How we make our Soils for use in Aquaponics

How we make our Soils for use in Aquaponics

How we make our Soils for use in Aquaponics – Sahib Aquaponics Urban Research Farm

Following my initial article on Nov 19, 2012 and the follow up on Dec 10, 2012 re using soil in Aquaponics, I have received numerous requests for sharing how we make our own soil. We cover this in some detail in our workshops and provide numerous possibilities. In this article, I am going to share with you two of Sahib’s soil mixes, one for seed starting and one for the base potting soil. I have used these mixes for some years now and find that they vastly increase the range of what we can grow in our organic sustainable hybrid Aquaponics systems.

This growing method gives me the possibility of adding side dressing of organic based natural fertilizers (such as Bat Guano and Manganese Sulfate – Epsom salts), from the top for those plants requiring such. This enables me to control the nutrient requirements of the numerous vegetables on an individual basis. I hope that what I am doing and my style of Hybrid Urban Aquaponics will help you grow your own food locally, naturally and without the need of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers

Why make our own soil?

I find that most commercial potting soils contain non-organic synthetic chemical fertilizers and other ingredients that I do not want to use in my Aquaponics systems. Those that are certified organic (ORMI Listed – The Organic Materials Review Institute), usually tend to be pretty expensive. The main components of the potting soils tend to be Coir, Peat Moss, Perlite, Vermiculite and Compost. By purchasing the individual components separately I can make my own soil mix(s), that are Organic and suitable for my Aquaponics systems – soil that will not kill my fish!

Note: All mixes will be for a 5-gallon container – adjust accordingly to your needs. See below for photos of various products.

Sahib’s Seedling Soil Mix:

3.5 gallons Coir

1 gallons coarse Vermiculite

0.5 gallons Worm Castings (Vermicast)

Mix well and use in seedling containers to germinate your seeds. Once you have transplanted the seedlings, empty the remaining used seedling mix into your Worm Compost Bin or Sahib’s Base Soil Mix.

Sahib’s Base Soil Mix:

2 gallons Coir

1 gallon Peat Humus

0.5-gallon coarse Perlite

0.5 gallon aged pine fines

1 gallons Worm Castings (Vermicast)

Soil Amendments & Fertilizers added to this base mix (all organic and where possible, fish based):

1/3 cups – Bone Meal, Blood Meal, Kelp Meal, Azomite, Dolomite, Epsom Salts, Prosperous, Rock Phosphate, Organic All Purpose Fertilizer such as Bio-Organic and Espoma Garden Tone.

Mix well and use in your choice of containers (article to follow). Top dress as required for the specific plants such as Espoma Tomato Tone for tomatoes. At the end of the growing cycle, I will clean the base mix by removing all dead roots (put them in Compost Bins), and then add this to a new mix (about 50 to 60% usually remains). This way, we are building our soil and retaining numerous micronutrients for better growth and increased fruit yields.

Please note that following photos are for illustration purposes only. I do not endorse or am I paid by any company for listing such. You should use organic products available in your area.

So here you have two of Sahib’s soil mixes. I do add some other soil amendments and feeding to maximize plant health and fruit growth – we teach such in our Aquaponics training Workshops. Hopefully, you can attend one of them. You are welcome to share your ideas, designs, experience and comments.

God bless,

 

 

 

 

2-Day Backyard & Small Urban Farming Workshop

2-Day Backyard & Small Urban Farming Workshop

WHEN: Saturday & Sunday December 12 – 13, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

WHERE: Sahib Aquaponics in Winter Park Commerce Center, 3586 Aloma Ave Winter Park, FL 32792 (map)

Description: 

2 Day Training – $395 Workshop – Course Workshop Manual and a Certificate of Participation serving Tea & Coffee refreshments, snacks and light lunch

Registration: http://sahibaquaponics.com/training-workshops/backyard-small-urban-farming/

Use Code “BOOK-EARLY” to get an early booking $45. discount – Offer Ends Dec,4buy-now-orange

What’s eating my plant roots?

What’s eating my plant roots?

Sahib Aquaponics – What’s Eating My Plant Roots? As we entered summer here in Central Florida, I started to notice stunned growth in the Deep Water Culture (DWC), rafts of a number of the leafy greens that normally grow well in the heat. The Mint was growing leaps and bounds but the Basil plants looked weak and small compared to previous years. The Swiss Chard plants also started to have stunted growth. I performed all the usual water checks and confirmed that all was in order. The pH balance was around 7. Nitrates and Nitrates were where they were supposed to be and the plants were not showing any major nutrient deficiencies. Still I added a little Chelated Iron and a cap or two of Maxicrop with Iron. Let’s see if it is because of the stormy weather we have been having. Well the situation did not improve, it got worse! I knew that there was a faint possibility that perhaps some Tilapia had escaped or found there way into the DWC and were having a field day with the roots. I honestly did not want to believe that as I had done a major purge last year and introduced screens on return water pipes. I had found almost 40 Tilapia then (2 inches to 6 inches), and honestly thought that the issue has been solved. Last year I had failed to place screens on the return water pipes from the Tilapia breeding tanks (tied to my overall Aquaponics system in Phase 1 so as to provide a larger volume of water to encourage the Tilapia to breed). One hot afternoon as I was checking the breeding tanks and the fish I noticed lots of little black fry and saw that the filter on the return outlet from the tank had been knocked off allowing the fry to be swept to the DWC. I waited a couple of weeks and then worked with friends to drain the DWC and fish out the small Tilapia fish. I thought we had done a thorough job and had caught all the Tilapia. Last month I pulled out a few net pots and was shocked to see severe root damage. What amazed me is that in the 3 inch net pots, there were no roots left on the Tomatillo vines (see picture). Well now I was convinced that perhaps I had not removed all the Tilapia – so today along with one of our Interns and helpers I decided to “go Fishing”. I removed all the rafts and started to drain the water to storage tanks. No one really believed me when I said that there was ”something eating the plant roots”. There’s nothing here Sahib? Really! I designed a Fish Net Screen and one of my helpers along with one of our Interns started a systematic sweep of the DWC. About 10 minutes later, “Got it!” There was a 12 inch or so Tilapia hiding behind the floating Mint. We checked the rest of the DWC and did not find any other fish. Well we found what was eating the plant roots…one big Tilapia almost plate size. Lucky for this Tilapia that we decided to let him live and added him with the Koi.

So now we are ready for the late summer and early fall planting. I will share pictures of the new growth soon as well as continue with the Blog articles “What shall we grow today?”  In addition to some common vegetables, the following are some other less known such as Bitter Melon (Kerela), Fenugreek (Methi) and Moringa (Drumsticks). Please let me know if there are any vegetables you would like to grow in Aquaponics and know more about them. God bless

October Farm Tour

October Farm Tour

It was a pleasant October morning during this farm tour. The hot days of summer are behind us with nicer days a head. Sahib had out of town visitors to the farm this morning. In this gallery you may see all the fall plants that will continue to grow well in fall weather. Sahib introduced Phase 3 to the wasteland plans of his urban farm. You can see those images below. Enjoy!

Natural Health Professionals Farm Tour Aug 3

Thank you Sahib for your invitation to a private farm tour for the local Natural Health Professionals.

Professionals in attendance:

Toni Crabtree – Crabtree Healthy Living  Certified Holistic Health Coach
Suzy Harbot – doTERRA  Essentail Oils
Holly Waters – Master Gardener
Rama Erasmus – Life Coach

How do you grow your seedlings?

How do you grow your seedlings?

How do you grow your seedlings?

Occasionally, here at Sahib Aquaponics, we outsource the growing of our seedlings to our friends at a local hydroponic shop called Urban Sunshine Organic & Hydroponic Gardening. We do this because they have an indoor facility. It is much easier to start seedlings in a controlled environment without the risk of pests and harsh summer weather conditions (for example 90°F + and heavy rain).

Recently, we did a little experiment with two different growth media to see which would work best. The two media types were Oasis Horticubes and Rockwool. Both media are nutrionally inert and boast that their porous characteristics are the best for growing because air, water and any nutrients you wish to add call are easily supplied to the roots, without creating a buildup. The differences are that the Oasis Horticubes are a foam like material. The Rockwool is made from volcanic Basalt, which is heated and spun into a lightweight airy material not unlike steel wool.

In our little experiment, we were able to ensure that both trays received the same amount of lighting, nutrients, and water (thanks to our friends at Urban Sunshine J ). For an extra measure of control, we also made sure to plant the same seeds from the same sources in each tray. Curious about the results? Well, as they say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Below we have a few photos : Photo 1 is the tray with the Oasis Horticubes and Photo 2 is the tray with the Rockwool, and the rest are further comparisons of the two.

 

Seedling Test 7 after 5 days 2013-07-10 15.33.47 Seedling Test 6 after 5 days 2013-07-10 15.33.43 Seedling Test 5 after 5 days 2013-07-10 14.10.13 Seedling Test 4 2013-07-05 13.32.45 Seedling Test 3 2013-07-05 13.32.29 Seedling Test 2 2013-07-05 13.31.58

 

Amazing right? If you don’t trust our experiment for whatever reason, do your own and let us know your results! We love photos! 😉

Ashley Isabell

Intern at Sahib Aquaponics

June 1st Feed Hunger Now : Aquaponics Training Benefit Event

June 1st Feed Hunger Now : Aquaponics Training Benefit Event

June 1st Feed Hunger Now : Aquaponics Training Benefit Event

Friendly Aquaponics, one of the world’s premier Aquaponics Training Organizations joined Sahib Aquaponics on June 1st 2013 to provide the very best and comprehensive Aquaponics Training for the Benefit of Feed Hunger Now, a Florida Non-Profit Corporation. This Aquaponics Training took place at Sahib’s Aquaponics Research Farm located in Winter Park, FL. All donated proceeds (no fees were charged by either Friendly Aquaponics or Sahib Aquaponics), will go to constructing and operating an Urban Hybrid Aquaponics System for the benefit of economically disadvantaged local residents and their food needs. This Urban Hybrid Aquaponics System will also be used for ongoing training people to grow food themselves, thereby help reduce the hunger epidemic. Feed Hunger Now is dedicated to “feeding the villages” by teaching the disadvantaged people how to feed themselves using Aquaponics.

Here is an article that Ashley Isabell, one of our valued Interns at Sahib Aquaponics, shared with me :

Well, it has been a little over a week since our June 1st benefit, so let us take a moment to remember what we had covered! J

After hearing all about the beginnings of Friendly’s Aquaponics in Hawaii, learning a little bit about the economy of our food and what had sparked the interest for our very own Sahib, the importance of being able to produce food locally (and in an urban environment no less!!!) became a little clearer. For example, did you know that the leaders of Nestle believe that water is not a free a basic human right. .. wait, what?!

With all the horror stories we hear about threats to our food and water, it sure is nice to see one possible solution: Aquaponics. During our June 1st event, those who attended learned why Aquaponics works better than any hydroponic or aquaculture system. Essentially, with Aquaponics you are creating a balance of nitrogen. Can you say bio mimicry? … If you’re currently wondering how that nitrogen cycle works, you should have came to the class J

After learning why Aquaponics is so wonderful (plus a little about the biology behind it) the class learned a little about various Aquaponic systems (including the pros and cons of each) such as Deep Water Cultures, Nutrient Film Techniques, Media Beds, Vertical Systems and Shallow Water Cultures, just to name a few.

Now that we were educated about the various systems, we took a tour of Sahib’s Aquaponic farm, located here in Winter Park, FL. Sahib’s Aquaponic farm is a glorious display of most all of the systems blended together into a unique, hybrid Aquaponic farm. The interdependency of the farm is a wonderful representation of the interdependency of all ecosystems on earth. When something happens in one part of the system, the effects can be seen throughout.

Now hold on… what’s that over there? Well my friends, along the back lot here we have what is called the ‘zero lot’ system. This system is truly beneficial as because it can be implemented anywhere. If you want to see what I am referring to, please feel free to stop by the farm in Winter Park, FL. The ‘zero lot’ system is always available for the public to see.

