Technology


What is Hydroponics ?

Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without the use of soil. It is also known as “Soil-less culture”. The word comes from the culture of growing plants in water From the Greek – hydros meaning water & Ponos meaning labor.

In soils, nutrients and water are randomly placed, and often plants need to expand a great deal of energy by growing long roots to find water and nutrients. By expanding this energy, the plants growth is not as fast as it could be.

It is also important to understand that plants grown in hydroponics are no different to plants grown in soil: they will have the same physiology. With hydroponics the plants take up the same nutrients as those grown in soil, though the content can be more accurately controlled.

Plants absorb nutrients as ions in water. The plants will not absorb the correct nutrients unless the “E.C” Electrical Conductivity and PH level is correctly balance within the water meaning that the alkalinity and acidity is satisfactory. It is possible to say almost any plant will grow with hydroponics techniques.

The mineral elements used within Emirates Hydroponics Farms start out as natural mine rocks or mineral deposits which originated from mother earth.

Hydroponics Production Figures

Hydroponics is a relatively new concept to the U.A.E, unlike in European countries, it has been around for a very long time whereby the great majority of greenhouse vegetables grown and consumed in the European Union (EU) are grown hydroponically. For example, the Dutch greenhouse industry is a major producer and exporter of salad vegetables? Of this vegetable production, well over 80% is grown hydroponically and is sold as high end quality produce.

Emirates Hydroponics Farms is very well recognized within the Gulf Countries and continues to lead the way with hydroponics by on going investments into Research & Developments, to further improve the agriculture sector and to educate students and farmers alike about better farming practices.

Hydroponics Food Safety

Hydroponics is, very clean and safe. The European Union has very strict food safety laws and a rigorous sampling and testing program to police this. Hydroponics produce has comfortably met all these requirements for well over 20 years.

E.H.F regularly sends samples of their farm grown produce to labourities for testing of bacteria such as e-coli and the results were that E.H.F showed no signs of E-coli. Method for testing was US FDA BAM. (copy is available under our NEWS section for viewing).

Genetic Engineering Free

All seeds used by Emirates Hydroponics Farms are free from Genetic Engineering.

Environmentally Friendly

Emirates Hydroponics Farms understands the importance of the environment and it's doing its part towards a cleaner and safer environment for our future generations.

Saving Water

Since 97% of the earth water is salt water, which can be used if processed by desalinization plants, over 2% is part of the Ice Cap, there is less than 1% that is actually available for human use. When considering the savings in water usage with hydroponics compared to traditional and / or organic farming it must be said that hydroponics has a very strong future and without a doubt hydroponics will continue to change the way produce is currently been grown.

Recirculation Watering System

The computerized system being used, allows for the correct balance of both water and nutrients to each plant. Any water that has not been absorb by the plants or evaporated into the atmosphere is collected into a watering tank, filtered and recycled. This allows for a considerable saving towards the usage of water when compared with traditional and conventional farming. For example to produce 1 kg of the following vegetables, you will see from the graph the amount of water that is required from seed to harvest.

Category Traditional Farming/kg E.H.F / kg Water saving / kg yield
Lettuces   86 Gallons   5 Gallons 81Gallons
Herbs per pot   44 Galons    1 Gallons calculated per pot
Tomatoes 360 Gallons 12 gallons 348 Gallons
Strawberries 370 Gallons 54 Gallons 316 Gallons

Packaging

Where ever possible the most environmentally – friendly packaging material is used. For example certain bags are made of polypropylene. Polypropylene which is an environment-friendly material. When incinerated it turns into carbon dioxide and water. In other words it becomes part of the cycle in nature.

Fertilizer & Nutrients used at Emirates Hydroponics Farms

The farm has installed individual watering tanks, so that the correct water / nutrient can be supplied to the different plants as well as to their growing stages. This allows E.H.F to accurately prepare individual nutrient mix, ranging from seedlings in the nursery stage, right through to maturity when they are ready for harvest. The water used at the farm is analyzed by a certified laboratory to determine the contents & level of both minerals & trace elements currently within the water. Once this has been analyzed the correct balance of nutrients can then be added to the water providing the plants with the essential nutrients. Each individual nutrient has a specific role in plant growth. If the nutrients is not balance correctly the effectiviness of plants growth will suffer. For example magnesium and nitrogen is important for the production of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll will be restricted if there is a lack of magnesium By supplying the correct balance of water and nutrients to the plants, this will result in higher quality produce providing a better natural taste, balanced texture and better controlled water content, i.e. with tomatoes they will have a firm solid flesh content and less water.

Medium

The seedling / plants are not placed into the soil. Instead alternative natural medium from mother earth is used as described below. The medium once used can be returned back into the recycling system of nature. and after the medium is returned back into the earth recycling system it also becomes environmentally friendly.

Rock Wool: This is made from Basalt rock (volcanic rock) which when heated to over 1600 deg it goes back to its original formation as volcanic lava. It is then spun in a chamber that creates fine light weight fibers. Rock wool is ideal for hydroponics as it retains excellent water as well as helping towards supplying oxygen to the roots of the plants via their loose fiber. Rock wool is also recyclable.

Organic Potting Mix: This potting mix is imported in from Europe. The P.H level has been adjusted to a neutral level with limestone. Up to 98% certified as Organic. This potting mix is widely used throughout E.H.F herb range.

Coco Coir: Friendly Coco Coir Peat is the coir fiber pith produce as a bi-product when coconut husks are processed for the extraction of long fibers from the husk. Coco Coir Peat is the binding material that comes from the fiber fraction of the coconut husk. It can hold up to 8 times its own weight in water.

Perlite: is a naturally occurring siliceous rock when heat to appropriate temperature it expands up to 20 times its original size. It is light weight, sterile non-toxic.


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