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 in increasing frequency, 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
letting them 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
especially since global warming is already
reducing water availability.
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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