Growing vegetables and fruits indoor has become popular in northern Europe and North America nowadays. Urban farming has provided cities with food during periods of scarcity until now. In the past decades allotments of land were taken away from farms, in order to make space for urban development. Yet, as of late, there has been a restored enthusiasm for urban farming – though for different reasons than before.
While searching for more info on urban and organic farming, I found out that in countries where growing food was part of national culture and mean of sustenance, numerous individuals have begun new food production ventures.
The present urban farming is not meant to simply provide food to eat, it’s actually a way of increasing the diversity of plants and animals in the city, bringing together individuals from various backgrounds and ages, enhancing mental and physical wellbeing and recovering forsaken neighborhoods.
Numerous new urban cultivating ventures still struggle to find appropriate green spaces. However, individuals are finding innovative arrangements; growing food in skips or on housetops and balconies, or in abandoned industrial courtyards. Farmers are also getting into more advanced farming methods, for example, hydroponics, aquaculture, and aquaponics to take advantage of empty and small spaces.
Hydroponic systems were designed as a highly space and resource proficient type of growing. Today, they make a considerable source of industrially grown food; in 2016, the Global hydroponic vegetable market was worth about $226.45 million - with Europe being the largest market that is implementing advanced techniques in the hydroponics smart greenhouse horticulture.
Hydroponics empower individuals to grow food without soil and normal light, using blocks of spongelike material where the plants' roots develop, and artificial lighting, such as LED. A study on hydroponically grown lettuce found that although hydroponic products require more energy than ordinarily grown food, they also take less water and have extensively higher yields.
Growing hydroponic products, for the most part, requires modern innovation, pro aptitudes, and expensive setup. In any case, simplified variants can be cheaper and simple to use.
The ability to grow food in small spaces, under any environmental conditions, are unquestionably huge points of interest in an urban setting. In any case, these advancements likewise imply that the time spent outside, weathering the normal cycles of the seasons, is lost. Likewise, hydroponic systems require nutrients that are most of the times obtained artificially – however, natural supplements are currently getting more accessible. Luckily, numerous urban agriculturists develop their own organic fertilizers following natural standards, mostly because the excessive use of chemical nutrients is damaging soil fertility and polluting groundwater
Many of us, might be captivated by the idea of consuming food grown without soil, however in the meantime hesitant to consume the products because of the chemical fertilizers involved.
I personally don't think that hydroponic systems can replace the traditionally grown food, but can surely be the biggest agricultural revolution in the near future as they can spare water and deliver safe food, either inside or outside, organic and non-organic, in a world with increasingly scarce resources. Figuring out how to use these new technologies, and pairing them with the existing methods, can help developing even more sustainable and more accessible resources.
We can see that more individuals, as much as corporations, are looking towards these green technologies making hydroponic units more accessible and easy to use.
We've seen several available in the market already. Let us know what you think, and if you are into this new type of growing already. Share your experience with us. Let make an effort in order to promote sustainable systems.