Urban Hydro Project Brings Farming To Downtown Nashville - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Urban Hydro Project Brings Farming To Downtown Nashville

Posted: Updated:

by Heather Graf

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Living in downtown Nashville has plenty of perks, but finding fresh, local produce within walking distance can be tough. The Urban Hydro Project is trying to change that.

Jeffrey Orkin has lived in the downtown area since 2007. He's long had an interest in locally grown food and sustainable living. From those passions came a big idea.

"It's called the Urban Hydro Project, and originally it was just a project, it was an experiment for me to see if I could make this happen," said Orkin.

He started out by growing food in his Church Street apartment.

When Orkin began to outgrow the space he reached out to the property managers of the Bennie Dillon Lofts and Condominiums, who quickly jumped onboard to support the project.

"There's been a lot of excitement," said Matt Woodruff with the Bennie Dillon. "We see this as a great amenity to downtown Nashville."

Woodruff said an unused old utility room caught Orkin's eye as the perfect place to start his urban garden.

"The room was actually a catch-all. There was just a little bit of everything in there," said Woodruff. "It wasn't used for anything."

They agreed to let Orkin use the space as long as he agreed to pay the electric bill. The project took off from there.

"Currently, we've got about four different kinds of lettuce, we have a variety of herbs here," said Orkin. "We have an entire tomato system, growing Roma tomatoes and some large ones as well."

Orkin's produce has already been available for sale to residents of the Bennie Dillon building, but his ultimate goal is much bigger than that.

Eventually, he said he hopes to serve residents, and maybe even restaurants, throughout downtown Nashville.

"Ideally, if I could sell the vegetables in this room out to downtown residents, that'd be a dream," he said.

To make that happen, though, he needs to first expand his growing operation. Currently, he's only using about a fourth of the space he has.

Jeffrey just launched a kickstarter campaign, to help support his mission. He has set a goal of $3,000. He has raised about $1,000 of that so far, and has nine days left to go on the campaign.

To donate, or to learn more, go to www.urbanhydroproject.com.

Email: hgraf@newschannel5.com

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.