Trashcan tilapia? Come on, omnivores »
DNAinfo has a story on “the latest trend in urban farmsteading”: raising tilapia in trash cans. Christopher Toole, the self-styled “Johnny Appleseed of fish,” has been working on small-to-medium-scale urban farming of tilapia for selling and eating. You know, like growing greens in discarded tires! Or backyard chickens! Though unlike backyard chickens, everyone only wants little male tilapia fish—having females “will result in large populations of small fish”—so commercial breeders use hormone therapy to turn baby female tilapia into male tilapia. Science!
I am into self-sufficiency, but I have never heard of homegrown tilapia before. Is this actually a thing? Raising foot-long fish in garbage bins in a converted parking garage in the Bronx? Toole uses the fish waste “to grow mint and basil,” and “teach[es] local children, most of them from poor local families, how to grow their own food.” Forget Johnny Appleseed, he’s like the savior of the Bronx! The new “teach a man to fish” is “teach a man to raise fish in his urban environment”!
Or maybe this is just as disgusting as it appears.
[photo by Jon Schuppe for DNAinfo]
Hayes Valley Farm is making improvements! Can you spare some change to help? »
We’ve written before about cool things happening at the Hayes Valley Farm. While it’s not an exclusively vegan farm (they have a bee colony that produces honey), their main focus is growing food sustainably and teaching others to do the same. They have a variety of classes, from yoga at the farm to Soil 101, and you can stop on by and visit the farm during their visiting hours to get involved, or just to see what’s up. It’s pretty awesome; when I first moved to San Francisco in 2008, the spot on Octavia and Laguna where the farm now lies was just an abandoned chunk of old freeway off-ramp. Now, in under two years, the area has been completely transformed and is now a functional, sustainable farm. Pretty inspiring for anyone who has ever tried to get a project off the ground in San Francisco!
Now, the Hayes Valley Farm is trying to raise money to improve the farm and expand their outreach and education programs. They’ve put together a Kickstarter package (Kickstarter is an online fundraising tool), and with three days left to pledge money, they’re just $3,000 short of their goal. If you have some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket, consider donating to the farm!