Hydroponic systems use approximately 80% less water than conventional farming methods, so this post will use approximately 80% fewer words. More photos with fewer words, just like more produce with fewer resources! For easiness of use for this new rule, I’ll use 20 words per photo.
Hydro Harvest Farms is a u-pick hydroponic farm in Ruskin, Florida, established by John and Terrie Lawson 6 years ago.
A natural pest management is used alongside organic growing practices. Good bugs are introduced to keep out bad, charted here.
In an inspiring example of community involvement and alternative economies, John trades some trimmings (excellent chicken feed) for chicken eggs.
You-pick allows customers to browse the freshest possible produce, intimately getting to know their farm, their farmer, and their food.
‘You-pick’ means ‘you-taste’; John insists I try everything! The hands-on nature of HHF extends to numerous free workshops and events.
Terrie’s degree in diet and nutrition comes in handy. These informational signs help customers make informed choices about their produce.
This tree is a strangler from December. HHF sells POTTED Christmas trees, designed for planting after the holidays, reducing waste.
This impressive line of kale is similar to the system John installed at Tampa Bay Aquarium, for sustainable marine feed.
Vibrant produce, such as these turnips, engage children during the field trips hosted by HHF to learn about food sources.
Not photographed: HHF’s systems installed at local schools. Children learn to grow and manage as well as save and sell the produce.
This “less is more” teaching moment shows us what we can do with 80% less, conserving resources but increasing community. (Though they are much better as conserving water than I am at conserving words!)
Think before you eat,
Winter 2012 Tampa Food Warrior