Monday, August 26, 2013

Essential Companion Guide To Organic Gardening

Companion Guide To Gardening?

I recently wrote a book which I felt could benefit many people about growing from the ground. "The Essential Companion Guide To Organic Gardening," is designed for the earth bound gardener. The book has only been on Amazon Kindle in the last few days.

Many of us still prefer the old fashioned way of putting our hands in the soil to garden and I get that because I thoroughly enjoy watching produce grow in the earth too. Unfortunately some of us are not aware of what is happening to our soil from incorrect ways of gardening. Using pesticides, chemicals and other products can eventually harm your health and vegetables.

Some beginners may not be aware of all the wonderful unseen things that happen inside of the earth. There are amazing little creatures that exist especially to help the earth stay fertile and healthy. Humans have become so used to using sprays and weed killers that many just don't know about the more natural methods that work even better.

To pick up your copy today off Amazon Kindle Click on this link  or click on the book below.

This book is designed to help people understand soil, organic gardening and more natural ways to grow produce better. It shows people different ideas into changing pH and using more natural methods rather than reaching for the hardened chemicals. These are simple suggestions which can further enhance the growing in just about any soil condition.

I don't know about you, but it's time humans realized that chemicals and pesticides are poisoning the ground, the earth and ourselves. We cannot keep putting these toxins into the ground and water, without repercussion from nature. 

The Mayan and Mesopotamian people ruined their soil because they didn't understand the balance needed to maintain good growing conditions.

The microbes and bacteria that live in the soil are crucial to human survival. Most people are not even aware of the balance these microscopic creatures play in our lives. If they cease to exist then so do we. Without them, we cannot grow food properly or even draw essential nutrients from the ground that we need to survive.

I will show you how to increase the bacteria in your soil. I will teach you alternative and natural methods from turning sandy soil into productive and beautiful healthy growing land. What about thick clay soils?..I will show you how to change the texture into a more productive and usable earth.

It's not to late to turn back the hands of time....we all can do it together!
It will require, sweat, shovels, rakes and dedication.

Join Our Facebook Community Here

Happy gardening everyone!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Healthy Produce Versus Modern Technology

Produce In The 21st Century

Lately I have been watching the world from the position of, we need to get moving faster with the contamination in our food! 

I seriously applaud all the urban farmers and teachers who are out there showing people how to get back to basics. We seriously need to know how to do this for ourselves and our families. I cannot stress enough, how important it is, to teach your children how to grow food. They are the future and we cannot leave them to rely on a system of food, which has a very dubious track record. 

I personally no longer trust the agricultural industry has my families best interest at heart. I am going to stick with the Urban Farmers and small farms that grow food with the old fashioned hands on method. At least they know how to grow potatoes out of an old sack, or combine fish and produce together to feed the family. They use homegrown methods without all the fancy hype and cell splicing. 

From My Prospective 

I see noses growing every time I have to hear the speech about "in the best interests of the future." The only interests I see are profits and lavish lifestyles from the people who give the speeches. Who decided for my family what their best interests are, when companies no longer have to label GMO? What happen to my rights to have a say and choose?  

Big agriculture have given us Terminator Seeds, GMO, Round-Up and other wonderful chemicals which can cause eventual death on wildlife, insects and humans. Let's name a few poisons that agricultural companies (Monsanto) have played a part in inventing shall we: Agent Orange, DDT, Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), Dioxins, Atomic Bombs, Nuclear Weapons and Poisonous Gases. 

Engineered proteins and bacteria can be manipulated inside of the cell of a plant anyway the biologist wants. The gene will be manipulated to introduce bacteria.  Please do not give me the lecture about any of these being safe either, because there are flaws in this technology. The magic does not always work and science knows this but will pretend to convince humanity of something else. There are NO increases in yield and Monsanto knows it. Watch the video below and learn from someone who is educating us all on GMO. This video is VERY EYE OPENING!

"The trans-genes from GMO can spread from crops to soil organisms and into the bacteria in the soil. It can also spread to the bacteria in your gut. There are several studies that show if you eat engineered crops, the bacteria from them will find their way into your gut. Toxic proteins are a lot more than we know. In a nutshell, we don't know what we are doing." -Dr. Thierry Vrain

"Most of the major crops have been created." -Dr. Thierry Vrain

GMO's Explained: Dr. Thierry Vrain "The Gene Revolution"

 “A nation dominating the world by its technology will soon become a tyranny that will be hated by those who are tyrannized." -Oliver Stone

Where is the future of food is going? 

