Friday, April 8, 2016

Podcast 1: Aquaponics

The ASC Magazine, the world's largest Aquaponics, Aquaculture and Green Growing Monthly Trade Magazine - In this first issue we discuss the phenomenal success of Aquaponics, Aquaculture and beyond.
Here is podcast 1:

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Hi podcast enthusists,
here is podcast 1 as promised. Expect about 1 podcast a week. 


Here is Aqua -Podcast 1 - Just 20 minutes and a quick download to listen to:


Additional information as referred to in the podcast:
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Friday, October 16, 2015

The Future of Aquaponics And The Need For Certification

Trinidad State College And Future Aquaponic Classes

With the USDA now looking into the certification of classifying aquaponics an organic food, there are also other questions being raised whether or not the legalities can actually be changed. 

You see aquaponics is not just about growing organic foods but also raising healthy fish. While there are some fantastic teachers in the aquaponics industry how many of them actually have a certification in fish diseases and or the proper care and treatment for sick fish?

For many people this might seem like we are splitting hairs but if you do not go to school to get a degree-certification in aquaculture, the disease issue could become a real problem at some point.

Stress is still the biggest contributor to disease forming in fish and people in the aquaculture industry who are breeding, raising and farming fish are already aware of these problems.

USDA Taskforce

A task force has now been assigned from USDA and they will be looking into every aspect of the aquaponics industry. Does this mean there will be certifications, licensing and more restrictions once everything is reviewed? The fact is people might have to get ready for some big industry changes and once the new regulations are set in place, that could mean good news or not for current aquaponic farms. 

My thoughts are if the USDA was to give an organic certification to the aquaponics industry, it should include a good knowledge base concerning some of the diseases fish can carry onto humans. 

Picture Source Mad Fish Disease: 

Fish TB (MYCOBACTERIUM MARINUM), also called fish tuberculosis, fish tank granuloma, swimming pool granuloma. Related to human TB and leprosy.

Recently reported from handling tilapia. Infection via puncture wounds.

SALMONELLA... over 1600 serotypes identified.
Infection by ingestion. Carried by many types of animals.

ERYSIPELOTHRIX RHUSIOPATHIAE, also known as erythema migrans, fish-handler's disease, fish poisoning, fish hand, sealer's finger, whale finger, blubber finger, etc.

VIBRIO infections. Several species can infect humans: V. ALGINOLYTICUS (wound infections), V.DAMSELA (wound/systemic infections), V. PARAHAEMOLYTICUS (gastroenteritis/wound infections),V.VULNIFICUS (wound/gastroenteritis/systemic infections). 

The below points are valid causes for concern for the USDA and why we believe that colleges will eventually play a more significant role in the certification and education process of aquaponics.

• Careful selection of sites for aquaculture farms. 

• Protection of adjacent ecosystems. 

• Active avoidance of conflicts with other users of the aquatic resources (e.g., fishermen) 

• Prohibition of chemicals (e.g.. as anti-fouling agents in net pens) . 

• Natural remedies and treatments in the case of disease. 

• Feedstuff from organic agriculture. 

• Fishmeal and - oil in feed derived from by-products of fish processed for human consumption (no dedicated "feed fishery"). 

• Prohibition of GMOs, neither in feedstuff, nor in the stock itself. 

• Processing according to organic standards. 

"According to a Consumer Reports magazine food labeling poll, some 74 percent of consumers are concerned about environmental pollution from “organic” fish. The poll also showed that 91 percent of consumers want contaminants in fish to be absent or present only at very low levels." See more information at the link below... 

Trinidad State College

The Trinidad State College in Colorado has a fantastic aquaculture program running, where they offer a 2 year accredited degree. They now want to expand their curriculum into an aquaponics certification and the ASC Magazine has been asked to contribute coursework to this process. We have a team of great writers who will be helping out and making suggestions to aid in the perfection of this aquaponic coursework. 

We are proud and happy to help out the college and we believe this is the right course of action in furthering the education process regarding the future of aquaponics.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Aquaponic Abundance with the ASC Magazine

Aqua Abundance and Spencer Curry

Spencer Curry is an owner-operator with Fresh Farm Aquaponics. He is also a writer for the ASC Magazine. Spencer's articles come with a lot of enthusiasm and love for this industry. We are very proud to feature this column in our magazine every month. Spencer is showing people of all ages what can be done with all of that youth and energy. We think he is quite a remarkable young man. 

Hi everyone welcome back to Aquaponic Abundance!

Article taken from the ASC Magazine March 2015

Last time we talked we went over the specific winter techniques that I’m using on my farm, FRESH Farm Aquaponics.  We're located in South Glastonbury, Connecticut.  

