My current project is the conversion of a 2,500 square feet vacant lot - located next to a fried chicken spot and a liquor store - in Buschwick, Brooklyn into a farm. This farm will produce fresh water fish along with a variety of fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits utilizing a farming technique called Aquaponics. This farming method mimics nature by creating a closed loop system which combines aquaculture with hydroponics (soil-less growing). In this method, waste from the fish provide nutrients that support plant growth, while the plants remove toxins that are harmful to the fish. The Moore Street Farm will serve as the only green space in the community, provide fresh food to community members, serve as an outdoor classroom for the 8 elementary schools in the community, and provide a model for sustainable fish production in urban areas.
The production space will contain fish tanks connected to hydroponic grow beds used for growing fruits and vegetables. In addition, a percentage of the farm will be used for traditional soil gardening in raised beds. This allows us to use an integrated farming method whereby solid fish waste (rich in plant nutrients) removed from the aquaponics system is used as an organic fertilizer in soil based cultivation. The space will also include a composting worm bin, and chickens.
We began construction on Saturday, March 2nd with a volunteer group of 10 people that helped to clean refuse from the lot. Since then we've spent every Friday and Saturday building the farm with support from volunteers. We've successfully constructed a 1,200 gallon fish tank and a 12 foot x 50 foot hydroponic grow bed, which will support plant growth. The next step is to include additional smaller grow beds; connect the pond to the grow beds via a plumbing system made up of a regenerative pump, air blower, and a series of pvc pipes. Once this step is complete, we'll add the baby fish and seedlings from our greenhouse.
Funded by New York City, NY (June 2013)