Maryhaven is a member of Grown on Long Island and is meeting the challenge of growing and providing the local community fresh organic vegetables 365 days a year. Maryhaven’s vertical hydroponic tower garden enables us to grow multiple varieties of lettuce, herbs and other leafy vegetables indoors under grow lights, planting done without soil or pesticides. The planning, growing, harvesting, selling and transporting of produce is performed by individuals with disabilities creating an environmentally friendly employment opportunities. This bountiful healthy produce is made available to the community in various farmers markets across Long Island, as well as in local restaurants such as the Tap Room, which has locations in Patchogue, Bay Shore, Massapequa and Rockville Centre.
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is the process of growing plants and vegetables in a medium other than soil with added nutrients such as zinc, calcium and iron. In our process, rock wool and water is used to grow the produce.
The Growing Cycle/Process
Day 1: seeds are planted in rock wool pad
Week 1: seeds have germinated and starts to sprout to the top of the pod and is now ready to be planted in the tower
Week 2: Lettuce is starting to form small leaves about 1 to 2 inches in length
Week 3: Lettuce has really started to grow and has larger leaves – it is starting to form a ball- like shape
Week 4: Lettuce has started to form large leaves and open up and is almost ready to harvest
Week 5-6: At about 5-6 weeks the lettuce is full sized and ready for harvest. The lettuce is pulled from the tower, trimmed of any yellow or brown colored leaves and any long roots extending out the bottom of the rock wool pod. It is then placed in clam shell containers and labeled and is ready for the market.