Finally, our lovely friends from Friendly’s Aquaponics showed us how to set up a real life mini Aquaponic system that could if on your porch. Yes, YOUR porch.

At the end of this exciting, learning filled day, everyone went home, saying a temporary ‘aloha’ to the world of Aquaponics. But it’s not really the end. For those who made a donation to FeedHungerNow.org, they received their very own copies of Friendly’s Micro System package , Table Top Systems manual and Epoxy/Fiberglass/Plywood Tank Manual so that they may go forth and spread the benefits of Aquaponics.

 

We will try to make this an annual Aquaponics Training Benefit Event for Feed Hunger Now, just our way of giving back to the community. If you would like to help this cause, please visit the website feedhungernow.org and if possible make a donation – it is tax deductible.

Thank you & God bless,

Sahib

 

 

Sahib Aquaponics at Lowe’s : Planting the seed for a better world

Sahib Aquaponics at Lowe’s : Planting the seed for a better world

Here is a post by Dave Hart, an experienced Aquapon who works with me at Sahib’s Urban Aquaponics Hybrid Research Farm. The lady at Lowe’s Dave refers to below is a Master Gardener and gives classes on Botany. She want to bring her class students and those of some of her Seminole County based Master Gardeners for a Farm Tour.

“This past Saturday, we were like a couple of drug dealers in the hood…. :P …but we were ‘pushing’ Aquaponics at a Lowe’s in Fern Park, FL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AimrBCov5BY

Sahib goes into this one often and has gotten to know the folks in the garden dept. The lady that runs the dept asked if we would be interested in setting up an aquaponics display for their ‘100 days of spring.’

We got to talk about AP to lots of folks. I tried to mention DIY, to everyone I talked to. Hopefully, a little taste, has created some new ‘addicts’… :lol:

On one end of the table, we had a small raft system set up. The pump was a little big, so I added a spray bar in the fish tank.
On the other end, we set up a small demo of a bell siphon. The stand pipe was pvc, but the ‘bell’, was part of a clear soda bottle. That way folks could see the siphon actually working.

In the 1st picture, the green pop up tent was the scotts vendors tent. Boy, did we get dirty looks when they heard us telling folks that with AP, you don’t need to buy fertilizers…. :lol:

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If you want to get the kid’s attention, just add a large gold fish or two. Lots of kids sat right there and watch them.
Hopefully, it’ll be a ‘seed’ for them, later on in life… ;)

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“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – President Ronald Reagan
Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Sahib Aquaponics: What shall we grow today?

Tomatoes – actually to be more precise – Heirloom Tomatoes

Let me tell you that I am just crazy about eating tomatoes – I mean real good quality tomatoes that actually have taste and flavor. I cannot usually find these in most supermarkets and if I do, they are quite pricey but still leave something lacking in flavor and taste, usually because they have been picked before they have had a chance to ripen and usually have sat in storage and coolers, probably shipped in from some far away place. There really is nothing better than local grown and vine ripened heirloom tomatoes so they have had time for the full flavor to develop. Growing tomatoes in Aquaponics is easy and ever one who has an Aquaponics System can certainly enjoy them fresh. However, to increase the taste and flavor of tomatoes grown in Aquaponics, I have concluded the following during my research over the last three years or so.

First and foremost, try to only grow “Heirloom” tomatoes. So what is “Heirloom”? Seeds of plants that have passed down by families over the years (usually over 50 years), and those that have preserved the unique taste, flavor and character are usually referred to as “Heirloom”, sometimes also called “open pollinated” or “Heritage” (in UK). The fruits may not all look uniform and be of different size and shapes. To those who are interested in actually tasting their food, these are sought after and command a higher market price. As awareness is growing of the associated additional health benefits of eating such food, their demand is on the rise. You as a grower can certainly benefit from this “Niche” section of the food market. Yes it will take time and patience to locate the consumers who will appreciate your unique “heirloom” produce grown locally and naturally. Let me assure you that once they have tasted the produce, they will not be going elsewhere and will become loyal customers so long as you continue to grow such wonderful tomatoes.

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Growing heirloom tomatoes in Aquaponics to attain the full flavor and taste, I have found that the best results are obtained when I grow them in pots filled with my own “soil mix” and place them either in rafts or recirculating media wicking beds. This allows the tomato plants to always have the effluent rich re-circulating fish water that is high in Nitrogen as well as allow “top-side dressing” by adding very small amounts of natural and organic material such as vermicompost, high phosphorus bat guano, bone meal and rock salts such as Azomite. As there is not “top” watering other that the occasional spray of Vermicompost Tea, there is very little chance of any significant leaks of such into the Aquaponics System water so as to harm the fish. I have found that we have a significant increase in the fruit yield of each tomato plant as well as enhanced taste and flavor. Yes there is one  major disadvantage than growing regular tomatoes. These heirloom tomatoes require very careful handling. Many of them have thin skins and a short shelf life once picked. They are thus ideally suited to the small urban farmer serving the local customer – that would be you.

“Is it profitable?”

So what is the average selling price of a pound of Heirloom Tomatoes? I “goggled” this and came across a range from $1.00 to a high of $5.50, the average being $3.50.  I was recently informed of a nearby Hydroponic grower getting $7.50 per lb! Well it is early in the tomato season. You can command a higher price at either end of the season as other local growers may not have the produce available for market – here a controlled environment such as a greenhouse /hoop house will certainly make economic sense. Growing them in Aquaponics can help you command 50c to $1.00 lb more especially if you can allow
”u-pick” as well as “mix & match” the varieties. The yield per plant varies depending upon the heirloom tomato plant variety and growing environment. In independent studies the range that has been seen is a low of 9lbs to a high of 19lbs. For our example we will use a low yield of only 14lbs per plant. You should space your heirloom tomato plants at least 15 to 18 inches apart if using a staggered raft formation and vertical trellising – ideally 2 feet if you have the space. If they are to be placed in re-circulating media beds I recommend a minimum of 2 ft distance in each direction and vertical trellising. You will have to keep ahead of the heavy leaf growth and may occasionally have to prune (be careful not to over do this), and ensure proper support of the vertical trellising. I try to mix and match the heirloom tomato varieties as some plants are more prolific than others. I must confess I also enjoy seeing the different colors of the various heirloom tomatoes. You also need to ensure that there is plenty of air circulation.

If you had a fifty foot long by 4 foot wide grow bed area (raft or media), so 200 sq. ft. space, and the heirloom plants were spaced at 2ft staggered, you should be able to plant at least 50 plants per growing season. Assuming that we receive an average of 14lbs heirloom tomatoes per plant and just the average price of $3.50 per lb, each growing season should provide you with a gross return of around $2,500. Now if you have a controlled growing environment, you may be able to command much higher prices at the start and out of the normal growing season. Here in Central Florida we experience at least two growing seasons, so could earn around $5,000 from the 200 sq foot of growing area allocated to heirloom tomatoes. In a controlled growing environment you may be able to stagger the planting so as to have virtually continuous growing thus substantially increase your revenue form the sale of heirloom tomatoes. Remember that you should grow multi crops to the niche market that you identify for your area and climate so as to maximize your revenues. There are other products you can grow in Aquaponics other than leafy greens and still make a profit – remember Okra, Eggplant, Hot Peppers, culinary herbs and so on.

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I have found the following web article on Heirloom Tomatoes to be helpful and am sharing it with you http://www.hobbyfarms.com/crops-and-gardening/heirloom-tomatoes-growing-selling.aspx

I will request my daughter to include some Heirloom Tomato recipes on her Blog www.lovelaughmirch.com

As to whether it is “profitable” from a health point of you, this is going to be your decision. Let me help you a little. Growing them by aquaponics means ensures that you are assured the best natural taste. As I was quoted in the recent article in Cornell University Small farm Program Newsletter – the Urban Gardening section “This was a far superior way to grow it locally, grow it naturally, without having to resort to harmful pesticides and fertilizers and such, because if I did, my fish would die.”

http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2012/04/02/re-circulating-farms-growing-healthy-fresh-food-and-a-new-local-food-culture/

I have listed just some of the health benefits of eating heirloom tomatoes in the following link: http://jenubouka.hubpages.com/hub/Heirloom-Tomato-Beginners-Guide

In future “What shall we grow today?” article’s I will write about some of the vegetables and culinary herbs that you can grow in Aquaponics. Please let me know if there are any vegetables you would like to grow in Aquaponics and know more about them.

God bless

Using Soil in Aquaponics

Using Soil in Aquaponics

Aquaponics News – Update

Using Soil in Aquaponics – Sahib’s Urban Hybrid Aquaponics Systems Update

Sahib introduces you to his version of Sustainable Urban Aquaponics – using Soil and vastly increasing the range of what we can grow. I am always adding different growing methods and researching new and better ways to utilize our Aquaponics knowledge so as to increase the range of what we can grow. I also want to try to develop different Hybrid Aquaponics systems that can be used in numerous locations throughout the world and those that do not require a huge capital outlay. In the previous post that was written by David Hart who works with me, I highlighted some of the methods by which we are using soil in Aquaponics. I have taken three short videos of Sahib’s Aquaponics Research Farm so that you can see for yourself the results so far.

I am thrilled that I can now grow numerous root vegetables including potatoes in Aquaponics. This growing method also gives me the possibility of adding side dressing of organic based natural fertilizers (such as Bat Iguana), from the top for those plants requiring such. This will enable me to control the nutrient requirements of the numerous vegetables on an individual basis. I hope that what I am doing and my style of Hybrid Urban Aquaponics will help you grow your own food locally, naturally and without the need of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers

The Soil we are using in our Aquaponics systems mainly comprises of Coir, Vermicompost, Peat Humus, Perlite, Pine Bark, and aged quality compost (we have purchased some that is four years and seven years old). I supplements that mix with a very small amount (half a cup for 3 cubic foot). I will share with you our findings. We teach such in our Aquaponics training Workshops – I will be posting next years schedule soon. Hopefully you can attend some of them. You are welcome to share your ideas and designs by submitting them to sahib@sahibaquaponics.com.

What’s new at Sahib’s – by David Hart

What’s new at Sahib’s – by David Hart

We are always adding different growing methods and researching new and better ways to utilize our Aquaponics knowledge so as to increase the range of what we can grow. I wanted to be able to use some soil in Aquaponics and be able to grow root vegetables while re-circulating the water. In future posts, I will highlight some of our methods and components as to one step we have taken towards this. Here I am sharing a article by my good friend and fellow Aquapon David Hart.

Enjoy!

God bless,  Sahib

Hi guys and aquapon ladies… :)

We’re trying something new. If you’ve tried growing any root crops in aquaponics, this might be of interest. This way, we might just end up with ‘staight carrots’… 8-)

We removed some shallow water culture troughs from one of the systems. Not because they didn’t work, they actually worked very well. The problem was, that they were above a deep water culture bed. As the sun went higher in the sky during the summer, they started to cast too much shadow onto the lower bed.
This wouldn’t of been a problem ‘if’ the beds ran North and South, but they don’t, ours are set East to West. Since we are using wasted space in a shopping center, we don’t have a lot of options on our lay out.

Here’s a shot of the troughs new location….

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You can see we have them up on one set of blocks. This helps to get the drain back to the sump. The sump is to the right of the picture. It’s about 20 feet to the sump.
The pipe on the fence is the supply line.

Here’s a few shots of the new set up…

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In the fore ground above….That’s five different kinds of carrots, beets and radishes.

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We ran a supply line to each one, with a ball valve to control the flow. Each bed has a drain, which ties into a common header.

The bags are poly grow bags. I think they are a 5 gallon size (Maybe 4 gallons ?) They come with holes already in the bottom and part way up the sides. The bags are filled with a potting mix. Regular soil wouldn’t ‘wick up’ as well and the roots wouldn’t get as much oxygen.
The water in the troughs, is just less then an inch.

The system feeding the grow bag troughs, is our catfish system. It only has 1 IBC with about 18 very large channel cats. You can see the tank in the background of the next picture.
The 3 bell siphon tubs are fairly new too. The water exits the IBC, by the way of a SLO drain. The tubs drain back to the sump.

