This is Oscar. He's famous for somehow surviving a power outage years ago. We love him, and he tolerates us.
Here are some of the distinguished members of SFCC's Aquaponics and Hydroponics Club. In back with arm raised is our famous teacher, R. Charlie Shultz. Charlie is the best aquaponics teachers in the world. Google him.
The Santa Fe Community College is incredibly lucky to have him!
Charlie in his element. "Love me my kale," he says.
At its annual conference last year, the Aquaponics Association asked Charlie to talk at dinner on Saturday night because he is so well respected.
After Hurricane Maria destroyed his aquaponics farm in Puerto Rico, Pedro Casas moved to Santa Fe with his family. At SFCC, he teachers commercial hydroponics and aquaponics and is thereby able to continue his mission in life. He is also delighted to work side-by-side with his friend and former teacher, Charlie.
Abey Torrez has been working with SFCC's controlled environment agriculture program longer than anyone!
Nate Downey, pictured at right with his son, took his first aquaponics and greenhouse-management classed with Charlie in 2017. He has been a student-intern at SFCC since June of 2019. He has been developing a farm-to-door business model for years and is excited to test out this model with this free-food delivery research project. He is extremely thankful to the teachers, students, and staff at SFCC for the opportunities that this project could bring to the our community.
Sophia Rojas is an officer of the club and is shown here in the greenhouse on the set of an upcoming film about the great work at SFCC.
Photo credit R. Charlie Shultz
Pedro (center) shares a laugh and some locally grown
turmeric with student-interns, Jeff Cox (left) and Lucien Blakemore (right).
Student-intern Victoria Valdez took care of SFCC's multiple control-led environment agriculture systems during much of the winter break.
Here, members of the student-run Aquaponics and Hydroponics Club are hard at work making tie-dye T-shirts. Please buy one to support students who wish to attend educational conferences!
At left, student interns, Omar Jaramillo and Andrew Neighbor, harvest delicious lettuce from one of the DWC systems at SFCC.
Below, student Jack Duggar gets ready to take a newly sown seedling tray out to the greenhouse for germination
Above, Bethany Clement, and officer of the club, smiles for the camera as she prepares to document a huge harvest.
Below, Nate feeds fish in one of the college's deep-water culture systems, while Pedro attends to a separate hydroponic system in the background.
A Word About SFCC and Aquaponics
Grown by students, faculty, and staff in the big new greenhouse at the Santa Fe Community College, your produce will be aquaponically farmed in a low-waste system that recirculates its water!
We use about 1/10th of the water that conventional agriculture uses. In addition to yielding delicious lettuce, cooking greens, and herbs, fresh tilapia are also ultimately harvested from these systems, but the fish are not part of this food giveaway and its related research project.
We feed fish, and they provide nutrients for the plants we grow, while the plants clean the water for the fish! In these days of lettuce recalls and other food shortages, it's really important to note that fish are cold blooded animals, so they never harbor the forms of E. coli that cause sickness in humans!
We also plan to include a FREE wipe soaked in sodium hypochlorite with every delivery during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Please stay home if your can!
A Word About the LLC
Monday, March 29, 2020
Lettuce, Etc is a limited liability company born and bread in Santa Fe, NM. Nate Downey is president, CEO, farmer, creative director, and delivery boy. We deliver produce and other local products to the people of Santa Fe with a farm-to-door model. Each delivery is scheduled to arrive at an agreed-to time in an easily wipeable insulated bag. The package even comes with an easily accessible, homemade FDA-approved wipe!
If you are an investor and would like to talk about how we can save the species ASAP, please lemme know. If you are a farmer and would like to talk about us helping you get products to market, let's talk (actually, email is often better at first) . If you are hungry and you don't make it into any of the phase one or phase two neighborhoods, please let me know. I will see what I can do.
In the meantime, everyone should know there will be a phase three and four. When produce becomes available, we intend to deliver at least one freebie to anyone in our future delivery areas. As long as you sign up during the month of April, 2020, even people outside of our current delivery area will get a freebie when we expand to places like Eldorado and the huge swath of neighbors north of the Santa Fe River. (Sincerely sorry, City Council District 1, that this project can only make about 500 deliveries during the course of the study, and we had to be conscious of our mileage from the college since this is a free service at the moment!).
We hope all of this provides you with a little bit of hope during these difficult days. We see a bright future ahead with this new business model, and we encourage you to keep up with the latest on our blog, FB page, and optional seasonal newsletter.