No, I'm not a Disney Hater! I haven't even been to the park in a long time. But when I was there, I remember being awestruck by the design and maintenance of the lush grounds. But let's be real and factor in Florida sunshine, a battalion of gardeners, advanced irrigation/fertilization systems, and the dollars folks pay to walk through the gate, and the landscaping should resemble the world's best botanical gardens.
It was a Volleyball Tournament that brought me to Orlando. Games were played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The grounds there were nice, but nothing compared to the wash of colors and textures at the theme parks. Lucky for me, some games were also played at the Orange County Convention Center where I got my first look at an interior Urban Farm.
The scene reminded me of the movie The Martian where, in the absence of soil, water, and oxygen, botanist Mark Watney - played by Matt Damon - had to keep experimenting to grow food to survive!
Plants like lettuce, herbs, chard, choi, mustard, celery, kale and the occasional tomato and pepper plant, start out small in the Urban Smart Farm. . . . .
They only require 18 - 24 days to mature. The seedlings quickly filling out 81 towers with 44 planting ports in each tower.
The quick math equates to 3,564 plants, ready for harvest in about three weeks, providing an annual yield of about 80,000 plants!
Besides holding the mantle as the largest indoor vertical farm in a venue in the U.S., the Urban Smart Farms take up a miniscule 2,000 square foot space in the massive Orlando convention center.
Look for our next Southern Eucs blog on "Coppicing Eucalyptus trees". A great way to manage height, train you Southern Euc into a hedge row, or just to encourage more of that great fragrant Eucalyptus foliage!