The Spark-Y Urban Ag Lab is an exciting new phase of our aquaponics production efforts. Born out of a desire to practice more fully what we teach in the classroom, we are now participating in a special U of M study to help prove the commercial viability of larger scale aquaponics production. As a result, the Spark-Y Urban Ag Lab (located at our Chicago Avenue location) will be a year-round destination for the Twin Cities public.
The facility itself is over 1700 square feet and will feature 6 large aquaponics systems, micro green production, mushroom cultivation, permaculture, vermicomposting and vermiculture, and Spirulina cultivation — all systems that serve as immersive and practical learning experiences for youth (or adults) of all ages and all backgrounds.
ALL of the produce (micro greens, mushrooms, peppers, lettuces, and much more) will be marketed and distributed to local restaurants, groceries, co-ops and through our year-round CSA.
For more information (or to help us make this vision a reality by donating), please visit our campaign page!
Our Sustainable Education Lab (SEL) serves as the Spark-Y office and sustainability lab. Here we develop curriculum; construct, test and perfect our sustainable systems. You’ll often find us working on our latest project or hosting an educational workshops right here. It’s also where we gather weekly to train and grow our team.
Not only does SEL serve as a staging site to serve all of our program partners, but it provides a space for fellow urban agriculturalists to work and grow towards environmental justice.
It is not uncommon to find experimental systems in the works (such as aquaponics system prototypes, vermicomposting bins, mushroom incubation chambers, spirulina cultivation systems, as well as a Bio-Safety Level 1 laboratory).
In addition to our yearly open house you can visit our lab by appointment: Send us a message on our Connect page to check out all the SEL buzz.
You can also rent our space for event hosting / environmental and urban agriculture groups for competitive rates. Please indicate interest in your message for additional info and rates.