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Hydroponic Market Centers In Florida Are Growing Leafy Greens & Wheat-grass

“Urban farming is one of the key solutions to global food insecurity however, due to land scarcity inside urban areas, implementation of this solution is challenging.” - Sean Teagle, Hans Benoza, Rica Pena, & Aleeza Oblea


www.foragingandfarming.com

Hydroponics will enable fully interactive market centers that offer buyers and sellers an exchange to collaborate transparently and reduce the complexity and inefficiencies 

of agricultural trade and record-keeping. To that end, The State of Florida’s hydroponics industry is trending toward $6B.  The system helps to solve food insecurity and promotes higher production levels than traditional farming in some cases. 


Hydroponics, with its potential for innovation and experimentation, is key in growing nutrient-dense leafy greens using heirloom and hybrid seeds. This opens up exciting possibilities: could heirloom seed companies partner with hydroponic farms to grow and produce heritage cultivars? Can we expand our capabilities to save more seeds for the future? Are there grants for experimentation? Are college culinary programs experimenting on a smaller scale to test different cultivars for their food service programs? Universities are working toward providing information on nutrient-dense varieties of greens worldwide, sparking a wave of curiosity and inspiration in the field. 


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Growing Hydroponic Greens In Florida Market Centers

When building a plan to scale farm products, many factors must be considered when developing a hydroponic farm operation.  In 2020, University of Florida Extension researchers drafted a cohesive document about which leafy green cultivars might work best in hydroponic farming systems. In terms of production, the “Big Three” hydroponic vegetable crops in Florida are peppers, European Seedless Cucumbers, and tomatoes. Chefs love fresh herbs and edible flowers for dishes and curating table settings for events.  Even the Florida cruise ship industry has adopted a hydroponics application to feed the masses in a high-demand culinary environment. Today, some of Florida’s culinary colleges and organizations are growing produce on demand. 



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Hydroponic Hop Growers In Florida

Since 2017, The University of Florida's Mid-Florida Research & Education Center has been testing hop production through the hydroponic application, which could empower culinary and alcohol production onsite in restaurants and commercial kitchens. At The University of Florida, they are working to improve deep water cultivars and testing hydroponic lighting to improve the flowering process. Hops are ripe for a vertical grow space, and it's a great way to apply hydroponics using dead vertical space, which can be filled with herbaceous hops.  Not to mention, hops are also known as “Poor Man’s Asparagus.” What a wonderful opportunity to explore and curate new and interesting dishes using hydroponic market centers in Florida.


Hydroponic Microgreens & Wheat-grass Are On Point 

Microgreens and Wheat-grass are a reliable source of revenue for hydroponic farmers.  Healthy alternative food outlets sell wheatgrass shots and require a consistent, almost daily delivery to support their market.  Microgreens can be grown in mass quantities and fully harvested within 1-2 weeks of seeding and propagation. All types of restaurants and commercial kitchens use them to decorate and create dishes with high nutritional value. 


Hydroponics or Controlled Environment Agriculture focuses on expanding the type of commodities they grow improving alternative crop research, and farmers will be making decisions on investing in alternative energy sources. Keep an eye out for expanding hops and farmers using biogas to reduce heating and lighting costs. For more information about this topic, Click the Link to @ForagingandFarming



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