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San Diego Nonprofit Announces Expansion

By   /  December 16, 2015  /  2 Comments

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Of Largest Aquaponics Farming Enterprise in California

solutionsThe organization plans to solve family homelessness through farming organic certified produce in an environmentally superior state-of-the-art “drought buster” farm.  

VISTA, CA – Solutions for Change, a San Diego nonprofit dedicated to solving family homelessness, has announced its highly anticipated expansion plans for Solutions Farms. The expansion will set Solutions Farms as the largest aquaponics farm in California.

“After years of trailblazing our idea, engaging with our community partners and winning over discerning social purpose investors, we are ready to expand our award-winning Solutions Farms,” says President and CEO of Solutions for Change, Chris Megison. “Throughout our organization’s history, we have reinvented the playbooks on what solving homelessness looks like. Now, with the Solutions Farms expansion, we’re continuing that tradition of innovation – solving family homelessness through hope and organic produce grown at our state-of-the-art aquaponics farm.”

The farm uses sustainable aquaponic technology which operates without pesticides or chemicals, uses 95% less water than traditional farming, and grows up to four times more food per square foot.  It also serves as one of the region’s largest private sector-funded workforce training programs for the homeless, helping nearly 200 once homeless parents reenter the workforce.

Bolstered by the support of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) Innovation Initiative (i2) grant, the group has undergone more than a year of planning and consulting with aquaponic experts and builders from around the world.  After careful consideration, Solutions for Change has chosen local industry expert, Go Green Agriculture, to build the expansion.

Go Green Founder and CEO, Pierre Sleiman, says, “We are excited to come alongside such an innovative social organization like Solutions for Change. Aquaponics is a rapidly evolving method of farming that we’ve been closely watching. The community support and investments obtained by Solutions show us that they are on the cutting edge of doing big things in the world of local sustainable farming. As trailblazers ourselves, we want to be part of growing the best food, while also having a positive impact on society through solving family homelessness.”

Over the next several weeks, Solutions for Change and Go Green will undertake the planned build out of Solutions Farms, tripling its size and more that quadrupling its food output. The build out also includes an optimization of the current production system, which will increase production and improve efficiencies significantly.

Solutions Farm’s Aquaponic Specialist, Kevin Gorham, says, “These improvements will give us a more consistent and stable system, improving the speed and quality of our production which will position Solutions Farms as a national leader in aquaponics and expand commercial growing capacity, creating opportunities to sell our produce to broader retail markets and a range of discerning customers.”

When completed early next year, the farm will provide over 1.6 million servings of organically certified greens each year to local schools, hospitals, companies and other nonprofits – including school children at 22 of Vista Unified School District’s area schools, one of the farm’s main partners in its pilot phase.

The farm’s self-sustaining social enterprise provides a replicable model that other nonprofits can follow to generate earned revenue while providing the homeless with meaningful jobs, workforce development training and a healthy life.

For more information visit www.SolutionsForChange.org and www.SolutionsFarms.org.

 

About Solutions for Change: Solutions for Change has designed a transformational model that has been solving family homelessness in San Diego since 1999 – an effort that has led more than 750 families and 1,500 children to more successful, productive lives. Solutions for Change has organized its mission around three initiatives:  Solutions University, Solutions Enterprises and Solutions in the Community. Each initiative provides a unique offering to the homeless family and community, working in unison to give the community the fastest and best chance of permanently solving family homelessness, by giving individuals access to the skills, knowledge and resources they need to address the root causes of their homelessness. For more information about Solutions for Change, visit   www.solutionsforchange.org or call (760) 941-6545.

About Go Green: Go Green Agriculture is a family farm with big ideas and strong values for growing the healthiest and highest quality produce while using super sustainable growing methods. The organization has been recognized at the White House by President Obama as a “Champion of Change” in “The Future of Agriculture” for their work. We work with our community, customers and policy makers every day to continue to realize our mission. All of our produce is grown with utmost care and the finest nutrients in the world – the result…the freshest and finest produce in the world!

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2 Comments

  1. Kitty Morse says:

    What an absolutely brilliant idea. Bravo! Aquaponics has come unto its own

    As a Vista resident and a cookbook writer of longstanding, I am amazed that Vista doesn’t focus more attention on its treasure trove of growers and farmers, and make them more visible to the tourist trade. Mind boggling. Indeed, I wrote a cookbook about CA farmers, many of them from the North County.

    • Winifred Meiser says:

      Hear! Hear! Well worth repeating: “Absolutely brilliant”! Hopefully, the children eating these meals will get a better idea of the difference between healthy foods and the over-processed salted, sugar & fat-laced products that abound on grocery shelves.

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