Many of us are familiar with the benefits of eating locally and seasonally. Fortunately, by taking advantage of the technology used in hydroponics, we can all enjoy high quality produce year-round.
Cherry tomato being grown hydroponically in a Lettuce Ladder System.
Growing Hydroponically? Most of the population has a fair idea of the concept behind hydroponics- plants are grown indoors, in an inert medium and are fed by nutrient rich, pH balanced water while the grower manipulates the indoor environment to the ideal climate for optimal growth and yield. What makes hydroponics a preferred growing method for a lot of growers is that the nutrient rich water is ‘recirculated’ or recycled through a system that reduced overall water and nutrient usage. Most growers use a third less water to grow twice the amount of produce than traditional farming methods.
Most of us may remember the early days of hydroponic cultivation and the hydroponic tomatoes didn’t really taste that great. They were bland, off color and expensive so many consumers (and growers) avoided hydroponic crops. But as we approached the 21st century knowledge of hydroponic practices evolved. Today, hydroponic growers are not only conscious of the environmental impact and sustainability but also the importance of flavor and nutritional value.
Lettuce Ladder hydroponically grown tomatoes on the right & store bought on the left. Which do you think would taste better?
Savvy consumers no longer want produce that has traveled thousands of miles to reach the dinner plate. This is where hydroponics becomes the food savior; we can grow more produce on less land and hydroponic food is now grown closer to our population, so we are drastically reducing our carbon footprint.
So what makes a hydroponic tomato better? Essential nutrients are supplied directly to a hydroponic tomatoes roots system in a constant fashion. Growers cater to the specific growing requirements throughout the plants life cycle. A tomato requires different levels of nutrients in the flowering stage than in the fruiting stage for example.
Hydroponic tomatoes are never picked green because to produce a superior fruit they must be ripened on the vine for ultimate flavor, sweetness and the deep red color they are supposed to have. It is the tomatoes vine that holds the aroma and essential oils that give off the particular scent we associate with a ripe fresh tomato.
Thanks for reading.
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