Blue Sky Stewardship encompasses three core programs — Green Aquaponics, Heritage Recipes, and Missoula Forest Gardens — to promote a culture of urban food sustainability.
Green Aquaponics combines Chinese-style solar greenhouse design, aquaculture (fish farming), and hydroponics (water agriculture) in a super water- and energy-efficient annual production system. Its purpose is to grow fresh produce year-round. Though we are no longer facilitating the construction of the aquaponic greenhouse at our former urban farm, we will continue to search for ways to establish a demonstration project as a research and education center.
Heritage Recipes is all about local food processing in traditional, healthy ways using simple ingredients. Its purpose is to expand and extend the life of locally grown or gleaned produce. A big part of this program is food rescue: how we can use culls, gleanings, seconds — and other names for "ugly" produce that would often otherwise be thrown away — as raw ingredients in delicious food products for the local market. Through this program, we currently offer incubation services for farmers' market vendors looking to start a small-scale food business, and we are developing materials to help prospective food producers see viable opportunities more clearly and navigate local food regulations.
Missoula Forest Gardens integrates modern landscaping with edible perennial agriculture to create long-lasting, beautiful, food producing systems in our urban spaces. The program is founded on our tree nursery, which is part experimental — marginal woody perennials that may or may not thrive in Missoula — and part practical — tried and true fruit and nut trees that will produce food and other valuable products decades into the future.