Waco: Community garden does more than just feed neighbors

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WACO, Tx. Mission Waco is encouraging Central Texans to make healthier meal decisions by starting a self-sustaining garden.

The aquaponics system is used to grow produce so neighbors have healthy eating options and to teach them how they can grow their own food.

The garden is a Renewable Energy Agricultural Project or a REAP.

36 solar panels powers the entire system.

Up to 3,000 gallons of rainwater is collected for plants in the greenhouse to soak up.

Fertilizer for the wide variety of produce comes from 280 striped bass. Next year organizers plan to add crawfish to the ecosystem as well.

Behind the greenhouse, flower beds are used to educate neighbors on the different types of plants and growing methods.

Those plants grow in compost made from table scraps from local families, the World Cup Café and Jubilee Market where the produce and fish are sold.

The “Blue Bucket Brigade” is an initiative where families take home a blue bucket and fill it up with table scraps. Those scraps are put into a compost machine that turns it into fertile soil within 24 to 30 hours.

Mission Waco started the REAP as a way to motive central Texans to take better advantage of our resources.

“We want to educate the next generation about, not just wasting the resources that they have,” Katie Schaeffer, Mission Waco organizer said.

“Also, how important it is what they are putting in their body that they are putting in healthy food. Because what you put in is what you get out.”

There is also a nursery so neighbors can grow their own garden at home.