Bulding a World Without Hunger : The Massive and Passive Hydroponic System Project

If you have visited my blog within the past few days you have probably realized that I am interested in the further development and use of non-recirculating, totally passive hydroponic systems which are extremely easy to use and require no electricity or high setup costs. These systems are very important due to the fact that if made cheap and reliable enough they could vastly reduce the costs and water usage of agricultural crops around the world, making food cheaper, much more widely available, giving people in third world countries independence over the conditions of their soil allowing the cultivation of a wide variety of crops in areas where it was previously simply not possible.
However the fact is that currently the knowledge we posses about totally passive systems and the reliability of such implementations (and more importantly their robustness) has not been studied widely enough. For this reason I decided to start a project called the Massive and Passive Hydroponic Project or MPHP which is my attempt to use the internet – and most importantly the people who are interested in hydroponic around the world – to research this topic and get experimental results over different parts of the world, with different conditions and with totally different plant species.

Certainly many people will think that the information obtained in this way will have a ton of variability and therefore little value to further research on this field. On the contrary, I believe that – although such variability does exist – it could bring us very important and relevant information regarding the robustness and implementation easiness of such systems all around the world. Surely if these type of systems are to become good enough to replace a significant part of an agricultural setup they will need to be very robust and adapted against a wide variety of different conditions. This is what I want to find out with this project.

So if you want to help the world, help us gather information and build your own totally passive hydroponic crop, feel free to participate in the MPHP so that you can help us establish the robustness, production and conditions under which totally passive hydroponic systems can be implemented with success. If you want to participate just download the below mentioned document and send me an email to dfernandezp(at)unal.edu.co or leave a comment on this post. By following the instructions within the pdf and gathering information you will help build a better world and you will definitely learn a lot about passive hydroponic gardening :o)



  • Adley
    September 3, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

    Thank you again, I really like your idea and I will find some thing to establish my own passive hydroponic system.

  • Adley
    September 9, 2010 @ 1:57 am

    Hello Daniel,

    At first, thank you very much, I already translated the article, Hydroponic Nutrients, Are They Unnatural?

    My family are really like your article. That is why I want to thank you again.

    By the way, could I translate this article and PDF of Building a World Without Hunger: The MPHP.

    I want to share this idea to my friends, possibly they will follow this idea and collect more data.

    If this article is translated, I think I can collect data from my country. How about it?

    Best Regard

  • Daniel
    September 9, 2010 @ 2:07 am

    Hello Adley,

    Thank you very much for your comment and interest :o) Certainly, feel free to translate this article and the pdf, any additional data -if gathered adequately – is of great help. Thanks again for all your interest,

    Best Regards,


  • Lucía
    March 3, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    I do not speak English. This is machine translation, and not as is. I think need to be translated into Spanish PDF is widely spoken foreign language. Many poor people know how to use a PC but do not know English. May be interested in hydroponics if no land to grow crops. Machine translations are not reliable when there are technical details. Can ruin the experiment. I encourage you to try. I have little money and I can not lose in the attempt. Anyway I congratulate you and I encourage you to continue. You can make a difference. Our governments seem not to care hunger. We must defend themselves. Thanks

  • Joe Oliver
    June 16, 2011 @ 3:39 pm


    I am very interested in this project. However, I am not entirely sure of how to get the best chemicals to make the solutions. I have a little education in chemistry (1st year), but have been doing hydroponic gardening for years, now. I would like to help enable some people in the inner city learn to feed themselves better. There is a group in Indianapolis, Indiana that is planting greens in abandoned lots. They are trying to make the most of what they have. Unfortunately, the lots are often heavily polluted and somewhat sparse. The success they have had with what little they have to work with has proven to me that this project could be greatly successful here. Can you help me figure out to get what I need to get this project going here?

    There are several religious groups in Indiana that are helping the poor. Though I am not religious at all, I am more than happy to try to get the religious groups involved. I have already been approached by one mission group after they saw my hydro setup, but they determined that the need for electricity and commercial nutrients was far to impractical for their purposes. I believe you may be able to assist me in making this more practical. There is also a secular group here in Indiana that is interested in providing a community service type project such as this. I appreciate your time and hope you and I can work to bring this project to Indiana, USA.

