University of South Florida

Patel College of Global Sustainability

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Laura Castillo - Fat Beet Farm ACE Internship

Student: Laura Castillo

Student: Laura Castillo

Concentration: Food Sustainability and Security

Introduction:
Laura Castillo's academic journey at USF Patel College of Global Sustainability led her to an internship at Fat Beet Farm in Tampa, Florida. This farm operates with a commitment to sustainable agriculture. Their mission, "to feed people food with integrity in a beautiful setting without destroying the land it's grown in," captures the essence of their approach to farming and environmental stewardship.

Location(s): Fat Beet Farm (Tampa, FL)

Acheivement:
Castillo's internship provided her with hands-on experience in organic farming, aquaponics and educational outreach. Castillo practiced core sustainable practices such as composting, weeding, and blanching. She further developed co-planting strategies to enhance biodiversity and promote healthy plant growth. Alongside fellow intern Dylan Wilbur, Castillo contributed to Fat Beet Farm Foundation’s educational goals by creating a video and newsletter. Her lasting legacy at Fat Beet Farms was the proposal of an aquaponics-specific tour. This includes a tour of the aquaponic hoop house, an interactive class with a scaled-down aquaponic system, and a take-home sample of aquaponically grown lettuce.

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