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When I think of farming in Kansas, I think of our beautiful wheat fields and cows grazing in pasture. Recently, I became aware of a unique type of farming that is not only feeding my town, but bringing food and the opportunity to be more self-sustainable to people living off of trash dumps in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. I can’t help but be #MyTownProud! This unique method is called Aquaponics.
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the marriage of raising fish and growing plants without soil. The fish are growing in large tanks where their waste provides an organic food source for the plants. That waste water is watering the plants who in turn naturally filter the water that is recycled back to the fish.
Topeka, Kansas Research and Discovery Facility
I am proud to say that my hometown is the birthplace of an aquaponics research facility that is changing the lives of many who are living in different stages of poverty. The Trash Mountain Project teams up with communities that are trying to create a better life for those trying to make a living off of trash dumps in less fortunate countries, and it also provides food for the Topeka Rescue Mission which is feeding the homeless in our community. The R&D Center focuses on maximizing fish and plant production. They figure out what works, and what potential problems might be. They have built two international aquaponic systems and have trained the local people in those communities to continue the work, feed their people, and sell excess to continue the sustainability.
“The long-term vision of Trash Mountain Project is to construct commercial-size aquaponics farms that aid in creating self-sustainability for our international ministry partners through local food production and commercial sales that create ongoing and sufficient resources.” Trash Mountain Project.
Farmers and Community
Every farmer that I meet seems to have a love not only for the land, but also for people and the feeding of their community. There are so many different and beautiful sides to farming and it warms my heart to know that the farmers in my community are making such great contributions not only locally–but worldwide!
The America’s Farmers Community Outreach programs sponsored by the Monsanto Fund are helping farmers come together with their community to keep it strong and vibrant. Rural communities are places that people are proud to be from and live in. The Monsanto Fund celebrates these communities and invests to make them even more vibrant for future generations through America’s Farmers Community Outreach.You can find out more and read some of their stories here and on YouTube. Share what makes you #MyTownProud on Americasfarmer.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag @AmericasFarmers.