Updated: Apr 18, 2022
Growing food at home doesn't have to be difficult...
Hydroponic growing can be done outdoor OR indoors! In a nutshell, hydroponic growing with systems such as Tower Garden allows you to grow vertically, so that you can grow a tremendous amount of produce in a small space (such as a patio or deck), but without all of the hassle of regular hydroponics. Not only that, the food grown using hydroponics is more nutritious than almost any conventional or organic produce commercially available. You can grow in your backyard, year-round, and “there is no weeding, tilling, kneeling, or getting dirty! Hydroponic towers can be a plug-and-play vertical garden. There is no need to have a green thumb.” So far we have not needed to protect against bugs, and our greens aren’t full of holes where bugs have been munching, as was typical for our traditional garden!
Q: Why aeroponics, why not grow in soil?
A: The simple short answer is: If you look at the facts, growing in soil is no longer a sustainable way to grow food for the 7 billion people on the planet. Not to mention it is not the most efficient medium. We recommend the book Vertical Farm, by Dickson Despommier, for an in-depth understanding of the crisis at hand.
The long answer is: Modern times require modern thinking. If you love this planet, consider the environmental cost of trying to feed 7 billion people:
1. It takes a landmass the size of South America to feed all the people on the planet today.
2. In five years, there will be 10 billion people on the planet, and we will need an additional landmass the size of Brazil to keep feeding them.
3. The runoff from modern agriculture is creating dead zones in our oceans.
4. The mowing down of trees and forests is killing - in an instant - billions of species, and destroying the biodiversity of ecosystems that took billions of years to evolve.
5. If we can change our ways today, we can allow oceans and forests to return to their wild states. There is still enough life on the planet for the environment to go back to a more natural state. But in order to do this, we have to grow up!
6. Growing using an aeroponic strategy like the Tower Gardens use leads to several significant advantages including higher yields, Maximum nutrient absorption for plant roots, Considerably fewer nutrients and water used on average, and more!
7. No more purchasing soil every year!
Q: Hydroponic growing isn’t necessarily “organic”. I thought that organic was the most important thing when it came to food. And what about organic fertilizers?
A: In certified organic growing, the fertilizers used must come from a plant or animal based. In hydroponic systems, we use earth minerals, otherwise, you’d have dead plant-or-animal matter floating around, and it would rot and stink. The thing is, plants have 16 major macro and trace elements that they require. Whether those come from earth minerals, or from minerals in organic matter is irrelevant. [Note: minerals are, by definition, inorganic. The word organic actually means carbon-based, or living, which refers specifically to plants and animals. Hence, an earth mineral cannot be organic.] The key difference between field organics and hydroponics/aeroponics is that we utilize earth minerals refined in their purest form so that we know exactly what’s going into the plants in the right formulation to get what we want to get out of the plant.
NASA worked to develop mineral solutions that would put more nutrients into plants so that they could grow a healthier plant (for astronauts in space because their food sources are so very limited). The question must be asked: if we’re raising nutrient-dense, healthier plants for astronauts, why aren’t we doing the same thing in agriculture? And the answer is, invariably, we’ve never done it because we don’t have to. Agriculture is very price-point based; whether it’s organic or conventional, farming isn’t a high-profit venture, so farmers put the least amount that they can into producing a crop.