Greetings and best wishes for the new year from the happiest place on earth – Disney World.
What does that have to do with gardening, you ask? Have you ever seen plants growing and bearing fruit completely suspended in the air, roots and all, pumpkins and eggplants hanging from trellises, like grapes, tomatoes growing on trees, nine pound lemons?
If you are ever at Epcot, don’t forget to visit the wonderful exhibit “Living with the Land”, a research lab where Disney and the Department of Agriculture push horticulture to the limit. For those who enjoyed the floating islands of Pandora, you might want to take a look at this: aeroponic growing systems. Water and nutrients are sprayed directly on the roots, no dirt required.
Aeroponics provides great ecological advantages through conservation of water and energy. An aeroponic system consumes one tenth of the water otherwise required to grow the plant and this amount can be further reduced to one twentieth. Additional oxygenation of roots stimulates plant growth and prevents attacks from pathogens. The aeroponic system allows plants full access to all the carbon dioxide available for photosynthesis.
Next time I start grouching about the soil not being all that I’ll stick this picture to my refrigerator and look at it.
If you would like to see more photos from Disney and not only, please check out All Year Garden’s photostream on Flickr