the method of growing plants without soil, exposing roots to a mineral nutrient solution.
Hydroponic Agriculture is the Future of Food Production
With venture capitalists investing billions of dollars in the AgTech industry, everyone seems to be talking about hydroponics.
But what exactly IS it?
Hydroponics is an agricultural technique that has existed for thousands of years. As agricultural technology advanced, hydroponics shifted from irrigation systems like the Gardens of Babylon to the automated, recirculating soilless systems we manufacture today.
Now there are dozens of types of hydroponic systems. In our 30 years of research and development, we designed and manufacture the most sustainable food production systems available worldwide.
Hydroponic agriculture is a key tool in our collective challenge to provide a growing global population with clean, sustainable, local food.
The Future of Food
The early 1970s brought the first “Hydro Boom” when venture capitalists placed large investments in the hydroponics industry for the first time. Since then, hydroponics has been “The Future of Food.” Entrepreneurs finally had the money they needed to build large-scale, multi-acre systems. The problem was these systems were designed to get rich quick and “take the farmer out of the farm.” Within a decade, the hydroponics industry crashed, and soil farming proved to be longer lasting.
"Nature, to be commanded,
must be obeyed."
-Sir Francis Bacon
Our Vice President, Joe Swartz, has been researching and developing hydroponic systems since the 1980s. As he experimented with different growing techniques, media, and environmental controls, he found that – as the founder of the scientific method said – nature must be obeyed. Swartz has helped AmHydro design and distribute systems that respect plants, farmers, and the environment. Now we’re producing the most efficient systems worldwide.
The Environmental Solution.
Compared with soil-based farming, our systems are:
Producing predictable quantities and quality for higher crop yields and profits.
Producing 10x the crops per area.
Reducing pathogen risks by growing crops without pesticides or manure.
Reducing transportation costs by growing near or in urban centers.
We use 1/6th the fertilizer of soil-based farms
We use 1/10th the water of soil-based farms
Nutrient Film Technique systems are designed with long, narrow channels in which plants (like lettuce) are placed at regular intervals. This is our primary system. It will be your work horse.
Nutrient-rich water continuously flows down the channels, past exposed plant roots. Any unused solution is captured at the end of each channel, funneled back to a reservoir, automatically remixed for nutrient balance and recirculated with the help of a pump.
For vine crops, we have designed gutter systems that are drip-fed AND recirculating in which crops are rooted in a soilless medium, placed in a bag of growing medium on the gutter, and nutrient-rich water circulates back to the reservoir.
These gutters are elevated from the floor of the greenhouse so the roots’ temperature can be regulated. We offer these hydroponic systems for vine or medical crops, but we suggest that first-time growers start with, and master, an NFT system before adding vine crops to a growing operation.
Bato Bucket Systems
For vine and medical crops, we also offer ‘bato bucket’ systems in which individual buckets are drip-fed in a line, and recirculate nutrient solution back to the reservoir.
Our bato bucket systems (aka ‘Dutch buckets’ because the concept was invented in the Netherlands) are typically used for growing vine crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. We offer these hydroponic systems for vine or medical crops, but we suggest that first-time growers start with, and master, an NFT system before adding bato buckets to their growing operation.
AmHydro also incorporates proprietary ebb and flow technology into its propagation (seed-starting) tray systems. This is a recirculating system where seeds are placed in growing media (like Oasis or Rockwool) which is then placed in automatically irrigated trays. Periodically, a nutrient-rich solution is pumped into the trays, and then slowly drains. Our hydroponic systems (including our Get Growing! bundles) include this style of propagation system.
Want to Become a
Hydroponic farming is the future of food production, and there has never been a better time to get started. We are no longer limited by climate or season in the pursuit of clean, fresh food. We can now grow virtually any plant, anywhere at any time of year. With our simple, effective hydroponic systems, coupled with modern environmental controls, anyone can save precious resources like water, reduce their carbon footprint, and feed their community.
Got more questions about hydroponics? We have answers! We’ve got decades of experience, and would love to share what we’ve learned. Check out our Learning Center, or get in touch and speak with a hydroponic system expert today.