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FARMING THE FUTURE

Surviving And Thriving

In the year 600 B.C.E., the climate was arid and dry along the Euphrates River in Western Asia, but there were lush gardens climbing up the walls of the metropolis, Babylon. It is believed that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were surviving through a pulley-system of water from the river, a technique of agricultural that today is known as hydroponics. Hydroponics is the method of farming where plants can be grown in nutrient-fortified water, instead of in soil. Given concerns of feeding a growing human population in a changing climate, scientists believe hydroponic technology may be able to mitigate impending food shortages.

The technology used in hydroponic systems being implemented in developing countries around the world are largely based off hydroponic systems that were designed at NASA, continuing a century of work by scientists who found that plants were surviving–and thriving –while being grown in water. There has been a rise in eco-friendly start-up companies that are using hydroponic technology to produce crops on a large scale with a technique known as "Vertical Farming": buildings filled with countless levels of hydroponic systems growing different crops in an indoor, controlled temperature environment .

A 19th century German botanist, Julius Sachs, found that plants did not need to grow in soil but only needed the nutrients that are derived from microorganisms that live in the soil.

Hydroponic Tomatoes

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