A New Way to Grow Plants

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Photo coutesy of http://aerofarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/c1-960×642.jpg

By Paige Mathieu

AeroFarms has created a new way to grow plants.  Instead of using a traditional form of farming, the AeroFarms company has created a way to grow plants with little soil, water, and sunlight.  Basil, watercress, and kale are all plants that can be grown with this new technique. Although these plants are actually more organic than most plants, they cannot be placed under the label of being organic because they use no soil.  All of the plants are however, completely pesticide free and the farmers only use GMO free seeds.

Located in Newark, New Jersey, is a large plant growing facility. In these facilities, the plants are placed under LED lights, set according to each plant’s exact light needs. A cloth made out of recycled material replaces the soil. The plants are also placed in a solution, which reduces the need for water. Although the plants are self sufficient, farmers still check the plants and machines to make sure the plants are healthy.  A nearby school grows plants in a similar way to the AeroFarms, which provides the school with fresh produce and a new learning experience for the students.
This system will benefit the ecosystem in many ways. The main way it is benefiting the ecosystem is by reducing the waste of water.  Since the water used in farming is often contaminated because the chemicals used on the plants often move into the run-off of the water, there is little fresh water that is clean.  Almost 70% of water is used towards farming, which leaves little water that is not contaminated for drinking. It also reduces the wasted soil because often times the soil is not nutritious enough to grow healthy plants.  These systems run on renewable sources, such as solar panels.

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