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Aquaponics Update(August 2016) – Heaven and Earth Aquaponics

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Maine

Aquaponics greenhouse gets OK in Brunswick

The Brunswick Village Review Board approved the new design for the construction of a two-story greenhouse and mixed-use property behind the Asian-fusion restaurant Tao Yuan in Brunswick’s downtown.

The Forecaster reports that the two-story building will house fish tanks in the basement, where the waste byproducts of the tanks will be used to create nitrate-mixed water, which will then be dispersed into the aquaponics greenhouse to assist in the growing of the plants.

Also as part of the mixed-use project, Cara Stadler, who owns Tao Yuan and the Portland-based Bao Bao Dumpling House, will open an 18-seat bakery and café on the first floor of the building, which will also be home to a commercial kitchen and office space, according to The Forecaster.

The project still needs to go before the town’s planning board, which is slated to look over plans on Tuesday. If all goes according to plan, The Forecaster reports that construction will begin later this summer and is expected to take up to 10 months to complete.

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Family dairy leaves cows for fish, veggies

At a family farm between Manitowoc and Sheboygan that predates the Civil War, plastic fish tanks holding fresh-water tilapia now occupy the same space heifers did just 18 months ago.

Six times a day, the farm’s sixth-generation owners visit a converted free-stall barn to feed their 2,600 fish, which leave behind nutrient-laden waste used to feed vegetables growing year-round in a 4,000-square-foot greenhouse nearby.

While the farm’s first 168 years were sustained by cows, chickens and fruit orchards – the future now rests with this fast-growing fish and its symbiotic relationship with lettuce, tomatoes and other common food crops.

“It is the future of this farm,” said Mary Calkins, who operates the Lake Orchard Farm with her husband, Nate. “It’s sustainable, and it’s something that people value.”

The couple launched their commercial aquaponics operation in December and now sell tilapia, lettuce, tomatoes, basil and other crops to Sheboygan’s Goodside Grocery, Woodlake Market in Kohler and to restaurants in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties. Trust Local Foods out of Appleton has also begun distributing it to businesses in the Fox Cities.

In the future, they’re also considering adding walleye, which similar to tilapia, thrives in an aquaponic environment but has more culinary appeal with Wisconsinites.

The couple says aquaponics operations like this could become more common at family dairies in Wisconsin, as farmers look to diversify or get out the dairy industry altogether.

“I hope it explodes,” Nate said. “I’ve had farmers take tours and walk out of here saying I’ve got to rethink this because I was going to put $4 million into my parlor, and I could build this for less than a million and produce sustainable food year-round.”

The new venture marks a significant shift for the farm, which found itself at a crossroads after the Calkins realized that to stay competitive in a U.S. dairy industry increasingly dominated by massive farms, they either needed to grow exponentially or try something different.

They decided on the latter.

The Calkins have since opened a four-room bed and breakfast inside a former chicken hatchery on the property, which overlooks Lake Michigan. They also turned a farmhouse into a vacation cottage and opened a 9-hole golf course for guests.

This summer, they plant to turn an old dairy barn into a space to host weddings.

Mary’s parents had focused entirely on raising replacement heifers at the farm before retiring about a decade ago, and the couple still does so today at a much smaller scale, though they’re considering shifting to grass-fed beef next year.

However, aquaponics, which they came across several years ago in a farming magazine, has quickly become the focus of their business.

“It’s been an easy sell, especially to restaurants,” Nate said.

They’re currently selling 750 heads of lettuce a week, with capacity to do much more, and along with 15-20 pounds a week of cherry tomatoes. They also sell a considerable amount of basil and herbs, while producing about 2.5 tons of fish fillets a year.

Unlike a conventional farm, their greenhouse allows them to grow 365 days a year, with grow lights and a heater used in winter. And because it’s a contained system where pests and other issues are easily managed, the crops come out looking uniform.

“When you go to a chef to sell a head of lettuce, they can use every bit of it,” Nate said.

The biggest challenge is the products sell at a much higher cost than conventional produce.

