[permaculture] Natural hydroponics, aquatic foodweb & quality food

Douglas Hinds cedecor at gmx.net
Sun Apr 7 21:58:28 EDT 2013

Been busy since yesterday and hadn't seen this thread (with three 
separate subject headers) until now.  This is how it started (I wrote):

> Wikipedia defines hydroponics as follows:
>      *Hydroponics*  is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing
>      plants<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant>  using mineral nutrient
>      <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrient>  solutions, in water, without
>      soil<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil>. Terrestrial plants may be
>      grown with their roots<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root>  in the
>      mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium,
> Which the way I understand hydroponics:  There's no soil, no
> soil-food-web, no soil biology - it's not even agriculture (much less
> permaculture), which helps explain why I become distempered if I eat
> even a little (something which I would not knowingly do).
Lawrence took exception (he said it wasn't true) and cited you, and 
wanted me to look for your earlier posts on this subject, (which i did 
not intend to do), but then he reposted them, so I read them and must 
admit that water (or swamp, or compost tea) can be a (very) biologically 
active medium.

In practice (however), in most cases it isn't, because most of those 
that implement hydroponic systems aren't thing in biological terms. Be 
that as it may, it CAN be built into the equation, if and when:

Whoever doing it wants create an artificial ag production system and use 
it for growing food because THAT (dear friends) is what all this is 
about (sez me)!

O lives in the Everglades or Okefenoee Swamp (on a house boat or an island)

And are willing to forget about little things like Soil Tilth and all 
that it stands for.

So it's kind of an academic issue, IMO.

  <cid:part5.09060908.02080201 at gmx.net>

An alligator lounges on a log in the Okefenokee Swamp.

Earlier Today April 07, 2013 at 01:52 PM, Toby Hemenway wrote:

> ... I have mixed feelings about hydroponics, like aquaponics and many other tech-heavy forms of food production (which is most of modern ag: How much of your food uses a tractor?)
Not a heck of a lot.  This is what I ate today:

Guamuchiles Pithecellobium dulce 

Mangoes <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangifera_indica> (but not the 
ones sent to the USA, which are all grafted varieties)

Mamey Sopote <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pouteria_sapota>

None of these are grafted.

> Hydroponics makes sense to me in limited cases, such as where soils are toxic and organic matter, access to land, and the other pieces of "natural" agriculture are limited, and where tech resources are easy to get. Cities, in other words.
I may live in a city at present (because politics and ag policy is what 
I am doing) but my food (what keeps me alive) is brought in from outside 
(but nearby).
> Hydroponics and such can't be considered regenerative, so I can see why anyone slightly purist would loathe them.

Don't loathe, I just don't eat them.

> I would like to see us all growing food in healthy soil,


> In (narrow) terms of nutrition, soil is a delivery medium to get minerals into plants.

IMO, soil is the result of a long term evolutionary process and an 
environment in which terrestrial organisms have evolved and adapted.

Sure, there are other ways to go, but I myself have a long evolutionary 
history and I accept it. I'm not adapted to swamps or cities, flying in 
the sky or life in the deep blue sea.

I want to remain close to my source and artifical life support systems 
are of little interest to me, personally.  But to each, his (or her) own.

BTW, Coahuayana, Michoacan was a swamp before drainage canals were dug 
and now it produces prodigious amounts of excellent tropical fruit .

So Lawrence, I said what I meant and I meant what I said.

I am a soil based critter myself and that's where MY food comes from. 
Good luck with your water cress.


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