The Arc of New London was one of our first ever projects outside of building our own original systems. The Arc of New London serves over 620 individuals in New London County. They offer advocacy, employment opportunities, life skills training, recreation, residences and person-centered, community-based services
As part of their mission, the Arc of New London operates a farm stand at their site where they sell produce directly to their community. They have a small garden plot where they grow produce for the farm stand.
We originally started working with the Arc of New London because they had purchased an aquaculture setup from Pentair Aquatic Ecosystems and wanted to convert it into an aquaponics system. Their goal was to use aquaponics to boost their production and experiment with indoor growing.
The system we worked with them to design and install was a test system, including a ten-foot deep water culture bed and two media beds made from IBCs. The Pentair system came with a horizontal settling bed and a bead filter, so we decided to include those into the system design for additional water filtration and polishing.
Jay, the lead gardener at the Arc of New London, also added vertical towers to the system to experiment with vertical farming. The system was designed with a growth mindset: if the pilot project was deemed successful, there is more room to expand into.
I can happily say that the project was successful and that the Arc of New London is now looking to expand their aquaponics operations to increase the amount of food they grow and offer more skill training and job opportunities to their individuals.
We work with the Arc and other Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) agencies to provide therapeutic farms, skill-training, and social integration programs for their individuals. You can see some of our other IDD projects here.