KI Urban Ag was initiated to give youth a hands on connection with sustainable living. It also provides senior citizens opportunities to teach what they know, research and learn with youth about techniques for living on the land while taking care of it. Our Urban Ag initiatives encourage responsible stewardship of Mother Earth (her land, air and water), recognizing the bounty that she provides for us. In addition, it demonstrates to our neighbors and community members’ self-reliance and self-determination by growing and harvesting food, working together and sharing our collective resources (gifts, talents, knowledge and materials). Most of work centers on our Urban Ag Science Lab, composting and aquaponics.
In the spring of 2012 KI Compost was created in partnership with Duos Kitchen, a neighborhood restaurant focused on healthy food. Several times each week youth pick up over 100 lbs. of food waste, which they measure, chop up, mix with the right proportion of wood chips, and add to our hot compost piles, which produce nutrient rich soil. This venture serves to reduced food waste, provide an educational experience for KI youth, and educate our local community about the importance of composting. Our future plans are to make use of the soil we produce to enrich our garden and make it available to residents.
Housed inside the Renaissance Center, KI's aquaponics farm is a system that creates an environment for fish and crops to grow simultaneously and symbiotically. The crops are grown via hydroponics, which is the placing of the crops in nutrient rich water. This water is the same water used for the habitat of the fish. It is a closed system that can be constructed indoors or outdoors. Currently the aquaponics farm is utilized as an educational platform for the community and is being as well as a feasible approach to community economic development.
Tech Wizards is a weekly club for youth ages 8-12 and 13-18 that meet on Thursdays from 4:15pm - 6:15pm. It’s a place for youth to get together, have fun and learn a lot of great things about technology and much, much more.
Tech Wizards is held every week at the Kheprw Institute (KI) headquarters. We incorporate activities that develop the critical thinking skills of youth and connect them with two very different avenues of technology, digital and agricultural. Through our digital tech activities participants engage with and learn about computers, robotics, mobile apps, applied engineering and video editing. Our agricultural activities expose youth to the application of science in growing and harvesting produce through aquaponics, gardening and composting.
Community exploration and engagement are key components of the Tech Wizards program. Our goal is to expose participants to new career paths, teach them about entrepreneurship and involve them in community service and mentoring.
To learn more about how youth can join KI's 4-H Tech Wizards clubs, please contact Pambana Uishi at firstname.lastname@example.org.