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Krohn 'Lets It Grow' four sustainable ways

Krohn Conservatory opens its summer show, “Let It Grow,” to the public Tuesday.

"Let It Grow" focuses on emergent sustainable food production techniques with applications for families, schools, neighborhoods and businesses. “People want to take control of their health and what they eat,” Bethany Butler, the show designer said.

Each of the gardens featured in the exhibit save either space, time, resources or all three.

Vertical gardening uses soil as a growing medium with plants arranged on walls or hanging displays. Each of the other techniques is soilless.

"Tower gardening is perfect for college students who want to take their garden with them when they move," Meghan Fronduti of Tower Garden by Juice Plus said.

Hydroponics systems can be simply built at home using plastic porch posts and trellises.

Aquaponics, a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, utilizes fish in the water and plants in floating foam trays. A pump equipped with a biofilter takes ammonia from fish waste out of the water, leaving nutrient rich plant food. Water circulates in a closed system, conserving resources.

“Fish and plants can both be harvested, providing a balanced diet,” said Pete West, director of Self-Sustaining Enterprises, one of the sponsors of the show.