This past summer space age technology took root along the John Knox Village pool deck. The three aeroponic growing systems allow John Knox Village to grow up to 20 vegetables, herbs or fruits either indoors or outdoors for use in our dining venues.
Aeroponics was first developed by scientists in the 1920s as an academic study, but it was not until 1970 when hydroponics and aeroponics were combined and first put into use. One of the most recognizable gardens made its debut at Disney’s Epcot Center in 1982.
Utilizing the same technology used by NASA, the aeroponic gardens grow plants with only water and nutrients rather than dirt. The towers produce plants three times faster than traditional gardens with 30% greater yields.
John Knox Village’s tower gardens currently feature tarragon, red bell peppers, parsley, kale, several varieties of lettuce, basil and dill. The design for the garden and the establishment of the proper hydration were a collaboration between Chef Jeff Hollen and residents Ann and Larry Jobe.
The first harvested greens were featured on sandwiches in the Grill in August. Later harvests were used in trio salads in September.
Unlike traditional gardens, the aeroponic towers deliver water and nutrients to the plants when needed and do not require pesticides or weeding.