Home Kitchen & Laundry NRA Show 2013 to See Green with New Hydroponic Garden

NRA Show 2013 to See Green with New Hydroponic Garden


CHICAGO—The National Restaurant Association will showcase its first-ever Hydroponic Garden at NRA Show 2013. Attendees will explore a fully functioning hydroponic garden that will grow local, all-natural, pesticide-free produce right on the show floor. The NRA Show’s new Hydroponic Garden uses a combination of artificial light and nutrient-enriched water to give plants everything they need to thrive.

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a water and mineral nutrient solution without soil. Compared to traditional soil gardening, hydroponics provides year-round cultivation; produces a higher yield per square foot; requires no weed pulling; uses about two-thirds less water; eliminates pesticide damage; and grows Swiss chard, sweet basil, purple basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, chives, bibb lettuce, gourmet lettuce mix, habanero peppers, thyme, edible flowers, oregano, red lettuce, green beans, pumpkin, squash, and more.

This application allows restaurants to grow fresh food on-site with a tiny physical footprint and minimal resources. Most important, this locally sourced, sustainable innovation is not just attractive to guests, but financially savvy. And restaurateurs are increasingly having to field criticism/questions about sustainability—making local sourcing a hot trend right now.

This year’s NRA Show also offers an education session, “Food Sustainability: Understanding Food Issues and Boosting Business Through Sustainable Food Choices”. The session will arm restaurant operators with strategies to meet public expectations for sustainability via productive, business-friendly efforts within the supply chain. The discussion will include fact versus fiction education, sustainable food options (including seafood), customer satisfaction and profit opportunity. Speakers include: Charlie Arnot, CEO, Center?For Food Integrity; Rick Bayless, chef/owner, Frontera Grill; and Tim Fitzgerald, senior policy specialist, CATCH Shares Environmental Defense Fund.

Go to NRA Show 2013.