Board Meeting News
Board Meeting News
The fall meeting of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR) was held at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, CA on October 15-16, 2012. Board member A.G. Kawamura treated BANR to a local tour. First on the agenda was a High Temperature Fuel Cell Tri-Generation project at the Orange County Sanitation District, featuring a large wastewater digester unit, a high-temperature electric-producing hydrogen fuel cell, and a public filling station for hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles (Irvine, CA is hot bed for test vehicles). Thanks to Dr. Scott Samuelson of the UC, Irvine for being a guide for the group.
The next stop was the Orange County Great Park, a 1,300 parcel of land that once housed El Toro, a Marine Corps Air Station. The land is gradually being transformed into a large, multi-use, urban park featuring a giant hot-air balloon, athletic fields, and other amenities. BANR visited the park’s Farm and Food Lab, where school children and the public can learn about the science and practical experience of growing one’s own food. Among the assortment of themed demonstration plots are several learning stations, including one featuring a solar powered aquaculture-aquaponics unit. The Farm and Food Lab is maintained by the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners.
Finally, the Board viewed the 200 acres of park dedicated to urban agriculture, where beans and other vegetables, organic strawberries, and native plants are being grown on the transformed former runways of the Air Station under the stewardship of Orange County Produce.
A Very Special Thanks to A.G. Kawamura for arranging the tour in Irvine, and to Tom Larson for being our host at the Farm and Food Lab.
From left to right: Roger Sedjo, Harold Bergman, Vic Lechtenberg, Kirk Klasing, Peggy Barlett, Norman Scott, A.G. Kawamura, Peggy Tsai, Hal Salwasser, Joan Eisemann, Rick Dixon, Karen Imhof, Robb Johnson, Robin Schoen, Kathy Segerson, Mercedes Vazquez-Anon, Gene Hugoson, Chuck Rice, and our host at the Food and Farm Lab, Tom Larson.