. Also, only around 25 percent of the nutrients and fertilizers are required of soil-based plants.
- Hydroponics also eliminates pollution by allowing the produce to be grown locally instead of importing, resulting in reduction of both price and gas emissions.
- Unlike traditional farming that is dependent on weather and climatic conditions for plant growth, hydroponics gives plants direct access to water and nutrients. This results in shorter harvest time, about half the time as traditional agriculture.
We, at Green Schools Green Future, aim to build hydroponics system at our green schools so that our environment can benefit from the various advantages it offers. Also, it will give an excellent opportunity to the kids to learn how to nurture the environment without being dependent on the external factors like weather, electricity, land and water.
Though hydroponics is typically much cheaper over time, it does require a substantial upfront cost to establish any sort of larger system. There is also the threat of power failure, which can affect the working of pumps, thus ruining the crops. Therefore, we look for support and donations in building green schools that can run on solar panels, aquaponics and hydroponics.
We aim to build the schools with green technology and environmentally-sustainable building materials, thus reducing the carbon footprints.
By Manali Arora