B.C. food bank installing “vertical garden”
A food bank in Cloverdale, B.C. is installing an innovative growing wall, capable of producing up to 600 lbs of fresh produce yearly
A Cloverdale, B.C. food bank is going to start growing its own food this year, thanks to two new indoor growing walls. The walls will be capable of producing up to 600 lbs of fresh produce per year.
Hosted by the Zion Lutheran Church, this food bank typically serves approximately 80 families and up to 300 people. Produce is expensive, however, particularly in the winter; and often when people donate to a food bank, they give canned goods rather than fresh produce. The new growing wall will now allow the food bank to offer to a full array of salad greens, including lettuce, swiss chard, mustard greens, kale and collards.
The “vertical garden” will be installed by Langley, B.C.-based Living Garden Foods, an organization that specializes in this type of growing. According to a CBC report, the organization hopes similar vertical gardens will be implemented across the country in various communities struggling with food security.
The soil-less system uses a hydroponic technique to supply plants with a formulated nutrient solution added directly to the water, a technique that uses much less water and doesn’t require weeding. Water and nutrients get pumped from the bottom gutter to the top of the towers, then flow down to be absorbed by the plant roots, while the excess is drained back into the bottom gutter for reuse.
The installation of the “farm wall” will cost just over $5,000. A grant from the Vancity Shared Success program is helping to bring this project to fruition.