Looking for inspiration on how to grow fresh produce in your restaurant? Look no further than the Microsoft campus in Redmond. Microsoft installed 18 Foody 12 Hydroponic Towers in two of their employee cafes. The towers are being used to grow a combination of fresh salad greens while also providing Microsoft's employees with visual proof of the company’s commitment to fresh, organic, healthy food.
The towers have been installed in the middle of each of the cafes, and have become the most photographed site in the food service area.
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Why Foody Garden Towers?
“The Foody towers offered us more growing capacity than all other vertical tower options -- almost double capacity while staying within the same height range,” Scott explains. “And the option for the towers to spin was a great selling point, and really helps us maximize lighting.” (J. Scott, Executive Chef)
Other key reasons for Microsoft’s choice of Foody:
- attractiveness of the towers
- lower cost than competition
- the towers are able to rotate automatically
- ease of putting plants in and out of the towers
“Also in the not so rare case of a power outage, having the roots sitting in the nutrient solution was better than the aeroponic option. Not too mention that the Foody team has been incredible to work with, always willing to help and take suggestions on how to improve the final product.”
Hydroponic Flow: Microsoft set up the towers using a gravity flow reservoir/controller system to provide water to the towers. Each tower has its own submersible pump that pumps water up to the top of the tower which is then gravity-fed back down through each growing pod to the tower's base reservoir.
Lighting: A new plasma lighting system developed by iUNU of Seattle provides excellent grow lighting for the towers.