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I hope this gives everyone some ideas….. 8-)
Your aquaponic carrots really can be straight….. :lol:

Recirculating Farms Help Florida Families Through Tough Economy

Recirculating Farms Help Florida Families Through Tough Economy

Recirculating farms – systems that use naturally cleaned, recycled water – are growing fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and fish for Florida families, so they can eat well, even in tough economic times.

Winter Park, Florida (PRWEB) August 08, 2012

The paved alley behind the Winter Park Commerce Center strip mall does not look like fertile farmland. But there, urban gardener Sahib Punjabi grows an abundance of lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and more, all with the help of water and fish, instead of soil. Sahib’s Aquaponics Research Farm — or as he calls it, his “living food jungle” — is one of many new farms and training centers cropping up, literally, in central Florida. These innovative operations provide not only fresh, local produce but also economic opportunities for Floridians affected by the financial crisis.

Aquaponics is a type of recirculating agriculture, an eco-friendly method of farming that uses naturally cleaned, recycled water in place of soil. It combines aquaculture, or fish farming, with hydroponics, where plants grow in nutrient-rich water. Fish waste provide organic nutrients for the plants, and the plants in turn clean the water for the fish. The result is a closed-loop, symbiotic system that grows food without depending on pesticides or other chemicals. Aquaponic farms can range in size from large, commercial ventures to small, desktop systems that grow herbs, lettuces or certain vegetables

Another Florida resident turned aquaponic farmer is Gina Cavaliero, former co-owner of a once-successful contracting business that foundered when the housing market collapsed. “The faucet just turned off,” Cavaliero remembered. “We’d recently been introduced to aquaponics, and thought that growing food would be recession-proof — people have to eat.” Today, Green Acre Aquaponics, a commercial farm and consulting company located in Brooksville, is thriving. According to Cavaliero, more than a hundred people participated in their most recent aquaponics training sessions, eager to learn how to grow food for their own use and for sale to local restaurants and markets.

What is attracting so many new people to this way of farming? “One big advantage of an aquaponic farm or garden is that it can be built virtually anywhere — indoors, on rooftops, or in urban lots where soil is paved or otherwise not fit for growing food.” noted Marianne Cufone, Executive Director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition, a collaborative group that supports farms and farmers. “That means just about anyone can have an aquaponics system and enjoy fresh, sustainably grown food.”

Helping families grow their own food is the mission of Aquaponic Lynx in Yalaha. Owner Aleece Landis provides equipment, consulting services, and training to individuals who want an aquaponic system at home. She sees aquaponics as a great benefit to families. “It’s an easy way to garden and grow your own food,” Landis explained. “You don’t have to remember to water or fertilize the plants. You just have to feed the fish, and you’ll have fresh, healthy food available when you want it.”

Sahib Punjabi believes that home-growing food helps save on grocery bills and improve health. “There are health benefits to adding vegetables to your diet, and to not eating pesticides,” he said. “There is also the pleasure of working with nature and seeing something grow — it’s a wonderful stress relief.” He feels a healthier diet and less stress means a substantial savings in health-care costs over the long term.

For Gina Cavaliero, individual health benefits and savings are just part of aquaponics’ potential benefits. She sees aquaponics as part of a revolution. “If we can get a decent resurgence of the small family farm, we can feed more people local, clean, chemical-free food — and create jobs in the process.” For Florida families affected by diet-related health problems and the economic downturn, that is a win–win proposition.

For more information on aquaponics and other types of recirculating farming, including tips on building your own system, visit http://www.recirculatingfarms.org.
Read more at http://www.virtual-strategy.com/2012/08/08/recirculating-farms-help-florida-families-through-tough-economy#RcRD5v8Ke6HwJSSp.99

What shall we grow today? Okra

What shall we grow today? Okra

Sahib Aquaponics : What shall we grow today?

Okra – aka “Ladies Fingers”, “Kingombo”, “Gumbo” and “Bhindi”

During the last two years or so, I have found that you can grow almost any vegetable and plants that you choose to in Aquaponics. You may need to adapt the grow beds and practice hybrid aquaponics as I do to increase your range of products. I have successfully grown broccoli, carrots, eggplants, daikon and radishes, fennel, fruit trees, kohlrabi, herbs, okra, onions, pumpkins, marrows, gourds, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers – hot & sweet just to name some. I have also seen others grow corn and some even sweet potatoes via wicking beds. One really needs to expand their horizon and realize that there are really very few items that will not grow well in Aquaponics systems. Yes there are a few items that are just not cost effective at present such as grains and rice. There is research being done on these products and I am sure that very soon these too will become economic to grow via Aquaponics means.

Today I am going to write about one of my wife’s favorite items that we grow at Sahib Aquaponics, Okra. We call it by the Hindi/Urdu Name Bhindi. This much loved vegetable is a favorite of many and is usually grown in hot weather, one of the few that does not wilt and die as the temperatures rise. The green pods when cooked release a “goo” or slime which is considered by many to be beneficial to health. Okra can be eaten raw, boiled, fried, sautéed, stir fried, stuffed, and included in stews. The leaves can also be eaten, usually in salads.

Okra plants can grow up to 9 feet tall and with uncut Okra fruit, can weigh a lot hence they are not good candidates for “raft” Aquaponics. They are better suited to deep media beds preferably containing 3/4inch rocks. Grow them direct from seed and avoid the transplant shock. Although I have grown a hybrid variety from saved seeds, I do prefer to grow the “Clemson Spineless”. Each plant may only have one or two Okra pods maturing at any one time and you should pick these often. Try to pick the pods when they are 3 to 5 inches, although I must confess that in Aquaponics, they tend to grow that almost every day! If I forget to pick them for a couple of days, they have grown to 10 to 11 inches tall and fat as a cucumber. Hat is not always a good idea as letting them grow to a larger size tends to make them woody and lose their taste. My Aquaponically grown Okra are honestly the very best tasting “Bhindi” that I have ever eaten. When planting Okra you do need a lot of room as you should plant a number of plants if you would like to be able to harvest enough pods for a meal once or twice a week.

You can eat Okra right off the plants or cook them in numerous ways. They can also be frozen or pickled. You can cut them in ¼” to ½” pieces and stir fry then with onions and spices, or coat them with seasoned corn meal and deep fry them. They can be stuffed with spices, other stuffing or even cooked ground meat and then stir fried. Gumbo is another way to eat Okra. In order to get the maximum health benefits of Okra, try to avoid over cooking it and avoid deep frying. Okra is an excellent source of many nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Niacin, Zinc as well as containing Folic Acid. It is considered a weight loss food with optimum health benefits. The fibers found in Okra are supposed to help stabilize bold sugar, improve the functioning of the intestinal tract and help provide the body with good bacteria for the digestive system.

I have found the following web article on Okra to be helpful and am sharing it with you http://www.neurophys.wisc.edu/ravi/okra/  It also contains some recipes. I will request my daughter to include some Indian Bhindi recipes on her Blog www.lovelaughmirch.com

Okra!

“Is it profitable?”

In Pure Economics 101 terms, it all depends! If you live in very hot climates like Central Florida, your choice of produce to grow for market is limited during the hot summer. If you have the space and the appropriate Aquaponics set-up, growing Okra during the hot season and provide you with a stream of income that was non-existent during this hot period of the year. If you had a fifty foot long by 4 foot wide media filled grow bed area, so 200 sq. ft. space, you should be able to plant at least 120 plants – spacing them 12” to 15” apart. Once they start to produce fruit, you should be able to harvest approx. 30lbs to 40lbs weekly. Organic Okra, if available (and you know as you will hopefully educate your customer that Aquaponically grown is much superior), was selling for $2.99-$3.50/lb at the local farmer’s market. Say if you have a 20 week production harvest that could result in $3,000.00 plus additional income. Not as much as one could earn if growing tomatoes or green leafy veggies. However you could not grow them in this hot climate without some serious climate control environment! By the way, you can still grow basil, mint, hot peppers and gourds / melons in the open space of the media grow beds thus further add to you farm income.

As to whether it is “profitable” from a health point of you, this is going to be your decision. Let me help you a little. Growing them by aquaponics means ensures that you are assured the best natural taste. As I was quoted in the recent article in Cornell University Small farm Program Newsletter – the Urban Gardening section “This was a far superior way to grow it locally, grow it naturally, without having to resort to harmful pesticides and fertilizers and such, because if I did, my fish would die.” I have listed just some of the health benefits of Okra. Do you know, this is one vegetable that is so valued in Indian cuisine that had resulted in India becoming the largest grower of Okra. Ayurvedic medicine states numerous health benefits of eating Okra. Here is another link detailing information on Okra as a “Body Cleanser” http://www.ehow.com/about_5471466_information-okra-body-cleanser.html

In future “What shall we grow today?” article’s I will write about some of the vegetables mentioned above as well some other less known such as Bitter Melon (Kerela), Fenugreek (Methi), Malabar Spinach and Moringa (Drumsticks). Please let me know if there are any vegetables you would like to grow in Aquaponics and know more about them.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2497/2

God bless

What shall we grow today? Hot Peppers

What shall we grow today? Hot Peppers

Sahib Aquaponics – What shall we grow today?

Hot Peppers

A question that I am often asked is “Other than the lettuces and leafy greens, what else can you grow in Aquaponics?” That is then followed by, “Is it profitable?”

During the last two years or so, I have found that you can grow almost any vegetable and plants that you choose to in Aquaponics. You may need to adapt the grow beds and practice hybrid aquaponics as I do to increase your range of products. I have successfully grown broccoli, carrots, eggplants, daikon and radishes, fennel, fruit trees, kohlrabi, herbs, okra, onions, pumpkins, marrows, gourds, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers – hot & sweet just to name some. I have also seen others grow corn and some even sweet potatoes via wicking beds. One really needs to expand their horizon and realize that there are really very few items that will not grow well in Aquaponics systems. Yes there are a few items that are just not cost effective at present such as grains and rice. There is research being done on these products and I am sure that very soon these too will become economic to grow via Aquaponics means.

produce-march-31a

Today I am going to write about one of my favorite items that we grow at Sahib Aquaponics, part of the hot pepper family – Cayenne Peppers. In future posts I will write about other items that we successfully grow in our hybrid aquaponics systems and provide some information as to the benefits of consuming such and recipes of how we cook with them.

Cayenne Peppers!

“Is it profitable?”  Really!

Let me answer the question “Is it profitable?” first in pure economics terms. According to recent articles (April 17, 2012), “The Top Ten Fastest-Growing Industries in America”, and and “The Hot Sauce Treadmill”, Hot Sauce Production is part of this group! I use a variety of chili peppers (also known as “Mirch” in India), especially Cayenne, in virtually all my cooking and will always have hot sauce handy. Today there are numerous hot sauces on display at various eating establishments. Just look at the supermarket isles when you next visit. This trend is expected to increase as our tastes change and adapt to more of an international cuisine and we build a tolerance to the capsaicin-rich foods. The market is expected to grow close to 5% annually, so yes, growing Hot Peppers can be economically profitable. Growing them by aquaponics means ensures that you are assured the best natural taste. As I was quoted in the recent article in Cornell University Small farm Program Newsletter – the Urban Gardening section “This was a far superior way to grow it locally, grow it naturally, without having to resort to harmful pesticides and fertilizers and such, because if I did, my fish would die.”

As to whether it is “profitable” from a health point of you, this is going to be your decision. Let me help you a little.  I am sure that you are aware of the toxic effects of eating food that has been grown by using harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Growing Chili peppers in Aquaponics, whether Cayenne or one of the other 400 varieties, eliminates the harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers so prevents this source of toxins to your body. There is considerable research available to you as to the health benefits of eating chili peppers. Cayenne peppers are being used to cleanse and detoxify the digestion system, stimulate blood circulation as well as reduce & naturalize acidity in the body. They are considered to be anti-inflammatory and have “been used for a variety of diseases and ailments including heartburn, delirium, tremors, gout, paralysis, fever, dyspepsia, flatulence, sore throat, atonic dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, menorrhagia in women, nausea, tonsillitis, scarlet fever and diphtheria.” Dr. Edward Group -17 Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper. They also have excellent nutritional value. “Red chilies contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene (provitamin A). Yellow and especially green chilies (which are essentially unripe fruit) contain a considerably lower amount of both substances. In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Their high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains.” Now you can see why chili peppers are considered as being an essential item in good health, part of the “Spice of Life” club.

