Our planet encompasses and supports all life. Everything needed for abundance is here yet scarcity prevails. Understanding the root causes of scarcity in turn can help us design solid solutions. Solutions that work with and within our earth's miraculous design will unlock self-sustaining abundance. WASI is here to help pull us together, to roll up our sleeves, to get to work to build these solutions together.
Evidence-Based Research Cornerstones / Understanding the Challenges
WASI's premise is built from four research-based cornerstones. These cornerstones include: 1) A person-in-environment and ecological social work framework. 2) Macroeconomic and sustainability information from sources such as the Post Carbon Institute. 3) Healthy human development and science of early childhood development information from sources such as Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child. And 4) Research-based statistics, articles and reports such as hunger statistics from Feeding America and local food system assessment reports.
Developing Effective Solutions
Having solid data to work with is one thing but where does WASI look to find effective solutions and strategies at work? People-based and community-based solutions to combat scarcity are popping up all around the world. There is so much to choose from. But, one of WASI's favorite models is Growing Power. Will Allen in Milwaukee and his daughter Erika Allen in Chicago are transforming their communities by bringing people together to produce local/urban, healthy food. If they can grow local natural food 365 days-a-years in that climate, just think what can be accomplished over 700 miles to the southwest.
Why Aquaponics for WASI's "Feeding the 5000" program?
Aquaponics is a food production system that integrates aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants in water) where fish and plants are raised symbiotically in a biologically balanced, closed eco-system. Fish waste with the help of nitrifying bacteria feed the plants, the plants filter the water that goes back to the fish which means the same body of water is used to continually raise food.
The sustainable attributes of aquaponics makes it an ideal urban agriculture solution. Plants grown aquaponically can be grown closer together because nutrients are delivered directly to each plant's root system. In addition, aquaponics requires approximately 90% less water than soil-based agriculture. Add this to an "off-grid" greenhouse structure, you are producing highly nutritious natural food that collapses energy, transportation, processing and storage costs, while at the same time building neighborhood connections and bonds!