Ok. So maybe our hydroponic farm isn’t as big as the picture above, but that’s a good thing. We’ll explain, but first, let us give you a little bit of background on our farm technology and why we use hydroponics instead of traditional agricultural farming methods.
Traditional Ag uses 70% or more of this fresh water for farming and animals. Traditional Ag contaminates and pollutes water sources and makes it unsafe for fish wildlife and our drinking water. Over Farming and extensive land use desecrate the soil making it unable to absorb the rain and irrigation waters. Half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last 150 years. The effects of soil erosion go beyond the loss of fertile land and have led to pollution and sedimentation in streams and rivers, clogging waterways and causing harm to fish and other species.
The need to increase production had big Ag engineer genetically modified grains and seeds. To combat pests and growing conditions they started using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their targeted species. Heavy wind or rain falls on the Land spreading the pesticides and toxic chemicals into unintended areas, coming in contact with natural resources such as clean air, water, land, plants, and animals.
By 2050 Earth will be home to 9 billion people who will require a 50% increase in agriculture and a 15% increase in fresh water use. Freshwater accounts for only 3% of all the water on the planet. Before we even get to 2025 (a very short time away!) 2/3 of the global population will face water shortages. We already see these droughts and water shortages in the western part of the USA in the daily news.
Traditional Agriculture is Seasonal. Even greenhouses are unable to provide crops in the coldest part of winter due to the enormous amount of heat they require, and those that do operate at a loss. Storms and Natural Disasters can drastically affect outdoor crops and frail greenhouses. Global warming/Climate change is accelerating at a more rapid rate than predicted and will only make growing outside even more difficult. Longer and longer drought seasons are currently wreaking havoc on the west coast.
if you read the Regional Agriculture Map of Ocean County written by the Agricultural Development Board you will notice there are very few farms in ocean county. Almost all of our crops and produce come from somewhere else. Even many of our farmers at the local farmers’ market travel a fair distance to deliver those crops.
We researched traditional Ag and Greenhouse growing and found a better way. Farmoponics believes firmly that we have found the most competitive, efficient, and cost-effective solution to the current Ag issues through the use of precision hydroponic growing technologies and the support of a network of like small business hydroponic farmers.
We use hydroponics technologies in a sterile, climate-controlled indoor environment to grow our crops. More specifically, a series of small-scale hydroponics systems designed to maximize growth potential in the shortest amount of time, with the most flavor, densely packed nutrients, and in the shortest amount of grow time.
We grow in smaller indoor environments that allow us to be freer to experiment with new crops. Crop diversity is key to a healthier more nutritious diet. We can grow what most other large-scale big Ag indoor hydroponic growers won’t. Why? It’s easier and more profitable to manage. They cater to the majority of what’s popular. We know there’s more variety and specialty crops out there that are worth trying and we are betting that after you try it you will agree it was worth it!
- We don’t use soil, which extremely limits any chance of E-coli and salmonella contamination
- We never use pesticides, herbicides, or GMO seeds
- We use 95% less water than traditional Ag
- We are unaffected by climate and grow 24/7 all year round
- We grow all our fresh crops less than 15 mins from your home
- We use the highest efficient LED lights, pumps, and, climate controls available
- We supplement all our electricity usage with solar and other alternative energy
- We grow in a sterile environment wearing hair nets, masks, gloves, booties, and lab coats. Yours are the first human hands to ever touch your freshly delivered crops!
All these technologies help us run lean and save money. We bypass wholesaler middlemen and sell directly to our customers. These cost savings allow us to deliver top-quality crops that Chefs from high-end restaurants would use directly to you at regular supermarket prices.
So why our hydroponic farm isn’t as big as the picture above is a good thing, and for one main reason. That farm in the picture requires more land than is available in Toms River and most Jersey shore towns. Their crops are grown somewhere far or even further away and then trucked here. Ours are grown right here in Toms River picked fresh and delivered to your home within hours. Eat Hyper Local!
Indoor Hydroponic Farming vs. Traditional Agriculture
- Extensive water use (Freshwater accounts for only 3% of all the water on the planet. 70% or more of this fresh water is used for farming and animals)
- Herbicides Pollution and runoff
- Insecticides Pollution and runoff
- Fungicides Pollution and runoff
- Synthetic fertilizers
- Seasonal growth limitations
- Farm equipment contributes to global warming
- More susceptible to drought and weather
- Extensive delivery costs to you and the environment
Greenhouse & Indoor Farming
- Less water use
- Still have pest, bug, and disease issues that may require insecticides and herbicides.
- 3 season growth (too cold to profitably grow in deep winter)
- Large land use
- Less productive use of space ( only the bottom layer of the space by volume)
- Partial climate control
- Better, but still high transport costs
- Moderate delivery costs to you and the environment
Hydroponic Container Farming
- 95% less water use (up to 98% less!)
- No Herbicides
- No Insecticides
- No Fungicides
- Precision growing technology (100 % Control of Temperature, Light, Water, Nutrient, Space, Humidity)
- Sterile environment (Less health risks)
- Independent of seasons (Grow 24/7 -365 days a year with no price fluctuations)
- 2-1/2 acres of produce in 320 sq. ft.
- Modularity (Easy to downsize, upgrade or expand)
- Minimal delivery costs to you and the environment
So why is our smaller, local farm better?
- It is easier for smaller indoor farms to keep out bugs and critters. No bugs and critters mean no pesticides.
- It’s easier to control the indoor climate. Better climate control means we don’t need to use fungicides or herbicides.
- We can grow custom items. Large bigger indoor CEA and agricultural grow companies will usually grow what is popular and sells best. We can grow you whatever you want. We can make your items greener, larger, smaller, and sweeter regardless of season or climate. You won’t get that from big Ag unless you order a very, very large quantity.
- Local means we can deliver more often so your items will be as fresh as possible. It also means you don’t need to store as much in your fridge. We can make additional deliveries when you’re running low because we are right here in town.
- The largest big Agricultural farms use an astronomical amount of electricity and most haven’t thought about integrating any energy conservation solutions to circumvent that. It is the main reason so many big indoor agricultural companies like Agricool, Kalera, Appharvest, Fifth Season, Iron Ox, Infarms, Upward Farms, and Aerofarms are now facing heavy losses, bankruptcy, or even closing up shop. And it’s not over yet. Farmoponics owner used his knowledge and experience from the green building industry to build our own facility from the ground up integrating all the best, most efficient HVAC, lighting, hydronic systems, and insulation techniques. We also have a large solar installation with battery backup.
- Farmoponics does not rely on VC or outside funding to support its activities. We self-financed the buildout of our facilities and all of our own equipment so we are able to stick it out for the long run.