"Farming of the Future (Now Is the Only Thing That Is Real)"

Artist Malcolm Smith proves that nature can nurture itself

Not only can the environment sustain itself, it can do it rather easily, in fact. This is the simple but serious message of "Farming of the Future (Now Is the Only Thing That Is Real)," an installation and working garden by Malcolm Smith on display in the Mary E. Bawden Sculpture Garden at Lawndale Art Center. Smith has created an "aquaponic" system, which produces and maintains both plant and fish life in one system, using an absolute minimum of water. In essence, the mini-farm - which can sustain plants, fruits and herbs - is a plant bed sitting on top of a fish tank; a pump channels nutrient-heavy fish-tank water into the plants, which in turn filter the waste from the water and return it to the tank. A bit of H20 needs to be added to make up for evaporation, but otherwise the system takes care of itself. All we need to do, it seems, is just leave things alone. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Through June 12. 4912 Main. For information, call 713-528-5858 or visit www.lawndaleartcenter.org. Free.
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: May 7. Continues through June 12, 2010
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