Lush, luxuriant greens cling to their stark, metal housings. Kale, mint, and basil protrude horizontally as planters run vertically from ceiling to floor. An abandoned-looking warehouse – former printing press – on San Antonio’s Eastside provides opportunity for innovation to one green-minded individual, Mitch Hagney, and subsequently, inspiration to many more.
Blatant contrasts define LocalSprout, San Antonio’s one and only sustainable hydroponic farm. Here, a mere 400-square-foot shipping container provides a safe home to an acre of crunchy, cruciferous vegetables. San Antonio is working towards being described as healthy, sustainable, and green. Projects and businesses like LocalSprout are helping that effort.
On Oct. 4, LocalSprout will host “About That Sprout” and open its doors at 503 Chestnut St. to the community to, literally, get a taste. The plants will stay up past their usual “bedtime” and present themselves in their full leafy glory to anyone who wants to take a look.
LocalSprout owner and operator, Mitch Hagney, earned his degree in environmental science from Trinity University and wants to help bring healthy food to everyone, especially San Antonians. Using a special combination of UV light, water, and nutrients piped to the plants, he grows happy plants that are far more tender than the usual varieties. Over the course of their life, each plant uses less than a gallon of water and the closed-loop system means no fertilizer run-off into the environment.
Hagney will dive into the details of this interesting process during a tour of the farm at 8 p.m. and answer any questions before the entertainment portion begins on Saturday night. The “farm” side of the warehouse will close at 9 p.m.
Partnering with LocalSprout to bring a night of music, culture, and fun to the Eastside is SATX Music, run by Libby Day. As a fellow Trinity University environmental science graduate, this partnership is particularly important to Day. Through the event she hopes to “highlight underutilized spaces that normally go unnoticed,” she said, and give San Antonians a new venue to look forward to attending. The LocalSprout warehouse hopes to attract those looking for entertainment with a cool, urban twist.
The veggies only consume a small portion of the 16,000 square-foot warehouse where they are grown. During “About That Sprout” the rest of the warehouse will host food trucks like Tailgate Bistro and Locavore, and Mobile Om is taking over a portion for anyone who wants to stretch their stalks. Set to a background of visual projection art, locals Something Fiction and Ernest Gonzales, alongside Austinite Roger Sellers – who recently played Float Fest in San Marcos – are going to be dropping electronic, energetic, psych beats. Indie rock band RMRS will take the stage later that night. Music will be playing until 1 a.m.
Keep SA Real will be there along with Casas Ink, Martin Rangel, Y Clothing and Luna Kitty Designs to represent the artisans of San Antonio. Local mixologists will shake up specialty cocktails using the fresh herbs grown by LocalSprout. Oh, and Pabst Blue Ribbon is sponsoring the event— yes, free PBR.
The event is 18+ and cover charge is $5. An additional $5 will cover drinks. The yoga and rock climbing wall will operate on a donation basis and there will be plenty of other local vendors featured. For more information on when and where to be, visit the Facebook event page.
*Featured/top image: Rackspace co-founder Pat Condon (left) and LocalSprout CEO Mitchell Hagney display some fresh, leafy greens harvested in the fuschia “farm.” Photo by Iris Dimmick.
This story has been published with permission from Keep SA Real.