Herb & vegetable growing using aquaponics, organic methods, and water wise in arid Colorado. Fresh. Local. Sustainable.
We will be partnering with a "no-pay" restaurant by selling fresh produce to the restaurant for meals. "No-pay" restaurants ask patrons to donate funds for their meal, whatever amount they can afford. Some patrons donate a lot, some patrons donate a little. If a patron has no funds to donate they exchange their meal for volunteer work. No one is turned away, and everyone has access to high quality, nutritious food. These restaurants serve all members of society and are not charities - they ask for a donation or volunteer time in exchange for a meal. A portion of the food grown in this greenhouse will also be donated to a local non-profit food pantry. We believe strongly in community and are delighted that we have the opportunity to support our local community by growing food while at the same time earning living wage.
Practically speaking, this project is the build-out of an existing greenhouse. The greenhouse was originally built to grow orchids, and as such is perfectly suited for growing produce in Colorado. Being able to use this existing structure will save the project $50,000 - $75,000 in capital costs, and eliminates the need for new resources and new construction for our growing space. Your support will provide the project with fish tanks ($1,000), fish ( $250), growing towers ($6,000), plumbing ($1,000), pumps ($1,000), and some minor electrical upgrades ($400).
We have many friends in the aquaponics community who have offered to donate their time to this project. The build-out of the greenhouse can be accomplished in a weekend due to the generosity of our friends, at no additional cost in labor.
We each bring areas of expertise to this project. Christine is a project manager, Ben is an engineer, and James is a biologist. These complimentary skills set us up well for success. We are certain of the synergy created by our individual strengths.
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Having grown aquaponically for a few years now, our biggest challenge with this project will be managing pests in the greenhouse once the plants are growing. This is true of any greenhouse growing operation, and always requires vigilance. We will be sending a member of our group to a greenhouse pest management class to address this potential problem.
To a lesser degree water chemistry balances need to be monitored and adjusted to optimize plant growth. We have experience in this practice and are confident we can manage nutrient loads as needed.
We also recognize that partnerships need well defined expectations to be successful. In order to avoid confusion or misunderstandings formal agreements outlining expectations and ownerships will be drafted for both parties.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.