The benefit is that it’s fresher than anything offered at a retail store, as all the farm’s deliveries are either harvested the day of the delivery or the afternoon before.

“People get used to the cost of food being X, and now it’s twice as much and they need massive amounts of justification for why they should pay that much more,” Nate said.

Inside the greenhouse, crops are planted one seed at a time in Styrofoam rafts floating in water that’s been fertilized by the fish and then naturally filtered by bacteria before being pumped to the greenhouse.

The process uses no soil, meaning there are no weeds or need for herbicides. Instead, the plants are staked in stone plugs and placed in holes cut into the Styrofoam, which allows the roots to drop into the water and absorb nutrients.

Midge flies and other pests can hatch in the water, though the couple releases beneficial bugs by the millions that eat unwanted insects, rather than using pesticides.

The entire process has zero waste. The only byproduct is from fish waste that’s not used by the plants, but it can be sold as fertilizer to area farmers.

“It’s amazing, to be honest with you,” Nate said. “And this is not rocket science. What created it was science. But from an operating standpoint, it’s really pretty simple.”

That’s of course coming from a former structural engineer, which is a career Nate left when his wife’s parents inquired if the couple wanted to take over the family business.

The venture has allowed Mary to move back to the farm she grew up on and to see it continue, while also raising their two young children there. She’s since left her part-time job working as a guidance counselor in the Sheboygan Area School District to work full time at the farm.

“It’s wonderful,” Nate said. “You’re in a lush environment that’s like the tropics, 365 days a year, with green, oxygen-producing plants everywhere around you. I wouldn’t trade this for the world.”

Reach USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Reporter Josh Lintereur at 920-453-5147, jlintereur@gannett.com or on Twitter @joshlintereur.

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Missouri

Leavenworth cyclist raising money for salad bars in schools

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Aquaponics is more complicated than a warm, wet place for plants and flowers. It’s not agriculture — it’s aquaculture. The method uses waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals to supply nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water.

The system that Stuppy is donating comes with a curriculum.

“If these students can go into school and part of their education is learning how food is grown — where it comes from, why it’s nutritious — then when it comes time to go to lunch, and they see food they might have grown, they might reach for it,” Willcott says.

And eat more of it……………………….

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Australia

Seven Hills High School students get involved in hydroponic project

The school now has a blooming and productive garden complete with raised beds, 10 chickens, rabbits, and the Sprouting Good aquaponics setup which sees a 500-litre water tank containing 30 silver perch fish produce nutrient for the attached vertical garden.

“The perch’s waste is nutrient rich and goes to help provide growth for a green wall which has herbs, lettuce and chillis in it at the moment,” Mr Gregory said……………..

Breeding a healthy local fishing culture

A NEW batch of barramundi fingerlings are being raised by students for release in local lakes.

In June, Taminmin College and Durack Primary School signed agreements to undertake a joint venture and provide a hands-on learning experience in aquaculture and aquaponics. Students will raise the fingerlings which will then be the breed stock for release into Durack Lakes and potentially other local waterholes.

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Tennessee

Changing The World, One Farm At A Time

………………As opposed to charity, Grow Hope Farm was developed to focus on empowering youth by teaching them procedures that will help them become self-sustainable, however, as time progressed, situations changed, and new players emerged, Grow Hope Farm would transform into something that possesses the potential to pave the way toward local, regional, national, and eventual worldwide change…………………….

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Florida

Inland Sea Aquaponics, Inc. is a Pensacola, Florida non-profit startup providing fresh, organic produce to the local community and focusing on providing meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with special needs in our community.

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Illinois

Next wave of ecopreneurs hopes to find key to making aquaponics profitable

In Chicago, where hungry mouths outnumber plots of soil, urban agriculture has boomed in recent years and extends across more than 230 community gardens and 60 urban farms.

Still, not all eco-friendly businesses have been sustainable.

