Tag: Big Bear Lighthouse Project

School District Launches Pilot Program for Vertical Farming

Big Bear City, CA, August 11, 2014 – The Big Bear Valley is keeping step with what’s become a national mainstream trend: growing local, organic food. Last April, educator Stephen Ritz brought his message of healing the food system to the annual Lighthouse Summit–inspiring many audience members to ditch fast food in favor of more fresh produce. Known as the Bronx Gardener, Ritz taught his students in New York to grow vegetables in the classroom with vertical gardens, producing both healthy meals and jobs for youth. Last week, he brought his commitment back to our community to help install tower gardens at select classrooms in the Bear Valley Unified School District. The District used general unrestricted funds to buy 12 tower gardens, complete with energy-saving T5 grow lights, at just over $1,300 each (totalling $15,779). The tower gardens were distributed among the five school sites: Big Bear Elementary, Baldwin Lane Elementary, North Shore Elementary, Big Bear Middle School and Big Bear High School. There are several advantages to these “edible walls.” Most noticeably, using aeroponics eliminates the need for soil. The tower structures are made from food-grade plastic, so they’re free of the harmful components found in agriculture-grade plastics. Growing vertically also uses up to 90% less land, and because the nutrient solution is recycled, up to 95% less water is used than with conventional organic farming. The result...

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Student Videographers Can Win $100

Big Bear Lake, CA, February 26, 2014 – The Lighthouse Project is sponsoring a Video Contest for grades six through 12 on the theme of “Kids Do Amazing Things.” Students are invited to make an inspirational video up to 30 seconds long, then do their best to make it go viral. Contestants should upload their videos as Public to their YouTube accounts between March 1 and March 31, 2014, then email the link to BigBearLighthouse@gmail.com. The Lighthouse Project’s team will review each video, then post each video that meets the stated criteria. The video in each age group with the most views wins–garnering a $100 prize for one middle school student and for one high school student. The usual social media promotions will come in handy, such as sharing your video link on Instagram and Facebook and asking friends and family to do the same. See below for more tips and instructions, and call the Lighthouse Project at (888) 906-9998 with any questions. CRITERIA & INSTRUCTIONS – Each submitted video must be made by current Middle or High School students registered in the Bear Valley Unified School District. – One or more students may work together, but they must all be Middle School students working together OR all High School students working together. – Each video can be no more than 30 seconds in length – Videos must be...

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The Bronx Gardener: Changing Landscapes and Mindsets

Big Bear Lake, CA, February 9, 2014 – The Big Bear Lighthouse Project’s Vision Summit is something hundreds of people look forward to every year. In fact, it sold out in 2013, headlined as it was by the bestselling author and farming philosopher Joel Salatin, whose mission is to “develop economically, environmentally and emotionally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world.” For this year’s Summit, the Lighthouse Project has chosen a keynote speaker who’ll build on Salatin’s message that healing the food system can also heal communities. Stephen Ritz–aka “The Bronx Gardener”–is a green innovator, social entrepreneur and a featured educator in a book released last fall called American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom. His work has been featured on TNT, Today, ABC, CNN and Forbes, and he has a green education and innovation blog on the Huffington Post. Ritz says the biggest bullies in school are junk food items like mac-and-cheese, popcorn and potato chips, soda and sugary drinks masquerading as juices. But he didn’t just complain about them, he taught his students how to grow vegetables in classrooms, then he taught others to do so. His classroom’s “edible wall” routinely generates enough produce to feed healthy meals to 450 students. and his extended student and community network have now grown more than 30,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx. The process has engaged Ritz’s students...

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Visionary farmer to speak at the PAC

Big Bear Lake, CA, May 17, 2013 – The Big Bear Lighthouse Project has recruited the country’s most influential farmer, Joel Salatin, to deliver the keynote address at their 2013 Community Summit. Salatin is a third generation alternative farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The family’s Polyface Farm has been featured in Smithsonian, National Geographic and Gourmet magazines, as well as countless other radio, television and print media outlets. Profiled on the “Lives of the 21st Century” series with Peter Jennings on ABC World News, his after-broadcast chat room fielded more hits than any other segment to date. It achieved iconic status as the grass farm featured in the New York Times bestseller Omnivore’s Dilemma by food writer guru Michael Pollan and in the award-winning film documentary, FOOD INC. Salatin has authored eight books himself, including EVERYTHING I WANT TO DO IS ILLEGAL: War stories from the local food front and FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World. Here are just a few of the guiding principles that made Polyface famous: * TRANSPARENCY: Anyone is welcome to visit the farm anytime. No trade secrets, no locked doors, every corner is camera-accessible. * GRASS-BASED: Pastured livestock and poultry, moved frequently to new “salad bars,” offer landscape healing and nutritional superiority. * INDIVIDUALITY: Providing plants and animals with a habitat that allows them to express their physiological distinctiveness is a foundation for...

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