Friday, November 12, 2010

Check out Aquaponics on Union Street

The incredible minds that brought you the United Way Financial Stability Center are always looking for new ways to encourage thinking about success in our urban environment. Whether it be through services they provide to those in need, new business models that will work in a city like Lynn, marketing initativies that have the whole city talking about them nonstop, or their latest effort in sustainable urban growing, we have a lot to learn from this organization.

I don't know about you, but I had no freakin clue what Aquaponics was until the folks at SPIN started talking about it. Through a partnership with MIT and the Lynn Coalition for Green Development, Aquaponics is coming to life in full view at 270 Union Street in Lynn.

My rough understanding of Aquaponics is that you have an aquarium with talapia that provide nutrients of some kind to the water, that is then filtered up into a tank. When it reaches a certain level, it releases the nutrient rich water to a bed of rocks where various plants and vegatables are planted. The water is then filtered back down into the aquarium giving the fish whatever it is they need to survive. The only water lost is that which evaporates.

Now, I'm sure I got some of that wrong, but you get the general idea. Imagine this on a grand scale. A new kind of urban farming. A whole new source of healthy locally grown produce for our urban markets. I believe once the fish (talapia) get big enough those too can be a source of food.

Go check it out and read this article by MIT's CoLab Radio to find out a bit more. I think they even have a much better explanation of what the hell is going on inside this thing.

SPIN is really on to something with all of this activity lately. I expect to see many more projects which at first seem random, but when you really think through it, they become obvious. SPIN's job is create that spark. That spark that can give someone, who doesn't know where to start, a big playful shove in the right direction. It comes from the top, lives and breaths in all of their employees, and is acted out by everyone they serve.

You can get involved in this great organization. Just talk to their volunteer coordinator to get more information. From piano players to tax preparers, SPIN wants you! Prepare to be inspired!

Like SPIN Aquaponics on Facebook to stay up to date with all that is going on with this project.

While on Facebook, visit SPIN's other latest community building machine, the Traveling Piano.


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