Farming the future Namibia | Hydroponic farming on rooftops | Episode 1 – Urban Harvest
Located on a rooftop parking lot at the Village in Windhoek, is a company that is pioneering the urban farming landscape one PVC pipe at a time. Urban farming is a hydroponic establishment that sells lettuce to nearby restaurants. At the heart of this operation is a passionate man. Deane came back home from cape town to a very harsh climate in Windhoek. Weather and soil structure could not grant him the opportunity to continue with the traditional farming practices that the cape town atmosphere did.
Trying to find a suitable farming method in a city where land is a luxury- led him to explore the aquaponic route. A very sensitive method as he later grew to discover. Not only because aquaponic relies on the use of fish to fertilize the water with the nutrients needed by the plants, but also the amount of knowledge required to care for fish and plants. Hydroponics proved to be a better solution as it meant no fish and plants only. Deane says this allowed him to focus on growing his operations with only his plants to worry about. “Hydroponics is a thinking man’s game” you need to complement the nutrients the soil would in a traditional setup and as the fish would in an aquaponic setup, not to say that the mentioned methods do not involve the addition of nutrients and supplements into the system to improve the growth and yield, but hydroponic give one much better control to not only controlling the climate to a certain extent but the amount of water, temperature, the number of nutrients and knowing that there is no other external influence like fish that could change the number of nutrients and molecular structure in the water. After talking to Deane and understanding how hydroponics work, I feel that hydroponics might be the way to go as it offers a better degree of control over how you impact the growth and yield of your plants.
Urban Harvest also offers home kits that come with the essentials needed to get you started. This is not only pointed to individuals who want to feed their families but for restaurant owners who want their clients to experience a garden-to-plate adventure. The possibilities of hydroponics go beyond what we have discovered and with different variations of it and specifically the flood and drain system, hydroponics offers everyone a little love to everyone who wants to endeavor into farming, and with a lot of open backyards and vacant rooftops, the future has never looked greener.
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