Farming Without Soil: Hydro Harvest Farms’ Hydroponic Story

By Carolina Fojo, East Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation

Have you ever seen a farm grow produce using minerals, nutrients, and water, but no soil? Farmer John Lawson is doing just that—and growing about six times more produce than the typical farm in the process, he says!

As part of our Farm to Fork program, begun in 1999, Bon Appétit Management Company purchases fresh, seasonal produce from small, local farmers around the country. We recently celebrated the milestone of 1,000 such vendors. As a Fellow for Bon Appétit, I get to travel to these different farms and learn about the joys and challenges farmers today face, and capture them on video. Below, John Lawson gives me a tour of Hydro Harvest Farms and shares some of the benefits (would you believe less water?) and challenges of his soilless style of farming.