(Health Secrets) Are you looking for a sustainable food source of your own? Through the use of permaculture and hydroponics, you can have your own Garden of Eden right outside your door, or maybe by a south facing window or in the basement under grow lights. These growing methods can provide you with a sustainable food source of your own. The perfection that is nature has provided an answer to our every need.
Product advertising has led us to believe nature is imperfect. Pharmaceutical corporations and big agriculture spend billions of dollars to convince us our good health and increased life span are the result of their chemical cocktails and genetically modified foods. But the real reason for increased life span has been cleanliness— people washing their hands, cities creating sewers, and the piping of clean drinking water into our homes. Currently longevity is declining in industrialized nations. This is because of unnatural chemical pollution from pharmaceuticals, and chemical agriculture poisoning our water and our food plants.
We can return to a state of Eden by learning about sustainable food production and by becoming caretakers of our land and water resources. Permaculture and hydroponic gardening are two methods for reclaiming our food security, which is defined as access to enough healthy, clean food for an active, healthy life.
Permaculture is the practice of sustainable land use through ecological engineering, and environmental design. It uses a garden design and self-maintained planting systems modeled on natural ecosystems. The core ideals are:
- Take care of the earth
- Take care of the people
- Share the surplus
Permaculture emphasizes organizing landscape design patterns for functionality and by species. Plants are placed for the ecosystem’s maximum benefit and to minimize waste, human labor, and energy input. Of course the initial garden creation does take some effort, but on-going labor is greatly reduced, and yields are higher on smaller plots of land.
Bill Mollison, Australian ecologist and University of Tasmania professor in the 1970’s, initiated the concept of permaculture. Mollison believed sustainable living needed to be based on the observed patterns in nature. Natural systems, such as forests and wetlands are sustainable because they provide for their own energy needs and the recycling of their wastes. With permaculture, the different parts of a natural ecosystem work together to perform important tasks. By applying an integrated understanding of the ecosystem to garden design a sustainable agricultural system is created.
The permaculture specialists are aware that many of us are not naturally gardeners. Their design goal is to integrate surrounding natural areas with our homes, apartments and other buildings where we live and work, so that we can easily learn and develop skill at producing our own food.
The word hydroponics comes from two Greek words, “hydro” meaning water and “ponics” meaning labor. Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in either a bath or flow of highly oxygenated, nutrient enriched water.
Soil-less gardening or hydroponics has been around for thousands of years. Two of the earliest examples are the hanging Gardens of Babylon and The Floating Gardens of China. Scientists started experimenting with soil-less gardening in the 1950s. Countries, such as Holland, Germany, and Australia have had great success with hydroponics crop production for many years.
To grow plants in soil, biological decomposition breaks down organic matter into the basic nutrient salts. These salts must be dissolved in water for uptake by the plant’s roots. There must be a perfect nutrient balance in the soil for a plant to receive a well balanced diet. The existence of ideal soil conditions is rare due to a lack of good organic matter on the soil surface, chemical contamination and biological imbalances.
Hydroponics has advantages over soil gardening. Plant growth rate is 30-50 percent faster than a soil plant and the yield is also greater. Because of the extra oxygen in the hydroponics growing mediums, root growth is stimulated and the root system absorbs nutrients faster. The plant does not have to search the soil for nutrients. They are being automatically delivered to the plant several times per day. Hydroponic plants have fewer bacterial and fungal problems and are less prone to disease.
Hydroponics benefits our environment and us because it
- Uses less water than soil gardening (because of the constant reuse the nutrient solutions)
- Fewer pesticides are used on hydroponics crops
- Topsoil erosion isn’t even an issue
Hydroponic-grown food is nutrient dense, while most soil-grown food from big agriculture is nutrient depleted because it is grown in soil stripped of many nutrients. If agricultural trends continue to erode topsoil and waste clean water, hydroponics may soon be our best solution for food security.
There are many experts in permaculture and hydroponics to help you get started creating your sustainable food source. There are several different styles of hydroponics gardens. Your available land will determine permaculture design.
There are also many do-it-yourself resources. With a some time and a small monetary investment, you can recreate your own Garden of Eden.
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