Tag Archives: Sunrise Hydroponics

Future Growing® Hits a Home Run with Aeroponic Tower Garden® Farm!

Giants Garden

An artists’ rendering of the Giants Garden, a 3,000-square-foot organic garden slated to open this summer at AT&T Park. Believed to be the first of its kind at an American sports venue, the edible garden will supply produce for some of the parks’ concessions and serve as an open-air dining area and community classroom.
Image courtesy of EDG Design Group. (Click photo to enlarge)

Future Growing’s® Tower Gardens® are set to knock it out of the park this summer, when Giants Garden, a 3,000-square-foot vertical organic garden, opens at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Believed to be the first of its kind at an American sports venue, the edible garden will supply produce for some of the parks’ concessions and serve as an open-air dining area and community classroom.

The ballpark farm won’t be Future Growing’s® first foray into the record books. Leading the local food movement, Future Growing® has held the record of the “first of its kind in the world” farms for the past five years.

Step Up On Vine

2013: Former President Bill Clinton toured Step Up On Vine’s rooftop farm in Los Angeles. Future Growing® opened Step Up On Vine’s rooftop farm, the world’s first aeroponic rooftop farm featuring housing units for the homeless. Step Up On Vine is also the first “green” building with a rooftop aeroponic farm, helping it to qualify as LEED “Platinum” by the U.S. Green Building Council. (Click photos to enlarge)

Rouse's Supermarket

2012: Future Growing® opened Rouses Supermarket’s “Roots on the Rooftop” farm in New Orleans, the world’s first roof-to-supermarket aeroponic farm. (Click photo to enlarge)

O'Hare Urban Garden

2011: Future Growing® opened O’Hare Urban Garden at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the world’s first aeroponic farm inside an airport terminal. All of the Tower Garden® produce from the O’Hare Urban Garden is hand-delivered to the airport’s eateries and the O’Hare Farmers Market inside the terminal. (Click photo to enlarge)

Bell Book & Candle rooftop

2010: Future Growing® opened Manhattan’s first roof-to-table aeroponic farm for Chef John Mooney’s Bell Book & Candle eatery. (Click photo to enlarge)

Sky Growers

2009: Future Growing opened Sky Growers in Orlando, Florida, the world’s first certified “green” building with commercially-scaled aeroponics incorporated onto the rooftop. (Click photo to enlarge)

You can learn about each of these record-setting projects and more at www.FutureGrowing.com.

Tim Blank
Founder and CEO, Future Growing® LLC

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Amish Farm Leads The Way to Local Food Security in Indiana

Greenhouse at Sunrise Hydroponics

Greenhouse at Sunrise Hydroponics. (Click photo to enlarge)

When you hear about a farm that supplies all-natural, sustainable produce, using 90% less water and 90% less land, one that utilizes the most advanced vertical aeroponic technology on earth, you surely would not guess it would be an Amish farm. Yet in Topeka, Indiana, you cannot get produce that is more local, fresh, healthy, and sustainable — even in the middle of an Indiana blizzard — like you can get at Sunrise Hydroponics, an Amish farm.

Sunrise Hydroponics is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Marlin and Loretta Miller on their rural farm in Topeka. I have had the privilege of working with the Amish community for more than half a decade, and have come to learn that, while their lives seem simple to many outsiders, their homes, farms, and businesses are highly innovative. The Amish utilize cutting-edge and creative forms of technology to improve their lives, while still falling within the guidelines of their belief system.

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Marlin and Loretta’s farm operates using a small amount of off-grid electricity to run the aeroponic Tower Garden® towers and a wood-burning furnace to heat the greenhouse in the winter. The greenhouse itself is Amish-made, with simple hand crank roof vents and roll-up sides for natural ventilation. Although some may not consider the protected greenhouse structure to be state-of-the-art, like we see with many of our vertical aeroponic tower farms, it has proven to be both cost effective and highly efficient as people manually control the simplified environmental mechanisms.

Cucumber, lettuce, and tomato Tower Gardens®.

Cucumber, lettuce, and tomato Tower Gardens®.
(Click photo to enlarge)

The importance of vertical aeroponic farms like Sunrise Hydroponics is accentuated when one realizes the water shortage and other issues that Indiana is struggling with. Indiana’s conventional-based agriculture system has led to a looming water crisis, heavy pesticide and petrochemical fertilizer use (which contaminates both surface and ground water), and the use of GMO crops. Additionally, the state imports almost all of its fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

While Purdue and other universities spend millions of dollars trying to find solutions for the state’s agriculture challenges, the Future of Growing is already here. Who would have guessed that the Amish are leading the way?

Sunrise Hydroponics, currently in its third year of operation, is producing “beyond organic” produce for Marlin and Loretta’s family, a farmers market, their produce stand, and local restaurants. This groundbreaking, sustainable technology features live plants which are harvested daily. The USDA claims that up to 40% of nutrition is lost from fresh-cut produce by the time it is purchased at a local grocery store. Living produce at Sunrise Hydroponics, harvested with the roots intact, not only maintains amazing freshness, but also holds on to the extraordinary nutrition the plant had at the point of harvest!

Living lettuce

Living lettuce in water pouch, with roots intact. In photo at right, roots are bagged with a small amount of water. (Click photo to enlarge)

Sunrise Hydroponics produces a wide range of crops, including lettuces, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries, year-round. When the farm started three years ago, Marlin and his customers immediately noticed the incredible flavor, vibrant colors, and aroma that came from the highly nutritious plants grown from Future Growing’s® proprietary aeroponic plant food.

Produce used to feed chickens on the farm.

Leftover produce is used to supplement feed for chickens.
(Click photo to enlarge)

Surprisingly, so did Marlin’s chickens! Marlin began feeding his chickens waste plant material from the greenhouse and immediately noticed that the chickens’ egg yolks changed from yellow to orange, the egg shells became thicker, and the eggs had improved flavor. That is a real testament to the nutritional quality of aeroponic Tower Garden® produce!

This local farm will forever change the way folks in Indiana think about their food and what is possible for their state with Future Growing® technology.

Strawberry Tower Garden®.

Strawberry Tower Garden®.
(Click photo to enlarge)

In the coming decade, we look forward to helping Indiana heal the environment and regain its food security and independence!

Sunrise Hydroponics is currently located at the South Bend Farmers Market every Saturday morning. Buy local produce, and speak with Marlin or Loretta to sign up for hydroponic class and a greenhouse tour. The farmers market is at 1105 Northside Blvd., South Bend, IN 46615.

Tim Blank
Founder and CEO, Future Growing® LLC