The Greenhouse

Aquaponics Cycle Graphic

Click for larger image.

VETS offices and classrooms are located at 555 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Newark, adjacent to the Willing Heart Community Care Center. A greenhouse in the back lot provides trainees with an additional way to complement their classroom training with practical application.

Trainees learn about hydroponics techniques and grow a variety of lettuces, kale, and basil in the greenhouse. Led by a hydroponics expert from Rutgers University, the 2015 class designed and built the hydroponics system.  Future classes are building on this foundation to maintain, operate, and manage the aquaponics system.

In this closed loop system, microbes convert the waste from tilapia fish into liquid fertilizer used to grow the plants. The plants then absorb the nutrients and filter the water, which is returned to promote a clean environment for the fish. This sustainable system recirculates the water throughout the system in a resource-efficient way.

Fish grown in the greenhouse’s aquaponics system in 2015 will be used in the 2016 fish exchange.