Fresh produce is always the game of the day in a quality restaurant and New York restaurateur John Mooney has taken the concept to a modern dimension. The introduction of a rooftop hydroponic garden. This allows food being served at Bell, Book and Candle to have a large portion of its daily produce selected from its vertical roof top garden.
Vertical hydroponics is a fairly modern way of farming and maximising space but the original hydroponic technology linking plants with water isn’t as new as people think. But what has changed is the way people look at food and this is driving modern gardening technologies.
Another important aspect of hydroponics besides being able to grow things on your doorstep is that its also environmental with the reduced cost of water usage to conventional farming which can be using as little as 10% in comparison to large scale agriculture. The nutrient injections to the roots of plants mean they grow faster because they are right at the plants tips. This means for the plants they don’t need a huge root system but instead can concentrate on growth upside. The growth rates are generally double that of soil based plants.
Now the system being used at the restaurant is called Tower Gardens and come in at a hefty $499 a unit. Ok for commercial and restaurant growers but maybe a bit hefty for most households unless mix cropping. The system however uses aeroponics which instead of soaking the roots in water it sprays a mist at the plant roots. This gives high yields and extremly intense flavours for vegetables with very little waste.