THE ORIGINS OF HYDROPONIC
The origins of hydroponics can be traced back to the ancient city of Babylon, where present-day Iraq is located. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is the first known example of soil-less growth of plants. This was around 600 BC. Later on, around 1100 BC, the Aztec Indians got creative with their growing techniques and created gardens that seemed to be floating. These “floating gardens” were called ‘chinampas’, which had a strong combination of roots and lashes, laden with sediment from lake-bottoms, providing nutrients to the crops and plantations.
Similar floating plantations were discovered by Marco Polo on his visit to China, which left him bewildered as he hadn’t seen anything like this ever before. The first scientific perspective towards this soil-less technique is attributed to the Italian genius, Leonardo da Vinci, who observed that plants and crops needed to absorb minerals to survive. His findings were published after his death, that implied his famous branching rule: “all the branches of a tree at every stage of its height when put together are equal in thickness to the trunk”.