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Why hydroponics should be used more in bars

These days I am toying quite a lot with the ideas of advanced hydroponics in bars.
Well... let us first of all understand, what does the word hydroponics mean?

nounnoun: hydroponicsthe process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients but without soil.

1930s: from hydro- ‘of water’ + Greek ponos ‘labour’ + -ics.
Plants are growing in a growth medium (other than water) - either way in normal sunlight or even under artificial growth light.
Some people might argue, that soil is the best medium to grow mint (as it contains sufficient and natural nutrition).

So why would it be so beneficial in the bar?

Here are the top 10 - why hydroponically grown mint, is better than your delivery of mint:

  1. Availability
    If you are growing mint yourself, it is not wilting. You have far lower wastage of mint.
  2. Health benefits
    Commercial produce (inclusive mint) is grown with the help of pesticides and herbicides, to keep the yield high and the plant "healthy". Growing yourself enables you to decide actively what kind of "help" you are using and in hydroponics, you can limit or even completely avoid any pesticides, insecticides and especially herbicides (a lot of pest and weeds are soil based).
  3.  Freshness
    It doesn't need a lot of explanation to understand, "a la minute" harvesting yields to the freshest produce.
  4. Practicality / more free space
    Let's face it, herbs take quite some space in our fridges, and you don't need only the herbs close to your working station, but also some more in your back of house fridges. Using herbs in places, where you would have probably any decoration, helps to utilize space more effectively.
  5. Cost effectiveness
    Very less wastage, you only harvest what you need.
  6. Variety of sub-types of mint (and other herbs)
    Some clever books suggest, that a Mojito is made with yerba buena and a Mint Juleps should be made with spearmint... but most of us are feeling lucky enough to have one specific mint genus. Growing on ourselves gives us the opportunity to have several mint varieties available for different drink - inclusive unique herbs like lemon balm (which also resides in the mint family) which can rarely be purchased otherwise. Further there are more ornamental mints, as well as unique flavored mints like chocolate mint, apple mint (...), which could be matched with respective cocktails. Same applies to basil, thyme, tarragon or even unique herbs like sweet woodruff.
  7. Better / more concentrated smell / taste
    A lot of herbs have the most concentrated smell, when they are very fresh (still in the "ground") - especially mint has some microscopic hair, which release the aroma, as soon as they are touched. But the bartender has to wash and "manhandle" the mint for his MEP and before it was harvested by the producer, transported etc. - most of these "aroma hair" is long gone, when mint is arriving to our bars. That means, the home-grown mint is always far superior in aroma.
  8. Ease of handling
    Pathogens and bacteria comes from the soil (e.g. e. coli) hydroponic grown mint (especially homegrown) theoretically doesn't has to be washed- or at least it can be just "flash-rinsed" - less work which leads to a far better quality.
  9. U.S.P.
    Home-grown is the next black (or better said the next "house-crafted"). It can be exploit in marketing - it is a story. It is a Unique Selling Point of your outlet.
  10. Fun
    It is fun to grow plants - and to see things, you have planted yourself growing. Hydroponics are also rather simple to maintain - and the plants are growing at least twice as quick as plants which are growing in soil. It is really a win, win, win.

Please let me know below in the comments, if you would be interested to learn more, how to grow plants in a (presentable) hydroponic system or even in aquaponics. What is the difference between hydroponics and aquaponics? Let me know, if you would like to find out in one of my next posts!


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