Senior gardeners use new technology to grow
November 2, 2012 (ABC7
Chicago) -- Farming has come a long way in the last few decades and
there's at least one group of young-at-heart gardeners who say they are glad
for the upgrade. The product is better for them and the process is easier on
Not all new technology requires a password, and some seniors are likely
grateful for it. They are growing organic produce in vertical towers (Tower
Garden by Juice Plus+) on the
roof of the Salvation Army in Blue Island. The process calls for minimal
effort and yields a harvest in about six weeks.
"This is quite a unique system. This is the only apparatus that doesn't
require any dirt. It's simply air and water," said John Bell, garden
"You just have to monitor the nutrients that are going in and make sure
the water is running otherwise it takes care of itself," said Maria Bell,
The produce has a short commute from farm to fork. The towers generate
the equivalent of 10 acres of farmland. The chef harvests what he needs and
includes in the free lunch served to about seventy seniors every day.
"We should be able to produce all the lettuce we use, all the kale that
we use, all the tomatoes that we use, all the cucumbers that we use. So it
takes a big chunk out of having to buy from a purveyor," said Chris Fron,
chef, Salvation Army.
Volunteers say it's rewarding to see the fruits of their labor land on
"Seniors don't get enough of good, healthy food and to be able to be a
part of giving seniors good, healthy, nutritious food is rewarding. You feel
good about it," said Joseph Martin, garden volunteer.
You can find out more about aeroponic gardening here.