As an organization at the front line of hunger relief, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin recently implemented hydroponic farming systems to benefit the local community. In partnership with Fork Farms of Appleton, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin will utilize these dirt-free systems at pantries, schools and other organizations around the region.

Recently, the Appleton food bank received two units thanks to funding from Amcor and the Gannett Foundation. Volunteers are helping to grow and harvest from the machines.

How Does Hydroponic Farming Work?

Hydroponic farming systems operate indoors, using lighting and nutrient-filled water. This generates a substantial amount of leafy green vegetables about every three weeks. Each grow machine takes up about nine square feet of floor space and requires access to water and a standard electrical outlet.

What are the Benefits of Hydroponic Farming?

Thanks to this farming system, lettuce can be harvested just prior to when food is distributed at pantries. As a result, refrigerators or coolers are no longer needed to store the produce. At schools, teachers are able to present growing lettuce through hydroponic farming as a fun activity, eliminating the shame students may feel if their family is in need. Playing a part in the harvesting process could also provide therapeutic aid for residents of domestic abuse shelters.

To read more about this alternative farming system, click here.