The unlikely partnership between Joel Salatin and Chipotle

When one thinks of Joel Salatin you would not associate any sort of fast food/ chain restaurant with what him or his farm. However, as surprising as it might be in this article Joel talks about his unlikely partnership with the restaurant. While Joel still thinks that many of the practices inherent in the fast food industry make it very difficult for local farmers to supply them, he does praise Chipotle for breaking out of the box and using local food in their products. Also, if you haven’t seen Chipotle’s Back to the Start commercial it is truly great! See it...

Aeroponics

Well look what we got here.  Another door is opened in the world of sustainable agriculture.  We all know the benefits of aquaponics and now we have another system making its way into the spotlight, Aeroponics…… Aquaponics Modular Production Systems (AMPS) has debuted there most recent project in New Orleans, the very first areoponics farm. The Tower Garden system can be utilized in place of hydroponics for indoor growing.  Recirculating farms use clean recycled water in place of soil to grow food. “Aeroponics” is one type of these farms, where plants grow in vertical towers (See picture below).   AMPS plans to build many other recirculating farms throughout New Orleans to provide more local sources of healthy food.  Beginning the week of February 15th, the new aeroponic farm will provide vegetables for Hollygrove Market and Farm to sell to the community. The system is expected to yield upwards of 40 pounds of greens every week. Recirculating farming methods, like aquaponics and aeroponics, are becoming very popular worldwide. These systems are efficient, eco-friendly, and can create green spaces that provide food for the community while creating economic growth in areas that were once deemed as unusable space. Aeroponics is another great example of people finding ways to turn the urban landscape that is plagued by paved surfaces and limited growing areas into a thriving, sustainable spaces for everyone to enjoy. Source: City Farmers News- AMPS builds New Orleans’ first “Aeroponic” recirculating farm. Demonstrates sustainable urban agriculture.  -written by Danny Kehoe, Business Development Intern, Spring...

Aquaponics Overview

A new dawn is upon us.  The future is here.  What is it you say?  Well it’s aquaponics of course.   Aquaponics……?  You feed the fish, the fish feed the plant, and the plants clean the water for the fish.  There you go, aquaponics in a nutshell.  While it is not quite that easy, and nothing ever is, aquaponics can provide high quality produce and fresh fish in an easy, sustainable way.  Within an aquaponics system, a natural microbial process breaks down fish excrements, creating nutrient-rich water which acts as a source of organic fertilizer for the growing plants.  The plants consume the nutrients, purifying the water that the fish live in. Aquaponics is still in its infancy as far as a commercially viable alternative.  But just like the advances in hybrid and electric cars, aquaponics offers solutions to many of the vexing problems concerning pollution and the conservation of precious natural resources. Aquaponically grown produce and fish demonstrate a significant improvement over traditional agricultural practices particularly when compared to fossil fuel energy embedded in various aspects of food production (including fertilizers, pesticides, processing, equipment, water pumping etc.) Water is a scarce commodity and without clean drinking water, we as humans are going to have a rough go at it.  And yet, ¾ of water use in the United States is used to water crops, only to have it rapidly drain away.  And in the process of draining it collects fertilizers and farm chemicals that ultimately end up in the ground water (our drinking water).  The excess fertilizers and farm chemicals flow into our rivers and bays causing algae-blooms and...

Intern Profile – Alex Bettam

Its time for another intern profile which showcases one of our amazing interns. This week I asked Alex Bettam to answer some questions about himself and his time here at Nourish the Planet. Alex is a construction management intern who has done some AWESOME work getting our greenhouses looking presentable. He is a talented builder and is always reliable and trustworthy. We are so lucky to have him as part of our team! When did you first become interested in sustainability? I first became interested during childhood. With my family being internationally immigrated, I became more aware of global issues at a young age, and my perception of the world and my place within it was affected. I also became aware of the planet as whole and not individual countries What are the most interesting/important things that you’ve learned since being an intern at Nourish the Planet? I have enjoyed learning about sustainable agriculture in general. I am a construction management major [at CSU] so I am new to botany and aquatic biology. I am also learning how to build with new materials and under different conditions. Greenhouses pose water and temperature change issues. How do you incorporate sustainability into your life? I am handy individual with tools and good problem solving skills. I am constantly repairing items instead of buying new and fabricating fixes from recycled material. What do you want to see change in the world in the next 10 years? I want to see a reduction in the corporate marketplace for such things as food and specialty retail.  I would also like to see the consumers’...

Duckponics: Next Big Aquaponics Innovation?

Probably not, raising ducks is certainly not for everyone; however for the poultry lovers everywhere integrating ducks into a simple aquaponics system may be easier than you think. Ducks having their place in the garden is well documented. Ducks eat many of the pests common to the garden, and their waste fertilizes the beds. However the water required to provide them with a clean place to swim is immense and a real waste. Reusing this water is the key to creating a more sustainable environment for your garden. The idea is that the ducks would supplement or replace the fish in your system. The more muck the ducks create in your pools the more nutrients that are provided for your plants. The water loss for this system would be more than that of a typical aquaponics system; however it would be SIGNIFICANTLY less than the water waste you would have if your duck ponds are not being actively cleaned by the plants. In this way you can have clean fresh water for your ducks to splash around in and grow delicious food for you and your ducks! For examples of this concept in action please see the links below: Using Ducks in the Urban Garden Duckponics -written by Savannah Miller, Business Development Intern, Spring...