What do you think of when you hear the words “healing garden”? Many think of a lush garden bordering a stream with a mediation block and reflexology stone path……or maybe that is just me…..and the architect of the reflection pond conveniently placed next to my law school. Hydroponic gardening is expanding the purpose and presence of gardening into some of the most unexpected forums.
Volusia County Corrections Facility has infiltrated the use of hydroponic gardening into their system. The gardens are cared for and managed by inmates who are developing new skills and growing nutrient rich food.
The garden includes 24 towers growing a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs. The amount of food harvested from the hydroponics equates to thousands of dollars. Once the produce is harvested, it is then sent to a local rescue shelter for those in need.
The gardening helps both the incarcerated women and those attending the shelter. It has aided the inmates in developing a new skill, as well as serving a therapeutic experience, taking their minds off of withdrawals from drugs and the stress of being incarcerated and away from their families.
One of the most frustrating parts of any type of gardening is without a doubt deterring pests. Prevention is the name of the game. The following topics can aid in managing both those visible and invisible pests without the use of harmful pesticides.
Location- Sunlight is important/improper sunlight equates to long weak stems. Pests are attracted to weaker plants.
Water- Ensuring your plants have adequate water can prevent pests. H2O deprived plants will bolt to spread their seeds before they die. Plants at this stage are especially susceptible to pests who thrive under those conditions. Another way water can help is it can prevent pests from laying their eggs and reproducing on your plants. This can be accomplished by hosing off your plants twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening.
Climate- Make sure the plants you decide to grow, actually thrive during a specific season. For example, cucumbers grown in the cooler seasons can start to decay before it is ready to eat. This is not only important to yield a crop, but to make sure you are providing the proper maintenance for your plants. If you fail to grow your vegetables during their favored season, they can become stressed. Stressed plants attract insects and other plants.
Frequent Harvesting- Once your plants are ready, harvest, harvest, harvest. Luscious greens are not only attractive to hydroponic gardeners, we see it as food and pests see it as food, shelter and a breeding ground. Pick your food when it is ready and allow healthy pest-free sprouts to have their time in the limelight.
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YouTube is a great way to learn what others know about a topic you are passionate about. Here are 6 of the finest gardening channels around. So, tune in and feel yourself getting wiser by the minute.
Hydroponics are a great alternative to conventional gardening if you are low on space or live in a difficult climate for growing food, but could it also be the answer to end world hunger?
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, more than ten percent of people lack sufficient food to live a healthy life. With aggravating factors, such as climate change, these numbers are expected to grow. The main reason is because harsh weather patterns negatively impact growing food through the conventional gardening method, which required a controlled environment.
Luckily, hydroponics can be grown anywhere, including an indoor controlled environment. Hydroponics also use up sixty percent of the water that conventional gardening requires. This is a modest solution for world hunger in regions where resources such as land and water are scarce.
Food supplied by hydroponics can be continuous when compared to regular gardening, as conventional gardening produces more challenges and limitations. Certain plants thrive during certain seasons then die off when the weather gets too extreme. Hydroponics eliminate that issue all together.
India is one of the countries plagued by world hunger. The population is high and living space is low. Hydroponics can help alleviate the need for additional farming space to grow food and lower the cost because it requires little space and less labor once it is set up.
The majority of people experiencing world hunger reside in Africa, where resources like water can be scarce. Since hydroponics produce more nutrient rich food with fewer resources, it makes sense that it is part of the solution to end world hunger.