Talk about hospitality! When we first went to meet Francis at Assumption Pathway School, it was to take a look at the space he was considering placing the large Vegepod, right outside the school’s The ART café. One hour later I had a stomach full of the steak meal from the café and had learned all about the school’s hospitality training initiatives.
The Art is open to the public from lunchtime on weekdays, serving up very reasonably priced fair. Students, both in the kitchen and interfacing with the clientele, learn the ins and outs of the F&B industry in and authentic working environment. On the patio leading to the entrance of the café, the staff and students here had already established a great herb garden which was able to supply fresh garnishes and ingredients to the kitchen. The garden was set up in planter boxes integrated to an irrigation system. This edible garden now features a large Vegepod.
The Art cafe is open to the public from lunchtime on weekdays
Francis what are you growing in your Vegepod?
We have been growing local lettuce and it was very well bloomed after 3 weeks of growing. It can also be grown from seeds. And there is not much maintenance in this Vegepod. It's very easy because these are elevated pods, so you don’t have to bend to do the gardening.
‘We have been growing local lettuce and it was very well bloomed after 3 weeks of growing’
You've integrated the mist sprayer into your irrigation system? How often does the mist sprayer turn on?
The mist sprayer turns on once a day in the early morning. Also, we have a certain time for the misting for one minute or two minutes. We also turn it off if there is excessive rain on the Vegepod.
Vegepod mist sprayers tapped in to the existing irrigation system
With the food that you produced in the Vegepod, what are you using it for?
This supply of vegetables actually given to the restaurant to cook for the staff at a discounted price.
What do you think is the best feature All of the Vegepod?
The best features are that it's pretty handy and portable in the sense that all you need to do is top up with soil and fertilizers, and there you are.
We really enjoyed visiting APS to see how the farm to table concept in this school was developing. One of the really nice parts about visiting fellow urban farmers is that you never walk away empty handed. Francis insisted we accepted two large organic Thai papaya, freshly plucked from a row of papaya trees. We will be back!
Francis insisted we accepted two large organic Thai papaya, freshly plucked from a row of papaya trees