McKinleyville Middle School student, Rebecca Barnett stopped into Northcoast Horticulture Supply with her Dad last fall to pick up supplies for an aquaponic science project. She shared with us that she was doing a study about aquaponics versus traditional soil-based farming.
The crew at NHS loves talking about horticulture and aquaponics so we asked if there was any way we could help out with her science project. Rebecca's Dad mentioned that they needed a light source for the plants. NHS gladly loaned Rebecca an iGrow induction light for the duration of her science project.
Rebecca's project titled Aquaponics vs Traditional soil posed the question will plants grow better in an aquaponics growing system without adding any supplements or potting soil. The purpose of the experiment was to see how lettuce would grow using an aquaponic system versus growing lettuce in potting soil. The results of her experiment showed that there was 960 percent more growth of lettuce in the aquaponics tray than the lettuce that was planted in soil. Rebecca came to the conclusion that aquaponics is a sustainable way for people to grow their own food especially in areas poor soil quality. The benefits of aquaculture allow farmers to grow vegetables with zero fertilizers which is better for the environment and food consumption.
Rebecca submitted her project to the Doris Niles Science Fair, which showcases 4th through 12th grade student science projects. The awards ceremony was held back in March and Rebecca was one of 19 Grand Prize winners from 8 local schools to go on and represent Humboldt County at the California State Fair competition in Los Angeles last April. This was the second year in a row that Rebecca was selected to compete at the State Science Fair.
Northcoast Horticulture Supply is proud of Rebecca for her efforts in researching the benefits of aquaponics and for representing Humboldt County at the California State Fair. It’s encouraging to see the next generation of farmers thinking about more sustainable ways to grow food. NHS loves giving back to our students and the community.