FREEHOLD, NJ — The Monmouth County Environmental Council, a division of the Monmouth County Planning Board is hosting a Spring Roundtable at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29 at the Monmouth County Agricultural Building, 4000 Kozloski Rd.

The Spring Roundtable will focus on soil-free growing systems, known as hydroponics, for farmers and gardeners. The primary benefits of this system include water reuse, increased growing density, a faster growth cycle and a year-round growing season.

“Monmouth County is doing its part to promote new agricultural economic opportunities and technology through its Grown in Monmouth initiative,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County Planning Board. “The Grown in Monmouth initiative works to assist our farmers and related businesses with building, marketing and diversifying their operations. Hydroponics may be a growing method that compliments existing operations.”

Each of the scheduled speakers will highlight their experiences and operations in Monmouth County. Invited speakers are: Scott Thompson, a member of the Environmental Council who works in design and sales of greenhouse and Hydroponics system, and local growers from Thompson Family Farm in Wall, Kula Farm of Asbury Park, and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service of Monmouth County. A question and answer session will follow.

Farmers, community gardeners, home gardeners, hobbyists, students, teachers, and anyone interested in learning more about hydroponic systems are encouraged to attend.

Hydroponic facilities can be large scale facilities for commercial growing or as small as a table-top operation using an aquarium to pump water over plant roots. Local hydroponic farms in Monmouth County are currently delivering ingredients to local restaurants year-round.

The Roundtable will debut a County-produced video featuring local hydroponic systems and farms currently in action throughout Monmouth County.