A Joint Service of Bradley University and Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News

Expo Gardens Is Planned New Home of Agricultural Education Center

Plans call for creating an Agriculture Education Center and hydroponic growing center at Peoria's Exposition Gardens.

Exposition Gardens is looking to jump start an agricultural learning space on its acreage.
Expo Gardens Board President Erica Abenroth said she and her team are making an effort to use the land more wisely.
Their goal is to re-purpose two of the main exhibit barns into an Agriculture Education Center, and a commercial micro-green and hydroponic growing center.

"In addition to the traditional dirt system, we would highlight hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics, micro-green growing, and also to apply it in real-world situations that aren't necessarily on a farm, Abenroth said.

Another goal of the center is to teach students about fresh “farm-to-table” food habits.

"One other partnership with another not-for-profit that also does cooking classes, where they sit down and say, here's the ingredients we're going to use today, here's how you make it in a fresh and healthy manner," she said. "And then, here's the same ingredients. Now go home and make it again."

Abernoth said the overarching goal of the planned Agriculture Education Center is to instill the knowledge that anyone can learn about agriculture--and to let people know anyone can use that knowledge to grow healthy foods.

"Agriculture is changing, and while people think, oh, it's just agriculture, it's typically a farm, you need to have land to grow, even just to have a garden. That's just not the case anymore," she said. "There are so many new and updated techniques so you can have access to fresh and healthy food on a more regular basis."

To learn more about the Agriculture Education Center or to donate, visit expogardensinc.com or visit the GoFundMe page.
We’re living in unprecedented times when information changes by the minute. WCBU will continue to be here for you, keeping you up-to-date with the live, local and trusted news you need. Help ensure WCBU can continue with its in-depth and comprehensive COVID-19 coverage as the situation evolves by making a contribution.