Recirculating Farms Coalition Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

The Recirculating Farms Coalition staff got together this week to discuss what we hope to see happen in the new year related to recirculating farms. Following are New Year’s resolutions that our staff, members, friends and fans told us they intend to achieve in 2012 (and links to help you try them too).

1. I will learn to build a recirculating garden and offer the excess produce that I grow to my family, friends and others who need it

2.I will try new recipes that encourage me to cook healthy and delicious food

3. I will learn more about aquaponics, hydroponics, and recirculating aquaculture and share with others how recirculating farms can help promote a good food revolution

4. I will read the Coalition blog and share articles that I like with friends and family

5. I will encourage my neighbors to build a recirculating garden to grow their own food and/or buy it locally

6. I will ‘like’ the Recirculating Farms Coalition on Facebook

7. I will follow Recirculating Farms Coalition on Twitter

8. I will help support recirculating farming and farmers

9. I will join the Recirculating Farms mailing list to learn more about the Coalition and recirculating farming

10. I will get more involved in advocacy to change laws and policies about food

Do you have a New Year’s resolution related to food or farming that you’d like to share? Let us know about it!

Cities IN the Water?

Recently, Salon.com published an article entitled “the city that floats.” This piece explained that many cities, like London, are beginning to design INTO nearby bodies of water. The article affirms that with limited space and a greater demand for “more elbow room”, cities have begun “to hike up their trousers and wade into their waterways.”

This idea, to many, seems a bit strange, however, there are examples in Amsterdam, London, Singapore, and even New York City where floating properties are being or have been implemented. Singapore has a floating stadium, and as it is on water, it can be moved to whatever location suits the event that will be hosted in it. In New York City, a floating public pool has been the center of much notoriety and popularity. It was first “docked” off the Brooklyn Bridge, then later moved to the Bronx.

As the world population grows, finding new usable spaces becomes a real priority. Recirculating farming fits into this need. Recirculating farms maximize use of space – they can grow more food, in a smaller area than other agriculture methods, and also are energy and water efficient (see slideshows and videos of these farms in action here). Aquaponic systems are able to grow fish and plants in the same environment, maximizing food variety with space available. So for those cities overflowing into water bodies, (or just those that want to maximize space use) recirculating farms offer an eco-friendly and space-saving way to grow food (learn more about recirculating farms here).

Earlier this year, a floating hydroponic greenhouse was docked in New York City’s Hudson River. This demonstrates that a recirculating farm can succeed in this type of environment. Recirculating farms help conserve space, can produce a lot of food in a limited area, AND become a part of the new floating city phenomenon.

Giving A Gift of Recirculating Farming: A New Greenhouse Classroom

Recirculating Farms Coalition member, Boswyck Farms, is working with Ecostation: NY to create a greenhouse classroom for New York high schoolers. The Bushwick Campus, a collection of schools that replaced the old Bushwick High, is getting a new hands-on innovative indoor farm. This will allow year-round farming education programs as part of their standard curriculum. See a video about the project, below.

The frame of the greenhouse has already been constructed, and will soon contain an aquaponics system (growing plants in water together with fish in one system), a compost-based heating system, solar panels, and a water-cachement system for rainwater collection.

This project is the extension of an outdoor farm that included both hydroponics (growing plants in water) and more traditional soil growing methods. Produce from the farm has been sold to local restaurants and donated to food pantries. The farm also supplies the Bushwick Campus Farmers’ Market, a weekly event held at the school to help students and their families have more access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables, which in many parts of NY can be very hard to find.

Boswyck Farms and Ecostation: NY are now raising money for the project on Kickstarter. They’re asking for $15,000, which is about 1/3 of the money needed — setting the goal low to ensure it will be reached, as Kickstarter is an all or nothing funding opportunity.

Teaching recirculating farming to high school students will help to build a healthier future, where fresh food is grown locally, even in cities, using eco-friendly farms.

There are 23 days left to help support this amazing project. Please consider making a donation any time between now and December 30, 2011 to help teach NY students how to grow healthy fresh food in an urban environment.

Read more about the project here: The Bushwick Campus Greenhouse Project

Learn more about Boswyck Farms in a podcast with head hydroponicist, Lee Mandell!