UCF greenhouse to include urban garden features

Sing it to the Taylor Swift tune or to a drum roll... The greenhouse has a blank space baby and it's going to be a tower garden!

While the back of the greenhouse currently houses a handful of tables, the front is an empty space awaiting to be filled. The empty space has gone unnoticed in recent months, as Wellness & Health Promotion Services drafted a proposal to UCF Landscape and Natural Resources to bring more fresh, on-site herbs and produce to campus in an innovative way.

Upon review, the Arboretum staff is working to alter the original configuration and maximize the available 130 square foot space within the greenhouse to make a tower garden possible. The space is projected to fit six 8 to 9 feet towers after accommodating for the irrigation, propagation, nutrient delivery systems, and foot room.

Similar to the Fresh U tower gardens seen around campus, the towers serve as a type of vertical farming method using hydroponic technology. It grows produce at a faster rate than the traditional soil-based growing method. Due to its vertical layout, tower gardens require less "floor space" and therefore are used in urban settings.

The UCF Arboretum opened the new greenhouse back in March 2016, built to support educational and research efforts. The glass-enclosed building, located near the Physical Sciences Building and just east of parking lot C3, has actuators that control ventilation and maintain optimal temperatures for the towers. Stay tuned for updates on the tower garden installation timeline.