Learn to make your own homemade hydroponics system to grow virtually any plant, vegetable and fruit without soil.
Find out why Florida's hydroponic strawberries industry is a marketing ace up its sleeve and read about the future of strawberry production in the United States.
The United States have a lot of ground areas that comply with the needs of strawberries to grow, so most of the strawberry production in the US is done by growing the fruit in soil. Unlike several arid countries such as Israel, we have the privilege of choosing whether or not we want to grow our fruit in soil or in hydroponic systems. However, soil grown strawberries can only be marketed around spring and summer, since most of them won't survive past August-September. That's where Florida's hydroponic strawberries industry come into play.
Florida isn't actually the state that has the largest strawberry production in the States. Actually, California is dominant in this field, producing around 80% of the total national strawberry count. But most of this percentage is based on soil grown crops, so during late fall and winter supplies of strawberries from California run short. Florida has two great advantages in this case: it has a high tech hydroponic strawberry industry and it has milder winters, which allows for longer life spans on fruits.
Actually, Florida's hydroponic strawberries industry is kept alive during winter,since that's the only time the market is not flooded with California soil grown products.
Unfortunately for California and fortunately for Florida, things are starting to look gloomy for field-grown strawberries in the United States. In order to keep most of the fruit from a field grown crop, strawberries need to be sprinkled withy methyl bromide, which keeps away the soil and aerial pests that threaten the life of the fruit. However, it was recently found that this methyl bromide is slowly destroying our ozone and it's mildly toxic to humans, so it's facing a worldwide ban.
If this ban occurs, Florida's hydroponic strawberries industry will be the one keeping alive most of the United States, since almost half of the field-grown crops in California will be destroyed without the methyl bromide to protect them!
But the fact that everyone will be switching to hydroponic strawberry growth shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. We now have the technology to produce larger, more nutritious fruit in hydroponic greenhouses and the best thing about it all is that's it's actually cheaper than growing strawberries in the field.
Sure, the initial costs are quite high, but maintenance is very low and labor is cut to half. Since you can grow these hydroponic strawberries suspended in the air, the picking rate is faster and the effort it requires is close to zero. This, opposed to the back breaking effort of picking acres upon acres of field grown strawberries.
that will hopefully spread out to other areas, causing prices on strawberries to drop during the winter, where Florida has a semi-monopoly nowadays.
And it's really not far fetched saying that in the not-so-distant future, hydroponic systems might eventually replace field-grown agriculture completely, at least when it comes to strawberries.