Made a fat $2.24. Time to buy a taco! Seriously, I'm thinking about writing 50 original articles every week. All I want to do is pay my grocery bill, gas, and telephone bill off of writing. I'm starting a garden, so I wrote a quick 8th grade level article on hydroponic gardening. Start a hydroponic vegetable garden, and say goodbye to overpriced grocery store produce. Have you noticed that it costs more money to eat healthy than it does to fatten your family on fast food. I suggest starting a home garden so that your family can enjoy the benefits of healthy fresh vegetables without the high cost. Traditional gardening is labor intensive, and the cost of soil and water can eat into a frugal gardener's budget. Hydroponic gardening is a lot cheaper, it's self-sufficient, and it grows faster than traditional gardening. Hydroponics is a gardening technique that has been in use since biblical times. The hanging gardens of Babylon used hydroponics, and European explorers were astonished by the hydroponic gardens of the ancient Inca. Hydroponics is essentially gardening with a nutrient free medium. Traditional gardening uses soil, which provides the plant nutrients, but in hydroponics the medium that supports the plant is void of any nutritional value. In hydroponics, plants receive nutrients externally: they are fed from a nutrient solution that the gardener feeds them. Plants grown hydroponically grow faster, larger, and are often healthier than plants grown in soil. Hydroponics provides more oxygen, more nutrients, and the soilless medium allows the plants to grow much longer roots. Another benefit of hydroponics is that it prevents soil diseases, and parasites. In traditional gardening, if one plant is diseased, then all plants are diseased. This is not so in hydroponics, since each plant has its own personal ecology, it is free from the influence of the plants surrounding it. A simple hydroponic setup for growing tomatoes would consist of a 5 gallon bucket, perlite (soil replacement), a seedling, and nutrient solution. You save money on water because the plants are individually watered, and not drenched from above like in traditional gardening. You simply hand water the plants with a nutrient solution, and all you need is sunlight and time before you can enjoy your own vegetables. Another inexpensive hydroponic gardening technique is called the raft method. The raft method is a passive hydroponic system that is similar to what the ancient Inca's used to grow their vegetables. The raft method is the simplest of all methods, and can be used to grow several pounds of lettuce per month. The raft method is exactly what it sounds like: You need a container that will hold 15 gallons of water/ nutrient solution, and a raft that the plants float on above the water. The plant's roots hang from the raft, and submerge themselves into the water. Lettuce grows very quickly in this system because they always have access to water, and nutrients. Hydroponics is a great way to enjoy fresh vegetables without the cost and labor of traditional gardening.