I like the taste of Cayenne peppers so have a preference to using them often. We eat them fresh in salads or add them to my food (green or red), as well as dry them for use later, either as whole or powdered. Indian food just would not taste as good without adding chili peppers (mirch). My daughter has even named her food blog “Love Laugh Mirch”. Now I realize that eating chili’s can be difficult for many who have never had any hot spice added to their food. All I can suggest is, try to add a little hot sauce or fresh chili pepper (remove the seeds at first), to your food. You will soon really start to enjoy the sensation and crave for more. Pretty soon, you too will be advocating their use and growing as many of them as possible. Welcome on board

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I was surprised to discover that chili peppers did not originate in India as Black Pepper (also known as “Black Gold”), but in the Americas. Christopher Columbus is credited as being one of the first Europeans to encounter them and called them “peppers” as they tasted spicy and hot, unlike any other food. He thought that he had reached India by sailing west in order to prove that earth was round. How the Chili Peppers travelled to India is still being debated, whether by Portuguese traders, Muslim merchants or Chinese silk merchants. Once they arrived in India, they were welcomed and became part of everyday food and being used in Ayurveda medicines.  

In future “What shall we grow today?” article’s I will write about some of the vegetables mentioned above as well some other less known such as Bitter Melon (Kerela), Fenugreek (Methi) and Moringa (Drumsticks). Please let me know if there are any vegetables you would like to grow in Aquaponics and know more about them. You can contact me at sahib@sahibaquaponics.com.

God bless

Sahib introduces Aquavermiponics Systems

Sahib introduces Aquavermiponics Systems

 

Sahib introduces an Aquavermiponics System

Sahib introduces an AquaVermiponics system  in order to have a quality supply of ‘casting tea”, also known as “compost tea” always available for foliar spray for his Aquaponically grown plants and produce. So what is Aquavermiponics?      

Aquavermiponics is the combination of Aquaculture, Hydroponics and Vermicomposting. How Vermicomposting is added to Aquaponics can vary to some extent as to the need for the particular application. Why add Vermicomposting to the better than organic method of growing food using Aquaponics? To answer this one has to know a little about both Aquaponics as well as Vermicomposting. In Aquaponics, there can be no harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers added to the system. Even products that are approved for use in organic gardening can result in disastrous consequences if added to an Aquaponics system. Take Neem Oil as an example.

Being from Indian Ancestry, naturally I am familiar with the many beneficial qualities that Neem Oil offers such as being a natural insect repellent and a safe pesticide that is organically approved. It has been found to be effective in controlling such pests as  white flies, aphids, scales, mealy bugs, spider mites, locusts, thrips, and Japanese beetles. Neem Oil is also biodegradable, breaking down quickly and it is also considered to be non-toxic to mammals, birds, bees or earthworms. Neem Oil is certainly a wonderful product in organic gardening if used correctly.

Severe caution: Do Not Use Neem Oil in Aquaponics! Foliar spraying Neem Oil, while helping you control the pests mentioned above could result in the death of all your fish. Why risk such?

So I was looking for an alternative foliar spray product that would not only help in controlling the pest issues but also help in providing additional nutrients and trace elements to the plants growing in our Aquaponics systems. We have been spraying Maxicorp with iron on occasions as well as Vermicompost tea with excellent results. We do not always add the worm castings directly to our media beds (we may if they are wicking beds), but prefer to use foliar spray. Why? We had read and do believe that plants absorb the beneficial aspects far quicker as a result of foliar spraying. As every sustainable urban farmer knows, Vermicompost is a wonder product in the world of agriculture. It use is increasing rapidly as the numerous benefits are being shared with each other. Here is some information as well as the source:

Castings contain: 5 times the available nitrogen, 7 times the available potash and 1 1/2 times more calcium than that found in 15 cm of good top soil. Therefore, castings are supplied with available nutrients. The nutrients are also water soluble and immediately available to plant life. You will find that most potting soils have nutrient life of 2-5 days, where worm castings will last up to 6 times as long as other types of potting soils. You will need 5 times as much potting soil to do the same job as the worm castings. So, in the long run, worm castings are much cheaper and do a much better job. Also, castings hold 2-3 times their weight in water. That means you water less and the pot will stay damper for a longer period. Worm castings will not burn your plants; unlike using any fresh raw manures (cow, horse, etc.) which can burn root systems if it is not applied properly. The advantage of using castings is the manure passes through the worms' digestive system producing rich organic plant food and a slow releasing fertilizer that allows for better growth. Kids for Landcare: Wormwatch, Education Department of South Australia, 1992, p. 35.

A worm casting (also known as worm cast or vermicast) is a biologically active mound containing thousands of bacteria, enzymes, and remnants of plant materials and animal manures that were not digested by the earthworm. The composting process continues after a worm casting has been deposited. In fact, the bacterial population of a cast is much greater than the bacterial population of either ingested soil, or the earthworm's gut. An important component of this dark mass if humus. Humus is a complicated material formed during the breakdown of organic matter. One of its components, humic acid, provides many binding sites for plant nutrients, such as calcium, iron, potassium, sulfur and phosphorus. These nutrients are stored in the humic acid molecule in a form readily available to plants, and are released when the plants require them. Mary Appelhof, Worms Eat My Garbage, 1982, p.68.

 

Worm Castings also contain trace minerals, such as small amounts of Phosphorus and Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Boron, Copper, Zinc and Manganese. There are two ways to obtain the solution, what we call “compost tea”, for the foliar spray. One is to brew the compost tea by merely soaking a bag of worm castings in water for some time and using this spray solution, a weak “compost tea” – the extracted method. The other, and one that I prefer, is known as the “aerobically” method.

In the brewing method, compost/castings are placed into a container of circulated and aerated water (via an air bubbler or similar system) typically with other nutrients.  The circulated water extracts the microbiology and the microbes are in an abundance of both oxygen and nutrient to feed upon.  In this method, colonies of microbes are brewed in exponential numbers, a colony of bacteria for instance can double in population every 20 minutes.  Aerobic brewing takes longer than basic extraction with common brewing times of 12 to 24 hours.  Brewing time is very dependent on water temperature with warmer water creating faster brews.  Aerobically brewed teas have much higher microbe population densities than extracted teas and for this reason are the tea of choice.  The sign of a good aerobically brewed tea is a good head of foam and scum on top signifying healthy microbe action!  https://www.yelmworms.com/compost-tea/page3.htm

As we have increased the growing area in our Aquaponics research farm, we require an increased quantity of the aerobically brewed compost tea. This compost tea takes at least a couple of days to make and only has a limited shelf life (try use within 12 hours if possible). We have designed an Aquavermicponics system that will ensure that we will have the aerobically brewed compost tea available on hand at all times. In our system, we can also experiment by adding such wonderful natural products as Molasses, thus adding additional nutrients for excellent and robust natural plant growth. Prior to using such this incredible powerful and magical “Sahib Compost Tea”, one could add just a few drops of “hot sauce” and/or cinnamon juice extract so as to increase the potency of the solution. Do remember that you should only spray when temperatures allow and when not harmful to beneficial insects such as honey bees and lady bugs. Here are a few pictures of our Sahib’s Aquavermiponics system. We have added a media bed with a modified Affnan bell siphon so as to increase aeration.

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SAHIB AQUAPONICS is a Florida, USA domiciled corporation and is a pioneer in developing and building Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems for sustainable urban gardening. The company specializes in Aquaponics and in the promotion of sustainable urban gardening and the establishment of such Ecosystems.  Their mission is to strive to be at the forefront of sustainable urban gardening by adopting the latest Aquaponics technologies and growing methods to provide both high quality food and fish, competitively priced, grown locally and grown naturally. SAHIB AQUAPONICS is providing training workshops for community members and students around the U.S., interested in learning innovative methods and market-based solutions using urban agriculture and Aquaponics.

You are welcome to share your ideas and designs as to how you would suggest we increase additional growing space and/or make improvements. You can submitt them tosahib@sahibaquaponics.com.

God bless

Additional Media Beds at Sahib Aquaponics Research Farm

Additional Media Beds at Sahib Aquaponics Research Farm

Additional Media Beds at Sahib Aquaponics Research Farm

Adding Additional Media Beds for Increased Growing Space and Extra filtration

Adding additional media beds for increased growing space and extra filtration presented a challenge, especially when you are working with extremely limited space. I noticed that the top of our Koi pond was at present “wasted space”, just waiting to be put to use for growing additional food. I could have just built shallow water culture (SWC), raft beds as our filtration system was already adequate for our needs. However, our Koi are growing rapidly in size and I do not really want to part with them. They feed right out of my hand and provide such stress relief that it is hard to describe. With the temperature’s increasing as we enter the hurricane season, the extra feed that the Koi are enjoying, any extra filtration during these months would be extremely beneficial in keeping our Aquaponics created Ecosystem in balance. Adding media beds should help meet this need.

David Hart, my fellow Aquapon friend and I discussed what would be appropriate to build over the Koi pond that would be both functional as well as cost effective. We decided that we would replicate the Sahib Zero Lot Hybrid Aquaponics System grow beds on both sides of the fish tank. Not only would these provide us with additional growing area and the much sought after filtration, helping us use as much of the valuable fish waste within the system as possible, we would also be able to substantially increase aeration by using the modified Affnan bell siphons. We have built the first section of the media beds and they are operational, functioning just a s planned. Here are a few photos that we are sharing and a brief video of the new media beds now in operation .

 

 

 

 

 

Sahib is happy to share with you the endless possibilities of how to grow your own food locally and naturally without the use of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers by using these Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems. These Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be scaled to size and can be replicated. They can be modified to be operated off grid as well as expanded as the need arises. Such systems can be used to have fresh food at home, work or anywhere they are set up. They are excellent tools to use as teaching aids so that we can empower the future generation with the knowledge to grow their own food locally by natural means. Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be the basis of feeding the family, the community as well as provide income to the urban farmer. Sahib will also share how such systems can be used in urban retail economy, both by food establishments as well as food/produce retail outlets to enable the consumer to purchase food that has been grown locally and by natural means. Food that is “live” (a new twist on the label “Fresh”), and the type recommended by most medical and health professionals as what we should be eating.

Sahib is using the profits from Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus to fund the development of Aquaponics for the poor hungry world villages. He has set up a separate group for this called “Feed Hunger Now” (see link below). Will you help join Sahib…can we work together in this venture? What ideas do you have to help towards this goal?

http://www.feedhungernow.org/   

You are welcome to share your ideas and designs as to how you would suggest we increase additional growing space and/or make improvements. You can submitt them to sahib@sahibaquaponics.com.

 

 God bless,    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rio+20 ‘Time To Act’ petition + launch of globalagriculture.org

Rio+20 ‘Time To Act’ petition + launch of globalagriculture.org

From: Angelika Beck <beck@globalagriculture.org>
Subject: Rio+20 'Time To Act' petition + launch of globalagriculture.org
Phone: +49 30 27590309
Message Body:
Dear Campaigner,

As a a signatory to the Time to Act petition the new website www.globalagriculture.org, launched today by the Foundation on Future Farming and Biovision, might interest you. As you know, the Time To Act petition calls on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) “to use this historical opportunity to take agriculture beyond ‘business as usual’ and agree on actions that actually do eradicate hunger and poverty, and protect the environment.” The www.globalagriculture.orgwebsite promotes and relays exactly this message and we therefore ask that you consider linking to it.

Launched to coincide with the run-up to Rio+20, this easy-to-use site features the findings of the ground-breaking UN/World Bank sponsored International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), which calls for a paradigm shift in global agricultural policies. The information is available by topics and offers updated figures, background information, further reading and news. Users can browse and search the 2,000 pages of the original reports focusing on their specific area of interest. Scientific and institutional follow-up reports are presented, including current hot topics such as land-grabbing and food speculation. We are also keen to receive any of your suggestions, links and data that are relevant to this debate.

