A Video Tour of Hydroponic Heaven

What exactly is hydroponics?  I have been pondering this ever since visiting my friend’s restaurant, Windhorse in Eustis, FL, where they have hydroponic towers in the outdoor dining area.  They use these towers to grow food for their salads.  It is an amazing site and a culinary delight.  When I stumbled upon Innovative Hydroponics in Alcoa, TN I was determined to finally get to the root of it (pun intended!).  So, with video camera in hand and my inquisitive husband in tow, we swooped in on Andrea Rzad to pick her brain and her plants.

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil.  The Latin derivative hydro, is ‘water’, and ponos is ‘labour’.  The fact is, growing plants in this manner is much less labor intensive than growing them in soil.  There are no weeds or insects to contend with, so no pesticides are needed.  Because the nutrients are constantly fed to the roots, the plants grow quickly with a high yield.  It also uses less water because the mineral infused water is recirculated.   It seems the only things that need to be monitored  are the mineral (especially sodium), concentrations, the ph balance, and the lighting.  This isn’t a new fad, hydroponics have been studied since the eighteenth century.  They are an efficient way to grow plants, and many believe may be the answer to feeding the world.  There are even plans to bring hydroponics to Mars!  Who knows what this will grow into…I do know that I will trying out my green thumb soon.