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Indoor hydroponic vegetables during Shmitta

Question:

Shalom Rabbi,
I would like to grow hydroponic vegetables (lettuce, basil, spinach etc) indoors (7th floor) using circulating water mixed with liquid fertilizer. The vegetables are in non-perforated container. There is no use of soil or grow media (perlite, Coco coir, etc). Is this permissible including germinating and planting hydroponically? I use foam, cotton and jute string to secure the plants and hydrate the roots. What are the permitted parameters? Can you please provide references? Thank you

Answer:

It is permitted to grow the hydroponics in the way you are describing. This is because there is no planting in the earth here. Added to the fact that it in indoors, and the container is non-perforated, it is in a house and not in a place made for planting, and you are not using a fertilizer that is similar to earth.

With everything written here it would still be a good idea for you to speak with a Rov who can give you personal guidance with this, as it can get tricky.

Best wishes

Sources:

 ראה ספר השמיטה להרב טוקצינסקי ח”ב פ”ח פיסקה ב’ שכתב להתיר זריעה במים, דרכי אמונה שמיטה פ”א ציון הלכה ס”ק ק”י בשם החזו”א, והרב קלמן כהנא ז”ל העיד בשם החזון איש להתיר בעציץ שאינו נקוב תחת תקרה מובא בהקדמתו לספר הידרופוניקס מאת מ שורץ. וכן באז נדברו חי”ד ס’ נ”ג, בשו”ת נחפה בכסף ח”א חיו”ד סי’ ה’, דרכי הוראה ח”ח עמ’ צ”ט, השביעית והלכותיה פ”ד ל”ב.

 

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