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‘Veggielante’ helps folks grow food in small spaces in Sacramento

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 11:55
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sacres puts modules in schools to encourage gardens in city neighborhoods

By Cathie Anderson
Sacramento Bee
June 18, 2016


Friends tease James Brady about his devotion to urban farming, calling him a veggielante and a veggie preacher, but that doesn’t stop his proselytizing. Brady and his business partners create microscale systems that allow schoolchildren and others to grow produce in small or nontraditional spaces.

They recently sold nine of their “adaptive growing modules” to Sacramento-area schools such as Luther Burbank High School, John Still and Pasadena Avenue Elementary School. The modules consist of raised storage bins hooked up to a recirculating water system and filled with a composted growing medium. A timer, which can be powered by solar energy, turns the drip system on and off as directed.

“Part of your next meal should come from no (more) than 10-15 feet from your kitchen table,” Brady said, “so that means if you’re in an apartment building, you can put a bin like this on your patio or we could design these and put them on a rooftop or blacktop. It doesn’t matter. We can grow in small spaces. You can get food to feed your family, lower your carbon footprint and hopefully contribute to making your family healthier.”

Although some schools already have plots of land set aside for growing crops, Brady said the growing modules from will show students they don’t necessarily need land to grow produce or to create a crop-based business. Instead, he said, they can create such an environment.

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