Gina writes: “We have a new hydroponic veggie grower in town. How do they compare nutritionally to soil-grown veggies?”

How Are Hydroponic Vegetables Grown?

Hydroponics is a sort of high-tech farming. Instead of waiting until the right time of year, planting seeds in dirt, adding fertilizer, hoping for enough rain (but not too much), and combatting whatever pests, diseases, and or poachers might invade your field, hydroponic plants are nurtured indoors under grow lights, in a sterile medium that holds water and nutrients close to the plant roots, with precisely controlled temperature and humidity.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Farming?

Because the plants are not subject to the unpredictable depredations of nature, there is a lot less crop loss. Farmers don't have to worry about drought and hailstorms. They need fewer pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and so on.

Because they can artificially control the length of the day and the air temperature, hydroponic farmers are also effectively freed from the constraints of traditional growing seasons. They can grow tomatoes in January and spinach in July if they want to. Then again, hydroponic farmers also have to pay a utility bill instead of instead of getting most of their sunlight and water for free.

 

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