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Look, Up in the Sky . . . It's a Cucumber

June 23, 1996|SUSAN ESSOYAN

In the heart of Honolulu's concrete-clad Waikiki, the chefs at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel have taken their quest for fresh produce to new heights. They grow their own--on the roof. The hydroponic vegetable garden, begun last fall, provides a continual harvest of gourmet salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts and an array of fresh herbs for the 500-room hotel. The novel mini-farm now supplies all the salads served in the hotel's restaurant, the Hibiscus Cafe. The garden was developed by the hotel's general manager, Terry Fowler, and by John Meibohm, a consultant on hydroponics, the science of growing plants in nutrient-rich solutions instead of soil. The project may be the only one of its kind in Hawaii, and perhaps nationwide. "I don't know of anyone else doing what they're doing, anywhere," said Mike Morton, vice president of Hydro-Gardens Inc., a major greenhouse supplier based in Colorado Springs, Colo.. "I think it's a great idea."

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