Hydroponic gardens are nothing new. The famed “Hanging Gardens of Babylon”, one of the lost wonders of the world, were a massive, elaborate hydroponic gardening project. Hydroponics is perfect for either growing plants in an environment where they wouldn’t normally take or areas where the local soil isn’t up to the task.

The real point of hydroponic gardening is to get your plants all of the nutrients they need without any pollutants. If you live close to a mine, an industrial plant that dumps dubious things into the local water supply, or the site of a recent natural disaster, your topsoil may be missing or your soil itself may have too many toxins for your plants to thrive. Don’t let that stop you from eating.

The silver lining behind the dark cloud of bad soil is that a lot of plants love being in a hydroponic environment. Vegetables, common kitchen herbs, and spice- bearing plants grow between 30-50% faster in a properly maintained hydroponic setting than they do in the soil. If you’re in a position where you have seeds and a hungry family, hydroponics can be faster, safer, cleaner, and easier to protect than growing in soil.

In its most basic form, a hydroponic garden needs a container for water, nutrient powder, an air pump (just like the ones you see in home aquariums), and something nice and solid for the plants to hold onto. Hydroponics may seem like a lot of work, but believe it or not, hydroponic gardening is simpler than most modern farming. Growing food has never been easy, but today it’s more in your control than ever before.