Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Don Larson, Leesburg Florida

I finally reached my Brother-in-law, Don Larson's place in Leesburg where I stayed for a week.

He is one snappy dresser and those bright colored shirts are for the benefit of the 'widow ladies' that keep his social calendar full all the time.

Don has this balcony on the 4th floor of his apartment and one day I told him that if that balcony were mine I would fill it with plants and have a virtual greenhouse out there.

Don loves to buy fresh flowers and always has a bouquet or two in his apartment. When I suggested he might grow his own flowers on his balcony his reply was, "I could hardly carry dirt and water up four floors without upsetting the building manager."

So, I suggested hydroponics (growing solely in water with nutrients added).  So Don scouted out a hydroponic farm and we went to investigate.

The farm amazed even me.  The tower above holds 20 gallons of water and 20 plants.  It is totally self contained, requires no piping, dirt, weeding or insecticides.  More sections can be added to the tower if you wanted more plants.  Does it work?  Holy Cow!

It is fantastic.  Water is sprayed up into the tower with a fountain-like motor to feed the plants and they grow like crazy (1/3 faster than if planted in the ground.)

Anything will grow except bulb plants (potatoes, beets, gladiolas, etc).  You can also mix herbs, vegetables & flowers.

The tomatoes were amazing (we bought some heirloom varieties) and just look at the eggplant on those vines above.

I don't think I have ever seen prettier lettuce.  We bought one of the butter lettuce with roots in tact.  If you stand it in a glass of water in the fridge it will keep for days (maybe even weeks) without wilting.

The Living Towers Farm is in Eustis, Florida and they open on Tuesdays and Thursdays for tours and to sell herbs and vegetables.

I think Don will be growing his own salads in a very short time--and those 'widow ladies' will be more than happy to help him eat them.

1 comment: