i-Three Issue Corps 2016 – Hydroponics and Edible Landscaping in Rural Communities

Kelly Korman

Farm to School, Farm to Community Coordinator

University of Florida, Family, Youth and Community Sciences

What is the change you are designing to achieve?

Increasing food access and growing knowledge via edible landscaping in rural food deserts.

How will you measure that change?

Participant surveys and harvest yield data

What is the innovative component or strategy you will implement as a result of the design-a-thon?

I am going to see if we could compost the scraps from the fruit trees, i.e. citrus rinds, to provide further education about full-circle cycles in food systems. I am going to work with teachers and school food personnel to ensure there is an infrastructure in place for the harvest to be collected and utilized. I am going to create harvest events where we have our staff Chef come to the sites and provide cooking demonstrations with the harvest. I am going to create educational and interactive signage.

How did the design-a-thon help you?

Going over my concept map with Paul Pangaro really helped me understand how to move these concepts into tasks, and to unearth possibilities I hadn’t formally considered. It was also helpful to sit with pros who were simultaneously empathetic with my roadblocks and innovative in their brainstorming to move past them. All experts/informants/i-Three staff were very present with me, which helped me truly dive into my work. Thank you!

Summary:

As I implement school and community gardens throughout food deserts in Northeast Florida, I have begun focusing on hydroponic systems in particular to increase food access. Thus far I have coordinated installations in 7 counties to increase food production for SNAP residents. I will collect data that answers how much yield we can predict from tower systems in FL. I will analyze the environmental impact of installing tower systems versus delivery from a distributor. And lastly, I will collect data about behavior change such as the destination of the produce and whether it fosters a new approach to cafeteria procurement.

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