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From Wikipedia – “Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, mineral wool, expanded clay or coconut husk.

Researchers discovered in the 18th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water.[citation needed] In natural conditions, soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients in the soil dissolve in water, plant roots are able to absorb them. When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant’s water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive. Almost any terrestrial plant will grow with hydroponics. Hydroponics is also a standard technique in biology research and teaching.”

I visited the Twinville Homeowners’ Association Inc. located in Twinville Subdivision, Concepcion, Uno, Marikina City Manila Philippines yesterday. I visited their Hydroponic Lettuce Farm. I met and was given a tour and quick overview by Mr. Manny Manahan. It was a terrific experience! They are growing over 3,000 heads of lettuce on a 222 square meter lot in their town. This organization uses coconut husks – recycling coconut shells that would otherwise be thrown away.

Mr. Manahan explained how the plants are grown in recycled Styrofoam containers and cups. He showed us an ingenious method of using a recycled tin can to make holes in the Styrofoam containers so the cups, recycled Styrofoam cups, can be seated in water. The entire system is recycling and growing anti-oxidant-rich and organic-grown Lettuce that is pesticide free; great for health conscious individuals; and affordable.

This organization also teaches children and young adults how to grow. Mr. Manahan told us that in the Marikina City, the children spend most of their time on the Internet and/or watching TV. This project has allowed children and young adults to witness and experience plants, the outdoors, and responsibility. Mr. Manahan puts the names of the children on the cup and reports that now the children and young adults come every morning to see how “their” plants are growing! It costs very little to grow a plant – and now this project has become a livelihood program! The young people make some money; learn to grow; learn consistent responsibility; and most of all – learn how to make an honest living. These kids are in the middle of Manila – a huge city! Lots of distractions and ways of getting into trouble – but now, in a lot donated by a concerned citizen, they are growing vegetables! The normal growth period is 45 days – so lots of plants each year!

Mr. Manahan and his organization provide FREE seminars to people in the area. We will be using his services in our livelihood programs. Asia Verde Group is committed to the environment and wellness. The Hydroponic Farming and the processes and the recycling efforts fit perfectly into our advocacy and with our advocates! It is our pleasure to share and hopefully lives will be changed for the better. Earth Day is approaching. What a great way to honor Earth than by recycling and growing!

It was absolutely fantastic seeing this organization helping communities. We wish them well and hope to be a good partner in this endeavor.

I will report our progress in future blogs. For now – we will watch and learn. I will make sure to spotlight these activities on our website www.asiagreen.org. As we find such wonderful activities and organizations, we will report so everyone can participate and learn as we learn. Please participate! Share!

Regards,

Kevin

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