Preserving the Environment

Are Food Pantries the Future of Farming?

April 23, 2014
by
Menu
Are Food Pantries the Future of Farming?
Matt O'Hara via Flickr Creative Commons
It's not as strange an idea as it sounds.

There’s a very surprising secret sprouting inside a Brooklyn nonprofit’s food pantry.

Using the amazing technology of hydroponics, social organization CAMBA is able to feed fresh, local vegetables to 5,000 people who face food insecurity a month, Tree Hugger reports.

Their hydroponic farm was constructed right in their pantry’s walls and was completed last August. Already, the farm churns out about 80 heads of lettuce per week.

MORE: From Windowsills to Rooftops, Check Out the Rise of Urban Farming

As we’ve mentioned before, the beauty of hydroponics is that it requires no sunlight, arable land or soil. It also allows city dwellers to have year-round access to fresh vegetables even if they live thousands of miles away from traditional farms. “We are able to grow year round with no natural sunlight inside of our actual food pantry,” Janet Miller, a CAMBA Senior Vice President, told the website. Besides lettuce, they also grow bok choy, spinach, lettuce and herbs.

CAMBA’s very own hydroponic system is also giving the thousands of individuals they serve the opportunity to learn about healthier choices by holding classes on nutrition education and wellness. “It’s going to be a good learning experience, in and out of our pantry service,” said Lucila Santana, CAMBA’s Project Coordinator of the food pantry. “We’ll connect with the community through volunteer opportunities, open houses for school kids, food demonstrations and even free classes on hydroponics.”

With more and more dwellers moving away from farms to the cities, fresh food has to travel a lot farther to end up on people’s plates. But as CAMBA proves, if we can’t live on a farm, why not bring the farm to us?

Comments