Trip to Urban Adamah!

Last Sunday we woke up early in the morning to go on a field trip to a small Jewish community farm in Berkley called Urban Adamah! The farm partners with churches and companies in the Bay Area to produce sustainable food to share with the community, and also has a lot of volunteers to help run the farm.

The cool thing about this farm is that most of the plants are grown in containers that can be transported easily. They had to do this because they only have the land for a few years, and also because the location used to be a printing press factory and the dirt isn’t suitable for growing plants. They use a very cheap way to make these containers so that their method of farming can be spread to anywhere that isn’t usually suited for growing plants.

ywatanabe.20130303..IMG_0411Once we got there, we split up into two teams: one teamed moved dirt out of the greenhouse in preparation to build a aquaponic system, and the other team made a path and replanted trees into plants.

I had a lot of fun getting out there in the sun and well – moving dirt around! It feels good to get your hands dirty and experience a portion of what it is like to grow food. Our leader from Urban Adamah!, Casey, was very kind in explaining many things that we didn’t know, and was a pleasure to work with. Thanks Casey!

The part that interested me the most was the acquaponic system. An aquaponic system is a symbiosis between plants and fish: The water from a fish tank is used to water plants,which filters the water, and then the water is recycled back into the fish tank. To me, it seems like a weird (but great!) idea because it is almost like creating an artificial ecosystem for the plants and the fish. I would love to see how this technology develops further.

Also, this was a very small farm that didn’t use any large machines. I wonder how a day at a very large farm will be different from our field trip.

Here are photos from the trip!

ywatanabe.20130303..IMG_0415ywatanabe.20130303..IMG_0419ywatanabe.20130303..IMG_0425ywatanabe.20130303..IMG_0432

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