We are glad to announce that our “Theme-based Study Programme” for the senior primary students has already started. This year, we are introducing hydroponic farming, which has become an essential method of crop production worldwide.
In the Greenhouse located in Ho Yu Garden where the lectures take place, our students raise questions about hydroponics out of curiosity:
Student A: What is hydroponics?
Teacher: Hydroponics is a technique of cultivation of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water. As it does not require sunlight and soil, it provides an alternative to outdoor soil-based farming.
Student B: Will the water consumption increase?
Teacher: Compared with soil-based farming, hydroponic farming has a high level of water efficiency. In hydroponics, the plant is nourished with nutrient-laden water by drip irrigation, which helps to reduce water consumption by 80%.
Student C: Does the use of nutrient solutions do any harm to the environment?
Teacher: No. The solutions are conserved in the tank, so there are no losses or changes of nutrients like they are in the soil. In the traditional soil-based farming where more fertilisers are used, the excessive fertilisers end up flowing into the rivers spoiling the water to be used by humans and animals.
Student D: Why do we see soil-like materials for the plants?
Teacher: It is not soil, but cocopeat, a growing medium made out of coconut husk. It is used to support the root system. Similarly, vertical hydroponic farming does not require soil and allows crops to be planted in multiple levels on a vertical axis for optimisation of space use.
Our students learn that growing with hydroponics comes with many advantages. The biggest of which is a significantly increased rate of growth in the plants. It is also beneficial to the environment because it reduces waste and pollution from soil runoff. Through the study, students not only acquire knowledge about a common plant growing method but also raise awareness of environmental protection.