Urban Vision has been blessed with an Aquaponics greenhouse on our very own property. We are excited for all that God can do through this opportunity. With this greenhouse Urban Vision aims to provide organic food to the North Hill community at affordable rates.
Usually the cheapest and most available food is the most unhealthy and chemically-altered. We want our community to have healthy, fresh options at reasonable costs. We provide food that children and their families may not have access to otherwise, such as kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, lettuce, strawberries, spinach and more.
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a sustainable gardening system that combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals like fish) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) to create a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) environment.
Our greenhouse runs on this kind of system. We have two tanks of fish. Their waste (full of nutrients for growing plants) goes into the tanks’ water, which is pumped into growing beds lined with small rocks instead of dirt. The rocks filter the nutrients out of the water, where the seeds planted in the beds absorb them and grow. The water recycles out of the beds and back into the fish tanks, giving fresh, oxygenated water back to the fish.
The process is all natural! There are no chemicals or additives. Once set up, it’s very simple to run: feed the fish, plant the seeds, and harvest produce as it grows. Even the waste from harvested plants goes into a compost pile, where we grow worms to feed the fish, and create more fertilizer for the plants.
While traditional greenhouses have to keep the entire environment at a balmy temperature, aquaponics systems focus on warm water instead of warm air. A hot-water line from UV’s boiler coils around the fish tanks to keep the fish and water warm– the water, because it will heat the plant beds as it cycles through the system, and the fish, because if they get too cold they hibernate, and neither eat nor produce waste to feed the plants.
Shannon Wilkes Fitness Center
Shannon was an avid soccer player throughout her life, culminating in an undefeated national championship at Wheaton College. Her hard work and competitive spirit was constantly displayed; whether on the field, in the classroom, or at the kitchen table playing board games. Shannon epitomized humility and selflessness, not for the idea of making herself less but making others more. Her love for others was surpassed only by the love for her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Shannon showed great courage and perseverance throughout her five-year battle with cancer, never allowing it to keep her from her goal of serving the Lord.
During her 5 year fight with cancer, Shannon captured her thoughts and experiences. Please visit Shannon Wilkes’ Caring Bridge blog.