AN ART AND A SCIENCE

In­door farm­ing re­quires a green thumb, yes, but also a fair amount of en­gi­neer­ing savvy.

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Thins My Father Taught me -

Grow­ing up, Daniel didn’t see his fa­ther ev­ery day be­cause his par­ents were di­vorced, but they spent many week­ends to­gether. Mi­lan was an en­vi­ron­men­tal engi­neer and ran his own com­pany, Foun­tain­head En­gi­neer­ing. His projects of­ten took him to old in­dus­trial sites that needed clean­ing up. Daniel liked to ex­plore them, pok­ing around old fur­naces that once melted scrap metal for steel-mak­ing plants, climb­ing on de­funct lo­co­mo­tive trains, or driv­ing Bob­cat load­ers. He also helped his dad take notes and pic­tures. “I’ve been work­ing for my dad since I was old enough to pick up a rake,” he says.

Daniel al­ways wanted to know how stuff worked. He con­stantly de­mol­ished and re­built his elec­tron­ics. In third grade he in­vented wind­screen wipers for his glasses, pow­er­ing them with a tiny mo­tor. When he was ten, he took his fa­ther’s com­puter apart with­out ask­ing. Daniel could have been an engi­neer at Ap­ple or Google and, for a short time, he ap­peared to be on his way.

When Daniel was in high school, his mother moved him and his older sis­ter Laura, a big­hearted teenager who liked to vol­un­teer in soup kitchens, to Tra­verse City, Michi­gan, four hours away from where the kids grew up and where Mi­lan still lived. Laura had been act­ing out, hang­ing out with friends who

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.