hy·dro·pon·ics /ˌhīdrəˈpäniks/Noun: the science of growing or the production of plants in nutrient-rich solutions or moist inert material, instead of in soil.
What is Hydroponics?
From the Latin, the word hydroponics means “working water.” Hydroponics simply means we grow our produce directly in water without soil. How is the possible? We add nutrient-rich ingredients needed for plant growth into the water. This allows the plants to have exactly what they need readily available without having to search the soil for these fundamental elements, which include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. (http://www.simplyhydro.com/whatis.htm) By growing hydroponically, we are able to regulate all of the nutrients our plants receive including other micro-nutrients necessary for healthy growth. Hydroponics further allows us to easily test and control a healthy pH balance. Through hydroponic gardening, our growth-rate is twice that of soil-based growth.
Less Water used*
Less space used
times faster growth
herbicide or pesticides used
Hydroponic crops can use up to 90% less water than the same crops in traditional soil farming. Hydroponic crops take up about 1/4 the space as traditional soil farming. With AF Farms’ unique combination of Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) systems and raft based hydroponic systems, we are able to achieve even greater results per square foot! Our plants are grown in an scientifically engineered inert medium without soil. The water used to deliver nutrients directly to the plant roots is monitored to sustain a perfectly balanced pH, and is equipped with oxygenation systems to yield consistent quality produce. Because our plants are provided with exactly the correct amount of nutrients, water, and oxygen they need, they can grow twice as fast as soil based plants.
*claims made by hydroponic farmers for certain crops
Our Hydroponic Greenhouses
Our hydroponic plants are grown in a greenhouse, allowing us to further regulate all of the necessities for sustainable produce including light and temperature. This means that our produce is available year-round. Due to such rapid growth, we are able to supply produce to the Bibb county school system as well as numerous restaurants throughout Macon. Our greenhouse is located in the birthplace of Macon, the Fort Hawkins neighborhood, directly across from the Macon Centreplex.
Food for Haiti
In 2015, AF Farms was led to serve the Haiti International Alliance in building a hydroponic system to provide fresh produce to the children of Kingdom of Kids Orphanage (KKO). This hydroponic garden is located on the roof of the orphanage and provides fresh produce otherwise not readily available in Haiti. This garden is tended and maintained by older children living at the orphanage, providing them with essential life-skills.