Currently we have more than a couple feet of snow piled up around our greenhouse.  Despite night temperatures well below freezing, our 25 koi are happily swimming in balmy 65 degrees water with daily air temperatures of 75-80℉.

We went over how we heat the water (with a Jacuzzi heater), our mini-greenhouses, and the lights we use to accelerate growth during the darker months.  Be sure to check out last month’s article for more information.

This month the light starts to come back and the days grow longer.  Our plants are starting to perk up and grow, little by little.  

The aquaponics system is a marvelous tool for season extension.  Even without using grow lights, there are a number of benefits to starting your season off early with an aquaponics system.

Season Extension with Aquaponics

There are many reasons aquaponics is so wonderful for season extension.  Aquaponics systems use heat more efficiently, the growing media is always workable and they make use of the little light available most effectively.

Most farmers in our region are busy hibernating at this time of the year.  Fields are under thick blankets of snow.  Greenhouses are expensive to heat the traditional way, most farmers around here use wood boilers or oil burning ovens to keep their greenhouse air warm.  

But as we covered in the last article, it is far more cost-effective to heat the water in the aquaponics system than heating the air in a normal greenhouse.  For one, the heat from the water eventually radiates up to the plants leaves.  

This is similar to how the heat of the Earth normally radiates up from the soil into the undercarriage of the plants.  By heating the water, you heat the roots and plants and the air, all at a fraction of the cost of heating the air by itself!

Eager to get planting but held back by a snowy March?

Luckily, aquaponics growing media is also always workable.  The growing medium never freezes.  There is no need to wait for soil to thaw out.  There is no need to shovel snow or wait for it to melt.  

No need to battle early spring weeds or any of the other headaches typically associated with working the land after a hard winter.  That means that you can get your plants in the ground as soon as the seedlings are ready.  

Finally, aquaponics provides such a rich environment to your new seedlings that they are able to best utilize whatever light there is available in these early months.  In normal soil conditions, plant roots must expend energy on extending themselves throughout the soil in search of nutrients.  

However in aquaponics, the roots are flooded with vital nutrients, water, and beneficial bacteria.

There is no need to expend resources on root growth, so all energy is directed to actual plant growth. When a plant has so much of its needs cared for, the only limiting factor is the light.  That means that whatever light is available, your aquaponics systems will make the best of it!

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Best Seeds With The ASC Magazine

Whats the difference between Open Pollinated, Hybrid and Heirloom?


Taken from the ASC Magazine August Edition 2013

Tom introduced a discussion detailing characteristics of hybrid seeds. As we all consider varieties for the season, it is common to wonder about the difference between hybrid and open-pollinated varieties when choosing varieties that are right for you. First, let’s make sure we’re all speaking the same language. 

Open-Pollinated Varieties 

Are those, which if properly isolated from other varieties in the same plant species, will produce seed that is genetically “true to type.” This means that the seed will result in a plant very similar to the parent. Beginning in the early 1900s, plant breeders worked to develop new open-pollinated varieties, using techniques to create a more pure, and thus uniform, genetic line. 

Heirloom Varieties 

Are named open-pollinated strains which either pre-date or are unaltered by the earliest open-pollinated breeding work. If open-pollinated varieties are allowed to cross within the same species, the resulting seed will be a hybrid.  

The modern era of plant breeding started when biologists rediscovered Gregor Mendel’s study of genetics. By the 1930s, many hybrid sweet corn varieties were available in the US. 


In commercial seed production, hybrids come from the careful and deliberate crossing of two different parent varieties, each with traits desired for the offspring. Seed from a hybrid variety can be saved, but will not be true to type.

At High Mowing Organic Seeds, we are of the opinion that both open-pollinated and hybrid varieties deserve a seat at the table. As discussed below, each has its benefits: 

The Benefits of Open-Pollinated Varieties

Save your seed: The most obvious benefit to using open-pollinated seeds is the option to produce one’s own seed supply. Some crops, including beans, peas, tomatoes, and lettuce, are self-pollinating, and thus do not even require much isolation for seed saving. Furthermore, by selecting the best plants from which to save seed, anyone can adapt specific variety strains to their region or microclimate. 

Less Costly: For a number of reasons, open-pollinated seeds are invariably less expensive than hybrid varieties. For every hybrid, there are actually two distinct lines of genetics that must be maintained, not to mention the careful task of production, which can get quite costly.

Flavor: Few can ignore the superior flavor of many open-pollinated varieties. Many breeders who specialize in creating hybrid varieties for large-scale commercial growers tend to focus on qualities other than flavor, such as storage ability, uniformity, and characteristics more pertinent to processing. Suffice it to say that since the onset of modern hybrid plant breeding, flavor has not been a priority. 

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