Hydroponic and aquaponic gardening is breaking ground in Grand Canyon Junction. Resident and health enthusiast Stoney Ward is excited to share his dream. He says his mission is to help people by educating them on the system of hydroponic gardening so they can grow vegetables at home. “I love plants and I figured out a way to simplify growing fresh vegetables year-round,” he said. “I want to teach people how they can be self-sustainable without owning acres of land.” Ward said growing food helps the public to be less dependent on big business and provides not only healthy food for families but also a sense of accomplishment.
In combination with hydroponics, aquaponics grows fish and other aquatic animals, and their discharge or waste is then used to feed the plants. “Both feed nutrition to the plants resulting in a perfect collaboration,” Ward explained. “Once people taste these fresh organic vegetables, they will love them and want to start growing them on their own.”
“People are realizing they can be self-sustainable without owning acres of land. Urban farming is really big right now,” he said. Along with Ward’s ranch in Grand Canyon Junction, he will also be taking his project mobile. “I have a trailer that will be in full operation by November this year. I will be transporting veggies to Tusayan and Williams giving out samples and selling my starter kits,” he said.
He also would like to give free products to people in need as well as donate to local food banks. “It’s my way of giving back to the community,” he said. “I will also be offering educational events where groups can come to the ranch to learn how the system works, how to create their own garden, and how to eat healthier without breaking the bank.”
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