    Thank you,

    Joe Oliver

  • Paco Loso
    January 7, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    Hi Daniel,
    I don’t see many posts here of people that are participating. It is not time to start this project yet for me here in Iowa, but is worth considering. New to the site, i’m not sure you have the results from other particpants somewhere else. I am new to hydroponics, and excited to investigate your page, and I have downloaded the nutrient program. So that’s my story, kind of late to the hydro/agriculture world being in my 50’s, but with some college study in physics and chemistry I can see the potential in your ideas.

  • Alex
    April 14, 2012 @ 3:04 am

    Hello Mr.Fernandez,

    Thank you do much for maintaining this wonderful site. I have recently discovered it.

    –If any of the contents of my posting are not fit to be published, please supress at your discretion. —

    – My native language is not English, please forgive any mis-spellings.-

    I am relatively new at hydroponics. I have a great deal of curiosity about it ( from experimental and fun point of view ).

    I have been able to prepare formulas from scratch (purchasing suplies from agricultural stores -potassium nitrate, calcium nitrate, etc- ), and grow very good plants without the aid of an EC meter and without a scale.

    ( Where I live there are no hydroponic suplies whatsoever ).
    ( As a matter of fact, it is forbidden by law to import such suplies ).

    My tools are:
    – A graduated kitchen measuring cup ( in ml and ounces ).
    – A set of kitchen measuring spoons ( spoon, 1/2 spoon, teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon ).
    – A few syringes (10 ml, 30ml, 60ml ).
    – Aquarium pH test kit ( range 6 to 7.5 ). or Phenol Red (colorimetric pH tests).
    – My eyes (to observe the plants!)
    – A spreadsheet where I do my own calculations/conversions of spoons –> grams –> ppm , etc.

    Most plants have been grown in soda bottles and buckets, to hold the solution, and a small cup on top, with sand as media.

    Most plants I have grown are with NO active bubbling on solutions. ( no electricity used at all ).

    I have done experiments comparing bubbling air vs non bubbling air in the solutions.

    ( Bubbling is not a “must”, as pointed out by Dr. Gericke. Bubbling will give you a huge set of roots, that’s about it ). I have grown many wonderful plants without any bubbling. Sometimes better yield with no bubbling ! (following Dr. Gericke’s technique).

    I have ran many experiments with different solution formulas / concentrations / pH, micro-nutrients, etc.

    ( There are still many more experiments I will conduct, there is plenty to learn on this subject ).

    I have found some very easy ways to grow things ( from herbs to tomatoes, peppers, radishes ).

    Also, I have found that there is plenty of non-sense, lies and myths published on the internet.(repeated thousands of times by means of copy-paste).

    I have many pictures (hundreds) of all these things. From sprouting to harvest.

    I have uploaded some ( a few ) pictures into SkyDrive.

    This is the address to access the pictures I have uploaded:


    ( there are hundreds of pics I have not uploaded yet ).

    ( I recommend anyone interested in hydroponics, to read Dr. Gericke’s original book: The Complete Guide to Soilless Gardening. (by W.F.Gericke).

    (Dr. Gericke was the person who coined the term Hydroponics, he is the “master”).

    Here is the link. Anyone can read this wonderful book, written almost 100 years ago.


    ( it is a free and legal posting of the book ).

    After reading it, anyone will find out that there is nothing “new” in hydroponics. All “new” technologies were known back then. I learned more from that single book, than all modern books combined. This is the most precious book anyone can read about hydroponics ! ( I think so ! ).

    Dr.Gericke invented the “low cost” method of growing crops in large scale (using his technology: hydroponics). No electricity, simple, cheap, reliable. (basically, your idea of MPHP, almost one hundred years ago ).

    I have no idea why his ideas are not followed nowadays.

    If anyone is interested in the experiments I have conducted, please you are welcome to write: tthonduras@hotmail.com

    Thank you so much again for your wonderful site !,


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