Private Property sign in foreground with beach behind it | Still from "Access Denied" on SoCal Connected

The Future of Farming: Hydroponic Tomatoes

Rows of healthy hydroponic tomatoes are nurtured and grown in a high-tech greenhouse facility in Camarillo, California.

Houweling's Tomatoes is a family-owned operation dedicated to reducing its environmental footprint, one nutrient-rich tomato at a time.

The tomatoes at this facility are fed nitrogen, potassium, and other elements like iron and zinc to give it that extra kick. Plants sink their roots in coconut fibers, aiding in the growth of vines that can reach approximately a foot a week.

Since the facility is completely enclosed, there are no weeds, no fungus, or need for any pesticides or fungicides. Advanced computer technology controls the humidity and carbon dioxide levels, and solar panels provide the facility with total energy independence.

With all of the benefits of hydroponic farming, why are other farmers not following suit?

Cal Poly Pomona professor Terry Fujimoto says it all boils down to the cost of implementing such an operation. "It's very expensive to take an acre and convert it into a hydroponic operation," he said.

Reporter Val Zavala chats with tomato growers for a rare look inside the one-of-a-kind greenhouse facility in Southern California.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Casey Houweling, Houweling's Hot House Group
  • Randy Shaw, Hot House Grower

 

 

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