Back on ZOOM for the monthly meeting, PP Diane Good opened the meeting using a Salvation Army bell and telling everyone it is National Wine Day. PP Steve Scherer led the pledge honoring those Veterans lost in war and, newest member Yang Shen gave the “Thought of the Day.”
PP Diane introduced the speaker Jen levy of City Green Farms as an educator, environmentalist turned farmer, explorer and water conservationist.
Jennifer co-founded City Greens Community Farm, a nonprofit organization that is working to promote sustainability, environmental stewardship and population health through which they provide access to local food and promote food security and justice. So, what does all this mean?
Jennifer spoke of her Grow Local initiative that utilized vacant commercial space for vertical growing of nutrient-rich, highly flavorful fresh food to donate to those in need. She was proud to say City Greens has donated over 250 pounds of produce to different organizations. Recently, she noted, the Salvation Army Transitional Village was added as a donation partner. She also mentioned her partnership with the Bandini Foundation and Bruce Rosen to expand the community garden to assist veteran individuals and families. These families will have access to garden plots, seedlings and soil in pursuit of farming education.
Jennifer then explained City Greens hydroponic shipping container farm, an innovative above ground growing system using recycled and reclaimed water with no or little outdoor space. The hydroponic growing model not only helps to reduce produce travel time and distances which allows for fresher produce at less cost, but it also reduces food waste and carbon emissions. This hydroponic methodology she claims, is truly a living, breathing science experiment.
Jennifer then discussed the future of farming: ability to grow 8,000 plants at once; create movable grow walls and patented Grow Tubes, all intended to give higher yields and heavier plants. It was truly amazing to see these vertical walls of produce growing in abundance.
She concluded her remarks by discussing her commitment to school programs, both virtual and in-person, open to all ages and learning styles. It was a fascinating presentation and members were encouraged to go to the VA golf course where the hydroponic trailer is located for a tour.
Thank you to visiting guest Holle Geltberg and UCLA Rotaract, Sarah Huang. Congratulations to the Lysters on becoming Grandparents ($100 fine) and, to new Father-in-law President Chris (also a $100 fine).