If our water is poisoned, our soil is depleted and our seas are radiated what are we supposed to eat? Only one thing I can see that will be able to help bring food to nations in a safe and productive way...Aquaponics. 

So what actually can aquaponics do in the way of feeding people? I personally believe if you allow every small community to grow their own food supply by using aquaponics, it can change lives, feed communities and the education will be worldwide. I get so passionate about people having enough to eat. It is one of my greatest driving forces in this world and I believe aquaponics can do that for all of us. 

We are in trouble folks and we have to start doing things differently, without toxins, without protein crystals and without growth hormones.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What's The Difference Between PVC And HDPE Pipes In Aquaponics?

One is white and the other is black...right? 

One of the most important things I can tell anyone about plastics is to know the plastic codes. Not all plastics are the same. I researched and wrote a guide on PVC pipe a couple of years ago. Some of things I found still led me to believe that people should really research their pipes first.

Before running out and buying piping for the aquaponics system, know about the pipes ingredients and the way they are manufactured. I don't tell anyone what to do because ultimately this is your system. You will make the best decision concerning the products you want to use. 
Over the years PVC has been researched and studied. Some of the research was not positive. There were all kinds of problems in the past. There have been quite a few upgrades performed on PVC but it is still graded a 3 in plastic coding.

HDPE piping has a coding of 2 and is recommended for water

Watch this video dated March 2013 on PVC. My concern with PVC is as it ages or prolonged exposure to the sun. There is a possibility of chemicals leeching over time even with the newer piping. The research is not conclusive and the jury is still out on the long terms affects on human health as we age. It is even mentioned in this video... 

People should know that HDPE pipe is also an alternative to PVC and there are all kinds of fittings, sizes and pipes you can use. I originally started out with PVC pipe in the very first system my family put together. When we moved to our new location we switched over to HDPE. The below picture will show you all the options you have using HDPE pipe. 

If you decide to continue using PVC then the best suggestion I can give is for people is to wrap or paint the pipes, especially if the system is outside.  Having the pipes constantly exposed to sunlight may eventually cause some of these chemicals to leech into the water. 

These are the kinds of subjects we discuss in our magazine. If you would like to subscribe you can do so with the provided link. Subscribe Here

Warm Regards


Friday, August 16, 2013

Building Aquaponics Systems On The Cheap

DIY Project For Everyone

People in the community have asked me if I sell aquaponics systems. The answer is no. I suppose if I wanted to I could. I figure there is already so much information on the internet and everyone selling systems that I really don't need to. I am more about bringing information and educational things to people like the ASC Magazine.

I am a DIY girl and I love scrounging. Where we live, is a fairly a small community surrounded by mountains so it has been a challenge finding what I need to build and put things together. I have a small aquaponics system in my greenhouse and like everyone else, I had to figure out where the leak was coming from and what the heck is wrong with the bell siphon. But I did it!

No hair pulling, I just had a few light-bulb moments, then tried again.  When all else failed I went and got my husband (ha ha ha). A cute smile always works when you've had enough. The most important thing I can say to people is to just do it! It doesn't matter if you have never owned a power tool before in your life. The fact that you are trying to figure out how to set up an aquaponics system, is a huge step. GOOD FOR YOU!

Putting a DIY system together doesn't have to cost you a lot of money either. The blue or white barrels can be found fairly cheaply.  IBC containers shouldn't have to cost an arm or leg either. 

Here are a couple for suggestions for finding usable ones. Remember you are always looking for FOOD GRADE SAFE CONTAINERS. You cannot use anything that contained contaminates, grease and oil, round-up or any other type of chemicals that will kill your fish. 

So what does food grade safe mean? It means anything that had juice, milk, water, cooking oil and things that we would normally consume. I am sure you get the picture. If you wouldn't put it into your own body, then maybe your fish won't like it either.

