Hydroponics Past, Present and future

Report
The First Hydroponic Gardens... 600 BC
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are believed to be the first successful attempts to
grow plants hydroponically.
The Floating Gardens of the Aztecs…. 11th century
The Aztecs of Central America, practiced hydroponic growing methods out of
necessity. Without land to grow plants, they were forced to learn other ways of
producing crops. They built rafts out of rushes and reeds, they then piled soil on the
rafts called Chinapas. Some of the Chinampas were as long as 200 feet, growing
vegetables and flowers.
Dr. William F Gericke….. 1930's
In the late 1920's and early 1930's, Dr. William F. Gericke, focused his
research on growing practical crops for large scale commercial
applications. He coined the term, "hydroponics", which came from the
Greek words, hydro (meaning water) and ponos (meaning labor).
Hydroponics Used in W W II to Feed Troops…..1940's
During the late 1940's, a practical hydroponic method was developed by Robert B.
and Alice P. Withrow. Their system flooded then drained a container holding gravel
and the plant roots.
During World War II the shipping of fresh vegetables overseas was difficult. In 1945,
the US Air Force built one of the first large hydroponic farms on Ascension Island in
the South Atlantic, followed by farms on islands in the pacific. These hydroponic farms
provided vegetables for U.S. troops.
New Technology Brings Hydroponics into
Mainstream…..1970-80's
Commercial hydroponics in the US were held back until hydroponic systems
were economical and easy to operate. With the advent of high-tech plastics
(PVC) and simpler system design, this came about in the late 1970's.
It was proven that, with proper management, hydroponic growing could
produce premium produce and be profitable.
Hydroponics Now
Currently the US has hydroponic farms that cover as many as
60 acres and produce large quantities of produce. The demand for premium
produce is so high in the US that the number of current hydroponic farms
cannot meet the demand.
The US Navy is growing fresh vegetables on submarines in highly
specialized recalculating hydroponic systems
to help supply fresh vegetables for the crews.
The Future of Hydroponics
Currently, plans are being drawn for using hydroponics on space
stations, and on the surfaces of other celestial bodies (planets,
moons, etc.)
Hydroponics will be used in areas such as deserts and mountains,
where it is difficult to grow plants using the traditional method.

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