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Bioponics Institute established itself early this year as a super green business in the hydroponic and aquaponic food growth industry in Santa Fe. It is a “real food” advocate promoting — local grown organic food for everyone. BpI produces organic, nutritious, fresh food at affordable prices for both people and livestock through advanced hydroponic, aquaponic and animal fodder technologies and the relationships it develops within the locales it serves.
Did you know food travels approximately 1,500 miles before it even gets to your table? And by then, that its nutritional value is minimal? That it takes 50 gallons of water to grow one head of Bibb lettuce conventionally, and that it takes only one gallon hydroponically?
That in New Mexico 97 percent of the actual food eaten (by volume, weight) is imported from outside the State? Imagine if fuel and food and distribution was interrupted. Did you know that as an effect of the ever growing drought millions of cattle and other animals are starving and being fed old, long past expiration dated — candy? Consider energy and natural resource use and issues, the polluted and now toxic environments, the GMO, pesticide, fertilized, toxic foods, all the unfortunate outcome of conventional food production. And sadly, we all know that in numbers too great to count, that United States veterans, young adults and the unemployed population in general, have been unable to find meaningful work and business opportunities.
These issues are real and critical as they affect the health and welfare of us all. And
addressing them is BpI’s everyday business. First, it shifts fresh food production to local sourcing. Second, as produce is allowed to ripen before harvest, it makes the journey to the table quickly and it tastes good because it is good, nutritious, fresh and 100 percent organic. Third, BpI provides career-based education and training, employment support, and business franchise options for those interested in hydroponic production as a profession. Forth, it collaborates with area businesses, organizations and communities, bringing a pure food source to the locale and its produce to their tables.
Bioponics Institute is an international company with a local focus. “Everything Bioponics does is with an intensely local focus and support ... although it’s work is done worldwide. We must help the environment and as many people and animals as we can.” Says John Eric Scholz, BpI founder. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. With Bioponics it’s train a hydroponic technician and s/he’ll feed so many, real food, for a long time to come.”
And so, on June 24, 2013, Bioponics Institute launches its 16 week accredited, 24 credit degree, curriculum: Bioponics Greenhouse Management. Developed in collaboration with Santa Fe Community College the course is offered through the School of Trades and Technology as part of SFCC’s alternative energy and sustainable living curricula and the Associate in Applied Science degree. U.S. veterans receive a $500 discount off tuition cost and veteran benefits also apply to Bioponic’s business franchise.
The program’s intent is to revitalize agricultural traditions to build local food security in a way that is ecologically, economically and culturally viable; socially just; and organic and regenerative for current and future generations. Students receive classroom and hands-on training in a state of the art 2,500 square foot hydroponic aquaponic training greenhouse containing two 1,200-gallon aquaponic fish tanks, and extra amenities that make the facility suitable for demonstration and educational use as well as commercial production.
Additional greenhouse and animal fodder units are planned by the end of this year.
Energy is supplied by SFCC’s Biofuel & Solar facility. Produce is distributed to area
businesses, organizations and population. Because of the reduced production cost
associated with energy efficient hydroponic production and local distribution; produce is available at a reduced price from the norm.
More information is available at bioponicsinstitute.com, or to participate in this project email bioponicsinstitute.com/exchange/realfood/.