In an effort to get the whole Cape Air crew to eat their vegetables, we took advantage of the massive skylight in our lobby entrance to install two aeroponic Tower Gardens. So far we’ve grown lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and peppers. Aeroponics evolved out of the hydroponics method of growing plants and vegetables. It uses water and nutrients, but no soil.
Seeds are started in a substance called rock wool and are placed in the tower after they’ve sprouted. The tower’s base contains water and nutrients that are circulated hourly and grow lights surround the sides of the tower to augment the light from the skylight. The results are vegetables that grow approximately 3 times faster than they would outdoors. The big advantage is that you can have fresh vegetables year round and you don’t have to worry about any critters eating them first.
Lately, we’ve had to scale down our enthusiasm as it started to look and smell like a jungle in the lobby. Anything that grows on a vine had to be eliminated as they started to grow through the ceiling tiles. The vegetables that grow from flowers needed to be pollinated with a small paint brush, but it’s an inexact operation at best. At this point we’re sticking to different types of lettuce and herbs, especially basil because it smell so good. We’ve also learned to plant the vegetables at different intervals in order to always have them available. Now lunch often starts by picking a few leaves of lettuce or herbs to freshen up whatever is in the lunchbox. A healthy crew is a happy crew!
Cape Air – providing seaplane services since 1980