- Western view towards Manhattan from the roof of the Pfizer building, which has become an epicenter of food start-ups.
- Genovese basil grows underneath florescent lights in one of the Verticulture’s growing beds.
- Verticulture‘s 450-square-foot farm, which Crettien and the other co-founders hope to expand to 2,000-2,500 square feet whenever they raise enough capital.
- About 150 to 180 tilapia live in two 150-gallon tanks. The tilapia’s waste is used to fertilize the produce. Tilapia are the fish of choice in aquaponics because they’re easy to grow in confined spaces.
- The waste-filled water is pumped from the fish tanks into a container where any solids are removed. There, naturally-forming bacteria convert the ammonia in the fish waste into nitrate, which fertilizes the plants. The bacteria thrive in those little plastic wheels.
- Water is pumped into one of the growing beds full of young basil plants.
- Roots of Genovese basil plants are exposed underneath the floating trays.
- Crettien at the farm. Verticulture produces 30 to 40 pounds of basil a week and sells to several local retailers in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
- Verticulture is experimenting with red, blue, and white LED lights, which consume less energy and make plants grow faster.