It has been most surprising that the ABC TV coverage of the aeroponic tower gardens atop the Bell Book & Candle restaurant in lower Manhattan did not get much coverage by the blogosphere.
CNN, however, thought it important enough to cover the story with a video that The Huffington Post picked up and now I have also.
Though the price at $500 per tower is high as a consumer product, the technology appears to have awesome potential for urban personal food production. Do not let price cloud your opinion. It will come down as manufacturing volume increases and competition arrives.
Incidentally, I previously referred to them as hydroponic gardens in error. The manufacturer calls them aeroponic. I have corrected prior posts. Perhaps it would be easier to simply call them "personal food producing machines".
Chef John Mooney shows off the rooftop farm above his soon to open restaurant, Bell Book & Candle, in this video from CNN.
Mooney plans to grow nearly all of the produce used in his restaurant on the roof, which utilizes an aeroponic system where plants are held in vertical towers that provide a nutrient-rich solution, using no soil. Because the solution has a regulated temperature, Mooney says they are able to grow 10 months out of the year. He also contends that the vertical setup not only saves space, but provides a more rapid growth for the food.
The benefits of the setup are obvious. With food going directly from the harvest to the consumer's plate, there is no need for energy-consuming transportation or the chemicals and refrigeration used to preserve products in that process. His patrons get the freshest possible meal, as a result.
"I believe, especially in an urban setting, that this is the wave of the future," Mooney tells CNN.