UH Culinary Institute to install 60 vertical farms

UH Culinary Institute to install 60 vertical farms

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific hopes to install 60 tower gardens in its test kitchen and elsewhere on its Diamond Head property later this year.

“The tower garden is a vertical aeroponic growing system that’s designed to grow dozens of food crops vertically kind of like a plant condominium off the ground away from pests and diseases,” said Tim Blank, chief technology officer of Tower Farms.

Each tower is 5 to 8 feet high and can grow dozens of green leafy vegetables. Developers says a tower farm uses 90 percent less water and 20 percent less land than a conventional farm.

"The emphasis on the farms is about food sovereignty so the majority of cold season temperate food crops come from places other than Hawaii so the idea is to grow local, source local for the restaurants here," said Blank.

Troy Albright has a 5,000-square-foot commercial tower farm in the desert of Phoenix, Arizona.

There are a handful of tower farms in Hawaii.

For about $500 per tower, homeowners can install one in or outside of their home.

“I love the fact that people need to eat more nutritional food so I own one of those farms and I really want people to realize that people can do this themselves,” said Albright.

Blanks says two towers feed his family a salad every night for dinner.

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