Windy Hill Middle School has had a
humanitarian relationship with the Turkey Feather Trading Post for
the past two years. The school has participated in two food drives
and is fully aware with the operation and the many needs of the
The Turkey Feather Trading Post is a
local mobile food bank serving disaster victims, hurricane refugees,
veterans, and the the needy and the homeless of Lake County in
The Post is usually well supplied with
dry goods, clothing, camping, equipment, hygiene and medical
supplies. The problem they have is getting fresh vegetables and fresh
fish. Often times their clients live on an exclusive diet of canned
vegetables, canned fish and meat, and dry USDA goods of rice, corn
meal, beans, and pasta. in order for their clients to stay healthy,
they need to provide fresh vegetables and and an excellent source of
It was decided by the 7th Grade Computer
Keyboarding Class of Windy Hill Middle to create a project that would
provide the needed fresh produce and fresh fish.
Problem: Fresh produce and fresh fish for
the needy of Lake County.
We discovered that the Post had an area
of their property where they could develop an aquaculture/agriculture
A project like this would allow them to
provide fresh vegetables and fresh fish on an annual basis to the
needy at a very low operating cost.
Solution: Aquaculture and Agriculture
Develop a symbiotic
aquaculture/agriculture project that will raise fresh fish, use the
run off to fertilize the garden, and use the garden produce to help
feed the fish. The project should supply an adequate supply of fresh
fish and fresh produce for the needy of Lake County at a very low
operating cost. The project could be replicated for use by other
Community Food Banks.
The 7th Grade Computer Technology Team
decided to create a project that would provide the needed fresh
produce and fresh fish for the Post. Students were instructed to
conduct their research on the Internet using their
The theory was that nitrogen in the fresh
fish water would encourage better growth than regular well water and
reduce the cost of expensive fertilizers.
The students obtained two growing trays,
soil, radish seeds, a fish tank, a grow lamp, and gathered some local
fish . One growing tray was marked H2O and the other marked Fish
Water. The H2O tray with radishes received tap water only while the
fish water tray with radishes received only water from the fish
Information on the Internet about
aquaculture and agriculture supplies was abundant. Students found
many sites on aquaculture that would send free advisors to make
recommendation for a setup that would be tailor made to the needs of
Students also discovered search engines
that linked to agricultural site like Organic Gardening, Aquaculture
Magazine, Burbee Seeds, and the Almanac.
In addition, the students put together a
tentative budget based on Internet research for the Post.
After the team setup the fish tank and
the growing trays they collected some fish and started the
aquaculture experiment. They planted some radishes in the growing
trays marked H2O and Fish and setup the growing trays.
They watered the radishes daily or as
needed. Immediately the radishes in the fish tray began to outgrow
the radishes in the H2O only tray. The students were excited and were
confident that their project was perfect in every way.
The project turned out to be a great
success and then provided an even greater lesson than had been
anticipated. The fish tray our grew the H2O tray for the first four
weeks by leaps and bounds. Then something quite unexpected happened.
The radishes in the fish tray began to die. What happened? Did our
theory go hay-wire?
our investigation indicated that the
radishes burned out due to over fertilization. It seems that the fish
tray received too much nitrogen for the the plants to survive. This
is an important lesson learned in the safety and economy of the lab.
We now know that in the actual garden situation we will have to
fertilize only once a month for encouraged growth.
All was great fun. Students discovered
the beauty of research as they were abet to fail and succeed in the
safety and economy of the lab. What if they had tried this project in
the field first and failed? The homeless might also be
The failure of the burned out radishes
only continued to prove their theory that vegetables will grow better
with the addition of the nitrogen of fish water, but not too much
The Windy Hill Middle team decided that
the solution is to provide a symbiotic aquaculture/agriculture
project to help feed the homeless in Lake County, Florida.
The challenge was to develop a symbiotic
aquaculture/agriculture project for the Post that will raise fresh
fish, use the run off to fertilize the garden, and use the garden
produce to help feed the fish.
We now believe that this project is
viable due to our research and hereby recommend it to the
The Hunger Awareness and Human Rights Curriculum
was created to introduce students to the problems of hunger,
homelessness and human rights in America. It is specially designed to
solicit a humanitarian response at the middle school level to the
hungry and homeless in the community.