Why (Simplified, Non-circulating)
Hydroponic crop production
can be superior to soil-based farming in several respects: (1) land is not needed; (2) problems associated with continuous
cropping are avoided; (3) no weeds and soil-borne pests and diseases, so less pressure to use pesticides; (4) shortened growth
period; (5) higher yields in smaller areas due to closer plant spacings and 2- or 3-level production schemes; (6) elimination
of costly operations like land preparation, weeding, and irrigation, and (7) less physically-demanding on the farmer. It is also environmentally more friendly, mainly because of the avoidance of erosion-causing
soil manipulation, fertilizer run-off, large water draw for irrigation, and pesticide use (for example, use of herbicides,
nematicides, and soil insecticides are totally avoided).
Yet modern hydroponic
systems are high-tech operations, with fully computerized and automatic control of solution pH and electrical conductivity
(EC), air and solution temperature, nutrient analysis, etc. These need special equipment for pumping, circulating, flowing,
misting, dripping, etc. of nutrient solution.
In recent years, a hydroponic system which does not require costly facilities, high running cost and
intensive care has been developed independently by the University of Hawaii (Dr. B.A. Kratky), the Asian Vegetable Research
and Development Center (AVRDC) in Taiwan, and the University of the Philippines Los Baņos in the Philippines (called SNAP
Hydroponics, developed by Eureka Teresa M. Ocampo and Primitivo J. Santos). All three share the same major characteristic—the
nutrient solution stays in the production boxes until harvest and is not circulated nor re-adjusted. Now, the benefits of
hydroponics is within reach of ordinary farmers and gardening enthusiasts, even in off-grid areas, marginal lands, or tight
I have combined elements
from all three systems and even from traditional hydroponics (in regard to the composition of the nutrient solution), added
some production methods of my own, and simply called my system Simplified, Non-circulating Hydroponics.