gutierrez-lagatta at charter.net
Tue Dec 13 18:12:42 EST 2005
I beg to differ. I have been running commercial hydroponic greenhouses for
over 8 years and you are making some grossly inaccurate statements. Just
like any good farmer we also will use beneficial insects and minimally toxic
products, and these only when absolutely necessary. We strive try to create
a balance in our environment and practice integrated pest management. A
"humus-intensive" greenhouse can be just as susceptible to insects and other
diseases strictly by virtue of the high plant density and very healthy
plants in a greenhouse gives bugs an "all-you-can eat buffet".
One area in which we are more "sustainable'" than dirt farmers is in water
utilization - we typically use less than 20% of the water which is required
in field culture. We also use a fraction of the fertilizers of conventional
farmers and we do not leach any excess nutrients (be they chemical or
organic) into the ground water.
Most hydroponic greenhouses use "chemical" nutrients, but there are
operations which grow hydroponically using more "organic" nutrients - some
of these use fish effluent from high density fish tanks to grow plants; this
is called Aquaponics. A friend of mine in Brazil breaks down animal manures
in a multi-stage biodigester with the end product being a water-soluble
fertilizer that can be used in "water culture".
Paul I find the whole tone of your postings arrogant and offensive in that
you seem to be placing your method as superior to others. We all have our
pros and cons and reasons for growing what we grow the way we grow it.
Let's all try to learn from each other in a less confrontational manner.
Birmingham, AL 35244
> Growers have no alternative but to drench hydroponic plants in
> fungicides and pesticides. This also makes them high maintenance and
> labor intensive. A more sustainable alternative is humus- intensive beds,
> and they can be in a greenhouse that opens in mild weather or just
> outdoors with some form of weather protection. Humus-intensive has long
> been demonstrated to be the way to grow the most and healthiest produce in
> the least space with the least water and least ongoing energy input.
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