Did you know that the current age of farmers in America averages out at approximately 58 years old? That’s a whole lot of farmers (who are producing the food that we eat on a daily basis) that are close to retirement – therefore leaving a serious gap in our food system. Who will take over and continue farming within our nation? Will we have to source all of our food from other countries? These are real questions that we need to be addressing as farmers and as consumers.
Thankfully, a new generation is learning how to grow their own food in a place that they find themselves every day – the classroom. Schools across the nation are beginning to incorporate classroom gardening as a part of their STEM programs, not only to teach students how to grow their own food, but to engage them in a myriad of subjects, such as science, design, engineering, and more.
Within our mission to create the City that Feeds Itself™, we are working with schools across the state and beyond to incorporate our aquaponics classroom gardens into curriculums within elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. This past week, we hosted our very first Educator’s Tour & Tasting, where we gave Connecticut teachers the opportunity to experience aquaponics for themselves, and see just how beneficial an aquaponics classroom garden could be for their students. This was the first of many Tour & Tasting events that we will be hosting at our indoor aquaponics farm in Meriden, CT.
During our Educator’s Tour & Tasting Event, we walked local educators through the aquaponics “trifecta”, and gave them an in-depth look into a functioning, growing aquaponics farm. Along with a tour of our own 3,500 sq. ft. farm, we asked questions about their current exposure to STEM education, and we learned a lot about what their needs would be if they were to introduce a system into their classrooms. The teachers that joined us were beaming with excitement, and could only imagine the possibilities and student engagement that would grow if they were able to introduce aquaponic farming into their schools.
“This was a very cool place, and everyone was a wealth of knowledge”, said one of the attendees after she enjoyed a full tour and went home with some of our farm fresh greens.
This Educator’s Tour & Tasting was the first of a series of events that we will be hosting within our recent partnership with the Capitol Region Education Council. Our goal is to spread awareness about the benefits of aquaponics in education and make our systems more available to schools throughout the state.
Interested in learning about aquaponics and our classroom gardens? Join our next Tour & Tasting event on March 14th, 4:30 – 6:00 PM! Register here.