Where you can pick up barrels and IBC containers up from:
  • Craiglist
  • Pennysavers and dime newspapers
  • E-Bay
  • Local distributors of food ( back of warehouses)
  • Small companies who recycle, clean them out and resell
  • You might be able to find one from a larger restaurant
So how do you clean the containers out? 
I would only use a couple of different methods. Remember that fish are sensitive to chemicals and certain cleaners can leave a residue and kill your fish. My suggestion for cleaning is (and we did this with our IBC containers), a good power wash with water, let them sit for a day or two in the sun and then wipe them out with a little ammonia. Make up a water and ammonia solution. (I mean a little bit of ammonia. I am big on WHOA on the chemicals.)

Fish excrete ammonia from their gills and poop. You will need some ammonia for cycling your system when starting up, so it just made sense to me to use ammonia to finish the cleaning process.  I actually tell people what is the best ammonia to use in their aquaponics system in my book.

Even if the barrels are food grade safe you are just making extra sure the tanks and beds will be clean for the fish. You can also use a little white vinegar as an alternative to wash out the tanks.

I personally wouldn't use dish-washing soap as I have heard from so many others that have cleaned their tanks out. Here is a clue about anything you are not sure about in the way of chemicals DON'T USE IT. That is my best recommendation.

Use your own best judgement in the case of chemicals. These are your fish and it's your system. Common sense says you should  listen to that little voice inside and pay attention.

I wrote about chemicals in my book "Essential Fish Care In Aquaponics." Our fish rely on us to be smart enough to make good decisions on their behalf. They live their lives in our tanks, the least we can do is make sure they are happy and healthy. Seriously though folks, don't we already have enough questionable chemicals on the market now? Can't we try more moderate and safer solutions?

You can purchase a copy of the book off Amazon Kindle and you do not need a Kindle to read the book. There is a lot of good info and tips to help people. Download the best application for your device here to read Kindle books. 

If you would like to subscribe to our magazine and learn more tips from other writers and contributors, you can click on this link. We have both professionals, business owners and backyard aquapons writing for us. Everyone gets involved! That's the way we are supposed to do it.

Happy growing!



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Aquaponics Association Conference

September 20-22 Tucson, AZ 

This years Aquaponics Association Conference in Tucson, AZ is gearing up to be an exciting 3 day event. The conference will be held at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, Arizona, from 20-22 September.

The average temperature in Tucson for September is approximately 72 degrees. So if you are planning on going to the event, be sure to pack some short sleeve shirts, shorts and skirts for the day trips. There will all kinds of educational and interesting things to learn about the future of aquaponics and other farming technology.

The event will begin with tours of local, featured farms, gardens and integrated urban agriculture sites. Some of the keynote speakers throughout the 3 days will  include Joel Salatin, Max Meyers, Gene Giacomelli, Ph.D. and  James R. Hollyer, MS.

If you would like to review the schedule of events happening through out the conference you can do so here.  If you are interested in looking at the workshop schedule you can link here. 

We would encourage all businesses in agriculture, gardening, permaculture, survival, sustainability, aquaculture, to get involved with the Aquaponics Association. Why not join the ever expanding community?  Continue growing the future of aquaponics and join the association today.

The ASC Magazine will be covering the 3 day events with a special edition magazine going out to our subscribers with all the happenings, updates and people attending. We invite everyone to get involved even if you cannot attend you can still be a part of the event through the eyes of the magazine. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

I've Got Fish Problems In The Aquaponics System

What's Wrong With My Fish!

There are a lot of questions people in the ASC community ask about pH, ammonia, fish stress and feeding. Fish are not that hard to take care of when you know what to do.

Many of us once had goldfish or guppies in a tank as kids. Actually my son still has a guppy tank in his room and those little fish breed like rabbits. It doesn't take a lot of work for Ryan to take care of them and they seem very happy with their environment.

Guppies are not Tilapia and this is not the bedroom fish tank setting. Raising fish in aquaponics requires a little know how. After all, the fish will one day be a protein meal on your plate. Take of them now and they in turn will take care of you.

High or low pH and ammonia problems will definitely affect the fish. Stress is something a lot of people are not prepared for.  Reaching for the chemicals to lower or raise the pH is not always needed, because it can make the situation worse and can cause fish kills. A common sense approach can in many instances can resolve aquaponics fish issues. After all, I am presuming we all want happy and healthy fish?

