Jesse and Angela transplanting lettuce into the aquaponic bed, with ripe cherry tomatoes ready to harvest in the foreground. Photo: Nate Clark
Mason Street Farm, a quarter-acre market farm on the border of Fernwood, has done some big things in the past year & they are planning to outdo themselves again
Edie Irons Published October 2013
Village Vibe Newspaper
The farm team is organizing a fundraiser on November 9th to install a solar electric system that would take the largest aquaponic greenhouse in Victoria off the grid.
Less than a year ago, Mason Street Farm started an online fundraising campaign to build a greenhouse which conserves water while growing fish and vegetables in a closed-loop system. Farm partners Angela Moran and Jesse Brown raised fifteen thousand dollars in small donations. This also funded a paid internship program throughout this spring and summer.
As the growing season draws to a close, the urban farmers are making plans to continue and expand their programs next year. The aquaponics greenhouse successfully completed its first growing season and is increasing in fertility as more than two hundred resident fish grow in size. The system will become truly sustainable with the addition of a solar electric power source to keep the pump and ventilation equipment running around the clock. The internship program will continue next year, training Victoria residents with modest resources to start their own sustainable urban farming businesses.
In order to expand their innovative programming and infrastructure, Mason Street Farm is teaming up with the Island Chef’s Collaborative to host an event called “Boots ‘n Suits: A Mason Street Farmraiser.”
Seth Ellerbeck, a farm intern, harvesting pole beans from the aquaponic system. Photo: Nate Clark
Local chefs Peter Zambri of Zambri’s; Jamie Cummins and David Johnstone of Relish; and Jonathan Pulker from The Refiner Diner will be cooking a five-course meal with local beer and wine pairings. Guests will have a chance to meet the farm team and learn more about their exciting work. Wear your wellies and muck boots!
Located at the Odd Fellows Hall—1315 Douglas Street—the event starts at 6pm on Saturday, November 9th. Tickets are eighty-five dollars and available at bootsnsuits.eventbrite.com, Shatterbox Café, Vintage Spirits, Fairfield Market or at Mason Street Farm.