Hydroponics Experiencing Cultural Shift
October 19, 2013
Have you noticed? The U.S. appears to have done a 180 over hydroponic gardening. Like what’s growing on here?
Covering what’s new in any area of interest means keeping a keen eye on the latest from news sources. Something profound has taken place in the past month or two where growing food with hydroponic methods is concerned. It’s like society shed its blindfold and looked past the comfort of the way it’s always been. The States are awash in newfound awareness about the hydroponic production of fresh food.
After over a year of continually monitoring what’s going on in the world of hydroponics in the news, I realized last week that a major shift has taken place, and rather abruptly too. What was once 10 pages of news items largely devoted to illegal growing operation busts sprinkled with a few sustainable food growing pieces (largely outside the USA) suddenly did an about face. Small town, big city, metropolitan, county and regional attention has shifted from a focus on the shady side of soilless growing to the answer to feeding the community. With the realization of where tomorrow’s sustenance very well might come from, is accompanied by reducing the need to import food and boost the economy at home.
Granted, a lot of these mainstream journalism pieces repeat the basic explanations of what hydro gardening or farming is to the point of boredom, but the coverage is positive. A departure from the sensationalist crime-busting reports so predominate in the recent past. Local news channels and newspapers, from rural blotters to major sources, are publishing the wonders of growing local without soil – as new educational matter for all learning levels at area schools, the force behind refurbishing vacant downtown buildings, a source of nutrition for low-income families and creating new jobs, rural farms gearing up for the future of agriculture… and the list goes on.
One would expect this embracing of newfangled ideas and practices to be concentrated on the coasts. The Heartland, the Plains, and the South are firmly entrenched in traditions and roots – very stubborn when it comes to drastic change. Yet somewhere between about August 1 and mid-September Americans everywhere, even in historically conservative places, have jumped into soilless growing with both feet.
Change is coming swiftly. You know it is when there are 10 pages on Google News for the term ‘hydroponics’ that are largely populated with stories like these below. The polarities at play have flipped. Society at large is allowing hydroponics to grow up in their world set and provide them with the answers to securing good food.
- St. Louis, Missouri: Haley O’Brien wants to grow tomatoes on The Hill (if her plan is accepted it will be the largest tomato facility in North America)
- Buckingham Township, Pennsylvania: Growing a business organically
- University of Wyoming: Whole Foods Features Live Produce Grown in Unique Towers
- Wagoner, Oklahoma: Hydroponics extends growing season
- Akron, Ohio: Dry Nevada seeing green in indoor farming
- Tacoma, Washington: Grow your own food for optimum health
- West Fargo, North Dakota: “Chiwon Lee, Ph.D. presenting the program on “Hydroponics”…” (To the garden club!)
- Oak Park, Illinois: Lettuce help feed the world
- Nashua, New Hampshire: Science Cafe NH introduces water-gardens called aquaponics
- Glen Springs, Colorado: New Castle teen Joey Kehoe grows passion for hot peppers
- Craftsbury, Vermont: A Hydroponic Farm Makes Vermont Winters Tastier
People aren’t real happy about the average tomato traveling a minimum of 1,529 miles before they can buy it at the store, and weary of investing in every economy but their own. The good food movement and sustainable growing is definitely gaining not just interest, but impact everywhere at a great rate of speed.
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