Hydroponics

Hydroponics is a method of cultivating plants without the use of soil. This technique was used thousands of years ago, the earliest examples are the Hanging Gardens of Babylon which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world [1].

Hydroponic vegetables, herbs and flowers are grown in an inert growing effective media supplied with nutrient rich solutions, water and absorbs carbon, hydrogen and oxygen from air [4]. Light is delivered naturally by the sun or through a lightning system consisting of either HID (High-Intensity Discharge Lights) or LED lightning fixture supplied through LED [7].

Figure 1 Hydroponic indoor system [6]


Saplings roots are placed in a medium made from fibrous materials such as rockwool, coconut husk or perlite. It is then fitted into the platform that exposes the roots to water and leaves are exposed to air & light, which will allow the plant roots to absorb nutrients from water naturally, while the leaves will absorb air and light to complete photosynthesis [4].


However, light permit algae to reproduce, and algae absorb the dissolved oxygen and nutrients from our water which will lead to clogging of the pump. There are multiple solutions to this issue for example covering all the water vessels and reservoirs properly to prevent light from reaching the water.


In general, the advantages of using a hydroponic system are vast. When using hydroponics, you reduce the amount of space used, it usually requires 20% less space than plants grown in soil. In addition, plants can grow with just 10% of the water that is needed when growing with soil. Furthermore, the technique does not require soil, meaning no pesticides required which makes it healthier.


Figure 2. AeroFarms vertical farming facility [5]



The innovation of re-inventing hydroponics was driven by the imminent increase in global population and its demand for food. According to the United Nations (UN), the global population would reach almost 50 billion people, more than 6 and a half times our current population of today [3], meaning 6 and a half times our food demand.


However, hydroponics can’t replace all produce made by conventional farming but it can replace most of the essential greens.


In conclusion, we hope to see a new generation of farmers that would adapt this marvelous technique and build green landmarks in the heart of Kuwait.



References:


1. Ancient history Encyclopedia, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Mark Cartwright [Online]:

https://www.ancient.eu/Hanging_Gardens_of_Babylon/

2. Harvard University , Hydroponics: The power of water to grow food, Valentina Lagomarsino:

http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2019/hydroponics-the-power-of-water-to-grow-food/

3. The US Census Bureau's, U.S. and World Population Clock:

https://www.census.gov/popclock/

4. Julius Sachs (1868): The father of plant physiology:

https://bsapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/ajb2.1078

5. AeroFarms vertical farming facility :

https://time.com/collection/best-inventions-2019/5733085/aerofarms/

6. Hydroponics and Aeroponics Gardening System

https://www.istockphoto.com/vector/hydroponics-and-aeroponics-gardening-system-eco-friendly-organic-farming-technology-gm1221762401-358257534

7. What Grow Lights are Best for Hydroponics?

https://thehydroponicsplanet.com/what-grow-lights-are-best-for-hydroponics-a-complete-guide/

8. How to Get Rid of Algae in Hydroponics for Good!

https://thehydroponicsplanet.com/how-to-get-rid-of-algae-in-hydroponics-for-good/

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