Fields of green hydroponic garden "keeps the sick safe'

Growing crops without soil, one North Alabama hydroponic garden does just that. The 15,000 square foot hydroponic garden in Lacey's Spring. "No soil. We aren't growing in soil," said Fields of Green Manager Caroline Blanchard.

It's all done indoors, so you've got to "scrub up" before entering. This keeps bugs and dirt from getting to the plants which, does sound a bit ironic. In place of the sun, Blanchard uses LED lights to help the crops grow.

In the garden's 15,000 square foot facility, there are 21,000 plants. Of that 21,000 plants, 1,500 are sent out each week. That food stays local. 10% of each harvest is donated to the community, to places like Manna House. "We're a public charity. We feed everybody and anybody who comes through our doors," said Fran Fluhler, Director of Manna House.

Fluhler says this unique way of growing not only feeds the hungry but keeps the sick safe, too. "One of the things that motivated us to do a hydroponic garden was our chemo patients who were coming in and being told, 'don't buy the market lettuce because it has E. Coli, or listeria, or salmonella, whatever. Suddenly, these people who love eating salads couldn't eat a salad!"'

Fields of Green gives them food they know is safe and all-natural. Fluhler and Blanchard say they're doing exactly what they wanted to: helping the community and educating people about hydroponics.

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