For years ZipGrowers all over the world have been pushing the limits of what you can grow with vertical plane production techniques. Here's a few examples of the diversity of crops, places, and people that make up the beautiful tapestry of ZipGrowers.While there are many more varieties of crops than the ones show in this post, here are 25 crops that have been ZipGrown by people around the globe.
1) Red Romaine Lettuce - Localize Farm, Minnesota
Many see lettuce as a boring crop, but it's actually incredibly diverse. The leaves range from bluish greens to reds and purples, and boast a range of flavor from mild and sweet to robust and buttery. Here's one of the many lettuce varieties local farmers like Localize are using to serve their hungry markets.
2) Empress of India Nasurtiums - Blue Roots Farm, British Colombia
Blue Roots Farm, a BC-based greenhouse grower specializing in aquaponic volumetric farming, hits it out of the park again with these edible (and beautiful!) nasturtiums. The flowers are mildly spicy and can be stuffed or added to salads for a special flair. What's that? You haven't tried edible flowers? Time to find an Upstart Farmer near you.
3) Tatsoi - @Frestyl
Tatsoi, also called "Chinese flat cabbage" is an Asian green that works as a great substitute for lettuce or spinach in your favorite salads, or even stir fry. In this photo, ZipGrower Jason W. is growing his sweet and crunchy tatsoi next to his richly flavored Amish Deer Tongue lettuce.
4) Sweet Basil - Fable Food, New York
Basil grows better in Towers than any other technique in the world. This often defies expectations and leaves new ZipGrowers with more basil than they know what to do with! Tom at Fable: From Farm to Table sells both fresh cut basil and dried basil with leftover herbs to spice up the holiday tables of his community members.
Remember, Basil needs very specific environmental conditions to see optimal production. Learn what those conditions are with this Hydroponic Crop Guide.
5) Oregano - Localize Farm, Minnesota
Given the right conditions, Oregano can be a voracious grower in vertical plane production. Here's another great shot from Minneapolis-based Localize Farm showing off several stages of plant life in a clean white grow room.
ZipGrow Fact: A lot of people are curious about why ZipGrow systems are always white. The answer has to do with conserving light! Whether you're growing in a greenhouse or indoors, light is always the farmer's most precious resource and should be treated as such. That's why ZipGrow systems are white - they're designed to reflect light not being used by salable crops to other towers, leading to greater efficiency and greater yields.
6) Marigolds - Twisted Infusion Farms, Arizona
Many flowers grow well in ZipGrow Towers. Here, Twisted Infusion Farms grow marigolds, a great way to brighten up a farm or market stand. Imagine walking by an entire living wall of colorful, fragrant flowers!
7) Mint - Local Leaves, London
Mint is a cool-weather crop perfect for indoor growing. It grows like a weed in ZipGrow Towers and can be cloned from cutting or root. This combined with mint's low maintenance needs makes it a hands-off crop and very tough to kill.
8) Radishes - Myfood, France
Although root crops like radishes or carrots can have funky shapes when grown in the Towers, they still taste delicious and make fun experiments.
9) Sage - Localize Farm, Minnesota
Woody herbs like sage or rosemary grow well in ZipGrow Towers. This Mediterranean native is a member of the mint family. Like other woody herbs, it prefers dry periods between irrigation and grows slowly. The wait is worth it!
10) Salanova Lettuce - Blue Roots Farm, British Columbia
The Blue Roots Farm crew displays more shades of lettuce in their vertical aquaponic farm. This farm uses aquaponics to grow their crops; fish are kept in one part of the system and the fish waste is cycled through microbe-covered media, where ammonia is transformed into usable nitrates. Looks like these crops have all the nitrogen they need!
11) Pansies - Green Wolf Vertical Farm, Texas
More flowers being grown in the ZipGrow Towers, and this time they're edible. These pansies could grace a colorful salad or garnish a fancy dish.
12) Rainbow Chard - Bare Greens, Australia
Frank and Sylvie 's rainbow chard brings a dash of color to other greens and herbs being grown at Bare Greens farm. Chard has a smooth spinachy flavor popular among most cooks.
13) Collard Greens - Modular Farms, Ontario
Holy Collards, Batman! The Erics (Eric Amyot and Eric Bergeron) farmed this huge collard leaf in their Modular Farm.
14) Lavender - Dallas Urban Farms, Texas
Lavender is a heat-loving crop. This lavender is loving the Texas weather down at Dallas Urban Farms.
15) Red Salonova Lettuce - Island Greens, Puerto Rico
Another shade of lettuce! Check out the incredible hues of this dark Salanova variety. The Island Greens crew in Dorado, Puerto Rico, use a hydroponic container farm to supply fresh, healthy food to their local community.
16) Tuscan Kale - Modular Farms, Ontario
The Ontario team harvested a huge first crop of kale in their modular farm. This kale is being grown using a special container farm with controlled environment (important in the north) and LED lighting suited specifically to leafy greens.
17) Lettuce - Galactic Farms, Montana
Galactic Farms makes lettuce the star with their ZipGrow Towers. The Galactic crew build aquaponic systems in unique places like schools, community centers, garages, and who knows? Maybe someday a space station.
18) Tomatoes - Twisted Infusion Farms, Arizona
Although the labor involved in tomatoes make them impractical for most commercial growers, the fruiting crop can flourish in Towers. Twisted Infusion Farms take advantage of their warm Arizona weather to grow these tomatoes.
19) Strawberries - UpGrown Farming, Singapore
Strawberries are one of the most popular crops for hydroponics. Want to try your hand at strawberries? Choose an ever-bearing variety - your plants will produce fruit continuously. Most strawberry plants should be pinched back for 6 weeks before letting fruit. And don't forget to pollinate!
20) Thyme - UpGrown Farming, Singapore
This delicate thyme is another woody herb that prefers dry feet. Conserving space with vertical farming is important in urban areas like Singapore where real estate is precious.
21) Sorrel - Bare Greens, Australia
Sorrel grows like a weed in ZipGrow Towers. The tender green can be used similar to spinach. This sorrel was grown by Frank and Sylvie at their aquaponic farm in Australia.
22) Kale - USA Pavilion, Italy
Ambassador Doug Hickey and Secretary of State John Kerry check out the crops growing at the USA Pavilion at the 2015 World Fair in Milan, Italy. This farm was the size of a football field!
23) Zinnias - Tassinong Farms, Colorado
Zinnias grow beautifully in ZipGrow Towers. For homeowners this can be a great way to show off your garden space or spruce up a deck. Use a flowering fertilizer formula to get the best blooms.
24) Bronze and Florence Fennel - Halo Greens, South Carolina
Brian Evans at Halo Greens is going for gold (or should we say bronze) with this fennel. Fennel is delicious, but you might have to give your customers a recipe to try it out with. Not everybody knows how to cook with this sweet herb.
25) Lemon Balm - Halo Greens, South Carolina
Lemon balm or "balm mint" makes delicious calming tea, especially when grown fresh and local! Lemon balm attracts bees and has many uses from honey making and tea to medicine and as an ornamental plant.
Learn more about the crops you love
The Recommended Crop List gives growers all the info they need to grow their favorite crops. In this guide, learn about:
- Ideal conditions (EC, pH, and temperature)
- History and origin
- Sales and pricing
- Unique considerations
Have a great ZipGrow photo? Post it with #zipgrow so others can enjoy it!