Hydroponics and controlled culture are on the rise in our industry, and we want to keep you informed on all the latest trends in this category. Last year, GPN conducted a reader survey to get a feel for the use of hydroponic methods in horticulture. We found that growers are adapting siginificant portions of their growing space to hydroponic production.
According to survey respondents, popular hydroponic crops are tomato, lettuce, cucumber and pepper, as well as herbs and microgreens. When asked what were the benefits to growing with hydroponic methods, growers mentioned improved control of inputs and plants, water conservation, crop uniformity, clean and healthier crops, and faster production.
Are you growing any crops hydroponically? Or are you planning to implement hydroponic methods in the near future? What are your thoughts on this rising trend in the industry? Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org  anytime; I'd love to hear from you.
And if you'd like to learn about how one grower combined his engineering experience with his love of agriculture to start his own hydroponic greenhouse operation, check out this article from the December 2013 issue of GPN: Hydroponic Grower Combines Technology and Agriculture .
— Jasmina 
CropKing, a manufacturer and distributor of hydroponic systems and supplies, has organized a two-day program  that incorporates teaching and demonstration to provide participants a clear understanding of controlled environment vegetable production systems. This workshop is designed to integrate technical teaching with demonstrations and time spent with the growing systems in a commercial scale hydroponic greenhouse. And for those who purchase a CropKing greenhouse package, the workshop cost is deducted from the purchase price.
Future Growing, a side project of EdgeAlliance, a non-profit organization that works with homeless HIV/AIDS patients, is building a hydroponic vegetable garden  in Chicago's Garfield Park this spring to help feed its clients and neighbors. Construction will begin in early spring on a quarter-acre of vacant land. The solar-powered greenhouse and soil-free growing system will allow them to harvest vegetables and herbs year-round. EdgeAlliance hopes to open the greenhouse by May, and it is already interviewing job applicants for the operation.
The Corning Incorporated Foundation has awarded a grant to a Sanford, Maine, junior high school for students to research and develop a 500-gallon aquaponic tank . According to Sanford Junior High School (SJHS) student Adam Genereux, the plants being grown in the greenhouse include basil and lettuce. "Everyday, the students that run the system are faced with problems that they need to overcome — problem-solving chemical levels, determining the plant health and maintaining the greenhouse," said Genereux. SJHS teachers hope that what the students learn in aquaponics can be used in their future.