US (PA): Hydroponic garden grows greens inside Reading Terminal Market

Inside one of America's oldest public markets, Christina McCoy tends to a high-tech, vertical garden. McCoy is the owner of the Sustainable Farm by Custom Cuisine, a hydroponic farming stall that opened in Reading Terminal Market in November. 

She grows kale, rosemary, rainbow chard, and dozens of other herbs and greens on a pair of vertical farming systems. "If you can make a cup of coffee in a Keurig, you can grow a plant," she said.

The Philly native, who's also a chef, had been involved in community gardening for years. But the pandemic helped thrust her into hydroponic farming. She said it allows her to grow crops faster and in small spaces without the need for large plots of land, which are a rarity in the city.

McCoy hopes to eventually expand her growing operation, potentially to a warehouse. That would allow her to "maximize my output so that I'm having an impact and not just giving people vegetables one time or even one plant, but able to continue that in the future."

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