Why now? The Rio+20 conference provides the opportunity to set in motion a much needed, permanent assessment of agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development. We look forward to working together with you to make this a reality. Please link to www.globalagriculture.org today.

Thank you in advance and please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested.

Best wishes,

Benedikt Haerlin and Angelika Beck

Foundation on Future Farming
Marienstr. 19-20
D-10117 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 27590309
beck@globalagriculture.org

Sahib Aquaponics Zero Lot Hybrid Aquaponics System – A Good Fit For Small Spaces

Sahib Aquaponics Zero Lot Hybrid Aquaponics System – A Good Fit For Small Spaces

Sahib Aquaponics Zero Lot Hybrid Aquaponics System was recently highlighted as being “A Good Fit For Small Spaces”. This was an article in Cornell University Small Farm Program Newsletter – the Urban Gardening section.

Here is an extract from the article by Molly Davis…

A Good Fit for Small Spaces

In suburban Orlando, Florida, farmer Sahib Punjabi has developed several models of miniature re-circulating farms to fit in small, underused spaces, such as storage rooms and patios. In only 18 square feet, Punjabi’s “Zero Lot” Backyard Aquaponic System combines a variety of plant beds with a 55-gallon fish tank.
He aims to build a totally self-sufficient system that can be deployed anywhere, from developing-world villages to U.S. neighborhoods.

Sahib Aquaponics Zero Lot system sandwich towers Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener Sahib Aquaponics Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener Aquaponics Hybrid System

“This was a far superior way to grow it locally, grow it naturally, without having to resort to harmful pesticides and fertilizers and such, because if I did, my fish would die,” said Punjabi. Goldfish require less oxygen than many food fish, but still supply enough fertilizer to nourish lettuces, herbs, and vegetables. Punjabi uses a variety of bedding materials.

“The whole idea is that the plants absorb nutrients from the water so that pure water goes back to the fish tanks,” said Punjabi.

A single 50-watt pump circulates the water through pipes. Valves control the inflow into the beds. Punjabi emphasizes the importance of maintaining the water chemistry, especially the pH and the nitrogen cycle.”

You can read the complete article here:

Recirculating Farms: Growing Healthy Fresh Food and a new local food culture : Cornell Small Farm Program Newsletter

SAHIB AQUAPONICS is providing training workshops for community members and students around the U.S., interested in learning innovative methods and market-based solutions using urban agriculture and Aquaponics. Sahib will share with you the endless possibilities of how to grow your own food locally and naturally without the use of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers by using these Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems.These Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be scaled to size and can be replicated. They can be modified to be operated off grid as well as expanded as the need arises. Such systems can be used to have fresh food at home, work or anywhere they are set up. They are excellent tools to use as teaching aids so that we can empower the future generation with the knowledge to grow their own food locally by natural means. Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be the basis of feeding the family, the community as well as provide income to the urban farmer. Sahib will also share how such systems can be used in urban retail economy, both by food establishments as well as food/produce retail outlets to enable the consumer to purchase food that has been grown locally and by natural means. Food that is “live” (a new twist on the label “Fresh”), and the type recommended by most medical and health professionals as what we should be eating.

2012 Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus

Next Aquaponics Workshop: June 9th & 10th 2012

These Aquaponics Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus are an excellent place to learn Aquaponics and be empowered to build Aquaponics systems to grow organic food for their family without using harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers, discover the potential to create another income source as well share such knowledge with many more to help provide sustainable solutions to the world hunger epidemic.

Sahib believes that such training should be affordable so as to enable all sectors of the society to educate and empower themselves in this wonderful way of growing organic food. He also believes in smaller class sizes (not to exceed 20 participants), so that the Workshop training can be personalized as much as possible. By being a participant in such Aquaponics workshops, you will really learn and be empowered to grow your own food locally and naturally.

Space is extremely limited so reserve your space now

Sahib’s Training Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Guru’s

Here is a recent e-mail from one of the Workshop participants…

“Hello Sahib,

I really enjoyed your 2 day Aquaponics class.  It was very informative and practical.  You made what seemed like complicated gardening into a fun learning experience.  Your explanations made it easy to comprehend the principles behind Aquaponics. Seeing your Aquaponics garden and your simple systems setup demonstration, removed all doubts.  Even though I am a beginner, I am confident that I can do this now.  It opened up a whole new world of providing healthy “organic” food for myself and others.  An excellent job done! I will recommend you classes to everyone. Rajaji “

God bless,

Sahib replaces NFT’s in Phase I with Vertical Shallow Water Culture (SWC)

Sahib replaces NFT’s in Phase I with Vertical Shallow Water Culture (SWC)

Aquaponics News – Update

Sahib replaces NFT’s in Phase I with Vertical Shallow Water Culture (SWC)

In the original design of Phase I at Sahib Aquaponics Research Farm, Sahib introduced NFT’s made of 3 inch PVC pipe. They were three 48ft long NFT’s mounted over the deep water culture (DWC), grow bed. They were installed in late September 2010 and were watered by the effluent rich fish water using the same pump as that watered the DWC. During the initial months we experienced fantastic growth of whatever we planted and never had any issues as regards clogging and water flow constraints. During the summer last year, after they had been in operation for just under one year, we started to have considerable issues with clogging, sediment settling at the bottom of the pipes and water overflows. We also noticed that there was a significant change in the water temperature towards the end of the 48ft NFT’s. Needless to say, we experienced a significant reduction in the growth yields and times of anything planted. We also realized that if we left any plants for some time in the NFT’s, the root system would seriously compound to the water flow issues. We wanted to be able to increase aeration in the growing area but could not do so in the NFT’s and found it difficult to clean them. Perhaps if they were built in smaller lengths, such problems would have been easy to address. What was the solution to still be able to maximize the growing space in the waste land Sahib Aquaponics Research Farm is located in?

As we were building Phase II, what we jokingly refer to as “Vertical Mania”, we designed a Shallow Water Culture bed (SWC) with the following dimensions; 6 inches deep, 2 feet wide and 12 foot long. This gave us a bed with a maximum water capacity of under 100 gallons, thus with wood, a total weight load around 1,000lb. With the 2 inch raft, the actual amount of water in the SWC would be less than the 100 gallons thus the lower weight could make its vertical suspension possible. The additional amount of water would allow increased aeration and the short length of the SWC would keep the water temperature more stable. The SWC would be ideal for plants that did not require long harvests or have extensive root systems. We installed our first vertical SWC in Phase II in late November 2011 and have experienced fantastic results. We have proceeded to design and install a two level SWC system and are working on a three level system to increase the overall growing capacity in a limited space. Given the advantages of SWC, Sahib decided to remove the NFT’s and utilize them elsewhere in shorter lengths and replace them with four SWC’s. We have included some photos of the changes below. We will post more at a later date and report of any issues or problems.       

SAHIB AQUAPONICS is a Florida, USA domiciled corporation and is a pioneer in developing and building Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems for sustainable urban gardening. The company specializes in Aquaponics and in the promotion of sustainable urban gardening and the establishment of such Ecosystems.  Their mission is to strive to be at the forefront of sustainable urban gardening by adopting the latest Aquaponics technologies and growing methods to provide both high quality food and fish, competitively priced, grown locally and grown naturally. SAHIB AQUAPONICS is providing training workshops for community members and students around the U.S., interested in learning innovative methods and market-based solutions using urban agriculture and Aquaponics.

As promised, we are also sharing some photos of the Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener Aquaponics Hybrid System that we introduced at the last Aquaponics Workshop on December 10th & 11th 2011. There are now SIX different growing methods being used by this small system. What a fantastic system to have in your own Zero Lot or Backyard. Sahib will share with you the endless possibilities of how to grow your own food locally and naturally without the use of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers by using these Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems. These Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be scaled to size and can be replicated. They can be modified to be operated off grid as well as expanded as the need arises. Such systems can be used to have fresh food at home, work or anywhere they are set up. They are excellent tools to use as teaching aids so that we can empower the future generation with the knowledge to grow their own food locally by natural means. Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be the basis of feeding the family, the community as well as provide income to the urban farmer. Sahib will also share how such systems can be used in urban retail economy, both by food establishments as well as food/produce retail outlets to enable the consumer to purchase food that has been grown locally and by natural means. Food that is “live” (a new twist on the label “Fresh”), and the type recommended by most medical and health professionals as what we should be eating.

2012 Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus

Next Aquaponics Workshop: March 10th & 11th 2012

Following the successful inaugural Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus, Sahib Aquaponics will be holding numerous Aquaponics Workshops in 2012. These Aquaponics Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus are an excellent place to learn Aquaponics and be empowered to build Aquaponics systems to grow organic food for their family without using harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers, discover the potential to create another income source as well share such knowledge with many more to help provide sustainable solutions to the world hunger epidemic.

Sahib believes that such training should be affordable so as to enable all sectors of the society to educate and empower themselves in this wonderful way of growing organic food. He also believes in smaller class sizes (not to exceed 16 participants), so that the Workshop training can be personalized as much as possible. By being a participant in such Aquaponics workshops, you will really learn and be empowered to grow your own food locally and naturally.

Here is a recent e-mail from one of the Workshop participants…

“Hello Sahib,

I really enjoyed your 2 day Aquaponics class.  It was very informative and practical.  You made what seemed like complicated gardening into a fun learning experience.  Your explanations made it easy to comprehend the principles behind Aquaponics. Seeing your Aquaponics garden and your simple systems setup demonstration, removed all doubts.  Even though I am a beginner, I am confident that I can do this now.  It opened up a whole new world of providing healthy "organic" food for myself and others.  An excellent job done! I will recommend you classes to everyone.

Rajaji “

Sahib is using the profits from Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus to fund the development of Aquaponics for the poor hungry world villages. He has set up a separate group for this called “Feed Hunger Now” (see link below). Will you help join Sahib…can we work together in this venture? What ideas do you have to help towards this goal?

http://www.feedhungernow.org/   

God bless,    

Sahib promises to share with you the designs and pictures of Sahib’s Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems.

The Hobby / Nano System

The Balcony / Patio System

The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener

The Urban Farmer / Community Gardener

Sahib Aquaponics Free Farm Tour Feb 2012

Sahib Aquaponics Free Farm Tour Feb 2012

Sahib Aquaponics Farm Tour Feb 2012

The February Free Farm Tour was the first opportunity for Central Florida members of IDEAS For Us to come and discover the wonderful world of Aquaponics. We certainly had a full house. We had over 60 visitors, 50 of them via IDEAS For Us. We had to arrange 4 tours, starting at 10.00am and lasting well past 4.00pm. A very busy day!  

You should have seen the starry glaze in the eyes of all who attended. Was this really true? A sustainable urban food jungle in waste space! We felt so good that we could capture their imagination and open up a whole new world for them to seriously look at the fabulous opportunities that Aquaponics offered re “Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions”. Everyone who attended left with a big smile on their face and made comments that they would now seriously consider starting their own Aquaponics systems and look at attending the Aquaponics Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus. As announced in January 2012, Sahib Aquaponics and IDEAS For Us have partnered to provide educational tours and professional training programs for students and community members. The first Aquaponics Workshop for the members of IDEAS For Us has been scheduled for March 17th & 18th 2012.

During one of the Free Farm Tours, Sahib was asked whether his offer to donate a Nano or a Micro Hybrid Aquaponics system to any educators who attend the next Aquaponics Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus scheduled for March 10th & March 12th 2012 was still valid. Off Course! We will gladly donate such to any educator, whether they teach elementary, middle or high school students provided they attend the 2 day Aquaponics Workshops.

Why?

Sahib shared with them the following example. He asked them, how do you start bonfire? Both answered that you should start with small twigs that will light easily than the big logs. Small children will learn this wonderful knowledge quickly and will be able to expand its use significantly as they grow. It is for this reason that Sahib stated that he would be happy to donate such systems to the educators to teach our children this wonderful way of life.

