Last year, we visited a prison in Portugal to establish a vertical farm featuring 40 Aeroponic Towers. We collaborated with both the prisoners and the guards of the penitentiary to install this innovative vertical farm.

Fast forward 8 months, and this prison farm has successfully grown and harvested 1.5 tons of crops. These crops are used to feed the prisoners and benefit over 150 families in the nearby community.

What distinguishes this vertical farm is that it is entirely managed by the prisoners themselves. They actively participate in every stage of the cultivation process, including assembling the towers, managing the nutrient solution that nourishes the plants, transplanting seedlings, harvesting a wide range of seasonal crops throughout the year, cleaning the towers, and overseeing day-to-day crop maintenance.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this farm is that the majority of the crops grown are used in the prison kitchen to provide nutritious and healthy meals for the inmates. Collaborating seamlessly with the prison chef, inmates engage in on-location harvesting and participate in cooking workshops, fostering a unique and positive community dynamic.
Take, for instance, the utilization of freshly harvested watercress to craft a revitalizing green juice infused with pear, followed by a delectable green salad featuring mizuna, arugula, and lettuce. The culinary journey concludes with a hearty chicken, chickpea, and cabbage soup, showcasing the farm’s bounty in a flavorful and nourishing manner. This project not only transforms the prison environment but also cultivates skills, promotes healthy living, and fosters a sense of purpose among those involved.