Posted on Jan 17, 2020

EcoStewardship: EcoClub Signature Project 2020 Awarded District Funds

We are excited to announce that the Rotary District Grants Committee voted unanimously to award the Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub funds to complete our proposed project to increase the sustainability of the Pillsbury United Communities Hydroponic Freight Farm.  We are grateful to the many local clubs who supported the vision of this project with donations.  These donations were matched 2-1 with the Rotary District Grants Committee vote and we now have a budget of $24K.   
The hydroponic Freight Farm is co-located with the urban farm at Pillsbury United Communities Oak Park.  The food produced on this site is used in the community dinners at the Oak Park facility as well as sent to the North Market, a groundbreaking wellness center and grocery store in what was once one of America's largest food deserts. 
The Freight Farm is a re-purposed 320 sq. ft. cargo container.  Produce grown hydroponically year-round within the container is as much as can be produced seasonally on 1.5 acres with substantially less water.  
The Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub 2020 project will provide solar panels that will produce 22% of the annual electricity requirements of the Freight Farm (long term goal is to have 100% of electricity provided via sustainable methods) and a rainwater catchment system so the minimal water required for growing comes from precipitation rather than the City of Minneapolis water supply.  Research and design of this system will be an inkind donation by University of St. Thomas and their engineering students via their senior design projects.
Progress on the project will be shared here via club stories and on Facebook and Instagram.  Follow along!