AmHydro Founder, President and CEO, Michael Christian explained that they were excited to partner on this innovative program with Groundwork Hudson Valley. “The Science Barge is a prototype initiative featuring a sustainable urban farm that floats in the Hudson River and produces sustainable, carbon-neutral fruits and vegetables," stated Christian. "It's a progressive model that other urban areas will be able to duplicate and we're proud that AmHydro was selected to be part of this vision.”
Groundwork Hudson Valley obtained the Science Barge in October 2008 and has been credited for conducting valuable research to improve the lives of urban populations north of New York City. To date, it is the only fully-functioning example of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in the state of New York. Power is generated by solar panels, wind turbines, and bio fuels; while the hydroponic greenhouse is irrigated solely by collected rainwater and purified river water.
“There are so many people who benefit from the Barge's agricultural and educational programs and we know they'll appreciate our partnership with AmHydro," said Rick Madger, Executive Director of Groundwork Hudson Valley. “The system repairs (upgrades) allowed us to restore our greenhouse to ship-shape condition and we were thrilled to welcome children back on-board at the start of the new school year.”
The AmHydro systems in use at the Science Barge are the popular 612HL NFT system for herbs and lettuce and the popular 210VC for tomatoes, cukes, peppers and everything imaginable. Both are durable recirculating systems designed for many years of service.
In the past year, the Science Barge:
- Educated 3,000 students from 102 schools and camps
- Hosted 2,800 weekend visits from 15 countries
- Provided 15 disadvantaged teens with paid internships
- Produced more than 1,000 pounds of produce for local shelters
AmHydro's Michael Christian explained that this visionary project drew media attention from across the globe because it demonstrates how close we are to a sustainable future in terms of ‘locally grown’ food systems. He added, “NFT technology is a major part of this future and we are passionate about our role in advancing research in this area.”
About American Hydroponics
American Hydroponics (http://www.amhydro.com) of Arcata, Calif., provides state-of-the-art crop performance products and services for people to grow crops successfully, year-round for pleasure and profit in any environment, with an emphasis on conserving resources. American Hydroponics, founded in 1984 by Michael Christian, is known for its innovation by leading the industry with easy-to-access, high-performance horticultural products, greenhouse supplies, resource conservative equipment and knowledge. Their commercial systems are in being utilized in 14 countries and all across the US.