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What is Hydroponic Farming and Why is it Good for the Environment?

The popularity of hydroponic farming has grown tremendously over the past years, and for good reason. Hydroponic farming refers to farming crops without the use of soil, and instead with the use of a chemical-based water solution. The water is fortified with all the necessary nutrients needed for crops to grow, meaning no soil is required. This is one of the most revolutionary practices in recent years as its opened many doors for farmers and consumers across the world. The fact that no soil is needed to grow the crops makes the farming itself so much more flexible, with hydroponic farms being able to thrive all around the world and many different climates. Because the crops are in a controlled environment, they can be grown anywhere, anytime, and in any climate, which has great benefits. Firstly, it means that consumers have access to local produce all year around, as the crops aren’t affected by season. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the crops are not affected by the effects of climate change, meaning food scarcity due to climate change is no longer an issue. The fact that climate does not affect the farm makes it so that there is a steady yield of food all year around, which will decrease food insecurity, as well as decrease the effects on the environment as produce can be grown locally year-round. Additionally, hydroponic farming usually produces a higher yield than traditional farming, which benefits both the farmers and consumers even more. Especially considering the projected population growth in the next century, the higher yield will be extremely beneficial in stopping future food insecurity. Even though these farming systems use only water as their growth base, they actually use significantly less water than traditional farming, which also contributes to a lesser environmental impact. Because these systems are closed, there is also no need for pesticides or other chemical intervention, making it an ideal practice for farmers and consumers. Lastly, because this farming can be done anywhere and in any climate, natural ecosystems that have been destroyed due to farming can be restored, further supporting a healthier climate. Hydroponic farming can easily (and most often is) be connected with vertical farming, which means that you can grow a large amount of crops on a small amount of space. Further more, because the location is unimportant, these structures can be built on top of existing buildings, meaning nature is no longer damaged. Overall, hydroponic is a great option as we continue to find more sustainable farming practices that will sustain our world and planet in the coming years.