Often people talk about growing organic food as a way to being more environmentally friendly. When you hear this, you may picture large plots or crops of grains, vegetables or fruits, grown without using chemical fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides. But there are other methods that are sustainable and will most likely be the future of mass food production.
Over the last few weeks I have been reading about these other methods and I thought I should share these with you.
Static Hydroponic solution culture
In this system plants are grown in containers (reservoirs) sitting in a nutrient solution, that is aerated by using an aquarium pump, aquarium airline tubing and aquarium valves. The level of the solution is kept low enough so that part of the roots are above the solution. This allows the plants to get oxygen. The solution is a mixture of water and nutrients required to grow healthy plants. This is ideal for the home gardener.
I will let this video explain some more:
Continuous-flow Hydrophonic solution culture
This method is easier to automate because nutrient solution flows constantly past the roots constantly, allowing the control of nutrient concentration can be control as the nutrient solution flows constantly flows past the roots. It is much easier to automate than the static solution culture because sampling and adjustments to the temperature and nutrient concentrations can be made in a large storage tank that has potential to serve thousands of plants.
Aeroponic farming involves the growing of plants stacked upright. This method of growing uses less water as the roots of the plants are sprayed with water packed nutrients This means less water is needed to grow the plants (in fact 95% less than conventional farming) and they are oxygenated better. Another bonus is that there is little or no need for pesticides and herbicides because the plants are grown indoors in a “clean” environment.
Have a look at this video to get a better idea. .
This technique combines aquaculture and hydroponic, growing large quantities of organic food year-round in small urban spaces. Just like the previous techniques described, there is no need for soil. Instead fish are held in a tank providing the necessary nutrients for the plants to grow. Fish excrete ammonia which is broken down to nitrites and nitrates by naturally occurring bacteria. This re-circulating system benefits both fish and plants; the plants extract the water and nutrients they need to grow, cleaning the water for the fish. No fertilisers required and 90 percent less water is used by the plants than conventional growing, not forgetting you produce both plants and fish
As the technologies improves we will see more and more of these styles of growing plants on a mass scale. The environmental impacts are hugely reduced when you think about the water, fertiliser, herbicide and insecticide usage. The same environmental effects that we see on the land and waterways with conventional methods do not exist, as there isn’t the same need for toxic chemicals and fossil fuels during sowing and harvesting. Land size is reduced and the extra added bonus is that these systems don’t require bending or weeding. Yeah!
What do you think of these methods? Would you give them ago at home on a smaller scale? Hope you enjoyed reading this. Let me know if you want to hear more about these types of gardening systems or other topics.
Be earthly passionate,
Attracta & the earthly passion team