LED and Hydroponics
We are all very well aware that our world climate is changing rapidly and we have mankind to thank for that. Global warming is closer than ever before and it is very clear that we need to see immediate change. Doing our part, Canada is pledging to leave 17-20% of its land dedicated to green space. Unfortunately, this is not enough. Our shrinking green space coupled with an increasingly popular plant-based diet drives us in need of an alternative solution. And NASA may have found the answer: LED lighting and Hydroponics.
Hydroponics is the method of growing plants without soil but rather a mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent. Common vegetables that are already being cultivated this way are lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. This method eliminates the risk of produce being contaminated by bacteria or compromised by pesticides. E. coli will no longer be a factor. How amazing is that?
There are endless possibilities with hydroponics, such as the possibility of ending world hunger; farmers no longer weather-dependent nor will extreme weather affect their crops; restaurants cultivating their own farm-to-table menus; “fresh” food for our astronauts.
With years of mastering this process, NASA scientists are working meticulously to create “light recipes.” Very specific amounts of light and color (red or blue) have an affect various plants’ growing cycles, control height and width, and can even modify the taste of the product grown.
Fun fact, LED “light recipes” with more blue light produce smaller, more nutritious leaves where as LED “light recipes” with more red light produce longer, taller stems. Different light recipes have the ability to create larger fruit, vibrant colors, and even alter the taste of produce.
There you have it! LED is not only cost effective, it is paving the way for a fresh, sustainable future.