Posted by John Pokorny on Jul 03, 2018
Toddler shows off this years 2nd harvest from one of the Aquaponic Grow Beds erected in Belize last January by 22 Rotary members from 6 clubs in Denton County.
Their second harvest consisted of Carrots, Lettuce an Okra. Last January's efforts by Denton County's People of Action are providing a healthy diet for this community in Belize.
22 Denton area Rotary members & spouses in Belize 
The week of Jan 21st, 22 Rotary members and spouses representing Rotary clubs from throughout Denton County were in Belize working to build Aquaponic Grow beds in 5 Belize villages.
You may recall that last December, area Rotarians participated in the Beta build in order to make sure the team is prepared to do the work in the remote regions of Belize. Thanks to leadership of Mike Sherewood (Flower Mound Rotary) and Will Carlton (Cross Timbers Rotary) we have a completely functional grow bed that Lewisville Morning Rotarians will begin using early next year to produce fresh organic vegetables to serve in the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen.
The Beta Aquaponics bed was erected at the Rich Lubke Community Organic Gardens. This organic method of harvesting provides fish fertilized water to grow beds via solar operated pump. Method uses much less water than standard methods. When the fish grow to appropriate size they will be removed and used for food. All produce as well as fish will be given to Salvation Army soup kitchen when harvested. The grow garden will be managed by the Lewisville Morning Rotary Club who will be working with the 9 other Denton County Club memberss to plant, maintain and harvest the produce to be given to the Salvation Army. In the meantime, Rotary clubs in Belize are working with our Denton Area Rotary Teams to build these grow beds in 5 indigenous villages in Belize thereby providing food for villagers as well as a source of revenue for the villages since produce can be sold to resorts. The Belize area Rotary Clubs will work closely with leaders in the 5 villages to maintain those beds and communicate with our team any sustainability issues we need to know for the Global Project being planned for next year.
This project is a beta project to prepare for a much larger Global Project during the 2018-2019 Rotary Year. For this beta project we (the Denton County Rotary Clubs) plan to install 10 Aquaponic Grow Beds in 5 villages in Belize. We had a team of 4 Rotary members visit Belize in September. They visited villages and Rotary clubs in Belize that will partner with us. Based on what was learned in that trip, we are now making preparations to head to Belize in late Jan to install the beds in the 5 villages.
The prototype they built last month at RLCOG is an actual working grow bed that we in Rotary will be using to grow vegetables to donate to the Lewisville Salvation Army kitchen when harvested.
The Lewisville Morning Rotary Club has agreed to manage the bed. However, they will need the help and assistance of Denton area Rotary member families throughout the growing season to plant the beds, keep them weed free and harvest the vegetables when ready. In addition, we will need to feed the fish in the fish tank and keep the water level up.
For more information about Aquaponic Growing click here.