Hydroponics and the City

Growing in the city is not easy. There is of course the obvious lack of large open spaces, meaning we have to make do with smaller plots and there is a need for maximising the use of whatever space is available. Furthermore, the urban environment is harsh on plants. Lack of general green means temperatures can swing wildly, particularly exposed rooftops and balconies can get really hot and dry. In a more natural environment the plants that are all around help moderating these micro climates, in turn allowing for them to grow better.

This is where hydroponics comes in as the ultimate solution for urban farms. It allows for plants to grow just about anywhere, indoors and outdoors, on rooftops, balconies and patios. It is a compact, light weight solution and clean as it does away with soil, and allows for just about any spare space to be turned into a productive urban farm. The easy of maintenance makes it fit well in the busy schedule of the modern urbanite.

Urban farming has many advantages for the farmer, beyond the produce he gets from it. Growing your own food is a fun way of getting a little closer to the origin of your food. There is a direct reward from planting the seed to watching the plants grow day by day and then finally being able to cook your own, self grown produce.

More green in a city makes it more liveable. Plants help to lower temperatures, by soaking up the energy from the sun while shading the ground below. Were we to cover all the rooftops in the city with greenery, we could lower rooftop temperatures by 10-20 degrees and even ground level temperatures by a few degrees, mitigating a large part of the heat island effect. Finally, plants are known to be air purifiers. They can effectively remove pollutants from the air and break them down into harmless compounds, adding yet another advantage to urban farming.

We just can't live without plants!