MARCH 2023

The Gen215 Journey Begins….

It all started by the pre-dawn light on a freezing morning.  Seven hearty travelers headed west for Lincoln, Nebraska, to pack up the ECSIA (Environmentally Controlled Sustainable Integrated Agriculture) aquaponics system that would be repurposed as Gen215. 

It would take all day to cross four states and one time zone. David Weil, with co-pilot Jack Schmit, drove the 38-foot rental truck, and Garrett Fox piloted his panel van with Randy Stephenson, David “Nick” Broome, Josiah Ummel, and Don Smith aboard.  Luckily, we arrived with enough time to stop by The Bay, a community center somewhat akin to The Warehouse.

That morning it was 20 degrees with a 20-mph wind! On top of that, the fork-lift we had rented got mired in the gravel and dirt.  Some prayers and a couple boards got us off to the races.

Tuesday and Wednesday were primarily spent bringing out the seventy individual sections of the troughs and getting them secured for eventual loading onto two separate flatbed semi-trucks.  As the pictures show, one trough was inverted into another, with spacing blocks to secure them, then banded together.  Styrofoam spacing blocks were prepared beforehand, as were wooden supports and liftable pallets – all expertly designed and assembled by Randy Stephenson and helpers!

Around 5 a.m., Thursday morning, Weil and Smith headed back to Bloomington in the 38-foot rental truck carrying all the medium and small items – refrigerators and sinks, shelving and fans, heaters and pumps, generator, and lights.  Meanwhile, the three flatbed trucks arrived – two for the troughs and the third for the other tanks.   The remaining crew loaded the troughs, various tanks, piping, and such onto the semis.  By late afternoon, all was secure and the intrepid crew headed home, stopping for the night in Missouri…. The Good Lord smiled on the crew and many people’s prayers were answered for this first phase of the Gen215 journey!  Special thanks go to Josiah Ummel, who joined us at the last minute!  Our deepest gratitude goes to James & Michelle Tolston, from whom we bought the system, and whose presence during those three days was invaluable