The global hydroponics market was last valued at $19.95 billion in 2015, but is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, reaching approximately $27.33 billion in 2020.
Hydroponics is termed as one of the fastest growing soil less farming practices at a global level, and has evolved over the years to not only reach commercial farmers, but smalltime residential ones as well. The industry isn’t done expanding yet, ether. As the market continues to grow, more and more farmers are looking to not only utilize hydroponic gardening setups, but fully customize these crop spaces as well.
Soil stores about 0.01% of the total water on Earth within its pores. But for plants and crops to successfully grow, they need much more water than what the soil is already providing. Even with natural rainfall and frequent watering, it can be extremely difficult to find the exact amount of water in order to optimize plant growth. With hydroponic farming, however, it’s much easier to provide the plants with exactly what is needed. Some crops can even grow twice as fast in hydroponic farming setups because of the ability to receive correct amounts of not only water, but oxygen and essential nutrients as well.
According to Florida Today, a hydroponics farm in Central Florida is letting buyers pick not only the type of vegetable they want to purchase, but the is allowing individuals to cook them and eat them as well — right on the farm’s location.
Wichmann Farms and MJ Farm to Table in Melbourne has rows and rows of high-quality hydroponics fruits and veggies; along with a chicken coop and other amenities along their three-achre patch of land. They are even offering a hydroponic gardening workshop for kids in hopes of teaching the next generation of innovative farmers this new and exciting approach to gardening.
“We’re family-oriented,” said Matthew Wichmann, owner of the farm along with his wife, Joyce. “We have opportunities for mothers to come here and get healthy food at reasonable prices.”
“And to educate the children about where it came from,” Joyce Wichmann added.
The entire agricultural property is self-pick, meaning cutters get a basket, a pair of scissors, and a choice of all the vegetables than can gather. If a buyer isn’t able to spend time perusing through the hydroponic farmland, they can simply purchase bags of mixed lettuce greens, eggs, tomatoes, and all kinds of fresh produce and be on their way.
“Everything we grow out here has lots of flavor,” added David Murray, farm manager and hydroponics expert. “I tell everybody all the time, it’s the best salad they’ll ever have. There’s all kinds of things we can teach out here, not just healthy eating. There’s chemistry and business. We try to show them different hydroponic designs.”
Farms like this one in Melbourne and similar ones all across the globe are going to need to remain sufficient in the near future, especially as the global population reaches 7.5 billion. But it’s certainly an exiting time for agriculture and the hydroponics industry.