Circle Fresh Hydroponic Produce Information in Colorado
You might wonder why we choose to grow our produce in greenhouses, and what advantages might exist for organic produce grown in a hydroponic system rather than in soil.
Hydroponic growing systems use mineral nutrient solutions and non-soil growing media instead of soil, and provide the following benefits:
Less Water Usage
As water scarcity becomes more of an issue on a global scale, our ability to grow food with less water becomes a very valuable asset. Hydroponic systems allow for very precise water delivery to plant roots, which minimizes runoff and evaporation loss. In many systems, the water can actually be cleaned and reused – providing even greater reductions in total usage.
Without dirt, plants are less susceptible to soil-born diseases, invasion by grubs or other soil-based insects, and absorption of toxins and bacteria found in soil.
Circle Fresh Farms embraces an intensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program using beneficial insects to control pests and stimulate healthy plant growth. By growing in a greenhouse, we can create a contained and controlled environment that will protect against the entry of outside pests, and maintain a beneficial environment for insects and bacteria that we want to be present.
No Animal Waste Fertilizers
Two common characteristics of polluted water in the United States are excess levels of nitrogen or phosphorous, both of which are largely caused by fertilizer runoff from agriculture. Agricultural activity was identified, by the EPA, as a source of pollution for 48% of stream and river water,  and 41% of lake water. When manure is spread on fields as a fertilizer, it can also introduce toxic substances, such as pharmaceuticals  or bacteria, like E. coli. These pollutants can lead to serious environmental damage and harm human health.
Greenhouses protect organic produce from environmental and weather damage that ranges from bruises, marks and nicks to the loss of an entire crop. Limiting exposure to these risks creates a more stable and predictable growing environment, and consequently more stable pricing for the consumer throughout the year.
1. Carpenter, S. (1998) http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/pdf/issue3.pdf“Nonpoint pollution of surface waters with phosphorous and ntrogren,” in Issues in Ecology, No. 3.
2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.(2002) “Rivers and Streams,” in National Water Quality Inventory: Report 2000. U.S. EPA. 13-14.
3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2002) Lakes, reservoirs, and ponds in National Water Quality Inventory: Report 2000. U.S. EPA. 22.
4. Campagnolo, Enzo R., Kammy R. Johnson, Adam Karpati, Carol S. Rubin, Dana W. Kolpin, Michael T. Meyer, J. Emilio Esteban, Currier R, Smith K, Thu, K, and McGeehin M. (2002). Antimicrobial residues in animal waste and water resources proximal to large-scale swine and poultry feeding operations. The Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 299(1-3). pp. 89-95.
5. Rosen, B. (2000). Waterborne Pathogens in Agricultural Watersheds. USDA Watershed Science Institute.
Circle Fresh Farms | Fresh Produce. Local Produce. Organic Produce | Denver, Colorado | 720-446-9355