Hydroponic farmer and beekeeper to speak at Keeler Museum

Joe Alvarez

Joe Alvarez

Contributed photo.

An abandoned shipping container might not be the first image that comes to mind when one thinks of a farm, but that is precisely the home of High Ridge Hydroponics (HRH), a vertical farm located in Ridgefield. Joe Alvarez, founder of HRH, operates a 320 square-foot farm inside a climate-controlled vessel on West Lane Farm, owned by John Papa. Both will be the presenters on Sunday, Oct. 27, from 1-4 p.m., in the Carriage Barn at Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center (KTM&HC) as part of the #HandsOnHistory, Living Off the Land exhibition. While the exhibition demonstrates how Ridgefielders of yesteryear sustained themselves from the 18th through early 20th centuries, Alvarez and Papa will discuss the future of farming, demonstrating how HRH grows as much produce in 320 square feet as traditional farmers do on two acres, even during harsh New England winters.

“It is fitting that Mr. Papa and Mr. Alvarez will round out our Sunday speaker series,” said Catherine Prescott, assistant museum director and lead curator of the exhibition. “#HandsOnHistory Living Off the Land demonstrates the way families used technology to create simple machines to grow and harvest food over 200 years ago; these speakers will discuss ways we can employ modern technology to produce crops into the future.”

A third presenter, Tony Steger, superintendent of the Ridgefield Golf Course, also will be on hand to discuss a passion of his, beekeeping, and its relationship to farming.

The #HandsonHistory Living Off the Land exhibition is open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 1 to 4 p.m. through Oct. 27. For additional information about the full exhibition, including other workshops, visit keelertavernmuseum.org/events/123/living-off-the-land/.

School and youth groups may schedule private guided tours of the exhibition Monday through Friday through Oct. 25 by calling the museum office at 203-438-5485 or emailing education@keelertavernmuseum.org.