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Robbinsville Township Becomes First Municipality
to Launch State of the Art Hydroponic Farm
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – (November 28, 2017) - In a progressive nod to its deep farming roots dating back to the early 1800s, Robbinsville Township is the first municipality in the State of New Jersey to install a vertical hydroponic farm capable of growing fresh, healthy and local produce.
The exciting new program is built around a vertical hydroponic shipping container – called the Leafy Green Machine (LGM) and manufactured from Freight Farms, based in Boston. The LGM is capable of growing the marketable equivalent of 1.8 acres of conventional farmland, with 90 percent less water than conventional farming, no pesticides/herbicides, and all materials contained within 320 square feet.
Delivery of the Leafy Green Machine to his permanent location at the Robbinsville Senior Center was made on November 28, 2017.
“Growing our own food that is healthy and nutritious, with an eye on partnering with organizations such as Meals on Wheels, is a wonderful concept,” Mayor Dave Fried said. “We really want our seniors and children to take part in this ground-breaking program and learn about futuristic farming. Hydroponics is the way of the future, and we are proud to be on the cutting edge as the first municipality to purchase and operate a Freight Farms hydroponic system.”
The Robbinsville Hydroponic Farm will have the potential to grow:
* Lettuce: Butterhead, Bibb, Red and Green Leaf Romaine, Summer Crisp, Oakleaf, Lollo Rossa
* Hearty Greens: Kale, Swiss chard, Mustard greens, Asian greens, Endive
* Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Mint, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley
Other objectives of the program include:
* Educating the public on modern agricultural practices through community engagement
* Presentations and hands-on experiences
* Uniting the community around volunteer efforts
* Battling hunger
Kyle Clement, a recent Rutgers University Plant Science graduate and past State President of the New Jersey FFA Association, is spearheading the program for the Township as its Hydroponic Farm Coordinator.
“Food connects everyone,” Clement said. “Today, people are becoming more and more invested in understanding where their food comes from, and we want to give everyone the chance to explore that. We also have an opportunity to meet a huge need in our communities. According to Feeding America, there are over 44,000 individuals facing food insecurity in Mercer County alone. With volunteer efforts, educational programs, and hands-on experiences we’re going to bring our community closer and provide greater access to fresh, healthy, and local produce to people who need it.”