It's a question I get a lot: why, when starting a farm, did I decide to go hydroponic? The answer is simple and complex at the same time. The simple answer is that growing greens without soil was the best use of the few acres left of my family's land. The more complex answer is that I felt drawn to hydroponic farming for a whole range of reasons. The most pressing reason was the potential to farm sustainably and responsibly even in a drought-prone area like Utah.
All of Snuck Farm's greens and herbs are started from seed, then transferred to long channels when they're sturdy enough. (Those long white channels are what you're seeing peeking out between the lettuces above.) Then, we let water flow past their roots carrying just the right blend of nutrients to make sure they grow to their potential. These days, a lot of the system is monitored by computer. Just like a smart thermostat can lower a heating bill by adjusting during the day, our hydroponic setup helps us make the most efficient use of water and nutrients.
The result? We use about 90% less water than we would growing our greens in soil. And because they're grown in a greenhouse, we don't lose them to unpredictable weather or insects, common problems when you're growing outside.
Of course, there's plenty of room for experimentation, and honoring the ways this land has supported people. We've cultivated a little piece of traditional farm soil for our Farmyard Share
. We grow seedlings for the Plant Sale
in raised beds in a wing of our greenhouse. But in figuring out how to use this very small space, I've discovered that hydroponic growing allows us to make the biggest impact, all year round. Learn more here