Eagle Slope Farm

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$770
$770
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GOAL

--- Visit this pilot's Fundraise page on DivvySolar.com ---

Veggies will be growing in the South Bronx!

Granja/Eagle Slope/Farm will be New York City’s first parcel-based urban farm using anAquaponics growing system. It is located at the corner of Westchester and Eagle Avenue and is designated by the Department of Parks and Recreation as Eagle Slope. The farm will be a pioneer in environmentally sound agriculture, because it will be powered by solar panels and the water supplied will be harvested; all in an effort to run off-grid, for which we need your help!

A CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture network is being developed to serve the food needs of South Bronx residents. Members of the CSA, for a weekly fee will be able to pick up fresh, Bronx grown and harvested vegetables. We have chosen Tilapia as our fish species, because of its proven record in Aquaponics systems of this size. Every 8 months, members of the CSA will be able to receive fish for consumption. Members of the CSA will be able to pick up produce/fish on site at the Marketplace. This community garden plot will provide much needed access to fresh produce and healthy produce to an area of the Bronx with a grocery store shortage. The CSA will also accept EBT cards as we are working with GrowNYC to obtain an EBT card machine.

 

 

What is Aquaponics?

Currently, we are putting the finishing touches on 3 greenhouses using a system called aquaponics, which is basically the fusion of fish farming and hydroponics together that relies on the symbiotic relationships between fish and plants found in the natural world.  By having a closed-loop growing system we are able contain the nutrients from fish effluent and circulate the water through the root systems of the plants, allowing for the uptake of nitrates and other sources of nutrients. Then, the water is circulated back to the fish tank, where it is returned as clean water.  

Relying on this natural cycle allows aquaponics based farms to operate outside the spectrum of industrialized agriculture because there is no need for synthetic herbicides/pesticides as the fish serve as the nutrient source. 

We have been actively farming in New York City using aquaponics for a year and a half at our Prototype Aquaponics Greenhouse in Queens, NY. It is here where we have learned the art of farming using this type of growing system. 

Seedlings floating on the deep-water trough at our Prototype Aquaponics Greenhouse in Queens, NY (Above)

Polyculture at our Prototype Aquaponics Greenhouse in Queens, NY (Above)
Baby Arugula at our Prototype Aquaponics Greenhouse in Queens, NY (Above)

Bird's Eye View of our Prototype Aquaponics Greenhouse in Queens, NY (Above)

 

We need your help!

After overcoming several bumps along the way, including Hurricane Sandy (which the greenhouse survived with only minor damage) and several blizzards, we are expanding our operation to include three, 130 square foot greenhouses using the same aquaponic growing method we learn so much about in Queens. 

The new farm in the South Bronx is operating off the grid, however we need electricity to power our water pumps for the aquaponic system. Thankfully, solar panels were donated to Eagle Slope, courtesy of Solar Journey USA. Through this Divvy campaign, we will ba able to purchase the remainder of the solar power system components, namely a battery bank, to provide consistent electricity to the site! It is the only piece that we need to have a functioning aquaponics-based farm. With your investment, we can bring the Bronx's first aquaponics urban farm online!

 

Below are some pictures of the progression at our farm:

 

 

Follow us: @farmthebigapple

 

Updates

 

Update #1: We are now fully funded!!!

Greetings Divvy-ites!

The Eagle Slope Solar Farm is now fully funded thanks to your contributions! We would like to take some time to thank everyone for donating to our project. Because of your efforts, the Bronx will have its first carbon-neutral urban farm using Aquaponics.

As of now, we are running our Aquaponics system off of non-renewable sources. To date we have 100 fish and we are expanding our growing system every week! This means a great deal to the people of the South Bronx, especially in the immediate Mott Haven community in which we are based.

Access to healthy food is big issue here in this predominately low-income neighborhood that maintains some of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in New York City. Eagle Slope will give people in the neighborhood the choice to eat healthy. We will sell our produce below market rates and will acceptEBT aka Food Stamps so that everyone that wants healthy food has the chance to buy it.

We will now begin construction of our Solar PV System, which is going to power the pumps and water heaters that will allow us to grow fresh, New York City-grown veggies! Expect more updates on our progress in the coming weeks!

Thanks for being a part of this effort to support a healthy, vibrant, and engaged community!

Please follow us on twitter @farmthebigapple

Or email if you have any questions at: farmthebigapple@gmail.com 

 

Update #2: Solar Installation is ONLINE!

Hey Everyone! 

Just a little update: We have installed and are now operating a fully CARBON-NEUTRAL urban farm in the South Bronx thanks to your support! This is a view of the panel installation and greenhouses. 

This is the view from one of our greenhouses that uses an AQUAPONIC-based growing method powered by SOLAR PV PANELS. Each greenhouse maintains 750-gallons of closed-loop recirculating water with fish below and crops (lettuce/kale) above!

Thanks to your donations, New York City has its first CARBON-NEUTRAL URBAN AQUAPONICS FARM! This is a big step-forward for the local community as we hope to make THE BRONX a trend-setter in sustainability, climatic design and urban agriculture innovation. 

Corrections: Our email is farmingnewyorkcity@gmail.com ,our phone number is (929) 224-3898

Feel free to visit our site @farmthebigapplehttp://farmthebigapple.squarespace.com/ or in person at 588 Westchester Avenue, Bronx, NY 10455 (search Eagle Slope in google maps) 

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Project Initiator:

59Chris Velasco
@ Granja/Eagle Slope/Farm

Serial entrepreneur focused on meeting the coming demands of a resource deficient world, namely: Food, Water and Energy. Graduated May 2013 with an MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University. I also love tacos, surfing, Catahoula's (dogs) and farming of course!

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