When I wrote the "Essential Fish Care In Aquaponics"  it was for beginners in mind. As I became more involved in the book,  researching simple solutions for everyone became the driving force. The book became more of a guideline for people to follow and make their lives a whole lot easier with raising fish in aquaponics.

It just seemed better to have all the "what the heck is wrong with these fish" issues resolved quickly, than to have all the fingerlings die on you. That's heartbreaking to see floaters in the tank.

I like to write in a way that's easy to understand. I want people to have that light-bulb moment when they can say to themselves "Oh that's my problem!"

You can either click on the book to pick up a copy of the book or follow this link... 

What you will NOT see in the book...
I don't put big fancy statements or elaborate physics in front of you. I will not confuse you with the big wordy science related to things like oxygen, ammonia, nitrates or nitrogen. Easy, simple and a quick read approach is what you will get.

I don't want people to feel overwhelmed or scratching their heads trying to figure out what I wrote. I only say what needs to be said and I give the reader alternative solutions before reaching for the chemicals. I talk to people in the book as if they are face to face with me. What you see is what you get with me, I don't beat around the bush, however I will give people that they need to become better aquapons.

So if you think the book is something you might like to read then it will cost you $3.97 on Amazon Kindle. Pick up a copy and you might find a few pointers in there to help.  You could have a great system up and running quicker than you anticipated.

Aquaponics is not rocket science and I don't think it should be either. All of us should be able to figure out how to maintain sustainability and growing good food quickly. We shouldn't feel frustrated or use colorful sentence enhancers, when creating a system that can feed our families for many years to come. 

P.S For more tips and updates about aquaponics subscribe to our monthly magazine 

I wish you all the best with your aquaponics system.

Warm Regards


Saturday, August 10, 2013

ASC Magazine Turns 6 Months Old

Today is August 10th, 2013 and we sent our subscribers the 6th edition of our magazine. It's been a lot of work but also a lot of fun.

When I started the ASC Magazine it was because everyone needed to know aquaponics on a worldwide scale. The possibility of finally ending world hunger was for the first time a real concept, with the help of aquaponics. I have never seen a food system before that combined healthy nutritious produce with proteins.

I truly believe as do others in this business, we can educate and feed the world with this way of growing. Imagine if we really could end hunger by teaching and educating everyone with aquaponics...

The magazine is a way for the average person to write and tell other people what they are doing. It gives someone inspiration to think that anything is possible. They too can achieve their own special time in the spotlight.

I certainly do not claim to have all the answers in aquaponics.  I will be the first person to tell you, there are some great people in this industry who have perfected aquaponics and are doing it very well. These people teach in ways that have thousands of others excited about the prospect of growing their own food.

In the past six months I have met some really wonderful people through the articles and stories. Not all of them were well known names in the aquaponics field either. Some people, were just really nice down to earth folks who are home growers. I love that we can all share the same passion. To grow food and help others to grow their own too. That is the ultimate reward!

We have made some friends along the way and they have inspired me to keep going no matter what. Special thanks to Murray Hallam who gave me a little pep talk when it was needed the most. Thanks, it's all coming together and yep it's all worthwhile :-)

One thing I have noticed about the people involved in aquaponics, is that they truly care about the food and what we are eating. That is why the magazine is special because we involve all points of view. You may or may not be an expert and I don't care about that. However what I do care about is that you have something to teach someone else. Experiences good or bad are still ways to teach others. NO-ONE can fail, they can only become better. There are thousands of people in this world that need to know how to feed themselves and how to sustain their families too.

The big agricultural companies want us to eat food that is not healthy for us. So if you know something that we don't, then write about it. Please consider becoming a teacher...that's what our magazine is about.

An opinion is fine and most of us have one, however it doesn't mean that everyone will agree with what you say. If you are NOT willing to share your opinions in a written article, then it's still just an opinion and nothing else. I challenge people to stop with the opinions and start writing them down into educational articles.  Let's see what you've got! I read this quote recently and I really liked it, "Opinions are like armpits, everyone has one and some of them stink." 

If you think $2.97 a month is too much for a subscription I have to ask; how many times do you buy coffee in a week? Starbucks is about $3.97 for a Grande coffee of any flavor, I know I bought one today. Here is our subscription page The subscription monies go towards building communities where people can learn about aquaponics, permaculture, organic gardening, Co-Ops and teach children too. This is a really good thing because it involves the future of growing.

