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By Lauren Kruchten and Mario Boucher
Raleigh is getting its first hydroponic community garden.
A local restaurateur and his father are soon going to be able to increase food production in one area of Raleigh from 500 to 32,000 pounds (!)—and they don’t even have to use any dirt to do so. Enter Raleigh’s first indoor year-round vertical hydroponic community garden, which breaks ground today, Dec. 20.
A partnership between DTR-headquartered Green Blue Marketplace, founded by Oak City Fish and Chips owner Isaac B. Horton IV and his father, Dr. Isaac B. Horton III; and Passage Home, which works to break the cycle of poverty in Wake County, the Green Blue Community Garden will provide affordable, healthy, nutrient-rich food for all communities in Raleigh.
“This partnership will provide more than just an interesting new way to grow food,” says Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, “it will bring opportunities that will have a far-reaching impact on people’s lives—starting in Southeast Raleigh.”
The garden comes after the Green Blue Marketplace—nee 2021—developed an ag and health tech platform to produce toxic-free, nutrient-fresh and secure food following six years of research in hydroponics, health and wellness.
Research done by the Hortons found that key nutrients in fruits and vegetables can leave the plant in only three days. By producing hydroponic food right here in Raleigh, the community garden will provide the community with the most nutrient-dense fresh produce before the nutrient index is compromised.
“This is a major advance in nutrition and food security for people in Raleigh,” says Dr. Philip Brown, past president of the North Carolina Medical Society. “I look forward to scaling across NC as we use the objective of fresh food as medicine to create new levels of health in our state.” And this is just the beginning of Raleigh becoming a Green (Blue) City.
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