Hi there Trifecta Fans.
I’d like to take this opportunity today to recap some of our educational efforts this past month at the farm. It is essential to our efforts as a farm that we teach others how to do aquaponics with a particular focus on early education.
About two weeks ago we had a group of home-schoolers stop by the farm. These kids ranged in age from 3-16. These kids were currently learning about agriculture at their home-school and so they took a field trip to us to see an actual running farm in this New England winter.
We showed the gang around our family-style system located at 338 Foote Road in South Glastonbury. Next, we explained the principles behind aquaponics in an easy to understand way for the kids and left everyone with a clear understanding of both how aquaponics works in general and how our particular system works due to aquaponics. We related aquaponics to examples from agriculture that they could understand such as farming along the river valley.
In the olden days the fields and valley along the Connecticut river had the most fertile soil. This is due to the fish water from the river. In the spring when the snow melts and the river rises it floods its banks with very rich river water. This water deposits fertilizers from the fish into the soil and then the farmers along the valley take advantage of this soil and farm these riverbanks. This is still a common practice to this day. Same concept in aquaponics except we don’t flood a river bank we flood our plant beds. We harness the natural goodness of fish water in our closed loop system.
The kids were a great audience and we’re gonna have them back out this spring to our big garden at Robb’s Farm. After showing off the system we showed the kids our ducks and finally we showed them how easy it is to convert an existing fish tank or aquarium into an aquaponics set up. We got a lot of good questions from the kids hopefully inspired a few to take the plunge themselves and start up a system at home. We’d like to thank them for coming out and joining us despite the weather.
This past week we also made the first step towards getting more involved with early education in our town. We have begun setting up an in-school system at the Glastonbury East Hartford Magnet School (GEHMS). In late March and early April we will be giving two classes at the school to teach the students about aquaponics.
The first one we will teach the kids the basics of aquaponics and start a system with them. We will give them hands on lessons in feeding the fish and testing the system routinely. The kids are going to be taking care of the system under the guidelines we provide them. Then we will come back about a month later, observe the growth in their system, go into more detail about aquaponics, and get them ready for the first harvest. We are really looking forward to this opportunity and hope it will open up even more avenues for us.
While we are focusing on early education we do offer education for all ages and experience levels. This past week was also filled with two other education classes offered by the farm. The first was a presentation we gave at the Ford Center for Integrative Health and Wealth in Glastonbury. This is an institution that specializes in conscious investing and likes to network with the community and like-minded individuals.
They invited us to give a presentation about our farm and our mission to end hunger. We had a great talk with everyone who joined us and left people giddy at all the possibilities of aquaponics. We also gave an Intro to Aquaponics class at Comstock Ferre in Old Wethersfield. Comstock Ferre has been an agricultural institution for centuries. They invited us to give a free class on Aquaponics. At this class students learned what aquaponics is and were given a guide to starting an aquaponics garden from a fish tank or aquarium.
We had a great turnout and received lots of good feedback from those who attended. Above is a picture of the students listening intently as we explain how fish and plants live together in harmony.
We’ll end this post with a reminder that we have one more free public class offering this month. It is actually tonight at 6pm at the Hillstown Grange in East Hartford. The Grange is the building at 617 Hills St. The doors open at 6, refreshments will be available. We will be giving another rendition of our Intro to Aquaponics class. Those who attend this evening will learn not only about aquaponics but also will learn how they can start a garden in their home immediately.
Everyone who comes will receive a take-away with detailed instructions on how to set up your garden as well as a reference list for materials needed. If you’re interested in aquaponics or maybe what to get started but don’t know how to begin, come on out tonight we’ll make sure everyone leaves with a clear understanding and the know-how to take action.
Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting the farm. We are so grateful for these opportunities to teach others our trade. Seeing the real impact it can have on people’s lives keeps us driven. We will continue our education mission. So if you missed out on our first classes keep and eye out for our upcoming classes and seminars.
The Trifecta Team
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