November 2012

The Aquaponics Opportunity

by Pastor Tom Thresher

As I believe most of you know, we have received a generous gift from Demi and Erik Rasmussen — an aquaponics system (including the greenhouse).

You may not have heard of aquaponics.

It is a self-contained, environmentally friendly system for growing vegetables year-round in climates like ours.

Vegetables are grown in a gravel mixture and fertilized with the effluent from fish swimming in two tanks below. The nutrients in the poopy fish water are absorbed by the plants and clean water returns to the fish tanks.

We just have to feed the fish, perhaps with worms we can grow in our worm bin.

The veggies will be used for the Suquamish Community Kitchen and we’ll have a fish fry a couple of times a year.

This gift provides some wonderful opportunities.

One is to contribute to the creation of a local economy that is more just, caring and sustainable. We live in an uncertain world. Many believe that the Great Recession is only the beginning and that more difficult times lie ahead. It’s likely that we will increasingly have to rely on local food sources to feed our communities.

The church can serve as both a model and a resource to help build a local economy more in sync with a sustainable future. Because much of Jesus’ ministry was built around food, it is only appropriate that we continue in that tradition.

An additional opportunity comes with this system. We can help build a stronger, more resilient community as we demonstrate and educate our neighbors about a new food source.

Corporate capitalism destroys local economies and local communities. It creates lots of new devices and wonderful toys; but it also creates alienation and isolation. As we learn new ways to feed ourselves and restructure our landscapes we are also learning to work together in a diverse community.

So come celebrate. On November 18 (time to be announced) we will join together with the Suquamish Common House and Kitsap Tilth to share a dinner. The food for this Festival of Sharing will come from our aquaponics system, from local gardens and from fruit gleaned from local trees.

Please join in.

Blessings …   Tom

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