Hydroponics has seen an increasing spike in popularity over recent years. What we would refer to as Hydroponic Farming, in simple terms can be described as the growth of crops without soil. The process involves skipping the soil, using different material to support the roots of the plant, and growing crops directly in nutrient-rich water. Although there are multiple approaches to designing hydroponic systems the core elements are typically the same.
This innovative approach to agricultural growing (also known as indoor or vertical farming) has become extremely attractive to the UK industry. It enables farmers to grow full tasting nutritional products all year round without the unpredictable weather disruptions we tend to endure here in the UK – this can result in the growth of up to five times as many greens as traditional farming. Hydroponics has also become highly reputable by enabling agriculture of locally grown produce and quick-to-market fruit and vegetables, in turn reducing the need for food imports.
Driving factors in the take up of Hydroponics further include sustainability, as it requires less growing space and fewer resources, such as water, fertilizers or pesticides and less harmful pollutants are released into the atmosphere or earth.
Indoor farming is typically housed in buildings, shipping containers, underground tunnels and even abandoned mine shafts, for the intentional growth of leafy greens and vegetables.
TOP 10 PRODUCTS GROWN THOUGH HYDROPONICS
#1 Tomatoes #2 Lettuce #3 Cucumber #4 Spring Onions #5 Peppers #6 Spinach #7 Strawberries #8 Blueberries #9 Basil #10 Coriander
From a Chef’s perspective, it is hard to deny the potential benefits increased access to Hydroponic farming can bring. Firstly and foremost having access to high quality, great-tasting and nutritious fresh produce 365 days a year, at an affordable price. The fact that they are also locally sourced contributes even further, as it provides some level of food security allowing for extra confidence when planning and delivering deliciously flavoured meals and snacks.
The future of agriculture is growing and in and amongst the ongoing popularity, Syan Farms are one of the recent farmers who have successfully incorporated this incredibly innovative and sustainable approach to farming. Built around the principles of hydroponics their vertical farm based in the heart of England aims to produce quality food grown in a sustainable, environmentally conscious way.
As part of the farming process, the farm uses state-of-the-art Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) technology, which sets the temperature, light, and humidity within each stack to precision, creating the perfect conditions for their crops. This enables them to deliver delicious, nutrient-rich crops throughout the year. Their aim initially is to grow a range of leafy greens, microgreens and herbs, along with an NPD strategy exploring more unusual plants to satisfy every culinary need.
A FEW ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW
• Syan repurpose disused farms, utilise solar energy and rainwater harvesting
• Food miles are reduced as imported products do not have to be relied on
• The production process is pesticide and soil-free, reducing degradation to land
• The controlled environment provides complete traceability from seed to customer
• The technology used allows for maximised taste and nutrition
Syan Farm is currently fully operational, with a supporting research and development lab, they will also be extending to include an additional large vertical farm site which is set to go live in quarter four of 2021.
The future of farming is here!