Kennesaw State is currently installing a new hydroponic growing system on its Hickory Grove Farm to increase crop production sustainably.
Hickory Grove farm, managed by the School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality, produces over 20,000 pounds of produce that are used at KSU’s two dining halls, Stinger’s and The Commons, according to KSU’s website.
“The farm wanted to branch out to provide a wider variety of leaf crops,” said Amhydro Vice President Joe Swartz. “The culinary school and dining commons were more in the need for lettuce and greens, so the director chose to install a Nutrient Film Technique leaf crop system to provide a practical educational curriculum as well as food for the school system.”
The construction of the new Amhydro NFT leaf crop growing system began on Thursday, Sept. 13.
This system will allow the farm to grow a wider variety of pesticide-free crops such as lettuce, basil, mint, cilantro, kale, chard, chives, arugula and more, Swartz said. The NFT system will also allow crops to grow at a steady and consistent quantity all year round.