Sustainable Integrated Farms – Feeding the Hungry
We have a way to feed the hungry. And yes, it’s fishy.
Imagine a system where plants and fish feed each other and both, feed people. And, what if this type of agriculture existed without doing damage to the environment and, did not threaten human health?
Here at Sustainable Integrated Farms International, we have developed a self-sustaining system using aquaponics and hydroponics. Aquaponics is the integration of recirculating aquaculture production with hydroponic plant production. Simply put, aquaponics is a system for farming fish and plants together in a mutually beneficial cycle. Fish produce waste, which is a great fertilizer for plants, and the plants take in all of the nutrients and in turn purify the water, which is good for the fish.
At SIFarmsintl, we have created a closed system where plants and fish feed each other, and both feed people. The foods are locally grown, fresh, natural and organic. No pesticides. No Herbicides. The entire process is chemical free.
As part of a strategic partnership with St Vincent de Paul, we have built a 60 x 90 foot commercial size aquaponic/hydroponic facility that grows food and hope locally. We call it, The Hoop House. During the last 12 months, The Hoop House has become somewhat of a landmark. It is used as a learning ground for Arizona State University students interested in alternative farming methods. It has become a destination for the curious and like-minded individuals who see the future in hydroponics and aquaponics as a sustainable agriculture and want a peek at whatthat reality looks like. For others, it is quite different. The large greenhouse, amidst dilapidated buildings, half-torn-concrete structures, dirt and dust filled inner city streets, represents hope and food security.
For St Vincent de Paul and Sustainable Integrated Farms International, the last 12 months represents successful and rewarding beta testing. We have created a balanced ecosystem that is cost efficient, climate resilient, eliminates waste and produces consistent, healthful, nutritious foods locally – and where a portion of both products and proceeds goes to hunger programs.
“There are approximately 468,000 families in need in Arizona alone. Families who are struggling with hunger and poverty. The partnership with SIFarms gives us (St Vincent de Paul) one more channel to help families in need”, says David Smith, Director of Urban Development at St Vincent de Paul. This partnership, along with 6000 volunteers throughout the valley, make the possibility of future table service of fresh, healthful food, and the ability to protect human health and our environment…a reality.
We are in the fight against hunger and we need your help to make it happen.
As you can see from the video above, the basics are done. But it is not enough. If we are going to continue to feed the hungry in our community and make this system turnkey for other charities to utilize, we will need your help.
How Your Contribution Will Help
- Covering: First and foremost we need to keep the Hoop House safe. We need twin walled covering material that can withstand our monsoons and provide protection from the extreme heat, wind, and other elements.
- Shade Cloths: Shade fabric helps protects plants from direct sunlight and offers superior ventilation, improves light diffusion, reflects summer heat and will keep the Hoop House cooler.
- Fish tanks: We need additional tanks for livestock. We are adding different species and will soon use shrimp in addition to tilapia. But we need to keep the species separated and make sure they continue to thrive.
- Food for livestock
- Seeding boards for vegetables and greens
- Blowers to ensure the water cycles through
- Land: We need additional greenhouses. A new a 60 x 90 foot commercial size aquaponic/hydroponic facility can cost between $50,000 and $75,000.
We invite you to be part of the solution.
Help eradicate hunger.
*Help us get the word out.
*Know of anyone whose expertise or talent can lend a helping hand during future projects…send them our way.
*Donations? — no amount is too small and very much appreciated.
We have been offered 1 acre of land on which to build more greenhouses. Won’t you help us help others? We may even name a greenhouse after you.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to all who have given their time and support and to those about to make a difference in feeding the hungry.