Helpful harvest from futuristic pod

A special crop grown at TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba campus has been harvested from the high-tech Grow Pod and donated to charities in need.

TAFE Queensland allowed Yalara Hydrogardens access to manage the vertical farming facility to trial germination, production and promote protected horticulture.

The lettuce was successfully be harvested by TAFE students and handed to OzHarvest to distribute over two separate days.

TAFE Queensland General Manager Brent Kinnane said working with Yalara Hydrogardens demonstrates the close links and partnerships TAFE Queensland has with the local industry in the region.

“The world-class Grow Pod enables our students to be at the forefront of technology and job ready to hit the ground running upon graduation.”

“It is great to see the Grow Pod has assisted with innovative protected horticulture practices,” said Mr Kinnane.

Bruce McConnel, TSBE Food Leaders Australia General Manager said it was exciting to see the lettuce go to those in need, while also showcasing the future of farming.

“The crops are grown with no sunlight, but with LED lights mimicking sunlight and depending on varieties we can alter that to produce Summer crops in Winter, and Winter crops in Summer,” said Mr McConnel.

The donation is the first OzHarvest has received from TAFE Queensland.

Anthony Dunne, OzHarvest Queensland State Manager said the food was being sent straight to vulnerable members of the community, with 25 charities supported across Toowoomba.

“It’s incredibly important that vulnerable families have access to nutritious food.”

He said lettuce is often considered a luxury item that doesn’t really find its way into the fridge of people who are doing it tough.

“It’s fantastic for people to receive this,” said Mr Dunne.