Natural light doesn’t shine within the walls of the compound, but the leaves of the vegetable sprouts are as green as the fields growing under direct sunlight.
Dominique Florendo was scrolling through a Facebook group on Urban Farming when he came across the method of SNAP (Simple Nutrient Addition Program) hydroponics, an indoor farming solution for individuals and families interested in growing their own crops but have no access to a lot of free space within their homes or apartments.
According to Dom and from their team’s research, the soil-less solution is not only healthy but the process is enviornmentaly-safe and sustainable. Using a solution developed by University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) that’s designed for vegetables crops, the nutrients absorbed become safe for human consumption without the fear of sprayed-on pesticides that would usually come from soil grown crops.
                                            Dominique overlooking his hydroponics setup
“From the term, hydro, you will use water to fill the nutrients of plants,” Dom explains in a mix of Filipino and English. “It’s safe because the nutrients we use were developed by UPLB and designed for vegetables crop. The nutrients—when you drink the liquid itself, it isn’t safe, but when the plant proceeds to photosynthesis, the plant converts the nutrients that becomes safe for human consumption.”
Dom saw the need for urban farming when he noticed the state of the local Philippine urban setting—dilapidated rooftops, rusty constructions, and just the overall lack of anything that’s green. And this became the inspiration for their name.
Full-grown lettuce ready for harvest at Green City’s hydroponics setup.

“Just from the name, Green City, we want to fill the Manila roof decks with the color green. It’s because we noticed that roof decks here are just bare, but we can make it greener and put use to it,” he says.

Outside a friend’s apartment door, Dom and his friends made the setup that would become the basis for continued research and development. The setup was made with styrofoam as the base of the growing lettuce and a high-powered light to mimic the sun. In 2-3 weeks, the seed grew to a beautiful, full-grown, and healthy vegetable that the team tasted after harvesting.

He says that from the success of this research, they can share the knowledge of hydroponics to urban farmers—to create another source of income for those who may need it while creating a greener environment. At the same time, they want to develop the technology that can make farming easier for those in the rural provinces.
“We are all good with technology, so we want to help farmers put more technology to use, so it’s easier for them. We’re starting first in the urban setting, of course, then once we get the funding and once our knowledge has grown, we’ll be able to help more farmers.”
With proper funding and the success of their research, Dom and Green City will release their findings and blueprints for free.
Green City is currently on the research and development stage

They plan to release their findings and blueprints for free online. You can help them achieve their dream of painting the cities green by donating to their patreon

What can you do?

  • Learn more about urban farming and why it’s needed.
  • Join the discussion on the possibilities of urban farming and other solutions that can be made.
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