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28 Jun

Amish Pioneer Non-Electric Hydroponics in New Book

Amish folks like these guys tend to avoid modern technology, but have adapted a style of hydroponic growing for their community. Amish folks like these guys tend to avoid modern technology, but have adapted a style of hydroponic growing for their community.

 

A new book set to be released this month detailing the lives of Amish communities across the U.S. has highlighted the growing trend of hydroponics among religious homesteaders.

Karen M. Johnson-Weiner's "The Amish" touches on the new push toward hydroponics by more progressive Amish groups, some with not enough farmland or poor quality soil, and for whom hydroponics provides a viable, long-term solution.

The Amish are agriculturally centered and tend to isolate themselves from mainstream society, rejecting the use of electricity and most modern technology.

"Nowhere in the Bible does it say you have to drive a horse and buggy and you can't have a car, but there's an appreciation that having a horse and buggy keeps you separate from the world and keeps you focused on the community," says Weiner.

Because of this, hydroponics has been given a lo-fi makeover by the group, who use greenhouses to harness sunlight instead of lamps, and employ pneumatics, natural gas, thermostats and manual controls to move water, monitor their crops and control temperature.  While a bit more labour intensive and only suitable for growing crops certain times of the year, non-electric hydroponics is allowing for greater farming opportunities without compromising Amish customs.

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