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Ecco installs new irrigation system and cedar beds

Midtown restaurant is currently growing Tuscan kale, broccoli rabe and Southern giant curly mustard in the new beds to use in dishes found on its seasonally inspired menu.

Midtown's Ecco has been on the forefront of conservation efforts in the restaurant industry, leading the way by becoming the state’s first dumpster-free restaurant and the first Georgia restaurant to receive Green Foodservice Alliance (GFA) certification.

The Fifth Group Restaurant, located at 40 7th Street at the corner of Cypress Street, continues its efforts to remain one of the most sustainable and environmentally conscious establishments by recently adding eight new cedar beds with “cold frame” structures to the rooftop garden, allowing a larger variety of produce to be grown and for seeds to be started earlier.

The cold frames are covered with Agribon, a material that protects crops from wind, frost, severe cold and insects. Farmer D Organics custom-built the beds and also installed a new irrigation system that includes a 250-gallon food-grade tote, a significant increase from the 55-gallon rain barrel the restaurant was previously using.

The water filling the tote is collected completely from air conditioning condensation and is pumped from the tote through a drip irrigation system to each bed. The drip system is also connected onsite to the city water supply and managed with a timer for optimal watering. During peak gardening months, Ecco hopes to be able to use only the condensate from the air conditioner to water the gardens, effectively reducing cost and waste.

The restaurant is currently growing Tuscan kale, broccoli rabe and Southern giant curly mustard in the new beds to use in dishes found on the seasonally inspired menu.

Ecco is open Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The bar opens everyday at 4 p.m. and has extended hours along with the patio. For more information, call 404-347-9555 or visit www.fifthgroup.com.

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