Tag: Agriculture

Hope That Sustains

If you were given $1 per day, how would you spend it? For many working class Filipinos, this is a reality. Every day, they’re burdened with the challenge of providing enough for their families. Countless hours of backbreaking labor yields enough pesos to rummage a small portion of rice and a couple sardines — hardly enough to feed a family of four.

But when we create sustainable solutions to poverty, we empower people to become self-reliant. For the people of Calajunan, Philippines, we did so through an innovative aquaponics system installed by a Field Teams group from Bonita Valley Church in California.

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Nate Shuck, U.S.-based worker who spearheaded the project, describes aquaponics as a cross between aquaculture, the raising of fish, and hydroponics — growing plants and vegetables in a soil-free system.

“The waste produced by farmed fish supplies nutrients for the plants to grow hydroponically, which creates both food and clean water for the people in the community,” Shuck says.

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The community will be able to produce 7 to 10 times more food in the aquaponics system, compared to growing it in a traditional garden. They plan on harvesting lettuce, tomatoes, bok choy and tilapia. A portion of the food can also be sold at the corner store to provide income for their families.

Alleviating the burden of hunger allows the people of Calajunan to use their hard-earned income on other basic necessities.

“Every day, I think of the thousands of meals this system will provide for years to come,” Shuck adds.

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Agriculture / Program Updates

Every Day is Earth Day When you Work in Agriculture

Today, the world gathers around to celebrate the earth and all it has to offer. As a scientist, I appreciate a day of focus on the earth because the earth is awesome!

Take a sip of water and think about how that water has been part of the hydrological cycle since the beginning of creation. It’s traveled the globe in clouds over the oceans, condensed at the foot of mountains, and dropped onto the soil — the ultimate water filter — so we can drink it. We can breathe in oxygen produced in abundance by photosynthesis in the green of plants. We should celebrate Earth Day as a reminder of the wonder of the design of creation and not take it for granted.     

However, if you work in agriculture, every day is Earth Day. Farmers can understand what Henry Wallace said as the Secretary of Agriculture in 1938: “The social lesson of soil waste is that no man has the right to destroy soil even if he does own it in fee simple.”   

Farmers and their families who work the land to provide food for the world understand soil’s importance.

Many will plant trees, march in parades, or protest policy makers, but we simply salute those who celebrate Earth Day every day:

  • The leaders and kids in Rayville, Louisiana, who came last week to learn about the basics of soil health and seed planting.
  • The North Dakota soybean farmer who leads his commercial agriculture processes with sustainability to ensure there is a balance between people, profit and planet.
  • The organic dairy farmer in Minnesota who balanced his nutrients on and off the farm before anyone knew what “organic” even meant.
  • The women in Tanzania who are learning to compost so they can keep the soil productive for generations to come, and not just seasons.

We celebrate you! Keep up the good work and thanks for enabling us to feed the world.  

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Agriculture