Introduction to Aquaponics Workshop
10 am to 2 pm – September 29, 2012
Located at The Plant, 220 Lorax Lane, Pittsboro, NC. For directions, click here.
In an age of rising populations and diminishing oil reserves, how are we going to feed ourselves? Aquaponics, a self contained, sustainable system for growing fish and veggies is one answer! These backyard food systems are one easy way to grow some of your own food.
Join Mike Yablonski and Gregory Louie for an introduction into the world of aquaponics. During this hands-on workshop, Mike and Gregory will show you how to build your own backyard system. Just add plants, fish and water and you will be taking another step down the path to self reliance!
“Aquaponics is proven worldwide as the most efficient and sustainable way to grow food, on any scale.” – Bevan Suits, AquaPlanet
What is Aquaponics?
In a nutshell, aquaponics is the practice of growing fish and plants symbiotically in a re-circulating, soil-less environment, without the need to add chemical fertilizers. Utilizing natural bacterial cycles, fish waste is effectively converted to nutrients to feed the plants, filtered water is returned to the fish, and the re-circulation continues. Many variations of an aquaponics system can be created, but the basic premise remains the same. Examples of types of aquaponics systems include:
• Basic Drip/Gravity System (utilizing media filled grow beds for plants)
• Ebb & Flow System (utilizing media filled grow beds for plants)
• Deep Water Culture/Hydroponic Raft System
Why Try Aquaponics?
• It uses much less water than traditional gardening.
• Vegetables grow amazingly fast.
• You will get fish AND chemical free vegetables from your system.
• Its interesting and fun.
• Your friends will think you are super cool.
In this workshop, we will give you the benefit of our recent experience by demonstrating how to:
- Make simpler plumbing systems without bulkhead fittings
- Use sloped plant beds to filter solid fish waste
- Choose plant bed media that fits the root structure of your plants
- Use less water pumping to reduce energy costs
- Operate outdoor and indoor aquaponics systems
- Use less aeration in the fish tanks
- Supplement plant nutrients and nutrient deficits by using organic inputs, such as green manure and bone recycling
- Achieve some ammonia nitrification in the fish tank
- Use duckweed as water quality treatment
- Create a local and natural food supply for the fish
- Conduct winter aquaponics with cold-tolerant fish
- Build greenhouses specifically for aquaponics
Our goal is to optimize the cost and performance of aquaponic systems, to make backyard systems affordable and commercial-scale systems more profitable.
This is a hands-on workshop, so dress to get wet!
Registration limited to 15 people – Pre-registration and pre-payment required
$50 – Aquaponics Workshop includes lunch
This workshop is SOLD OUT!
Please email email@example.com for waiting list or volunteer information.
About the Instructors
Mike Yablonski was educated as a biologist and biochemist. He has worked on the function of proteins and enzymes in an academic environment, and later worked in pharmaceutical and plant biotechnology companies. After becoming acquainted with the aquatic plant duckweed, he studied its use for making ethanol biofuel.
Mike is currently interested in using duckweed to purify agricultural wastewater, as a way of creating efficient and sustainable agriculture. His personal interests include ecology and landscape gardening, and he has much experience in growing perennial woodland plants.
Gregory Louie designed and built the aquaponics system at the Interfaith Food Shuttle Teaching Farm. He became interested in aquaponics after committing himself to help create an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling world. His goal is to create compact food production systems that conserve and nourish rather than consume and deplete. He believes that small scale aquaponics together with other closed-loop regenerative food systems have the power to transform society. He sees that aquaponics has the potential for providing food security for all, which is one of the necessary conditions for creating an environmentally sustainable and socially just world.