Swami Chetanananda has often talked about the importance of finding alternative ways for our community to obtain the most basic of human needs: food and water. To this end, The Movement Center has drilled a well on its property and is in the process of creating a food eco-system using aquaponics. With these efforts, we are creating environmentally appropriate ways to sustain our residential community and contribute to the well-being of our neighbors.
1. Water Supply: By putting a well on its property, The Movement Center will have a reliable source of fresh water that is less susceptible to contamination than the public water supply and without chemical treatment. In the event of a water shortage due to an environmental event, we are seeking to be in a position to provide water for others in the local community.
2. Aquaponics: The Movement Center is also planning the installation of an aquaponics system to ensure that our community can be in control of the production, integrity and output of an adequate crop supply for our residents and many of our neighbors, if needed.
Aquaponics is a closed eco-system using fish and plants in a symbiotic relationship. Simply put, the waste from the fish serves as fertilizer for the plants--fruits, vegetables and herbs. In the system The Movement Center is considering, the water is pumped from the fish tank through vertical growth towers holding the plants. The plant roots are fed by the nutrient-rich water. The roots, in turn, cleanse the water, and the water is returned to the fish tank.
A greenhouse is erected over the system to avoid contaminants and predators which may otherwise impact crops. The Movement Center will be able to harvest both plants and fish from this system. The system we will use places a growth pods in towers as shown in the photo above. We are planning to start with 48 growth towers, growing over 3,000 plants in less than 25 square feet of ground space.
The benefits of aquaponics are significant:
- Up to 10 times more food production in the same amount of space and time
- Up to 75% less energy than almost any other farming method
- Up to 80% less water required than conventional farming methods
- Free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other toxic substances
- Uses approximately 50% less labor than almost all other food production methods
- Creation of useful by-products
- Allow year round farming in enclosed structures
The Movement Center is raising funds to support both the completion of the well and the purchase, installation and initial operation of the aquaponics system. The opportunities presented by these programs include providing jobs for community members and developing educational relationships with local schools.
Your contribution supports these significant strategic and environmentally conscious changes in the way we sustain ourselves and can provide assistance to our neighbors.