Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Think it all grows in the ground?

Think again.

If you’ve ever seen a head of lettuce with its roots still attached, or purchased a tomato in the middle of winter at the grocery store, chances are both were grown without soil.

Hydroponically grown lettuce (source: ediblegarden.com)

Every year, more and more food is grown using a soil-free, water based growing method called hydroponics. From massive commercial production facilities to backyard gardeners, growing plants soil-free is becoming increasingly popular around the world.

Why is soil-free so beneficial?

One of the fastest ways to kill a plant is by giving it too…

Around the time I was working at NASA, I learned about a way to grow plants in water without using soil.

Hydroponic greenhouse in Southern California growing lettuce.

I knew this revolutionary technology was going to change how we grow, distribute, and consume food, but I had no idea how involved I would eventually become in making that happen.

This method of growing plants, known as hydroponics or hydroculture, uses nutrients dissolved in water instead of soil. It’s great for novice and experienced gardeners alike, and is becoming ever more popular with both commercial and home growers around the world.

I describe why it’s so popular in…

Earth is the only home humanity has ever known.

It’s a humbling reminder that, in the grand scheme of things, we are but a tiny speck in the dark cosmic expanse of space.

And for the time being, we can call that tiny speck home.

Earth. The tiny dot seen between the rings of Saturn. (Image credit: NASA)

Yet, as you are probably aware, many of our planetary life support systems are in deep decline:

  • Diminishing rain forests which produce much of the oxygen we breath
  • Dwindling polar ice sheets that keep our planet at a comfortable temperature by reflecting much of the sun’s energy back into space
  • A more turbulent climate that…

David Stack

Full stack software engineer and entrepreneur. Let’s solve climate change by upgrading our systems.

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