Farmory in Green Bay continues to grow
From armory to Farmory, until last year, there wasn't much use for the 20,000 square foot building on Green Bay's east side.
Now it's becoming a place for plants to grow.
"We want to produce locally grown healthy food," said Alex Smith, project manager of The Farmory.
Smith says The Farmory will have a lot to offer.
"We want to be able to educate all of the neighbors around the area here. So, we have a lot of people who are interested and 'how do I grow this food in my home,'" she said.
NeighborWorks Green Bay has partnered with multiple organizations to create an indoor farm system.
The building still needs to be renovated. Smith says it'll take a few years for the entire project to be completed.
"It's got a long ways to go," said Brenda Staudenmaier.
Staudenmaier volunteers at The Farmory.
"There is no community gardens that I can walk to from my house so when I found out this was going to be an indoor farm, I definitely took the opportunity to contact them and get involved," Staudenmaier said.
Last fall, the organization received a $50,000 grant. Since then, Smith and dozens of volunteers have helped create a system that's testing out which plants grow best in this environment.
"We purchased all of these materials with Will Allen's group, 'Growing Power's' help and then we filled it with all these plants and the fish," Smith said.
And the system works using yellow perch and water to help plants grow.
"We have 100 yellow perch in this tank down here and also producing fish waste and we're pumping that fish waste water up to the top grow bed," Smith said.
Water flows underneath the potted plants and they suck up the nutrients.
"They also filter that water. So, by the time the water gets pumped back into tank here, it's cleaner water and the fish are happy," Smith said.
Smith says once The Farmory is up and running the food and fish will be sold to local restaurants and grocery stores.