“Food Doesn’t Grow Here Anymore. That is why I would send my son north.”— Ana Jorge Jorge..
Crops have been failing for years. Drought and unprecedented winds have destroyed successive corn crops, leaving the families destitute. Should they send their children north to face an uncertain fate in the U.S. or watch them die. What would you do?
This article got me thinking. These people do not want to leave their land, they feel they have no choice. Not that much different than when the Irish Potato Famine, also known as the Great Hunger, began in 1845. In that case a fungus called Phytophthora infestans spread rapidly throughout Ireland. The infestation ruined up to one-half of the potato crop that year, and about three-quarters of the crop over the next seven years.
The great hunger was responsible for the death of about one million people and a million more emigrated from Ireland.
Like the Irish before them, these people do not want to leave their land. They feel they have no choice.
Central American Farmers have been supporting themselves for thousands of years. The way they farm, the way many of them live, has not changed that much over the past 100 years. In the face of multiple years of drought and failing crops it is obvious the old ways of farming are just not working. They need a change. They need something more than drought resistant seed. They need the best farming technology and they need it now. They need Aquaponics.
The New York Times article gave me the motivation, but a recent TED TALK that I attended in Plano, Texas gave me the inspiration and the knowledge that there was a better way to farm. Michael McLeon, a Texas Penal guard of all things, presented a Ted Talk on how his prison unit had put Aquaponics to work with some amazing results. You can see his TED TALK HERE.
The success with aquaponics that they saw at the Mark W. Michael Unit is amazing. But if it can be a success at a Texas maximum security prison, where else could it be used?
It did not take long for the idea to be formed in my head and I just could not let it go. I contacted Michael McLeon and told him about my idea, he also thought it was a good one.
An aquaponic system that could be shipped in a pod. We could build them to sell in the U.S. for a profit in order to be able to build them in Central America or anywhere else in the world that people were in need of food. This would allow anyone with a small space in their yard to get a maximum yield of fresh veggies with minimal time, effort and space. Within a week Michael, or Mac as I now call him had drafted a blueprint for the first pod and said that he would build the first one in his back yard. I got to work on this blog and started looking for board members for the, “Aquaponics Pod Project”.
As soon as we get our 501 (c)3 approval from the IRS we plan to put our aquaponic pod kit up for sale on a crowd funding site allowing people to purchase the entire kit or the blueprints to build it. Once we have sufficient funds we will work with established non-profit organizations already in-country to build aquaponic pods starting in Guatemala.
Leaving the world a little better than when you found it should be everyones goal. If you are interested in helping with our project please contact me. We are currently looking for founding BOARD MEMBERS and volunteers who would help us get this off the ground.
Contact: Ron Perrin firstname.lastname@example.org
In Subject line please write: I want to help
NEW TED TALK from Missouri:
Watch “Aquaponics: Creating a movement inside of prison systems | Michael (Mac) McLeon | TEDxMissouriS&T” on YouTube