Iowa-based grocery store grows its own produce on shop front’s living walls

An Iowa-based grocery store is growing some of its own produce on living walls on the outside of the shop front, in an effort to grow local and no longer be heavily reliant on imported produce.

Hy-Vee grocery store in Davenport, Iowa commissioned Friday’s Fresh Market (FFM) to install and maintain two eight-tower Grow Walls (hydroponic vertical gardens) on the outside of their store – and they sell the produce inside.

Basil, lettuce and mint are but a few plants that flourish on the outdoor Grow Wall which was installed last year.

Because the system is hydroponic, no soil is required; rather, the plants are suspended in a growing medium that is made from recycled plastic bottles and grow in the sunlight.

Between 10 and 15 pounds of fresh produce every week is obtained from the living walls, depending on the crop.

FFM also installed a smaller Grow Wall inside the grocery store in the produce section. They maintain both systems, germinating seeds, transplanting, supplying nutrients and water, harvesting, and packaging the produce for sale in the store.

The employee-owned grocery store, Hy-Vee, are working to increase the number of green products on their shelves throughout their stores, to source products from suppliers who demonstrate good environmental stewardship, and to identify more efficient packaging alternatives.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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