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Is There a move toward Organic Hydroponics?

A photo of ChrisIs there a move toward organic hydroponics?  Have you noticed that more and more technology is being created for organic hydroponics?  I started learning about hydroponics when I had the grocery store in Orient Washington, soon after I was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1980.  The weather could be brutal, and to get good quality produce, I wanted to ensure what I ate was healthy.  Plus, I could sell any excess.

We would use two 5 gallon buckets for our hydroponic system.  We started by growing tomatoes indoors, under grow lights.  After all, it was winter and there was a ton of snow all around us.  The first bucket contained some good healthy organic soil, but there was a large cotton cord that hung down into the nutrient solution that we placed into the bottom bucket.  Of course, the top bucket had holes in the bottom, while the bottom bucket did not.

This worked great for our experiment.  We grew large beefsteak tomatoes, but it did take 75 days until we could harvest them.  The cost of the grow lights added quite a bit of cost to the experiment, but we succeeded in growing, and eating, some good size tomatoes.

Now, 32 years later, My wife and I have been planning on building a home that will include an indoor garden so as to have fresh produce year round no matter what the weather is like outside.  We live in Colorado at 7,000 feet elevation, and the soild where we live is high desert sandy soil.  We do have an outdoor garden, with the help of a special process garden we are experimenting with here and in a higher elevation site.

But the more I research, the move to hydroponics is in our future.  There is an Organic  hydroponic Farm in southern California the is helping returning veterans to not only re-join the civilian world, but to also reconnect with what it is like to be at peace and be of service in a completely different atmosphere.  I know for me, I was not very sociable when I came back from my deployment.  I had not been around very many people and I did not know how to interact with them either.  That is when I move to a remote area and was blessed to find a business that I could build and stay focused on.

That is when I began to notice more and more hydroponic growers.  However, there was not much interest in large scale hydroponic operations.

That has changed drastically in the past 10 years or so.  With the availability of clean water in some areas of the US, as well as other remote countries, water conservation is becoming inceasinly important.  Hydroponics is becoming more high tech with all sorts of tools to make the transition to organic hydroponics more profitable.  There are nutrients that you can purchase that even include the optimum hydroponic feed schedule that works for their product and the crops that you are growing.

Hydroponic feed schedule
A Hydroponic System that saves water and increases production.  

Here is a breakdown of benefits of using a hydroponic system for your growing needs:

  • Uses less water
  • Ability to control nutrients through the hydroponic feed schedule
  • No or very little weeding
  • Increased crop production
  • No need to rotate crops or till the soil
  • Lower equipment costs
  • Ability to control outside influences on your crops
  • New technology is allowing for automation of hydroponic feed schedule
  • Organic certification available for USDA Organic label
  • Naturally Grown Certification available for hydroponics

There IS a move toward Organic Hydroponics.  Is it right for you? There are many possibilities for you to explore.  If you have the Grit to learn and experiment with new technology  while staying true to Organic processes, I believe it is. 

nebraska dave
6/22/2012 6:43:57 PM

Chris, welcome to the GRIT blogging community. I don't think we have anyone here that does hydroponics so we will all be learning about it from your posts. It just always seemed so complicated with pumps and solutions, and such. I'm sure it's not as overwhelming as I imagine. It will be interesting to see your system and how it works. I have toyed with growing stuff inside during the winter but never tomatoes or other warm weather stuff. I'm sure you will find some good reading among the other bloggers here. Just about subject is covered. Have a great hydroponic day.