Boys & Girls Club of Fremont County members learn to grow food through NASA project

Some local students get to enjoy the fruits of their labor by consuming a healthy snack or adding to a family meal. Boys & Girls Club of Fremont County members are learning how to grow their own food through the I WILL Projects’ Indoor Farming Innovation Zone, a project supported by NASA.

The goal of IFIZ is to increase the community’s collective interest and knowledge in urban farming by introducing students and the community to indoor agricultural technologies and hands-on experiments in hydroponics and aquaponics to successfully grow plants.

“My favorite part is learning more about the aquaponic program and being more informed,” said Ace Kostelny, a sixth-grader at Cañon Exploratory School. “I’ve been harvesting little by little so that my family can put it in salads.”

Students are encouraged to grow grey peas to start out, but then they can experiment with growing other things. “I am tempted to try to grow a tomato plant,” Ace said. “It’s not going to work, but I want to try.”

Tuesday was ‘Salad Day,’ where students were invited to bring in the produce they grew at home on the aquaponics systems that are theirs to keep even after the six-week program ends.

Harrison K-8 School fifth-grader Michael Fleetwood enjoys being able to work on the tank at the club site and at home. “I need to harvest my stuff on it tonight,” he said. “Right now, there are grey peas.” Alxander Tilton, a fifth-grader at CES, and Sarah Bair, a fifth-grader at Harrison K-8 School, both enjoy caring for the fish. “I learned that caring for fish can be really good, but it’s also really sad when one of them dies,” Alxander said. “One of mine died.”

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