US (PA): Aquaponics program, brewery pair up to give students life skills

Tucked in the back corner of a warehouse, surrounded by beer kegs stacked to the ceiling, are two tanks of fish and trays of plants sitting under bright lights.

This is the home of the Growing Together Aquaponics Program, in the North Country Brewing Company canning facility. At its core, it’s a pre-employment transition program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But it’s grown to be so much more.

For Lucas Chamberlain, one of the program’s participants and employees, it’s a calm, relaxing environment to learn and grow.

“Back at school, it was always chaos,” he said. “This is joy for me.”

For Dale Daugherty, chef at the North Country Brewing Company taproom, it’s a source of fresh, tasty ingredients for his meals. He swears the flavor of the vegetables he gets from the aquaponics program is better than anything he gets in stores or from other purveyors.

“I think it’s the care they put into it,” he said.


Read the complete article at Farm and

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