Neighbors say aquaponics farm deal with city of Anaheim not working for them – Orange County Register

Just a few months after the City Council agreed to allow the nonprofit Renewable Farms to host 48 events such as weddings, movie nights and other parties annually at is 1-acre aquaponics farm in exchange for donating its produce and fish to charities, neighbors say the loud music and influx of out-of-town visitors are ruining their quality of life.

They are demanding the city end its arrangement with the facility, which in 2014 turned a small part of a city-owned maintenance yard into The Riverbed Farm. The farm, at 1426 E. Vermont Ave., is adjacent to Boysen Park and Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School.

“When the events started, everything went to hell,” Melody Anderson, a nearby resident, said at a recent neighborhood meeting with city officials and the owner, Aaron Flora.

Flora said since reaching its agreement with the city, The Riverbed Farm has upped from 20 percent to about 95 percent its donation of food to local nonprofits, church groups and youth groups. The farm harvests about 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of tilapia and produce, such as kale, beets and tomatoes, a month.

Larry Pasco, deputy community services director for Anaheim, told concerned neighbors the city plans to work with them to solve the issues.

The cancellation of events that help financially sustain the facility could put the farm in jeopardy, Flora said. Switching to a commercial farm model, “we might not have time for the educational stuff.”

“At this point, if I can’t do events, it’ll be hard to…

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