Many locals in Patchogue know Cory Mahony for his skills behind the bar at James Joyce Pub.
What most don’t know is after his late-night shifts, he heads a few blocks west in the village to a 1,000-square-foot building.
There, he takes his bartending gear off and begins his passion work as a hydroponic farmer.
The 24-year-old first learned of the style while flipping through a Forbes Magazine article.
“I read about it a couple of years ago,” said Mahony. “I thought it was so cool, so fascinating.”
So he began doing his due diligence. He bought books and spent countless hours researching online.
He remembers the first thing he ever grew in his parents’ house in Holbrook.
“It was basil,” he said. “It actually came out really good.”
Then he made arugula. Then butterhead lettuce.
Mahony told GreaterPatchogue that hydroponics is a forgiving style of farming because you can fine-tune the plants by adjusting nutrient levels, the light intake, and how acidic or basic crops are.
“You can ‘hack the plants,'” he said. “You can change the flavor profiles by changing these factors.”