A Deep Concern About World Poverty

A Deep Concern About World Poverty

A Deep Concern About World Poverty: A Study of Hydroponic Farming—A Sustainable Way to Reduce Poverty

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Just Foods and Columbia University Special Interest Housing Project

There are two organizations that New-Farms feels would both benefit and embrace a hydroponic growing system. The first of these organizations is Just Foods, a New York City based non-profit. Just Food’s goal is to raise awareness and provide local communities with self sustainability. More specifically, their objective is to “develop a just and sustainable food system in the New York City region.” The organization holds that by encouraging “new marketing and food-growing opportunities” they can attend to the needs of rural and family farms as well as community gardens. Just Foods believes that by through “food-growing opportunities” they can begin to tackle the needs of New York City communities. The organization works not only to increase the output of community gardens but to help distribute these goods throughout the New York City area. Just Foods’ ambition is to increase the output of the farms they work with by redefining the notion of the community garden. The organization wants to encourage the restructuring of small community gardens so that they can become viable food providers. Finally, Just Foods seeks to distribute the food produced in community gardens to low-income neighborhoods with limited access to affordable produce. Just foods partners with other New York City based organizations to help develop marketing, emergency relief and gain expertise in horticulture and garden preservation.

New-Farms seeks to apply hydroponic methods of growing to existent Just Foods farms. By introducing hydroponic technology to community gardens, New-Farms believes that we can help Just Foods increase their output. Hydroponic technology addresses and provides solutions for many of the challenges facing Just foods and their local gardens. These issues include space limitations, and consequently limited output, soil contamination and restricted access to water. Additionally, Just Food’s is any environmentally conscious organization that seeks solutions that are environmentally sound.

The implementation of hydroponic technology would help Just Foods manage the need for space. The International Consultants to Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses asserts that “patios, small gardens, party walls, balconies, rooftops” can all be used for major food production. The addition of this technology would allow Just Foods to maximize the space available in order to boost their overall output. In addition, Hydroponic growing methods reduce the potential for crop and soil contamination. Finally, the addition and use of the hydroponic method of growing allows locations with previously insufficient access or use of water to agriculturally produce. With the employment of hydroponic systems on rooftop gardens, or other areas where traditional irrigation is not possible, and small or out-of-the-way plots can become food producing farms. Finally, New-Farms believe that our shared aid and poverty reduction goals will encourage a strong partnership. New-Farms does not economically benefit from the use of hydroponic growing systems. Like Just Foods, are objective is to raise awareness and provide ideas or links to possible solutions. Both organizations are committed to poverty reduction through environmentally sound means. New-Farms believes that Just Foods’ efforts to provide self-sustaining food production will help increase the amount and quality of inexpensive food that is available to lower income communities.

A Columbia University Student Environmental Activist group has petitioned the Columbia University Department of Residential life for special housing. When their bid is approved the Department of Residential life they will be given the use of a dormitory. New-Farms would like to offer our services the residence of the environmentally friendly special interest house. New-Farms will work with this special interest house, helping its residents become more self-sustainable. Using the website as a method by which information can be shared, New-Farms will help connect residents with information about, ideas and tools for better growing and links to hydroponic system’s providers. Using hydroponic systems, residents of the special housing program will be able to minimize their need to purchase food.

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