Bridgeport group uses hydroponic farm to keep produce fresh for those in need
An indoor hydroponic farm in Stratford is helping the group nOURish Bridgeport to provide fresh produce for those who are food insecure.
The group feeds 1,500 people a week through its North Avenue pantry. Founder Rev. Sara Smith says she wanted to provide something better than secondhand produce.
"I'm tired of gross potatoes and rotted cabbage and that's what I'm going to give our neighbors?" says Smith. "I wouldn't eat it!"
The organization's Stratford farm is producing hundreds of pounds of veggies and herbs in its first two months.
The Stratford farm's grow room is outfitted with viewing windows and a mezzanine gallery. Organizers say part of their goal is to show people the future of fighting food insecurity.
"I want some little kid to come in here and say, I want to do that!" says Lezli Albelo, farm manager of nOURish Bridegport. "I love being the first not-for-profit hydroponic farm. I do not want to be the last."
Once they get a chance to germinate, crops are kept well-lit and well-watered in hydroponic boxes - big and small.
The final products are packaged for nOURish's pantry and other pantries around Bridgeport. Products are also on sale at farmers' markets in Bridgeport and Stratford.