Amid the swelling tide for local food, aquaponics — a method of farming that cultivates aquatic life and produce in connected tanks — offers a possible method for harvesting not only greens in an urban environment but protein like fish and prawns. Drawn by the allure of its self-contained, highly controlled growing technique, a string of Chicago ecopreneurs has launched aquaponics farms over the past five years…………………………

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Kentucky

Hooked on Aquaponics

………………………..“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” I think regardless of how many times that phrase has reached our ears it has a lot of worth, especially when it comes to the future of food. There have been so many innovative minds that have created organizations and facilities that are helping sustain their local food economies. For instance, in Lexington, Kentucky, there’s FoodChain, a startup nonprofit, currently operating Kentucky’s first indoor commercial Aquaponics Farm. They are also looking to expand their facility to also incorporate a teaching and processing kitchen and neighborhood grocery. According to the FoodChain website: their farm is “in the oven room of a formerly abandoned bread factory in downtown Lexington and since 2011, we have been a part of repurposing this derelict building into a thriving community and growing space! We offer programming for youth and adults, teaching innovative ways to grow food in an urban area, utilizing pioneering technology to get people excited about where food comes from!” One of my good friends and fellow foodie, Shelby Wheeler, was a summer intern with FoodChain during her time at Berea College and honestly it changed her life. That summer fueled her already inborn passion for connecting people to local food through sustainable systems; she learned that places like FoodChain are where the change starts. In my opinion, aquaponics facilities could help change the world………………………

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El Salvador

Community Developed Aquaponics for Sustainable Food Production in Rural El Salvador

………………………….Aquaponics is the co-culture of fish and vegetables in a recirculating biofilter-based system (Fig 1). Since water is supplied to the vegetables from the bottom of the biofilter, evaporative losses are significantly reduced, allowing vegetables to be grown in a climate that cannot support conventionally field-grown vegetables. Additionally, the conversion of fish waste by the biofilter into forms of nitrogen suitable for plant uptake eliminates the need for the application of costly fertilizers. Furthermore, a well-managed aquaponics system discharges zero waste water to the environment, which is a huge improvement compared to traditional recirculating aquaculture, which relies on discharging large volumes of nitrogenladen water to the environment. Aquaponics is an innovative organic production method which is well-suited for use in developing countries where land and water are scarce and sustainable production methods are necessary………………………

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Oklahoma

Aquaponics topic of workshop

The public is invited to join USDA, soil health experts and special guest Richard Tyler from NOAH aquaponics farm for a two-day conservation and aquaponics event. Day one features a workshop with presentations about conservation programs from USDA as well as a special presentation on soil health and climate change by agriculture advocate and farmer, Clay Pope. On day two, attendees are invited to the grand opening and tour of NOAH Farms, a new aquaponics farm in Vian made possible in part by a USDA Rural Development grant.

 In an aquaponics system, waste produced by farmed fish supplies nutrients for plants, which in turn clean the water for the fish. 
 The workshop and tour are in separate locations. The workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 11, at the Blackgum Community Building, 449458 Oklahoma 100, Vian. The aquaponics farm tour starts at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 12, at NOAH Farms, 451702 Oklahoma 100, Vian. Both the workshop and tour are free, and lunch will be provided on Aug. 11 during the workshop. RSVP or request accommodation for persons with disabilities by Aug. 9 with Dr. Carol Crouch, (405) 612-9331 or carol.crouch@ok.usda.gov.
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Bahamas

Teachers attend three-day Aquaponics Workshop

A group of school teachers learned the value of Aquaponics at the Garden of the Groves on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.  Aquaponics is defined as the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in.  The Aquaponics facility at Garden of the Groves utilizes red Jamaican tilapia fish to operate this system. The teachers were participating in the first Aquaponics Teacher’s Workshop to be held at the Garden of the Groves, which was spearheaded and instructed by Garden of the Groves Aquaponics Manager, Wayne Hall. The Agriculture Unit of the Department of Education in Grand Bahama organized the three-day workshop so that, ultimately, it could be incorporated in the local school system. Hall shared how excited he was about the workshop…………………….

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Aquaponics Market by Equipment &Components Research Report and Forecast to 2021

This analysis report contains all study material about Aquaponics Market Industry Overview, Growth, Demand and Forecast Research Report in all over the world. This report offers some penetrating overview and solution in the complex world Aquaponics Market Sales in United States.

