Food On The Move Receives Grant To Teach Aquaponics At Monroe Demonstration Academy

Thanks to Food On The Move, students learned how to grow all sorts of things like tomatoes and okra. They even raised fish.

Thursday, October 12th 2023, 6:24 pm



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North Tulsa is known for being a food desert, but students at Monroe Demonstration Academy learned how to make a difference and grew their own fresh produce. 

Aquaponics is an up-and-coming holistic farming technique being brought to many urban areas.

"So basically, we do top water for three days and bottom water for three days, so today we're going to do water on the bottom," said Monroe student Tristan Clehr. 

Clehr and his classmates learned how to farm using aquaponics.

"So you just pull this up, and you pour the water in there," he said, pouring water into the microgreens. 

Thanks to Food On The Move, students learned how to grow all sorts of things like tomatoes and okra. They even raised fish.

"And you come in here, and you will spread it around evenly for the fish to eat it up," said another student, Desmond Williams, as he fed the fish. 

Aquaponics is an organic way of farming in its own ecosystem without using soil. Monroe Demonstration Academy is the first and only school to offer this program so far, but it wouldn't be possible without grants like the one Food On The Move got from the USDA.

"I think because we are in this specific field of hydroponics and aquaponics and teaching students how to do that holistically, it allowed us to secure that grant and allows us to serve the students even better," said Food On The Move President and CEO Kevin Harper. 

The non-profit purchased new aquaponic equipment for their indoor and outdoor gardens with the grant money, but this class allowed students to tie in other subjects as well.

"So you hear kids all the time, 'Well, I'll never use my math or science,' well you do in here," Harper said. 

One example is when they tested the water each day, "since we're testing for pH, we will have to align this to pH, and I say it's about 7.2," said Williams. 

Food On The Move is happy to see how the program has grown, and the student's love of farming has grown too.

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