YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A floating farm on the Hudson River is teaching children a valuable lesson.
“You’re on a boat 138 feet long and 38 feet wide in Yonkers, New York on the Hudson River,” said Bob Walters who runs the Science Barge, a floating farm and education center.
They’re off the grid thanks to solar panels that track the sun and wind turbines that catch the Hudson River breeze inside the greenhouse.
“Zero carbon operation with solar wind producing food,” Walters said. “We’re growing anything with a root. Any type of lettuce, cilantro, basil, tomatoes. We can grow watermelons. We can grow cantaloupes. We’ve grown corn. Specifically popcorn for fun.”
There’s no soil on the Science Barge.
“People ask about hydroponic food. Does it taste as good? I always say it tastes better,” Walters said. “Because we pick these tomatoes and we’ll have them in our farmers market 20 minutes later. You can’t get a fresher, better tasting tomato or sweeter.”
Many of those tomatoes end up in Yonkers restaurants.
The group Groundwork Hudson Valley aims to influence young minds and offer school kids a hands on experience.
“I love when we get fan mail back from the students and they say I’m composting at home or I started recycling at home. Cause that’s the big take away,” director of education Jennifer Sloan said.
Walters said the project teaches sustainable living.
“The systems that we teach they can incorporate into their lives or their parents. We’re planting the seeds and hopefully in the young minds the seeds will grow,” Walters said.