When Lachlan Gyles read about the growing trend towards hydroponic gardens on supermarket rooftops in London and New York he had never grown food, but curiosity wasn’t going to kill this cat.
Hydroponic gardening involves growing plants in water instead of soil, using mineral nutrient solutions. It can be done anywhere, with no need for chemical fertilisers or pesticides, and the water can be reused.
This concept will only get bigger because urban farm land on the outskirts of cities is being developed, so food has to travel further.
And so began a lettuce growing experiment in the dining room of Lachlan’s North Caulfield home (much to the delight of Mrs Gyles).
“Within 3 weeks I had my first fully grown lettuce, all I had to do was top it up with feed,” he says.
As the lettuce laboratory continued to thrive with a yield of up to 40 heads per month, there was only so many lettuces Lachlan could give away. Not much of a salad eater himself, he knew there had to be a better solution than throwing it away… and so www.neighbourtrader.com.au was born.
Lachlan created the Neighbour Trader website to connect people who grow or make their own produce, with neighbours in search of fresh, cheap, locally grown food. It’s free to buy or sell using the site, and you can search by food type, category and suburb.
The website is still in it’s infancy, so at the moment it’s all about building the network and getting the word out.
Have you got an over abundance of lemons you can’t use? Do you want to trade your ripe tomatoes for herbs? Or perhaps you’d like some of Lachlan’s lovingly grown rocket, buttercup or watercress to go in your salad?
It certainly sounds like more fun than going to the supermarket, doesn’t it? If you want to help spread the word make sure you ‘like’ this story and ‘share’ it with your friends.