MEXICO – Project Explore students will soon begin an adventure in aquaponics, a form of agriculture which combines aquaculture and hydroponics.
Project Explore Teaching Assistant Carolyn Deary-Petrocci, whose background is in horticulture, and Instructor KC Jones will oversee second period students who will be responsible for operation of the entire Home Food Production system.
Petrocci and Jones attended a master aquaponics class in Wisconsin, where they learned about an aquaponics system.
The CiTi kit includes a 100-gallon fish tank, which is assembled and has flowing water.
Petrocci is expecting a shipment of tilapia next month.
The fish waste will go to different tanks and into growing rafts where it becomes food for varieties of lettuce the class will grow.
A filtration system will clean the water, and circulate it back to the fish tank.
Student responsibilities will include feeding the fish five times daily and testing of water samples.
Over time, they will harvest the tilapia.
Petrocci said the project will allow for collaborative efforts with CiTi’s Career and Technical Education Culinary Arts program, which will utilize the lettuce varieties, and the Digital Media program, whose students may take video of the growing and harvesting process.
As the students advance with the new system, Petrocci said she and Jones are hoping to see a hydroponic system connected to the food production system to grow herbs.