Reducing Input Costs for Urban Aeroponic and Hydroponic Farming
With the 50% of grant funds provided I purchased a portion of the supplies needed for the grant. The remaining materials I used my own funds to purchase. Initially the project entailed me working directly with the Imagine Schools Charter School but due to unforeseen reasons the Imagine Schools were completely closed down in the Missouri region. That change caused me to have to identify another school to work with.
In September of 2012 I began work with the Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS) in order to fulfill the educational and sharing part of this grant that focuses on working directly with students to complete the grant project. Currently we are working with 3 greenhouses and are ready to begin the grant project this spring. We are growing 4700 plants within the greenhouses and are conducting trial growing sessions before we begin the project. This is in order to make sure we have everything perfect before beginning the project in March/April 2013. Currently we have all of the materials needed to conduct our research and experiment although there have been some minor edits.
RESULTS This information will be provided upon completion of our research. Our research has not been initiated as of yet due to the above stated reasons. What I can currently comment on in regards to what we have learned is to always have a backup plan if you are going to be doing work with schools. I made the mistake of partnering with a Charter School that was about to go out of business. Before I knew what would happen our plans had been scrapped. Luckily I maintain good working relationships with individuals within the St. Louis Public Schools which allows us to continue the grant with children. I feel it is important for us to work with children since they will be the ones farming in the future and it provides an in with the community. Once you engage the children you can reach other individuals with the community.
WORK PLAN FOR 2013
Our plan for next year will be to finalize the research we have found and complete the grant in total. Most likely I will be fine tuning the research data discovered and work towards disseminating the information throughout the science community and posting the final report via the SARE website for everyone to review.
SHARING INFORMATION The plans we have for sharing information this year will be through various means. We are currently working with the St. Louis Science Center’s Youth Exploring Science Program and will be working with over 200 high school students. As such the students will be blogging their finding via the (YES) program’s website. In addition within the next month I will be launching a site to post my research findings and the progress of the research so that others can follow along as I conduct the research with the children. It will be complete with pictures and will provide in-depth details as to the steps we are taking to complete the project.