WEST NEW YORK, New Jersey -- The ingenuity and power of aquaponics have arrived in New Jersey through Drop the Beet Farms.
The New Jersey-based company, which has partnered with ten different school districts across the garden state, is teaching students the science and engineering behind aquaponics farming.
"Our goal is to basically bring the outside environment indoors and find a way to grow food sustainably," said Cody Parker, Founder of Drop the Beet Farms.
Aquaponics, which is considered one of the most sustainable methods of crop production, enables the growth of fish and plants together in one symbiotic ecosystem.
The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally filter the water for the fish.
"It's called the nitrogen cycle and this is what makes it a great teaching topic for chemistry and science classes. You can start to delve into chemistry, engineering, different types of sciences that can come from the systems. Once you capture that imagination, students can start getting creative and thinking of how they can implement this in their communities," said Parker.
Annually, Drop the Beet Farms grows approximately 10,000 lettuce heads from these systems, all in a herbicide and dirt-free environment using 90% less water compared to soil-grown crops.
"We're going to keep educating students and the ultimate goal is to connect people with their food that has been grown locally and sustainably," said Parker.
Contact Community Journalist Miguel Amaya