[nggallery id=7]

Sahib loves to share his knowledge and encourage everyone to learn. His goal is to empower you to grow food for yourself, your family, your community and your business. Grown locally and grown naturally without any harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers. He thus offers FREE Farm Tours of Sahib’s Aquaponics Research Farm.

FREE Farm tours are held the first Saturday of every month starting at 10:00am and last for about one hour. As Sahib’s Aquaponics Research Farm is located in a small facility, you will need to register as we try to limit our farm visitors to 12 per tour so as to be able to give you personal attention. Small or large groups are welcome and we encourage field trips for all class sizes. Please plan to have any groups with young children or those with special needs, be chaperoned.

http://sahibaquaponics.com/visit/visit/

Aquaponics Training Programs Offered For IDEAS For Us Members by Sahib Aquaponics

Breaking News

Aquaponics Training Programs Offered For IDEAS For Us Members by Sahib Aquaponics

In January 2012, IDEAS For Us partnered with a local urban Aquaponics company — Sahib Aquaponics — to provide educational tours and professional training programs for students and community members.

Aquaponics is the joint cultivation of fish and plants in a man-made re-circulating ecosystem that allows sustainable natural food growing without the use of harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The goal in these workshops is to empower people of all ages to grow their own food naturally, right in your own garden.

Sahib’s training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Guru’s are a wonderful way to learn and gain knowledge and the skills to successfully practice Aquaponics” stated Chris Castro, Co Founder of IDEAS For Us.

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IDEAS FOR US is a 501©(3) non-profit organization that provides consulting services and directing to a network of sustainability leaders and green professionals across the Nation and around the World. We offer professional training courses, resource development and peer-to-peer mentorship programs to nurture the talents of leaders to drive local solutions and implement sustainability initiatives focusing on Energy, Water, Waste, Food and Ecological systems around the World. 



IDEAS For US acts as the guiding body for an International sustainability movement called IDEAS (intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions). The movement is a network of campus and community organizations, youth leaders and green professionals working to solve the integrated Energy, Environmental and Economic challenges facing communities around the World. IDEAS FOR US help to incubate new ideas and initiatives; build partnerships and connections; nurture youth leaders; and develop new chapters to expand the movement and our positive environmental impacts across communities around the World.

SAHIB AQUAPONICS is a Florida, USA domiciled corporation and is a pioneer in developing and building Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems for sustainable urban gardening. The company specializes in Aquaponics and in the promotion of sustainable urban gardening and the establishment of such Ecosystems.  Their mission is to strive to be at the forefront of sustainable urban gardening by adopting the latest Aquaponics technologies and growing methods to provide both high quality food and fish, competitively priced, grown locally and grown naturally. SAHIB AQUAPONICS is providing training workshops for community members and students around the U.S., interested in learning innovative methods and market-based solutions using urban agriculture and Aquaponics.

For additional Information on these two organization’s, please visit their websites www.ideasforus.org and www.sahibaquaponics.com

For those interested in additional pricing information and Signing up information for the Next Training Program, March 17th & 18th, 2012, please email Chris Castro at Think@IDEASforUs.org  or contact Sahib Punjabi at 1-909-575-8334 or e-mail Sahib@Sahibaquaponics.com

Sahib Punjabi Consultant and Keynote Speaker on Sustainablitiy and Aquaponic Urban Gardening

Sahib Punjabi Consultant and Keynote Speaker on Sustainablitiy and Aquaponic Urban Gardening

Sahib is dedicated to “feeding the villages” of the world,  are his words for teaching the poorest people in the world how to feed themselves using aquaponics. He is developing aquaponics systems in Winter Park, Florida, that are the prototypes for affordable systems that will be appropriate for economically disadvantaged and developing nations. Sahib is available for consultation services for this agenda.

Sahib offers public speaking and consultant services in the subject of Aquaponic urban gardening and sustainability.

He establishes the principal of sustainability and delivers the greater importance of urban sustainability in a keynote speech. Sahib will lay down the framework of Aquaponic gardening for the following programs of events for any group on this agenda.

Sahib’s Training Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Guru’s should provide you with a solid foundation to learn and gain knowledge and the skills to successfully practice Aquaponics and grow your food by such methods. Should you decide to increase your growing capacity and scale of operational, Sahib will offer consulting services for your unique projects.  Fees and related expenses of such consultancy services are negotiated on a case by case basis. Such consultancy services could be very valuable when setting up a larger sustainable urban Aquaponics operation. We can assist you on overall review or right from the start-up of the project where sophisticated systems planning and site design needs to be done to ensure success while dealing with multiple variables. Fees and related expenses of such consultancy services are negotiated on a case by case basis. Please email us should you require such consultancy services.

Please use this form to contact Sahib:

Contact Us

Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems introduced by Sahib Aquaponics

Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems introduced by Sahib Aquaponics

Aquaponics News

Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems introduced by Sahib Aquaponics

Sahib Aquaponics held their inaugural Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus on December 10th, 2011. The Aquaponics Workshops were very well received by all who participated and hopefully the world will have another few people who will build Aquaponics systems themselves, enjoy this way of life and then share such knowledge with many more to help provide sustainable solutions to the world hunger epidemic. Reflecting at the end of the workshop, the question was asked as to what constitutes “success” to Sahib?

Tim Mann of Friendly Aquaponics recently wrote…"To Sahib what the word “success” means is that most (if not ALL) of the participants in the courses go out,  build and operate aquaponics systems with the knowledge empowered that Sahib has imparted during the course to help end world hunger". Needless to say, I was very happy to read the following e-mail from one of the Workshop participants…

Dear Sahib, Just a quick note to again thank you for an interesting and educational two days.  We enjoyed it very much and our eyes were opened to a new concept.  We are already trying to locate the necessary items to build a system much like the one you demonstrated.  Keep up the good work!  Best wishes, Clyde and Trudy Edwards”.

The Aquaponics hybrid urban growing system that Sahib demonstrated during the Aquaponics Urban Gurus Workshop was a prototype. Over the course of the next few weeks, Sahib will share with you the endless possibilities of how to grow your own food locally and naturally without the use of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers by using these Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems. These Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be scaled to size and can be replicated. They can be modified to be operated off grid as well as expanded as the need arises. Such systems can be used to have fresh food at home, work or anywhere they are set up. They are excellent tools to use as teaching aids so that we can empower the future generation with the knowledge to grow their own food locally by natural means. Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be the basis of feeding the family, the community as well as provide income to the urban farmer. Sahib will also share how such systems can be used in urban retail economy, both by food establishments as well as food/produce retail outlets to enable the consumer to purchase food that has been grown locally and by natural means. Food that is “live” (a new twist on the label “Fresh”), and the type recommended by most medical and health professionals as what we should be eating.

"The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener" System

This was the Aquaponics hybrid urban growing system that Sahib shared with the Workshop participants. We introduced two growing methods, one based upon the raft system and the other using media beds. We explained the different medias that could be used as well as explaining them how to mix media to assist in the planting of seedlings. Workshop participants gained hands on experience in the assembly process as well as seeing the complete system operate. They were shown the beauty and functionality of using the bell siphons (we used a modified design based upon Affnan's design), to aid in the aeration process. Workshop participants were requested to assemble a similar Aquaponics hybrid urban growing system and begin to grow food for themselves. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will add vertical towers ("Sahib Sandwich Towers") over the media beds, add an NFT system as well as introduce re-circulating media beds. In due course we will add some containers to be watered on occasions by the fish effluent water. As the fish grow in size or an additional fish tank is added, we will add additional raft beds to dramatically increase the overall growing capacity. The system will be designed to have a canopy to allow shade cloth as well as cover to collect rainwater for recycling. A small solar system will also be introduced so as to be able to operate the complete system off grid. We will post photos as we build and incorporate such additions.       

These are the types of systems that Tim Mann was referring to when he wrote… “Sahib is dedicated to “feeding the villages” of the world, are his words for teaching the poorest people in the world how to feed themselves using aquaponics. He is developing Aquaponics systems in Winter Park, Florida, that are the prototypes for affordable systems that will be appropriate for economically disadvantaged and developing nations.” Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems will be engineered to enable them to be built completely by locally sourced materials as well as complete packages so as to meet different needs and wants. This should ensure that they are affordable systems for the economically disadvantaged, where ever the need is, thus helping provide a sustainable solution to the world hunger epidemic. Water conservation, use of green technology, reducing the carbon footprint while providing a sustainable solution to help develop ecosystems and sustainable living food jungles thus helping reduce, perhaps even eliminate hunger,  are just some of the goals and end results of Sahib’s aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems.

Sahib is accomplishing this in the most interesting place ever seen on an Aquaponics farm: in the “dead space” of a suburban strip mall in Winter Park, near Orlando in Central Florida. Recently an experienced Aquaponics gardener commented…” all the improvements that have been occurring at the "Urban Wasteland"… Now it has been transformed into a beautiful and productive "Urban Farmland"!” Tim Mann comments…” This is not only innovative on Sahib’s part, but perhaps prescient also. Although the politicians all say “we’re on the road to recovery”, there are others who talk of going back to basics and being responsible for our own food security. I can’t think of a better use for a lot of those empty strip malls we see nowadays: imagine housing the farming community in the buildings and growing the food in the empty parking lots!”

Sahib is using the profits from Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus to fund the development of aquaponics for the poor hungry world villages. He has set up a separate group for this called “Feed Hunger Now” (see link below). Will you help join Sahib…can we work together in this venture? What ideas do you have to help towards this goal?

http://www.feedhungernow.org/   

 God bless,    

Over the course of the next few weeks, Sahib will share with you the designs and pictures of Sahib’s Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems.

The Hobby / Nano System

The Balcony / Patio System

The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardner

The Urban Farmer / Community Gardner

Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems by Sahib Aquaponics:  “Nano” System

Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems by Sahib Aquaponics: “Nano” System

Aquaponics News – Update

Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems by Sahib Aquaponics:  “Nano” System

The idea of building the “Sahib Nano Hybrid Aquaponics System” came to me when my son indicated that he wanted to have fresh herbs and lettuce but did not have the space to grow it in his University student room. He said that often he would end up having to throw out the Basil, Parsley or other herbs and green leafy vegetables as he could not use them before they went bad. He loved the aroma and taste of what was growing in our research farm. Well, here is one version of Sahib’s Nano Hybrid Aquaponics System. Now he can grow his own food locally and naturally without the use of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and he can eliminate waste by only using what he needs for the meal he is cooking.

 

 

 

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We will share numerous designs and variations in due course. You are welcome to share your ideas and designs by submitting them to sahib@sahibaquaponics.com. We will share them on photo gallery and write about them on our Blog. The best two designs in our opinion will be awarded a $100.00 gift certificate each towards cost of any of our future Aquaponics Workshops.

 

 


 

Over the course of the next few weeks, Sahib will share with you the endless possibilities of how to grow your own food locally and naturally without the use of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers by using these Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems. These Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be scaled to size and can be replicated. They can be modified to be operated off grid as well as expanded as the need arises. Such systems can be used to have fresh food at home, work or anywhere they are set up. They are excellent tools to use as teaching aids so that we can empower the future generation with the knowledge to grow their own food locally by natural means. Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be the basis of feeding the family, the community as well as provide income to the urban farmer. Sahib will also share how such systems can be used in urban retail economy, both by food establishments as well as food/produce retail outlets to enable the consumer to purchase food that has been grown locally and by natural means. Food that is “live” (a new twist on the label “Fresh”), and the type recommended by most medical and health professionals as what we should be eating.

 

2012 Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus

Next Aquaponics Workshop: March 10th & 11th 2012

http://www.aquaponicsurbanguru.com/training-introduction/introduction-to-the-world-of-aquaponics-basics-application/

Following the successful inaugural Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus, Sahib Aquaponics will be holding numerous Aquaponics Workshops in 2012. These Aquaponics Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus are an excellent place to learn Aquaponics and be empowered to build Aquaponics systems to grow organic food for their family without using harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers, discover the potential to create another income source as well share such knowledge with many more to help provide sustainable solutions to the world hunger epidemic.

