Grow your own pesticide free food - Urban Hydroponics (soilless culture)

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Information about Grow your own pesticide free food - Urban Hydroponics (soilless culture)

Published on December 19, 2013

Author: ArvindNarayanan



How many of us really think about the food we eat? If given a chance to you to grow your own pesticide free, premium quality veggies, herbs, fruits and flowers just by using your rooftop, balcony, window, etc. Would you do that? Hydroponics is a great way to grow your food. This presentation is all about that.

Today. Now, Take some time and think, What would you do without food? How will it be if there are no more land to grow, no more water to pour and no more farmers to plough? What if we have all the money in the world but no food to eat? How long can we live without food? What will just happen to the world? The world will come to a stand still. Period. Don’t worry, we will not experience this. Our Children will, our children’s children definitely will. “We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children.”

We have done and doing enough damage to the place where we live. We call the place we live as home. Imagine you damage your home as you live, where will your children live? Are we that selfish? Yes, we are. It’s time for us to give back our home. It’s time for us to take care of our home so that we can live a happy life generations after generations. Let’s green up the place we live. Let’s make ourselves sustainable so that we can give a beautiful place to our children and not the otherwise. Let’s not be selfish. Let’s make an effort. Let’s take sometime, some energy and a little money from our usual lifestyles and invest it back into our home. Because, If not for this home, we wouldn’t be even existing.


•The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by region and country. •It is calculated each year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the GHI highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction and provides insights into the drivers of hunger.

The GHI combines three equally weighted indicators in one index: 1. Undernourishment: The proportion of undernourished people as a percentage of the population (reflecting the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake). 2. Child underweight: The proportion of children younger than age five who are underweight (that is, have low weight for their age, reflecting wasting, stunted growth, or both), which is one indicator of child under nutrition. 3. Child mortality: The mortality rate of children younger than age five (partially reflecting the fatal synergy of inadequate calorie intake and unhealthy environments)

The GHI ranks countries on a 100-point scale in which zero is the best score (no hunger) and 100 the worst •Why should I know about it? •Hydroponics? What exactly is that? •How is it possible to grow without soil? •How will the plant get its nutrients and support? •Is it natural? •Is it simple to learn and practice? •What are the pros and cons of this technique?

INDIA Global Hunger Index ranking – 65th Latest GHI score (2012) – 22.9 According to International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), India has gone through a rapid economic development over the years, but Hunger is still a major concern. This is very unusual as a rapidly developing economy fails to provide strong food security. WHY? - Constant increase in population. - Urbanization - Usage of land for industrial purposes - Decrease in people involved in agriculture - Harsh climatic conditions - Water problems - Decrease in fertility of Soil - Increase in Costs - Reluctant to adapt to new technology by conventional growers.

Population Urbanization Industrialization Harsh Climatic Condition Man power Land Fertility of Soil Availability of water LACK OF TECHNOLOGY Less Produce for the rapidly growing population due to uncontrollable factors leading to increase in prices. Cost

TECHNOLOGY is the key. The analysis of the above flow chart infers the following The missing piece of the puzzle is the right technology. Everything has been constantly changing except the technology. Other factors are external, and cannot be controlled by a grower. For example, a grower cannot control the population of the region or cannot have control over urbanization. These factors are something that is beyond the grower’s scope. But TECHNOLOGY is something we can use to overcome these problems. There is an urgent need to combine TECHNOLOGY WITH AGRICULTURE. A Technology which is better than conventional techniques, clean, non-polluting, sustainable, easy to learn and practice and cheap.

EXTERNAL FACTORS Increasing population Increasing urbanization Increasing cost Increasing industrialization Harsh Climatic conditions Decreasing land Decreasing human resource Decreasing fertility of the soil Decreasing water INTERNAL FACTOR THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION

States can and must achieve a reorientation of their agricultural systems towards modes of production that contribute to the progressive realization of the human right to adequate food. - Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food.



URBAN AGRICULTURE •Urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around a village, town, or city. Urban agriculture can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agro forestry, and horticulture. •Urban farming is generally practiced for income-earning or food-producing activities, though in some communities the main impetus is recreation and relaxation. •Urban agriculture contributes to food security and food safety as it increases the amount of fresh vegetables, fruits and meat products available to people living in cities. It decreases food deserts.

