I'm Kristen, and I'm currently a Master Gardener Intern in Prince Georges County, MD. However, I live in the North East quadrant of Washington D.C., and my small backyard is perfect for a small urban container garden.
I'm passionate about vegetables, herbs, and anything I can grow that's edible, although I'm branching out into some flowers and other purely ornamental and lovely things. One of things I really love about my garden is that I have really tried to have a nice mix of varieties, and that includes fruit! I currently have fall--bearing raspberries and strawberries, and new this year, fall-bearing blackberries.
I'm very excited to be joining this blog as a new contributor, as I've been reading it for the past two years, and I can only hope to add something worthwhile to the already excellent content. I'll be concentrating on container gardens and related books, resources, and examples of ways to grow a little something even if you don't have any ground to do it in!
One of the best things about container gardens is that they are getting to be so widespread now, and come in so many shapes, sizes, and designs. Recently I was traveling for work and had a connecting flight in Chicago's O'Hare airport.
If I hadn't been going to a smaller terminal, to get on a connecting flight, I wouldn't have ever noticed this:
That glowing light in an otherwise dreary airport terminal, tucked up on the second floor was a beacon to me as I was passing through, and I just knew I had to investigate.
It turns out it was an urban aeroponic garden that supplies freshly-grown produce to some of the restaurants in the airport. How neat!
Seeds are planted in small cubes of natural rock-based fiber, then the seeds are bathed in warm, mineral rich water. Once the plants reach a certain size, the are transplanted into the Tower Gardens.
There are 26 total plant towers, which are suspended above a 20 gallon reservoir of nutrient solution that is internally pumped through a self-sustainable planting tower. Aeroponic systems grow plants in a water and mineral nutrient solution without soil, which is a fantastic way of growing a lot of food in a unique space such as an airport. In fact, the informational placards placed around the garden informed me that this is the worlds first vertical aeroponic garden inside an airport terminal!
|Cilantro, Swiss Chard, and Oregano|
Compared to traditional soil gardening, aeroponic systems like this one
- Can produce a higher yield per square foot
- Require no weed pulling
- Provide year-round cultivation
- Use about two-thirds less water
|Two 50 gallon barrels for the entire system.|
|Habaneros were the biggest and most prominent vegetable growing the day I visited.|
|Lettuce mix, Cherry tomatoes branching out, and bushy cilantro.|
|The market located immediately beneath the garden helps to advertise the garden and direct visitors to it above. It also delivers tasty, healthy food!|