CORONADO – Carole King wrote it, the Drifters sang it and the Coronado Brewing Company (CBC) is putting it on their menu. Last spring, Kasey Chapman, CBC’s award-winning chef, decided he wanted to grow his own vegetables and spices in order to introduce fresher ingredients to his recipes.
Discussion had been going on for some time about “where” such a garden could go. You guessed it. Up on the roof. With the help of Mark DeMitchell and Michael Tarzian of Infinite Fields, CBC has created an extensive, innovative garden that now produces impressive yields of tomatoes, herbs and spices.
The garden isn’t your usual plot of land. It’s an extremely unique garden system that utilizes hydroponic gardening – where plants are grown in a water-nutrient solution, without soil.
Hydroponic gardening was written about as far back as 1627. German botanists identified nine elements crucial to successful plant growth in the 1800s, which made the process more practical. During World War II hydroponics were used to grow plants on barren Pacific Islands. Slowly it has grown to become an accepted practice on the commercial level, and is a primary focus of NASA as they seek ways to grow food in space, or on the planet Mars.