In the future hydroponics will be one of the best ways to feed the masses with high nutritional food, grown locally, with a very small carbon foot print. Some systems such as AutoPot do not use any form of power at all. Less than 3% of the earth’s land surface above sea level is actually topsoil and the wealthy have an increased desire to build big flashy homes upon it outside the main urban densely populated areas. With ideal growing areas located so far from international transport infrastructure, such as airports and ports, costs are rising due to increased fuel prices/transportation costs. So now we must find other ways to sustainably grow including urban farming and getting people to understand the importance of eating seasonally. Hydroponic systems can be placed anywhere - balconies, window ledges, roof tops and waste ground, such as derelict industrial areas unsuitable for building houses on or even over landfills. But saying that, every household can have a small system for vegetables, herbs and fruit, providing fresh quality produce all year round, for very little cost, in a very small amount of space, a quicker time and with a fraction of the manual input. Generally hydroponics uses four or five times less space than more conventional growing systems. Take strawberries for instance - you can grow thirty times more hydroponically in the same space it would take in soil. Hydroponics uses 3–5% of the water that your fruit and vegetables require using soil culture. This will be so very important in the future. So if you take these huge range of benefits, and we haven’t even mentioned pests, disease and weeds yet, there is a huge potential for this growing method. Then take it one step further and put hydroponics into greenhouses and polytunnels, extending the seasons and protecting produce from the elements, you start to see an ideal way of providing food.
So let’s start talking about hydroponics.