Jacksonville Aquaponics Farming

jacksonville aquaponics farming

‘Beacon of hope’: Jacksonville nonprofit launches seventh aquaponics urban farm

The mission is to grow fresh produce and fish year round and provide specialized job training

Jacksonville Aquaponics Farming | Beth Reese Cravey |

A Jacksonville nonprofit opened a state-of-the-art aquaponics urban farm to grow fresh produce and fish year round and provide specialized training for low-income people.

The new farm at FreshMinistries‘ Weaver Center for Community Outreach on A. Philip Randolph Boulevard is part of the nonprofit’s ongoing initiative to combat world hunger. In March, FreshMinistries opened a similar aquaponics farm and training center in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“This facility is more than just a farm, it is a beacon of hope and innovation in our ongoing efforts to combat food insecurity,” the Rev. Robert Lee III, chairman and CEO, said. “We are not only providing a key source of nourishment but also fostering resilience, environmental stewardship and empowerment within the communities we serve.”

Jacksonville nonprofit FreshMinistries recently opened a new aquaponics urban farm to grow fresh produce and fish year round and provide specialized training for low-income people.

Aquaponics combines aquaculture, which is raising fish in tanks, with hydroponics, which is cultivating plants in water. The combination produces a harvest of fresh, nutritious produce and fish in a harmonious environment with a much lower carbon footprint than traditional farming, according to FreshMinisries.

Under a partnership with the Chartwells school food service provider, fresh produce from the farm will help provide “healthy choices” in Duval County public school cafeterias, among other beneficiaries.

The new urban farm is the seventh launched by FreshMinistries since 2017. The one recently opened in Johannesburg is part of the nonprofit’s Desmond TutuProgram to End Hunger. The program plans to open 198 aquaponics units across eight African countries within the next five years.

‘Hand up’:Jacksonville’s FreshMinistries connects people with ‘myriad of needs’ to services

FreshMinistries overall mission is to “eliminate extreme poverty by empowering communities and individuals to realize their full potential,” according to its website. Other programs include a business incubator, job training and placement for unemployed adults, helping at-risk youth gain life skills and job placement, and substance abuse prevention and treatment.

bcravey@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4109

Original Article: https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2024/05/01/jacksonville-nonprofit-freshministries-opens-new-aquaponics-farm/73452308007/