We’re excited for spring at Spruce Island Farm! We’re erecting our first greenhouse and adding more beehives. To prepare ourselves, Director Paul Finley and assistant house manager Kirk B. took a road trip to Holy Oak Farm in Wisconsin. Holy Oak Farm is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide agricultural and business skills development opportunities for veterans, the homeless, and other disenfranchised or under-served groups as a catalyst for becoming productive contributors within their communities.

Holy Oak Farm staff have many years of experience in greenhouse horticulture—particularly growing flowers and vegetables—so the trip was a great opportunity to learn from them. They also have an aquaponics lab, which combines raising fish with soil-less plant farming. The fish wastewater serves as a source of plant food, and the plants naturally filter the water. It was very interesting and something we might one day replicate at the farm.

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