The Recirculating Farm Coalition is a collaborative effort between nonprofit organizations, farmers and educators committed to creating healthier and cheaper food options for the people in New Orleans.  Their goal in creating the farms is to make food more accessible, since 1 in 6 people in the US is struggling to buy food.  Looking around the area it was shocking to see all of the homes.  They were not in good condition and you could really see that the neighborhood needed to have a farm like this one to help them.  The soil in New Orleans is very contaminated so the Recirculating Farm Coalition uses aquaponics which is a mix of aquaculture and hydroponics. This uses water in place of soil to grow food. The water starts in a pond with fish, whose  waste products have the nutrients that are beneficial to the growth of the plants. The dirty water gets pumped to the top of the plant beds, and the nutrients in the water are absorbed by the plants. The  plants in turn clean the water and the clean water is then delivered back to the fish.  

In the beginning of the day we weeded the back area of the farm in order to use the weeds as compost.  The compost is used to grow fruits and vegetables which will eventually be eaten, and their roots can go to compost.  It is all a big cycle that is used to create the food.  By coming here today we got through a large part of that cycle.  Something that would have taken the two or three people that work here 3-6 months to complete took the 20 of us a few hours.  Our work might not show immediate results, but it did help the community of New Orleans that is still struggling to land on their feet after Katrina nine and a half years ago. Today Team Inspire made a lasting impact on the city of New Orleans.  


~Hayley Lipson, 11th Grade, East Brunswick, NJ

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