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Is There Another Way To Garden?

Yes there is. It's called 'soil-less gardening' or alternatively, 'hydroponics'. In this method of growing vegetables (and herbs and flowers, etc.) no soil is used. The roots of the plants are bathed -either continuously or intermittently - in a nutrient solution which provides the essential components necessary for photosynthesis and vigorous growth. The plants are physically supported by inorganic media such as rock wool and porous ceramic beads. Hydroponics is in use throughout the world including South America, Central America, South East Asia, the Middle East, and North America to grow a variety of crops in commercial quantities. These crops include tomatoes, lettuces, herbs and plant varieties favored by buyers in various countries where they are grown.

By combining farm fish operations with vegetable production, fish wastes can be used to nourish vegetables rather than being simply dumped into our waterways or leaching into our soil. In temperate climates, this is even viable for the home grower. As an example, in Costa Rica a family can grow tilapia in a 500 gallon tank while growing a viable crop of lettuces as a marketable side-line at the same time.

Hydroponics is the future of agra-business, but it is also becoming increasingly more viable in the present. Growing plants in soil on a commercial basis will ultimately not be a viable option in many parts of the world. To contribute to global warming and consumer cost by shipping and flying produce from where it is produced to where it is consumed is the ultimate folly. It only works now because the perfect storm has not yet occurred.

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