Socially it •Helps bring families and communities together by working toward a common goal that will be beneficial for all. •Gives direct links to food production •Creates better living environment by greening up the city and making it more productive •Makes people stronger by putting their food security into their own hands, making them more independent and empowered •Teaches people life skills such as how to be more self sufficient •Creates jobs, income, and food •Helps combat hunger •Educate people, who have been increasingly removed from food production, to participate in, and respect, its generation.

Environmentally it: •Greens up the city •Can help to clean air and rain water •increases the amount of food grown and bought locally, decreasing carbon footprint •Facilitates reuse of wastes for food production •Has direct impacts on urban ecology Economically it: •Creates jobs and income from otherwise completely unproductive space •Can be beneficial to people of any income •Creates a better local economy that does not rely on food from far away •Makes use of valuable resources, such as compost, that would otherwise go to waste in a city


An employee harvests veggies grown inside an office "urban farm" in Tokyo. The Pasona Group, an employment and staffing company, established the growing area to foster a work environment that "coexists with nature."


Hydroponics is derived from Greek words Hydro (water) and Ponos (labor), literally means “water working”. For easy understanding, Hydroponics simply means working with water.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Soil has two broad and major role in plant’s growth. - Acts as a Support to the plants - Acts as a Nutrient holder Soil is a mere holder of nutrients required for the plants. A similar and a better environment can be provided to the plants by using different substrates. Hydroponics is a technique of using different substrates that are better than soil in terms of porosity and moisture retaining capacity like coco peat, rice husk, saw dust, etc. And feeding the nutrients through water. Since, the plants are fed the required nutrients in the exact quantity which soil fails to provide, It grows to its maximum genetic potential.


SCARCE RESOURCES LAND WATER As hydroponic plants get the same nutrient treatment, there is no root zone conflict between plants for the nutrients. Hence reduces the space between two plants. Hydroponics uses substrates that are better than soil. For eg. Coco peat – Coco peat is nothing but coconut fiber– a byproduct of coir industry. It is known for its porosity and moisture holding capacity. It can hold moisture longer than soil. This reduces the need for more water. In hydroponics, the nutrient water can be recycled. Hydroponics reduces the need for water by 75-90% compared to conventional growing SOIL Fertility of the soil is irrelevant in hydroponics. Therefore, any land is a cultivable land. There is nothing called waste land in hydroponics. HUMAN RESOURCES Hydroponic needs constant care like any other garden. But amount of man power required is lesser than conventional growing.

OTHER BENEFITS •No weeds •No need for pesticides •Clean growing •High yield in less space •Does not pollute the environment •Nutrients are earth mined (natural), processed chemicals that are completely soluble in water leaving no residue. •Can have control over the plants •High nutrition value yield •Hydroponic plants are healthier, produce more, grow faster in less space with less water than conventionally grown plants. •No chemical traces in the produce. Healthy and fresh produce.

OTHER BENEFITS Cheaply and locally available substrates. Can be grown vertically. Sustainable in nature Can use scrap materials to grow.


Lets go back…. EXTERNAL FACTORS Increasing population Increasing urbanization Increasing cost Increasing industrialization Harsh Climatic conditions Decreasing land Decreasing human resource Decreasing fertility of the soil Decreasing water Urban Area, You and me INTERNAL FACTOR THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION Hydroponics Urban Cultivation

Your home, your terrace, your balcony, your window and your kitchen garden is the future farm. Imagine. Each one of us start using the little space we have in our homes, collectively we will be doing a massive, massive agricultural activity in acres of land spread across the city. Imagine. The amount of veggies, herbs and flowers we will be producing. In tones. Imagine. How green the city will look? How much of fresh oxygen will we be pumping into the city? Imagine. If we contribute just one kilogram of what ever we grow in our places, collectively, how many hungry and poor stomach could be fed? Imagine. How will it be to give lives to plants, nurture them and grow them like a child and see them blossom and fruit? Peaceful and noble work. Imagine. Plucking a fresh tomato you grew and using it in your salad. Imagine. Spending a little time, energy and money in doing a noble work. Imagine. Making this a part of your lifestyle and feel good about it all the time.

Start growing in a waste coca cola bottle. That’s what it takes. Learn the art of growing without soil. Grow your own. Eat your own. Stay healthy.; ;

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