Dr. Luther W. Thomas

The father of Bioponics contributed more than just his genius…
Dr. Luther W. Thomas (1936 – 2002)

Dr. Luther W. ThomasHe was known worldwide for his brilliant writings and lectures in plant science, marketing, design, and for developing a breakthrough biogeochemical active nutrient solution for hydroponics that he named Bioponics. But perhaps Dr. Luther W. Thomas made his greatest contribution to the field of botany with his ability to share knowledge in a way that mentored growers worldwide encouraging them to maximize their own potential in the years to come.

Dr. Thomas’ beloved wife Amelia remembers him this way: “My beloved husband always astonished me with his brilliance and scientific knowledge. Luther was a man of honor and integrity.”

Close friend and protege Richard Middlebrook, CEO of Cornucopia Plus Corp., remembers: “Luther was a genius to me. He had the ability and vision to see things from a completely different viewpoint than the average human being. He treated me like a son. It was an honor to have him as a teacher, mentor, business consultant, and as a very dear friend.”

In his role as mentor, Dr. Thomas often told me:

  • “Don’t start anything you do not have the ability or knowledge to complete.”
  • “Always have a back-up.”
  • “Listen, you might learn something.”
  • “Trust me on this one”

Dr. Thomas died at sixty-six years of age on December 20, 2002 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

He was born in Virginia in 1936 and was a graduate of the University of Utah, Salt Lake, and the University of California, Berkeley, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and marine biology, a master of science degree in Microbiology, and a doctorate in biochemistry. He was also a Korean War veteran, serving from 1953 to 1957 with the 24th Division, 5th and 9th Regiments, Second Battalion, George Company, and a recipient of the Purple Heart.

Luther founded his first company, “Water Farm” in Orange County, California. He later was president and owner of the Earth and Sea Bioproducts and Applied Regeneration Technology, Water Science, in Kaysville, Utah. He was a founding member of the Association for Garden Writers of America and a contributing author to numerous agriculture publications including Acres USA, Growing Edge, and Practical Hydroponics. A sampling of his many titles include “You Are What You Eat,” “Enzymes for Plant Hereditary Potential,” The Role of Gases in Nutrient Solutions,” The Application of Organic Gardening to Hydroponics,” “Solution pH and Temperature as Limiting Factors,” “Organic Nutrient Extractor for Hydroponic Systems,” and “A Microbrial Culture Chemostat.”

Dr. Thomas’ visionary work serves as an inspiration to all growers and an example of what can be accomplished in the spirit of mentoring, scientific discovery, and applied knowledge for the good of all.