Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 3-15-2021


Meacham, K. 2021. Unconventional Agriculture: An Exploration of Hydroponics and Aquaponics and Their Role as a Solution to Food Scarcity. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Kai Meacham 2021.


Unconventional agriculture includes methods of farming that are defined by unique farming practices and a focus on sustainability. Unconventional agriculture can take many forms, including hydroponic systems and aquaponic systems. These two systems are unique in the sense that they are soilless methods of growing plants. Both of these systems require careful monitoring because they do not have soil to act as a buffer and help maintain normal levels. Though these two systems are very similar they have some key differences in how they function, which ultimately leads to differing advantages and disadvantages of both systems. Additionally, these systems have the opportunity to help decrease the number of food deserts in our society. Because these systems can be used in urban settings and to grow food in controlled conditions year-round, access to healthy food can be increased in low-income, high-minority areas. This exploration of hydroponics, aquaponics, and their role in our society is presented in the form of a short magazine to engage readers and reach a wider audience that has limited technical experience.