In depth analysis of Aquaponics Market is a crucial thing for various stakeholders like investors, CEOs, traders, suppliers and others. The Aquaponics Market research report is a resource, which provides technical and financial details of the industry.

To begin with, the report elaborates the Aquaponics Industry overview. Various definitions and classification of the industry, applications of the industry and chain structure are given. Present day status of the Aquaponics Market in key regions is stated and industry policies and news are analysed………………………………..

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New Jersey

Anglers can swap fish from the polluted Passaic River for farmed tilapia

A fish-exchange program allowing fishermen to swap catches from the polluted Passaic River for tilapia that are farm-raised by veterans has started up again in Lyndhurst.

The fish exchange is operated by the Rutgers VETS program and funded by the Lower Passaic Cooperating Parties Group, an organization of different entities believed responsible for contaminating the Passaic River.

The lower, 17-mile stretch of the Passaic River, from Dundee Dam in Garfield to the mouth of the Newark Bay, is a federal Superfund pollution site. People are advised by the state Department of Environmental Protection not to eat fish from the Passaic River…………………………

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West Virginia

Local engineer trades in his tools for farming gear

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“I just kept trying, I just kept rebuilding and rebuilding more systems. I went from this little tank…to eventually a whole basement in a house,” said Tanguay, Owner of Tangy Produce.

Brian is now a farmer, mostly known around town for his natural tangy food that he produces through Aquaponics. A system of aquaculture, in which fish are used to produce waste that supplies plants with the nutrients they need to grow in water……………..

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Wisconsin

Lake Geneva school grows food for lunch program

……………………..Rohde explained that aeroponics is a little different than aquaponics because with this system, the roots are never submerged in water………………..

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Sowing Shirts

After two years in Hawaii serving on the board of an aquaponic association, Chris Schup had found her passion……………..

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Virginia

Taking hydroponics to the next level

……………….Aquaponics is the process of growing plants and fish in a closed loop system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics. Nichols plans to work with the Woodcock Nature Center on the project will serve as a demonstration site for aquaponics……………….

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Sustainable Living: Four Easy Ways To Grow And Raise Food For A Family
Sustainable living has become an all-consuming passion for many Americans. Some have developed various ways of integrating aspects of agricultural traditions and sustainable farming into modern living. The benefits include saving money, ensuring safe foods, and encouraging family unity through these projects. Sustainable gardening and small animal farming are also very educational for children who can learn about scientific concepts like ecosystems, photosynthesis, and sustainability…………..

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Singapore

Rooftop farm has crop of new ideas

While most of his peers settled down in nine-to-five jobs, 43-year-old Allan Lim became the chief executive and owner of Comcrop, Singapore’s first urban rooftop aquaponic farm. Located on the rooftop of *SCAPE, a shopping centre in the heart of Orchard Road, the farm now provides fresh produce to establishments that include the Shangri-La and Raffles hotels. The farm, located in the middle of Singapore’s shopping district, employs a vertical aquaponic farming system to grow its crops in a sustainable and efficient manner………………………………………

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Nepal

Back to the village

Aug 4, 2016- When hundreds of young people are leaving Nepal every day to seek employment in the Gulf countries, Bill and Janet Ashwell, a couple from South Africa, are earning thousands of rupees every month selling organic vegetables and fish grown in their aquaponic garden in Nepal itself. A short visit to their garden at Godavari, Lalitpur, will inspire everyone to start their own farm. Aquaponics, at its most basic level, is the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants in water without soil) in one integrated system. Fish waste provides organic food for growing vegetables, and the vegetables naturally filter the water in which the fish live. Any type of fresh water fish works well in an aquaponic system. The most widely grown fish in aquaponic systems is tilapia, but catfish, bluegill and trout can also be grown. Bill and Janet are earning money through aquaponic gardening not only by selling vegetables but growing fish too. Their aquaponic garden could be a model for those Nepali youths who want to do something within the country…………………………………………….

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Entrepreneur Turns Shipping Containers Into Gardens

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