Island Fresh Ministries, an Initiative of Fresh Ministries Presents...
Aquaponics Greenhouse Tours
Sunday, December 5 (12:00p – 5:00p)
Guided tours in on-site greenhouse with Island Fresh staff
Sign-up sheets at Island Fresh tent
Tours begin every hour
Limit 30 individuals per tour
Island Fresh, an initiative of FreshMinistries, in partnership with Farmers in Action and the Government of the Virgin Islands, has established a six-greenhouse sustainable farming complex, built to develop local agribusiness through education, hands-on training and consistent production on a year-round basis. These highly productive farms and training centers use aquaponics as a way to sustainably grow both fresh produce and fish using a fraction of the resources needed for traditional agriculture.
Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, where both fish and plants can be farmed in a healthy, cooperative relationship. Working together, the symbiotic activity feeds a closed-loop ecosystem where both plants and fish can thrive. In addition, crops in these facilities grow more quickly and require only 5-10 percent of the water needed in a traditional soil-based system. Aquaponics farm systems are environmentally responsible, extremely productive and, since it raises foods in hydroponic growth beds, may be built on space previously deemed unsuitable for farming — such as rooftops, vacant lots and warehouses.
Coconut Uses in Agriculture
Sunday, December 5 (11:30a – 5:30p)
Hands-on education about the coconut’s agricultural benefits
Island Fresh tent
The fibrous husk from the inner shell of a coconut (coir) is commonly used is an eco-friendly, renewable substance that is gaining popularity in many mainstream uses. Coir can come in several different forms, including a peat-like material that is beneficial for gardens as fertilizer, mulch, and a way to help conserve water.
Most vegetables grow better in neutral conditions, and since coir is naturally neutral, there is no need for extra additives to even out the acidity. Coir also improves drainage in agricultural beds, and since it breaks down slowly but retains moisture, it creates air pockets below the roots in the soil. This allows the water to drain away from the plant’s roots but still hold some of the moisture, so the soil doesn’t completely dry out. This works on many types of beds including those with heavy clay and in dry beds with more sand. Coir has many uses for agriculture. Since it is a natural substance, it’s eco-friendly and not harmful to surrounding wildlife.