To satisfy my interest, I skipped watching the Philippines-Mexico Boxing World Cup last August 5 to attend a seminar on hydroponics by Engr. German Penaranda at Negsokwela. I didn’t regret the decision especially when I learned that our fellow Bol-anon, Boom Boom Bautista, got a big “boom” in the first round.
Hydroponics, I learned, comes from the Greek words “hydro” meaning water, and “ponos” meaning work or labor. It is a technology for growing plants in nutrient solutions (or solutions made of water and fertilizers) either with or without the use of artificial solid medium like sand, gravel, rockwool, coconut peat, sawdust, among others.
The principal advantage of hydroponics include high-density maximum crop yield, crop production where no suitable soil exists, virtual indifference to ambient temperature and season, more efficient use of land area, and suitability for mechanization, disease and pest control.
On the other hand, the major disadvantages include isolation of crop from the soil causing problems related to diseases, pest, salinity, and poor structure, high cost of capital and energy inputs, and high degree of management skills required for successful production.
In fact, to do hydroponics at a commercial scale, you have to build a capital-intensive (meaning costly) setup and buy necessary equipment like pumps and measuring tools, among others.
However, I was also told that you can also do hyroponics at the constraints of your home as a hobby and use things like ice cream gallon containers and plastic cups. You can buy your plant seeds and nutrient solutions at Mother Earth/Negoskwela’s hyrdroponics demonstration farm at
I really felt that we are seeing the beginnings of what can be considered urban farming in the