Medium-less growing opens new opportunities for growers in the nutritional, health and medicinal markets. This hydroponic method of growing plants in a nutrient rich water solvent rather than soil allows terrestrial plants to grow with just their roots exposed to the mineral solution. Not only will it allow you to increase your options, but also your bottom line, thanks to reduced labor and other costs.
Benefits of Geophytes
Geophytes, such as roots and tubers, are plants with their growing point beneath the soil or in an aquatic-based environment. There is an increasing interest in these crops, which play an important role in our diet and provide many nutritional and health benefits. While some tubers are being used as traditional and alternative medicines, new avenues for the use of geophytes are being explored daily.
Roots and tubers have been consumed throughout history. They are economical and nutritious, not to mention delicious, with flavors ranging from sweet to earthy. Included in the root family are parsnips, turnips, beets, celeriac, carrots and sweet potatoes. Tubers are formed at a root’s base, storing starch, which serves as energy for new stem growth. Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, yams, and jicama are all tubers.
Health and Medicine
Foods derived from plants play a prominent role in plant-based diets, which are becoming increasingly popular due to the purported prevention of diseases and conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Medicinally, roots have been employed for thousands of years, including more recently:
- Ginger is a root used for treating stomach problems, along with flu and colds, congestion and headaches.
- Kava Kava is known for its calming qualities and is used to treat sleep conditions, depression, chronic fatigue, stress, muscle pain, anxiety, headaches, migraines and respiratory infections.
- Licorice root is used as a treatment for bronchitis, sore throats and stomach ulcers.
- Maca is reputed to enhance memory, fertility and hormone imbalances, stamina and energy.
- Turmeric is used for the treatment of stomach, liver and gallbladder issues, arthritis, headaches, infections and menstrual cramps.
- Valerian root is used to treat sleep disorders, including chronic insomnia.
Choosing the Right Growing System
If you’re interested in expanding your crops by cultivating geophytes, using the right growing system is paramount, both in terms of plant quality and costs. Whole Plant Technologies’ Grow Tray System is a hydroponic-aeroponic hybridized system that is grow-medium free. Our patented system helps stave off issues such as root-rot by not continually submerging the roots. Our system removes the need for soil, or materials such as coco coir, or rockwool, which greatly decreases costs.
Contact Whole Plant Technologies to learn more about our Grow Tray System and other ways to enhance your farming operation.