Sahib believes that such training should be affordable so as to enable all sectors of the society to educate and empower themselves in this wonderful way of growing organic food. He also believes in smaller class sizes (not to exceed 16 participants), so that the Workshop training can be personalized as much as possible. By being a participant in such Aquaponics workshops, you will really learn and be empowered to grow your own food locally and naturally.

Here is a recent e-mail from one of the Workshop participants…

“Hello Sahib,

 

I really enjoyed your 2 day Aquaponics class.  It was very informative and practical.  You made what seemed like complicated gardening into a fun learning experience.  Your explanations made it easy to comprehend the principles behind Aquaponics. Seeing your Aquaponics garden and your simple systems setup demonstration, removed all doubts.  Even though I am a beginner, I am confident that I can do this now.  It opened up a whole new world of providing healthy “organic” food for myself and others.  An excellent job done! I will recommend you classes to everyone.

Rajaji “

Sahib is using the profits from Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus to fund the development of Aquaponics for the poor hungry world villages. He has set up a separate group for this called “Feed Hunger Now” (see link below). Will you help join Sahib…can we work together in this venture? What ideas do you have to help towards this goal?

http://www.feedhungernow.org/   

God bless,

Over the course of the next few weeks, Sahib will share with you the designs and pictures of Sahib’s Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems.

The Hobby / Nano System

The Balcony / Patio System

The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener

The Urban Farmer / Community Gardener

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahib Aquaponics Free Farm Tour : Jan 2012

Sahib Aquaponics Farm Tour Jan 2012

Happy New Year!

 

We had 18 visitors on the first Free Farm tour last Saturday, one group from 9.00am and the other from 10.30am. Everyone who attended left with a big smile on their face and made comments that they would now seriously consider starting their own Aquaponics systems and look at attending the Aquaponics Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus. There were a couple of educators in the groups, one who teaches elementary students and one who teaches high school students. At the end of the tour, Sahib informed the two educators that if they attended the next 2 day Aquaponics Workshops scheduled for March 10th & 11, he would donate a Nano or a Micro Hybrid Aquaponics system for them to teach their students.

Why?

Sahib shared with them the following example. He asked them, how do you start bonfire? Both answered that you should start with small twigs that will light easily than the big logs. Small children will learn this wonderful knowledge quickly and will be able to expand its use significantly as they grow. It is for this reason that Sahib stated that he would be happy to donate such systems to the educators to teach our children this wonderful way of life.

Here are some of the thank you e-mails we recently received following the Farm Tours…

“Hello David, I will like to thank you, John and Mr. Sahib for the tour this weekend.  I enjoyed it very much.”

“ I had a great time this past saturday.  It answered many questions that I had.  I am strongly considering your class possibly in March.  I should be able to bring more people interested in Aquaponics in March.  I will let you know the numbers and time.  Thanks again.

May God bless your endevour “   

[nggallery id=4]

Sahib loves to share his knowledge and encourage everyone to learn. His goal is to empower you to grow food for yourself, your family, your community and your business. Grown locally and grown naturally without any harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers. He thus offers FREE Farm Tours of Sahib’s Aquaponics Research Farm.

FREE Farm tours are held the first Saturday of every month starting at 10:00am and last for about one hour. As Sahib’s Aquaponics Research Farm is located in a small facility, you will need to register as we try to limit our farm visitors to 12 per tour so as to be able to give you personal attention. Small or large groups are welcome and we encourage field trips for all class sizes. Please plan to have any groups with young children or those with special needs, be chaperoned.

http://sahibaquaponics.com/visit/visit/

Sahib Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems: Update on “The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener” System

Sahib Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems: Update on “The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener” System

Aquaponics News – Update

Sahib Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems: Update on “The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener” System

Sahib Sandwich Towers & Recirculating Wicking Beds

Last week, Sahib shared with you the prototype of the Aquaponics Hybrid urban growing system that we call “The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener” System and introduced two growing methods, the raft system and the media beds. This week we have introduced what David Hart, one of Sahib Aquaponics key members called “Sahib Sandwich Towers” as well as recirculating wicking beds.

Four Growing Systems one small pumpThe idea of building the “Sahib Sandwich Towers” actually came to me last year when I tried using Nate Storey’s ZipGrow Towers. We have just been extremely busy in other Aquaponics research, preparing for the Florida and the Aquaponics Source Farm Tours, building  Phase II and organizing the inaugural Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus (December 10th & 11th 2011), that we have only got around to actually building them now.

Let me state at the very outset. Nate’s ZipGrow Towers are excellent for vertical growing in Aquaponics Systems, and I recommend them wholeheartedly. They do provide excellent vertical growing mediums and are a valuable asset in Aquaponics. Having said that, I personally I found using them is at times a little challenging. They do require considerable force in pulling out the filter media and reinserting it with planted seedling. I was not always successful in being able to achieve this task successfully on my own. Further, always looking to maximize the growing space in my extremely limited urban space, I felt that one side of Nate’s ZipGrow Tower was being underutilized. I planned creating vertical towers of different widths and lengths that would be easy to use and provide two growing areas. The vertical towers would come apart like two slices of bread or a roll to allow for the transplanting of seedlings. Once all the seedlings had been transplanted on both sides on one half of the tower, the remaining tower would be guided back over the planted tower and be ready for hanging. The vertical towers would have fixed nuts & bolts on one side and allow flexibility of growing opening by use of a wing nut on the other side. When I described this to David Hart, he immediately said “Sahib Sandwich Towers’.

The following photographs will show you how they function and enable you to see how they have been built. We will be building them in various lengths and widths and they will be available for purchase shortly.  

We also incorporated two recirculating wicking beds in this system. They are watered manually as and when required (at present every two or three days depending upon the rain). Excess water flows back to the fish tank and is recirculated. These media beds do provide some additional filtration as well as give us the ability to grow an additional range of crops that do like to have some dry periods.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Sahib will share with you the endless possibilities of how to grow your own food locally and naturally without the use of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers by using these Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems. These Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be scaled to size and can be replicated. They can be modified to be operated off grid as well as expanded as the need arises. Such systems can be used to have fresh food at home, work or anywhere they are set up. They are excellent tools to use as teaching aids so that we can empower the future generation with the knowledge to grow their own food locally by natural means. Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be the basis of feeding the family, the community as well as provide income to the urban farmer. Sahib will also share how such systems can be used in urban retail economy, both by food establishments as well as food/produce retail outlets to enable the consumer to purchase food that has been grown locally and by natural means. Food that is “live” (a new twist on the label “Fresh”), and the type recommended by most medical and health professionals as what we should be eating.

2012 Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus

Following the successful inaugural Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus, Sahib Aquaponics will be holding numerous Aquaponics Workshops in 2012. These Aquaponics Workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus are an excellent place to learn Aquaponics and be empowered to build Aquaponics systems to grow organic food for their family without using harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers, discover the potential to create another income source as well share such knowledge with many more to help provide sustainable solutions to the world hunger epidemic.

Sahib believes that such training should be affordable so as to enable all sectors of the society to educate and empower themselves in this wonderful way of growing organic food. He also believes in smaller class sizes (not to exceed 25 participants), so that the Workshop training can be personalized as much as possible. By being a participant in such Aquaponics workshops, you will really learn and be empowered to grow your own food locally and naturally.

Here is a recent e-mail from one of the Workshop participants…

“Hello Sahib, I really enjoyed your 2 day Aquaponics class.  It was very informative and practical.  You made what seemed like complicated gardening into a fun learning experience.  Your explanations made it easy to comprehend the principles behind Aquaponics. Seeing your Aquaponics garden and your simple systems setup demonstration, removed all doubts.  Even though I am a beginner, I am confident that I can do this now.  It opened up a whole new world of providing healthy "organic" food for myself and others.  An excellent job done! I will recommend you classes to everyone. Rajaji “

Sahib is using the profits from Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus to fund the development of Aquaponics for the poor hungry world villages. He has set up a separate group for this called “Feed Hunger Now” (see link below). Will you help join Sahib…can we work together in this venture? What ideas do you have to help towards this goal?

http://www.feedhungernow.org/   

 God bless,    

Over the course of the next few weeks, Sahib will share with you the designs and pictures of Sahib’s Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems.

The Hobby / Nano System

The Balcony / Patio System

The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener

The Urban Farmer / Community Gardener

Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems introduced by Sahib Aquaponics

Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems introduced by Sahib Aquaponics

Aquaponics News

Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems introduced by Sahib Aquaponics

Sahib Aquaponics held their inaugural Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus on December 10th, 2011. The Aquaponics Workshops were very well received by all who participated and hopefully the world will have another few people who will build Aquaponics systems themselves, enjoy this way of life and then share such knowledge with many more to help provide sustainable solutions to the world hunger epidemic. Reflecting at the end of the workshop, the question was asked as to what constitutes “success” to Sahib?

Tim Mann of Friendly Aquaponics recently wrote…"To Sahib what the word “success” means is that most (if not ALL) of the participants in the courses go out,  build and operate Aquaponics systems with the knowledge empowered that Sahib has imparted during the course to help end world hunger". Needless to say, I was very happy to read the following e-mail from one of the Workshop participants…

Dear Sahib, Just a quick note to again thank you for an interesting and educational two days.  We enjoyed it very much and our eyes were opened to a new concept.  We are already trying to locate the necessary items to build a system much like the one you demonstrated.  Keep up the good work!  Best wishes, Clyde and Trudy Edwards”.

The Aquaponics hybrid urban growing system that Sahib demonstrated during the Aquaponics Urban Gurus Workshop was a prototype. Over the course of the next few weeks, Sahib will share with you the endless possibilities of how to grow your own food locally and naturally without the use of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers by using these Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems. These Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be scaled to size and can be replicated. They can be modified to be operated off grid as well as expanded as the need arises. Such systems can be used to have fresh food at home, work or anywhere they are set up. They are excellent tools to use as teaching aids so that we can empower the future generation with the knowledge to grow their own food locally by natural means. Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems can be the basis of feeding the family, the community as well as provide income to the urban farmer. Sahib will also share how such systems can be used in urban retail economy, both by food establishments as well as food/produce retail outlets to enable the consumer to purchase food that has been grown locally and by natural means. Food that is “live” (a new twist on the label “Fresh”), and the type recommended by most medical and health professionals as what we should be eating.

"The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardener" System

This was the Aquaponics hybrid urban growing system that Sahib shared with the Workshop participants. We introduced two growing methods, one based upon the raft system and the other using media beds. We explained the different Medias that could be used as well as explaining them how to mix media to assist in the planting of seedlings. Workshop participants gained hands on experience in the assembly process as well as seeing the complete system operate. They were shown the beauty and functionality of using the bell siphons (we used a modified design based upon Affnan's design), to aid in the aeration process. Workshop participants were requested to assemble a similar Aquaponics hybrid urban growing system and begin to grow food for themselves. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will add vertical towers ("Sahib Sandwich Towers") over the media beds, add an NFT system as well as introduce re-circulating media beds. In due course we will add some containers to be watered on occasions by the fish effluent water. As the fish grow in size or an additional fish tank is added, we will add additional raft beds to dramatically increase the overall growing capacity. The system will be designed to have a canopy to allow shade cloth as well as cover to collect rainwater for recycling. A small solar system will also be introduced so as to be able to operate the complete system off grid. We will post photos as we build and incorporate such additions as well as provide detailed cost analysis of the system. You will be able to build them yourself  with local materials or purchase them form Sahib Aquaponics.     

These are the types of systems that Tim Mann was referring to when he wrote… “Sahib is dedicated to “feeding the villages” of the world, are his words for teaching the poorest people in the world how to feed themselves using Aquaponics. He is developing Aquaponics systems in Winter Park, Florida, that are the prototypes for affordable systems that will be appropriate for economically disadvantaged and developing nations.” Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems will be engineered to enable them to be built completely by locally sourced materials as well as complete packages so as to meet different needs and wants. This should ensure that they are affordable systems for the economically disadvantaged, where ever the need is, thus helping provide a sustainable solution to the world hunger epidemic. Water conservation, use of green technology, reducing the carbon footprint while providing a sustainable solution to help develop ecosystems and sustainable living food jungles thus helping reduce, perhaps even eliminate hunger,  are just some of the goals and end results of Sahib’s Aquaponics hybrid urban growing systems.

