There are four separate hydroponic food-producing systems in the Presidents Park Greenhouse. Hydroponics involves soil-less growing medium, such as coconut coir and peat moss or grow stones. The plants are grown in PVC troughs that are supplied with water several times a day using a pump with connected pipes and tubes. The water is recirculated and reused, requiring less water and keeping fertilizer out of the watershed. The channels are stackable and movable, allowing more plants to fit in small spaces.
All of the produce grown in the greenhouse is sold to Mason Dining, managed by Sodexo. Each harvest is incorporated into the recipes and salad bars at Ike’s, Southside, the Globe, the Mason Club and catering. In exchange for the produce, Mason Dining contributes toward the greenhouse’s operational costs.