hydroAs more people continue to see the prices they pay for daily necessities rise faster than their paychecks, a growing number have become interested in the act of homesteading. It’s never a bad idea to think of different ways to cut back on the cost of living, and become more self-sufficient at the same time. Hydroponics is a system of plant growth requiring little space, and ironically little water.

Every little change that you make to try and save money adds up over time; bringing a water bottle from home instead of purchasing one, reusing gift wrapping paper, choosing cloth children’s diapers instead of costly disposable ones. Growing your own food not only makes you more self-sufficient, it saves you money, and the food is arguably healthier-granted it’s not smothered in pesticides, fungicides, and a myriad of other poisons.

For those who don’t have much space, time, or energy to start growing on their own. A variety of new systems have been popularized which are targeted toward the urban homesteader. Vegetables don’t necessarily require soil to be grown, they can be grown using just water, provided it contains the proper nutrients and fertilizers. An increasingly popular method of growing vegetables is by using a hydroponic system.

hydro23Hydroponic gardening is a technique used for growing fruit, vegetables, and other foods in a soil-less environment. It’s an ideal technique for those with a limited space. The various systems are cost efficient as they recycle water and nutrients, and plants are freed from diseases and pesticides that are commonly associated with soil, among other benefits.

There are a number of hydroponic systems available to choose from, for those who would like to utilize this method to start growing some of their own fresh fruit and vegetables right at home. TO choose from: Wick Hydroponics, Water Culture, Deep Water Culture, Ebb and Flow, Drip Hydroponics, and Nutrient Film Technique.

The Water Culture method, along with Wick and Ebb and Flow, are most often recommended for beginners as their systems are arguably easier than the others to set up. However, the Water Culture method is mainly used to grow lettuce. A cheap start-up kit for hydroponics runs around $200, and grows roughly 8 plants.

It make take a few dollars and hours spent for the initial setup, but within days you will see your own food start to grow. Hydroponics is a great alternative which offers people the ability to grow food in places where traditional agriculture simply isn’t possible, for a fairly reasonable cost. Not only that, Hydroponics systems are environmentally-friendly in that they require only roughly 10 percent of the water that is commonly required with soil-based agriculture methods. If you are looking for a similar method which also raises fish, while still using less water than conventional farming, you should look into aquaponics.