Organic urban farm coming to St. Petersburg that provides locally grown produce for community

Farm will be solar powered.

Doug Fyvolent of Hyperponic Organic Growth Systems calls it the future of farming.

At first glance, it's hard to believe that herbs and produce could be grown inside of a 7-foot-tall PVC pipe.

"It has 52 holes, or growing areas, in each tower. Each plant is grown in a little plastic container. And the container slides into the hole," Fyvolent said.

From there, it's a simple combination of air and water, with some fertilizer added to the water. The water recycles in a closed system. A St. Petersburg company is now poised to introduce their aeroponically-grown food into the community.

"We saw a need for an urban farm that is sustainable and that can give back to the community a substantial amount of food," Fyvolent said.

Now, a 1/4-acre plot of land on 34th Street South in St. Petersburg will be giving back to the community on a regular basis. Ground will be broken in September on a 125-tower, solar-powered aeroponic farm that will produce food like spinach, kale, lettuce and other herbs and spices.   

"We're real excited. And all across the country, urban farming, buying local, supplying organic food is the rage," Fyvolent said.

Much of what is grown here will be donated to food pantries like the one Community Bible Baptist Church serves for people in need. Church volunteers will operate the farm on land donated by Sacino's Formalwear, which is adjacent to the vacant land.

"This is just another way that we see that we can help. We've got a food pantry already, and this is going to be a big help, and we'll be able to have lots of things that we'll be able to do for our community," said Paul Hayenga of Community Bible Baptist Church.

Hyperponic hopes to open another handful of urban farms in the bay area over the next two years.

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