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Archi-ponics: The Evolution of Hydroponics Is Driven By Growers

The evolution of hydroponics has been swift in the past century. The evolution of hydroponics has been swift in the past century.

Humans have been using hydroponics for food production for centuries now. More recently the industry has revolutionized crop production, pushing the limits of what was thought possible. Now farmers use hydroponic systems to bring fresh product to communities that never had access before and during times when it was otherwise thought impossible. Whether in controlled environmental greenhouses or indoor warehouse, hydroponics can be taken anywhere in the world and provide the best and most efficient results. The integration of today’s technology may allow some of us to forget the roots of hydroponics as wells as how simple it can be.

The first signs of humans using hydroponics dates back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in what is now know as Iraq. The same is true with the Floating Gardens of the Aztecs, but it was when the book Sylvia Sylvarum by Francis Bacon was published in 1627 that researchers began to look at hydroponics under a different light. In 1927, William Frederick Gericke of the University of California at Berkeley began advocating for hydroponic use in agricultural crop production and shortly after, both American and English militaries researched hydroponics as a potential method to support deployed troops in the late 1930s. It was also used on Wake Island, which was a refueling location for Pan American Airlines. Wake Island had no soil and the passengers ate the produce grown in the hydroponics systems.

There was a huge breakthrough for commercial hydroponics in 1960 when the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) was developed by Allen Cooper of England. NFT is still one of the most widely used commercial hydroponic crop production systems.

NASA has performed more recent research for potential missions to Mars.

For the most recent and up-to-date research, the hydroponics industry itself is leading the way.

But, for the most recent and up-to-date research, the hydroponics industry itself is leading the way. This is a sign that the industry is now self-sustaining. More and more people understand the benefits and potential of soilless growing. They purchase hydroponic systems to provide the most productive and efficient yields, and that demand forces the industry to continue to develop the most state of the art technology to meet the customers’ needs. And, as the demand for locally grown products continues to grow, as does the value of crops, hydroponics will allow people to compete in that market when in the past they would not have been able to due to lack of technology, agriculture land, and capital to invest. As that market continues to grow, expect the industry leaders as well as start-up inventors to continue to create innovative products that increase yields and decrease growth time.

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Colin and Karen Archipley operate Archi’s Acres in Southern California.
Last modified on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 14:56

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