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Urban Farming

Project Description

Working with Gary, Indiana

Our goal is to create an aquaponics garden to supply the city of Gary, Indiana with fresh, local produce. According to the Feeding America Study, Gary currently possesses 14 of the 24 food deserts in Lake County. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2021, Gary has a population of 74,217, and 30.61% of the population is in poverty. The issue of combined poverty, lack of fresh produce, ability to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) across more fresh food markets, and community empowerment and involvement are all factors in addressing the needs of Gary through a sustainable aquaponics garden. In order to address the lack of access to fresh produce and healthy food, Pastor Marty Henderson, of Peace Garden & Farms, and Purdue University have partnered to build an aquaponics system for the community, a community-based agriculture distribution system, and education materials on how to best use the fresh produce we have grown. With this project and partnership, we hope to produce a reproducible framework to be emulated all with the end goal of ending food deserts in the Midwest. 

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What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the symbiotic relationship between the fish and plants within the system. The fish produce excrement which is full of nutrients for the plants and the plants will purify the water for the fish. This is a continuous cycle allows for growth for the entire year, making it more productive throughout the year than traditional agricultural methods. The new form of modern farming and can be built anywhere.