The senior living center at 900 Heritage Way is making a commitment to sustainability with their aeroponic gardens.
An aeroponic garden is soilless and uses air, water soluble nutrients and light to grow herbs, vegetables and fruits. The Heritage has already begun growing a variety of herbs for the gardens including thyme, oregano, dill, rosemary, basil and garlic chive. The herbs are then used to spice up residents’ dining experience.
Eventually, The Heritage hopes to grow its own lettuces, tomatoes and more.
In addition to the gardens, The Heritage has recently initiated a compost program and has even introduced two beehives to the community to help regrow the dwindling bee population.
John Pietrangelo, Director of Food and Beverage Services at The Heritage, and Jonathan King, Executive Chef, have been spearheading the effort.
“We had been looking for ways to be more sustainable, organic and green for a while now and came across this aeroponic garden product at a resident health fair,” Pietrangelo said. “It was clear and impressive how we can apply it in our community.”
The garden is sort-of in its test stages now. Pietrangelo and King hope to eventually branch out from herbs into all kinds of vegetables.
“There has been a really positive resident response behind this, and they appreciate that movement toward sustainability,” Pietrangelo said.
King said he has already been shopping for sustainable food to serve for awhile now, and hopes as the community expands in the summer, that the garden program will be able to grow with it.
There are plans to build an additional 97 apartments beginning this summer on the large property, along with a restaurant.
If the garden grows as quickly in the future as it has so far, it should not be a problem to grow and also meet the increased demand.
King said that just 21 days after first starting the garden they were already harvesting some of the herbs.