Soil-Free Hydroponic Gardening Provides Maximum Yields In Minimum Spaces
Since plants grown in a soil-free environment are essentially spoon fed and don't have to compete with others for nutrients or water, a significantly larger number of plants can be produced in a given space than if grown by traditional field methods in soil.
Trials conducted by Cornell University's Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Commercial-Scale Lettuce Production Prototype has achieved soil-free lettuce yields equivalent to 470 tons (almost a million pounds) per acre. By comparison, typical production in California using traditional field agriculture is currently about 20 tons per acre.
For the homeowner, a patio, balcony, deck, or corner of the backyard can easily be turned into a very productive soil-free garden, using only a fraction of the space necessary for a traditional soil garden, while using only a fraction of the water.
Being able to grow large amounts of produce in smaller spaces also lends itself well to the concept of local supply. Most commerically produced crops must be picked before their prime to facilitate shipping and delivery to destinations often thousands of miles from their point of production, which generally means it is offered to consumers in a less than ideal condition.
Soil-free hydroponic growing methods lend themselves well to the local production of market produce in smaller facilities for use in local markets only, which results in fresher, healthier produce for the end consumer.
Anyone Can Grow With Accessible Hydroponics