Monday, May 27, 2024

Ireland: Tech university to tackle food waste with “Garden of Curiosity”

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Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), Athlone Campus, is aiming to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing the hospitality industry: food waste. Through innovative food sustainability projects led by TUS lecturers, the department is on a mission to make its five chef training kitchens largely self-sustaining by 2026.

At the forefront of this endeavor is the innovative ‘Garden of Curiosity’, a kitchen garden where student chefs and staff collaborate to cultivate an array of produce, ranging from baby leaf salads to Brussels sprouts.

Complementing the ‘Garden of Curiosity’ are four vertical farming towers that use cutting-edge aeroponics to grow crops like mint, chili, lemon balm, and cabbage indoors, without the use of soil.

“What’s wonderful about this is that it gives students the ability to contrast the Garden of Curiosity with using technology like aeroponics to grow food sustainably indoors,” lecturer Sean Connell explained. “The vertical aeroponic towers require less space or water than a traditional garden which makes them especially suited to urban environments, so it’s really interesting for students to see what’s possible and bring those learnings with them when they go out into industry.”


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