Grow Your Greens with Home Hydroponics

Two years ago I started to research hydroponic systems that could be used in the home.  Living in the Midwest I grew produce all summer but relied on supermarket produce in the winter.  I missed fresh food and knew it is not a sustainable practice to get lettuce from California or Mexico.  I purchased my Nutritower and set it up in my basement. The system is 5.5 feet high and 2 feet wide. I have not purchased lettuce since 2018.  The system works great for lettuce, chard, arugula, bok Choi, basil, parsley, peppers and even fennel. This is an ideal way to have fresh produce and reduce your carbon footprint.  I love my tower.  The bright lights are very soothing in the winter also.  

Since my dive into growing food indoors in the winter, the hydroponic/ aquaponic market has expanded.  You can now find plans to make your own system with very simple supplies.  There are various size systems to buy online from small enough to sit on a kitchen counter to almost industrial size. The home gardener can invest from $100-1000 depending on the size and complexity of the system.  My system is in the basement but many people in apartments can garden in their kitchen or dining room. The system has also been used in schools to teach children about growing. There is likely a system for everyone. Happy growing!

According to Michigan State University research, vegetables grown locally in Iowa traveled an average of 56 miles to market and that conventionally grown food traveled an average 1,494 miles to get to market.  As to specific vegetables the report stated that pumpkins traveled eight times farther than locally grown and that broccoli traveled as much as 92 times farther than did local produce to reach the points of sale. Wow, that is around 50 gallons of gas (30mi/gallon), wonder what the carbon footprint of that costs the earth?

– Our Earth


Linda Fisher

  • I am a retired physician who now spends time as a master gardener, certified music practitioner, beekeeper and most importantly a grandmother.
  • Chicago, Illinois