Sahib is accomplishing this in the most interesting place ever seen on an Aquaponics farm: in the “dead space” of a suburban strip mall in Winter Park, near Orlando in Central Florida. Recently an experienced Aquaponics gardener commented…” all the improvements that have been occurring at the "Urban Wasteland"… Now it has been transformed into a beautiful and productive "Urban Farmland"!” Tim Mann comments…” This is not only innovative on Sahib’s part, but perhaps prescient also. Although the politicians all say “we’re on the road to recovery”, there are others who talk of going back to basics and being responsible for our own food security. I can’t think of a better use for a lot of those empty strip malls we see nowadays: imagine housing the farming community in the buildings and growing the food in the empty parking lots!”

Sahib is using the profits from Aquaponics training workshops by Aquaponics Urban Gurus to fund the development of Aquaponics for the poor hungry world villages. He has set up a separate group for this called “Feed Hunger Now(see link below). Will you help join Sahib…can we work together in this venture? What ideas do you have to help towards this goal?

 God bless,    

Over the course of the next few weeks, Sahib will share with you the designs and pictures of Sahib’s Aquaponics Hybrid Urban Growing Systems.

The Hobby / Nano System

The Balcony / Patio System

The Zero Lot / Backyard Gardner

The Urban Farmer / Community Gardner

Small Space Aquaponics Feeds the Community

Small Space Aquaponics Feeds the Community

In a corner of a typical urban shopping centre tucked away in Florida sits what looks like a tiny service lane way. Except behind the timber gates is an entry into another world.  Its been transformed into something else. A maze of pvc pipes run by a small pump and powered by goldfish is growing all kinds of aquaponic produce. Builder and designer Sahib Punjabi enthuses about aquaponics and especially Murray Hallam when we arrived to see his system.

Sahib reaches over and shakes Murray Hallam’s hand. “I want to teach this right around the world just like you do.” he says, “because thats the only way.”

Hybrid Systems

Sahib has a hybrid mixture of floating raft and NFT running the length of this narrow corridor. An array of tote tanks line the side of the fence and from the ceiling dangle white pots growing a variety of herbs and lettuce. Visitors to his system delight in how he has managed to use every square foot of space to grow food. Any surplus of seedlings go outside and are planted in planter boxes around the car park that people are free to take home. Sahib sees aquaponics and permaculture as an excellent way to feed the planet.

We live in a very difficult environment to grow food.” says Sahib who explains that although Florida has ideal weather for three to five months of the year, the rest of the season can either get too hot or too cold to grow food.

“Believe it or not we get frosts here and it can also get very wet here.” he says. “The soil is a challenge because its sand – most of it.”

Sahib has also tried organic soil gardening but abandoned this method after experiencing soil contamination during heavy rainfall.

So Sahib turned to other methods of growing fresh food and discovered aquaponics. His passion turned into studying everything he could find on the subject.

“My wife said – you’re crazy!” he laughs, but the desire to learn all he could only drove him on. “I felt like I taught myself a (university) degree in this subject!”

Sahibs choice of fish to use in aquaponics is Koi because they are trouble free and easy to grow. His entire system is powered by a tiny 60 Watt submersible pump.

“This is something I learnt from Murray Hallam.” he says. “I’m using only one third of that pump’s capacity. Fifty percent of the pump’s water, I’m feeding back into the 1000 gallon fish tank, so that’s creating some aeration.”

Good aeration is critical to supply adequate oxygen flow in keeping your fish alive. Water is pumped the length of the yard to header tanks where the water is trickled back through the network of nft pipes and floating raft beds, returning back to the main fish tank completing the cycle.

 

Four Systems powered by one pump!

This one pump actually supports four different types of aquaponics systems. Floating raft, NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) in those long pvc pipes, a wicking bed media system which allows Sahib to grow tomatoes, peppers and flowers in them and finally his vertical hanging pots system. By mixing his systems, Sahib feels he can take advantage of his fish solids to directly feed his wicking bed system and the heavier feeding plants like tomatoes that require more nutrient.

And yet even in this small space, Sahib feels he can add more hanging planters and incorporate other methods of growing food. Outside his main fish tank he has coco coir stuffed into concrete blocks so he can manually divert water to this system to grow plants outside his system like strawberries.

“In derelict space I have tried to create something that can feed a whole bunch of people.” he says.

Sahib looks back at his system and smiles, “Its not commercial – but it could be if I wanted it to be.”

Recirculating Farms- Helping to Provide Food for the Homeless and Hungry

Recirculating Farms- Helping to Provide Food for the Homeless and Hungry

Recirculating farms are a socially responsible farming method and business: they support the use of renewable energy, recycle water and waste, and provide local food, (and can do it without chemical pesticides). They also can create green jobs. This highlights how farms are not only increasingly supplying restaurants and grocery stores with food, but also are helping to feed the homeless, and others that don’t have access to fresh, healthy food around the world.

Recirculating farms are land-based farms that use clean, recycled water in place of soil to grow plants (hydroponics), fish (aquaculture) or plants and fish together (aquaponics) in a contained system.

Innovator Martin Wiggett, founder and president of Stealth Hydro, and his wife Julie, are using hydroponic technology to have a positive social impact and feed hungry people all over the world. They support organizations such as Hydro for Hunger and Growing Hope. The Hydro for Hunger program focuses on raising awareness about global food shortages. Growing Hope encourages communities to be self-sufficient.

As another example, Sahib Punjabi uses space behind a strip mall in Florida to grow food for his community. His aquaponic project feeds the homeless and local families nearby. Sahib uses his knowledge to help build other aquaponic facilities like his, all over the world.

These are just a few examples of how recirculating farms are changing the world. Many farmers who embrace this method of growing food are also focusing on using it to have a positive impact for people and our planet. I encourage you to learn more about recirculating farms to see how they can help you and your community – and join in the good food revolution!

Recirculating Farms Coalition: Fish Farms Meet Agroecology

Recirculating Farms Coalition: Fish Farms Meet Agroecology

Dave Love

From: October 3, 2011

Project Director, Public Health & Sustainable Aquaculture Project

Center for a Livable Future

The United States needs better food systems, and it needs more jobs. Aquaponics, a relatively new type of urban food production model, can give us both—sustainable food and green jobs.

Currently, the U.S. imports about 85 percent of our seafood, a large fraction of which is produced in overseas fish farms, by a process called aquaculture. Another 10 percent is “domestic wild catch,” which is made up of seafood caught by U.S. fishermen (NOAA). The remaining 5 percent comes from U.S. aquaculture.  As global wild catch declines, aquaculture is steadily increasing as a viable replacement, although some aquaculture operations are criticized for being sited in open water or rivers, where fish escapes, exchange of fish diseases between farmed and wild fish, and environmental pollution are of concern.

But there is a different approach to aquaculture that addresses many of these concerns: aquaponics. Aquaponics is typically land-based, closed-system farming that is designed with the principles of agroecology in mind— fish species and vegetable crops are raised together in harmony— because fish waste serves as liquid plant fertilizer and plants strip the water of chemicals that are harmful to fish.

Agroecology, a method for integrating biological systems into agriculture, is widely recognized as a potential solution for increasing farm productivity and environmental sustainability of agriculture. Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, is strongly in favor of the agroecology approach, in which farmers create “complex farming systems that replicate the complexities of nature.”

Today, fish such as tilapia, yellow perch, blue gill, and catfish are being raised in aquaponics systems in urban settings across the U.S.

Aquaponics systems recycle as much as 99 percent of their water though the system using biologically inspired models. Farmers use a combination of physical treatment methods to remove fish waste, such as gravel bed or clarifiers, and biological treatment using edible plants as biofilters and bacteria as denitrifiers to clean the water. As a side benefit, the leafy greens and other crops raised in aquaponics make for a tasty pairing with broiled, baked or grilled fish.

The aquaponics movement is in need of leadership after Jim Rakocy, a professor at the University of the Virgin Islands and champion for aquaculture, recently retired in 2010. Fortunately, there is a new group, Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC), poised to organize the movement. The RFC has as its aim to “establish(es) a healthy, natural, and community-based way to grow fresh food… [and] to motivate change and build a movement calling for local, healthy, sustainable food” [from RFC website].

The director of RFC, Marianne Cufone, explained in a press release, “The United States is in one of its worst economic situations ever. We need change, now. Building recirculating farms will help address the food and job crises by empowering communities to create new jobs growing their own food, in a way that is healthy for both us and our planet.”

Urban fish farms both large and small are attracting attention for their potential to impact local communities. Walmart recently announced a $1 million dollar grant to Growing Power, a Milwaukee-based recirculating aquaponics farm and nonprofit organization.  Other, less well-known operations that RFC spotlighted recently are also making an impact in their local communities. At his farm, which is tucked behind a strip mall in Winter Park, Florida, Sahib Punjabi raises fresh produce, ornamental fish, and uses the facility as a teaching center (image).

Aquaponics strikes me as a great solution for rebalancing the seafood trade deficit in the United States. I hope that organizations such as RFC will be successful in inspiring investments in aquaponics and other agro-ecological models for aquaculture.

Susanne & Tim of Friendly Aquaponics

Susanne & Tim of Friendly Aquaponics

We were humbled that Susan Friend and Tim Mann of Friendly Aquaponics accepted our humble request to visit our home in Central Florida and Sahib’s Aquaponics Research Farm and share some quality time with each other. What a wonderful time we all had with each others company and sharing the knowledge of how Aquaponics can be the key to growing food in a sustainable way of life. They spent some time at Sahib’s Aquaponic Research farm as well as the start of Phase II. Lot’s of thoughts and ideas shared 🙂
On this visit, Susan and Tim also were fortunate to visit the beautiful Hindu Temple in Casselberry which was blessed on the opening day in June 2005 from a Swami from Hawaii

Some Sights of Fish & Vegetables in Spring 2011

Some Sights of Fish & Vegetables in Spring 2011

  • Hello Hournus,

    We are one of the featured Farms for the Aquaponic Conference being held in Orlando FL on Sept 16-18. The farm tours are on Friday morning / afternoon. Come then or. I am also there most Saturday mornings and a few people who are interested in Aquaponics or just want some stress relief (great therapy), come by and help out in various projects. They learn this wonderful that way first hand and get excellent stress relief session at no charge…priceless. You are welcome 🙂

  • A walk in my Aquaponics garden 🙂

Koi & Goldfish enjoying an evening meal

Koi & Goldfish enjoying an evening meal

Stress relief watching my Koi & Goldfish in the backyard pond enjoying an evening meal. They in turn reward me with great waste that provides the Nitrates for my veggies & fruits. Food grown locally, grown naturally 🙂

Sahib’s Aquaponic Research Fish Farm

Sahib’s Aquaponic Research Fish Farm

We share some with friends & family, give some to the less fortunate and non-profit organizations, sell a few and if there are any spare, the Tilapia & Koi love them as a treat. If you are around, you are welcome to share your honest labor with us…in return we promise you therapy for your body & mind and some plants for your you to enjoy 🙂

About 200 Koi fingerlings (2 to 4 inches) in 800 gallon tank, 100 small Tilapia in a 250 gal tank and 100 small Catfish in another 250 gal tank 🙂

Will remove to other tanks when they get bigger

My first video share…Yes I will slow down the movement when recording so no sudden movements.

Aquaponics Conference tour @ Sahib’s Aquaponics Research Farm

There were 4 tours scheduled for Friday Sept. 16th. 2011, one at 9.00am, one at 10.30am, one at 1.00 and last at 2.30pm. We actually ended up giving 7 tours as a number of Aquapon visitors arrived either much earlier than scheduled or after the tour was almost over…either lost their way, late flight arrival or other tour took longer. We tried to accommodate them all.
We were humbled at having numerous Aquapon Gurus and mentors visit our small Aquaponic Research Farm. Thank you -)