Horticulture and hospitality students at Peterborough Regional College have embarked on a collaborative initiative with Local Roots Limited, which will reduce the food miles associated with some of the ingredients used in the college?s own Parcs Restaurant to zero.
Local Roots Limited has set up a small version of a new vertical farming system, VydroFarm, recently launched by hydroponics innovator HydroGarden. Installed in the college?s on-site restaurant, the horticultural department will participate in a two to three month trial to grow fresh ingredients that can be used in the restaurant.
VydroFarm is a fully-controllable environmental system and features vertical racks on tracks that can be moved together to save space and maximise production density as well as enable easier harvesting. The system can be monitored and controlled remotely via smartphone, tablet or PC.
The VydroFarm at the college will hold up to 132 plants and the college?s horticultural students will be growing leafy greens, salads and herbs. The time it will take for a crop to grow will be up to 20% less than growing via traditional farming methods while also using less water.
?Utilising VydroFarm in a catering environment is just one of the applications through which it could make a significant contribution to providing sustainable solutions for future food production,? commented Stephen Fry, commercial sales manager for HydroGarden. ?Not only will it save on ingredient costs and delivery, it can become an exciting talking point, setting restaurants apart in a highly competitive market.?
For more information about VydroFarm and HydroGarden?s full range, visit: www.hydrogarden.co.uk