Grand re-opening of ‘Aquaponics’ farm, largest in western United States
VISTA (KUSI) — "Green" is the color of the day in Vista, but because of a particular product, it’s not for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a product that is key to a very important community mission.
That product is organic lettuce, 10 different varieties, which are now available to more North County school children, some 50,000 in four districts.
Friday morning at Solutions Farms, which uses a growing process called "Aquaponics" to produce healthy food for students, had its grand re-opening after a grant-funded million dollar expansion of its greenhouse, making it the largest organic Aquaponics farm in the western U.S.
Aquaponics is soil-less farming, using fish waste in lieu of traditional chemical fertilizers.
But there’s more going on than healthy produce for children. Solutions Farms is part of a North County organization called "Solutions for Change," a longtime organization dedicated to helping homeless families and the clients are part of the farm’s workforce.
"They plant the seeds, transplant, harvest deliver, And many of their children are in the school systems," said Farms Director Chris Cochran. "To me, it’s not about growing lettuce, it’s about growing people, changing lives and supporting and guiding people who’ve been in my situation before."