PROVIDING FRESH PRODUCE

EMPOWERING OTHERS

UNITING OUR COMMUNITY

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Man Hours Invested

Lettuce Heads Harvested

Food Insecure Households Served

THE AQUAPONIC GARDEN

The garden is housed in a 1,500sf commercial grade greenhouse constructed of galvanized steel frame with polycarbonate side walls and wrapped in a 6 mm solar wrap (bubble wrap) polyethylene material. The greenhouse is designed to operate year round with a fully automated heating and cooling system. The aquaponic system is a 5,000 gallon closed loop ecosystem consisting of two fish tanks that are home to 300 Tilapia. There’s approximately 750sf of floating grow beds housing about 3,600 lettuce and leafy green plants of different varieties, 400 of which are harvested on a weekly basis. In addition, there is a rock media grow bed and grow towers providing a variety of harvestable herbs and seasonal vegetables. The fish waste is converted by naturally occurring water born bacteria into vital nutrients that are absorbed by the plants which in turn clean the water for recirculation back into the fish tank. This type of system uses approximately 20% of the water used in traditional soil based gardens.

WHY WE DO IT
This aquaponic garden was born out of a desire to help meet a huge need in our community.
  • We learned that there are over 82,000 people in our region who are food insecure; meaning that they have day-to-day food struggles and even bigger struggles when it comes to eating healthy.
  • Over 23% of all children living in our county live in food insecure households and these unhealthy eating habits has resulted in a 24% higher obesity rate for children living below the poverty rate.
  • Over 450 of these struggling families visit our campus each and every month utilizing the services of the Fresh Start Center Food Pantry. Without healthy food options most of these families are destined to stay stuck in a vicious poverty cycle of choosing between hunger and inexpensive heavily processed foods which contribute to their poor health and even poorer outlook on life.

 

After launching in June of 2016 we see this “well watered garden” (Isaiah 58:10-12) being used in a variety of ways both locally and globally.

Providing fresh produce to families in need.

We currently supply the Fresh Start Center Food PantryEastern Plains Community Pantry, Mercy’s Gate and Sarah’s Home with fresh produce every month. It’s our desire to build a second greenhouse and become a certified SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) food distribution center offering an affordable, nutritious  food box of vegetables to those in need. We see this as the pathway to helping us become a place that truly inspires people to live differently by addressing the cultural, affordability, proximity, knowledge and empowerment barriers that seem to keep many of us enslaved to poor eating habits.

Inspiring and uniting our surrounding community.

There is something therapeutic and inspiring about gardening together. We love how this garden is being used to bring the generations together to bring about health, healing and innovation. Studies show that gardening has a way of reducing stress, anxiety and depression and is very effective in treating dementia, cognitive learning issues, cancer, trauma, and PTSD victims. It is our goal to create a space that reaches out, involves and connects our neighbors, our schools and those traumatized by life’s injustices. We currently have an intern program with the young ladies from Sarah’s Home to help with their schooling and emotional healing.

Empowering others through our monthly Garden Market.

We currently offer fresh produce to our community on the first weekend of every month. These markets offer a healthy food option at an affordable price to the buyer and more importantly provides the resources for us to touch many more food insecure families in our area. These resources also support a restoration fund for the young ladies at Sarah’s Home.

Making a difference globally.

We are working towards making this a sustainable garden model that not only pays for itself but also provides additional resources to help address food insecurities around the globe. We are currently using our greenhouse as a global intern training center working with the YWAM Emerge ministry. This is a model that we truly believe has the potential to transform whole communities into places where hope, health and new life abound.
OUR GREEN TEAM
We have an incredible operational “Green Team” that consists of dedicated volunteers who oversee the system on a daily basis!
HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE
There are many opportunities to serve on our team. We have day to day operational teams, a Saturday Harvest Team, and a monthly Garden Market team.  Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have about how you might contribute.
missions@mountainsprings.org
There are many ways you can support our vision. Purchases from our monthly Garden Market provide us with the resources to bless many other food insecure families in our community. Any financial contributions made help us maintain and improve our operation. To give click HERE.
QUESTIONS? TALK TO US

Upcoming Events

  1. Drive Thru Garden Market

    December 5 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location
7345 Adventure Way
Colorado Springs, CO 80923
719.495.6688
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