Find out how Georgia Southern is helping America’s Second Harvest during COVID-19April 21, 20202 min read
Sustainability is at the forefront of the FORAM Sustainable Aquaponics Research Center (SARC) on the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus, even during a pandemic. SARC recently donated produce grown at the aquaponics farm on campus to America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. Donations like this, as well as other community service projects, are a large part of SARC’s mission.
“SARC’s mission has always included community outreach and education, which means knowing how we can support the community when it’s in need,” SARC curator Brigette Brinton said. “Right now we’re just supplying food instead of information.”
Brinton said it’s also important to make sure the food grown at the aquaponics farm isn’t wasted in order to be as sustainable as possible.
“We are donating produce that would otherwise be in excess or go bad before being consumed,” she said. “We had a lot of lettuce ready to plant just after spring break that would normally have gone to the Southern Cafe, but they don’t need it, and the heat is causing it to bolt and wilt quickly. So far, we’ve donated lettuce and kale, and soon it will be lettuce and chard.”
Brinton, two student workers and SARC senior scientist Heather Joesting, Ph.D., have been working at the aquaponics farm during the period of social distancing to make sure the produce growing in the greenhouse remains usable.
In addition to donating produce to Second Harvest, the research center partners with the Nine Line Foundation to help show homeless veterans how to grow their own food. Also, they partner with Savannah State University to help integrate aquaponics into K-12 curriculum.
“In addition to conducting fundamental research on aquaponics, we value the importance of education and outreach to the community,” SARC director Brent Feske, Ph.D., said.
If you are a journalist and you are looking to cover or learn more about how Georgia Southern University is using its knowledge and resources to support those in need during COVID-19 – then let us help. SARC’s director, Brent Feske is available to speak with media – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview today.
Brent Feske Associate Professor
Professor Feske specializes in biocatalysis (catalysis using enzymes) and asymmetric synthesis towards pharmaceuticals