Fifteen honorably discharged local veterans will be the first in the nation to receive a newly developed veterans' benefit: an automatic watering, vertical growing tower for the production of produce and herbs called “The Grow Anything Anywhere Tower” (GAAT).
The idea is to help vets make budget dollars stretch and add nutrition to their meal planning when returning to civilian life. The first of the systems will be presented by County Commissioner Bryan Nelson to a Marine Corp veteran at 2:00 PM tomorrow at the Apopka Home Depot (1670 West Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka). Nelson is also the former president of the Florida Foliage Association
The veterans' benefit program will then expand to 12 Central Florida Home Depot locations. Tower systems will be presented to 180 local Florida veterans.
The nonprofit Veterans Urban Farming Initiative developed the automatic watering, vertical growing tower for the production of produce and herbs by deployed troops in remote locations as a supplement to flavor ”MRE” rations. The 12” footprint, 20 minute assembly, no prior agriculture skills required system contains growth trays with porous rock substrate and nutrient with a “HyDRIPonic” fluid transfer system to supercharge plant growth.
Once filled, adding 2 ounces of water daily distributes the “NutraAdd” solution to maintain plant growth. Requests from returning military for a consumer version led to a development of a more robust 3-tier design for use on apartment roofs, balconies. patios, and gardens.
In a unique linkage between the private and public sectors, an alliance of nonprofits pioneered a way to channel revenues from the 3-tier consumer version available to the public through The Home Depot E-Commerce website to fund free systems for returning military and older veterans. Consumer purchases provide a 501(c)(3)donation certificate. The public can also suggest the name of a veteran to receive a Tower at www.bargainsnearby.com.
The program was announced in September at the Warrior Symposium in Atlanta by Joel Griffing, Founder of HOPE which heads the alliance that will distribute the veteran benefit program nationally.
The first production model was presented to Steve Rice, an Air Force veteran who flew 120 combat missions.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here