Last week, a group of students and staff drove out to Otis Orchards to visit the C&S Hydro Huts. The farm is settled peacefully in a modest rural area, a far cry from the bustling GU campus, but the simple exterior is by no means an indication of the expensive, intricate system inside.
After being introduced to the man with the plan, Stewart Fry, the group was led into the first part of the hut. There, the group was instructed to wash their hands, as they would have opportunities to touch and taste the vegetables.
Once everyone was squeaky clean, Stewart led the way into the hut. Students gazed in awe at the endless rows of lettuce heads before them, big boys and babies alike. As students explored, Stewart dispensed interesting information on his business.
Some of the points he shared:
- The hydro hut runs on a 1,000 gallon reservoir
- Green Butterhead is their most popular product
- New crops are planted every 7 days
- The plants have a mind of their own – they will pick up the nutrients that they need, and “ignore” the ones they don’t when the nutrient flow system is running
- The hut is not artificially lit, which causes a decrease in produce during the winter because it is more difficult for them to flourish
- Plants like kale grown without soil don’t taste as earthy
Overall, the tour was very informative and hands on, which made for a worthwhile trip. If you missed out, don’t fret – we are taking another trip out there on the 17th [Thursday of this week]! Check out our event on Facebook for more information, and pictures from the first trip! If you already know you want to sign up, feel free to send a message to Kyla Anderson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.