Is It Finally Time For Hydroponics?

The Lempert Report
December 06, 2017

Hydroponics have been around for a long time, but will they catch on?

Hydroponics have been around for a long time. Back when I was in college it was thought to be the next big thing for produce with companies like Campbell’s rolling out hydroponically grown tomatoes. But it never seems to catch on.  

At a meeting of the National Organic Standards Board in Jacksonville, Fla., a group of organic farmers led an effort to remove the organic label from "hydroponic" greenhouse-grown vegetables that they believe is a betrayal of true organic principles. 

The executive director of the National Organic Coalition, says that "we're seeing, a lot of support for the founding principles of organic, which are really about soil health, regenerating the soil," rather than simply feeding plants the nutrients that they need. 

The Board of OTA disagreed and voted 8-7, against a ban on hydroponic methods in organic farming. 

And just maybe this will bring the benefits of hydroponics to the mainstream

According to Wholesum Harvest, a hydroponic grower, there are big environmental benefits to growing vegetables indoors, with their roots in small containers. "We can grow our tomatoes organically with 3 to 5 gallons of water, per pound of production, as opposed to growing tomatoes in open fields, which can use anywhere from 26 to 37 gallons of water," they say. “Growing crops in open fields uses more water, more land, destroys more natural habitat.” Which begs the question of what is the true essence of organic?"