By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Zennor Hydroponics Farm is a farm in Palauig, Zambales that practices the soilless way of farming. It is founded and owned by Rafael Lardizabal Pagaling, a Bachelor of Arts in Development Communication, who travelled to different countries to learn all he can about the different hydroponic systems that large-scale farms use.
From his travels, he decided to apply his knowledge to his own farm, to great success.
Despite his success in soilless farming, Pagaling admitted that it was a trial and error experience that led him to perfecting the system for his farm. But for those who also want to go down the soilless farming route, he offers a few tips:
1. Start with a small quantity
Starting small is the most practical way to go about until one finally gets the hang of implementing farming in their daily routine. Additionally, those who are still experimenting on the particular hydroponic system they want to use can minimize the amount and cost of damages should they have trouble finding the one that best fits their needs.
2. Keep planting
There will be times when farming can be discouraging especially when the plants aren’t growing the way they should be. Pagaling advises to look past this and analyze the possible areas to improve to secure the productivity of the plants. He also said that once the plants are growing in optimum conditions, it’s time to add more varieties to create a diverse range of crops to offer.
3. Be unique to escape the competition
Zennor Hydroponics Farm boasts of English cucumbers which weigh from 500 to 600 grams fruit and are sold for P165 per kilo. From a hundred cucumber plants, Pagaling manages to harvest 278 kilos of English cucumbers which he affirms are crunchy, juicy, and superb in quality. Since not many are capable of growing this variety, Pagaling’s farm has an advantage in the market thus adding more to their profits.
4. Work first, reward comes next
As with the conventional farming approach and almost all things in life, hard work is necessary to ensure fruitful rewards. Pagaling not only experimented with the right hydroponic system to use in his farm but he also absorbed as much information as he could about hydroponic farming from seasoned farmers in the countries he visited. This way, he would know what’s the right thing to do in maintaining a hydroponics farm so he could reap the benefits from it later.
Even if it sounds a little complicated, Pagaling encourages others to practice hydroponic farming because of the many benefits it has. Some of these advantages include year-round farming, a sustainable way to grow clean and safe produce, as well as a good source of income.
The only thing left to do now is start.