Soon, your garden might require no dirt whatsoever.
Laura Rokosz, adjunct professor of Nutrition Sciences in the Department of Chemistry and Physics, Monmouth University School of Science, explores the vertical irrigation design of aeroponic gardens.
Laura Rokosz is a seasoned Pharmacologist and Food Scientist with 28 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D in Food Science from Rutgers University and is the current Chair of the Rutgers Food Science Advisory Board. Dr. Rokosz was employed with Schering-Plough, Merck and Pharmacopeia where she honed her drug development skills in a plethora of therapeutic areas including, but not limited to Metabolic Diseases, Neurological disorders, Pain and Inflammation, Cancer and Infectious disease. She is the author of over 30 peer reviewed journal articles including five Expert Opinion articles on Obesity and Cancer. Dr. Rokosz is currently the owner of EGGLROCK Nutrition, LLC, an Integrative Healthcare practice providing dietary and lifestyle guidance to achieve optimal health.
Aeroponics is a unique and increasingly popular gardening technique. The reason why it is appealing is because it is soil-less and therefore, amenable to a vertical irrigation design. In an aeroponic garden, the plants can be suspended in a Tower-like apparatus where the water softly trickles on to the roots. This, in turn, promotes improved air circulation which expedites plant growth.
This horticulture technology is so simple and efficient that it is sanctioned by NASA and you may have even noticed it in the Living with the Land attraction at Disneyland.
As part of a Healthcare initiative to promote clean eating I have been traveling among school and civic communities to tout the benefits of growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs using aeroponic gardening.
This growing method is extremely efficient because it uses far less water and space than any other methodology and the plants are as clean and organic as they can get. I personally, don’t even wash the food that I harvest from my garden and just about any edible plant can be grown including cantaloupe and watermelon, but excluding root vegetables.
One variety of this gardening system, The Tower Garden, comes with a conveniently proportioned food tonic consisting of the same minerals that you find in soil, along with organic Nitrogen sources. It requires minimal maintenance other than adding water to the trough when it gets low, adding food tonic every two weeks or so, and harvesting, which ensures continued growth.
Recently, I set up a garden with the students and Physical Education teacher at St. John the Apostle school in Clark, New Jersey. The Tower Garden was initially set up outdoors but recently was moved to one of the Science classrooms for the winter where the plants are still growing like gang-busters. These students are not only learning about the benefits of growing your own food but also acquiring an appreciation of the science behind Aeroponic gardening.