Of course in the end YOU will decide where to fit into the greater scheme of things to come. Where YOUR future lies with produce, growing and educational resources.

To be...or...NOT to be...that is the question. Shakespeare I believe...

Warm regards

Victoria Kelley

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Aquaponics Monthly Magazine Educating Everyone

The Newsletter That Became A Magazine

When we started the initial newsletter back in March 2013, we thought we would just see how it went. Our community on Facebook was growing rapidly and we needed to do more than just post pictures and PDF's.

We thought that by bringing people interesting stories from regular backyard, garage, basement aquapons we could encourage more people to get involved worldwide. We ended up attracting some really big names in the aquaponic farming industry too.

Within 4 weeks after we initially set up a newsletter, we were overloaded with people on mailing list. I was totally blown away, but obviously people wanted to learn more.  This is a GOOD THING! We changed over from a newsletter to an official magazine in June because of the time constraints, commitment involved and level of work we found ourselves doing. There have been some growing pains in the process but the magazine has become a very fast and exciting ride.

For me, aquaponics should be a worldwide growing experience that people can farm easily. Whether it is around a home or a commercial farm, aquaponics can change lives forever. This kind farming education on how to set everything up, takes time. People should never be in a hurry to learn about aquaponics but rather start off small and see how it goes from there.

I encourage everyday people to write about their growing experiences to inspire others. What someone may see as a silly experience, I see it as a journey and a way to teach other people. If we are to change our world for the better we have to help each other more. That means a novice can give something of value to others who are just starting out in aquaponics. I really like that there are failures and successes mixed into the articles we have received so far from the community.

I Look At Failure As A Plan For Future Success

How will anyone know how to become a better aquapon if they never had a dead fish or experience high pH? Failures reach us on a level which prove, we can also be very successful. No-one is perfect. Perfection stresses people out but learning as you go, can be a very enlightening experience for everyone.

I certainly do not claim to be a long time guru in the aquaponics field; however I do know that people have so much to share and give back to others aspiring to learn. For me, it's more about the law of giving and receiving and the magazine is absolutely, enriching lives. Education is essential and the magazine has been about the worldwide education of aquaponics.

We have had some really amazing articles from some of the best known people in the aquaponics industry and backyard hobbyists. The beneficial teaching and tips is always a great reference for people to go back and revisit at anytime from the magazine. The magazine is not something people will delete but keep it on their computer forever.

I have seen some great inventions come out from the magazine and we have been amazed. That wonderful imagination and ingenuity is still inside of us all. One article that comes to mind is the APDuino Project that is now getting a lot of attention. Back in June 2013 we highlighted this great electronic device to help people with their aquaponics systems. These guys are a very dedicated team of people and I am proud to have highlighted them in our magazine.

The magazine is also inspiring people by challenging them to write, it provokes their imagination and what each of us are capable of. I have been very proud to present some of the people in our magazine because whether they realize it or not they are making a difference in the lives of others.

We allow small business to boast about what they are doing too. All that we ask in return; is for the business to help promote the magazine by sending a link out to their subscribers or post a link on their websites. This is a win - win for everyone. Our magazine gets to continue the education and businesses get to showcase their business. If you would like to contribute an article then please visit our website here: Click this link

We release our magazine every month on the 10th and this month (August) we will mark six months of great articles, interesting ideas and people connecting to others.

This is our link if you would like to subscribe:

Thank you everyone for the continued support

Victoria Kelley
ASC Magazine 

Aquaponics Survival Communities On Facebook  

Friday, August 2, 2013

Aquaponics Search Food Trends On The Internet

A recent July 2013 Google search for the keyword “Aquaponics” produced over 380 million hits. That's an amazing increase of over 500,000 in four months. So what happened four months ago? 

Since the bill was signed back in March 2013 which basically gave Monsanto virtually the big go ahead to do anything they want, people ran the other way and looked for alternatives to grow their own food. Not labeling GMO is wrong on so many different levels. 

People want to know how their food is grown, what chemicals are in the food and who produced it. This is not a lot to ask when you take into consideration a person health. To force questionable food on the public where they have repeatedly said "We want more research done and the food labeled" is wrong. Seems though we are demonstrating on deaf ears.

It seems to me that if you are going to demand the public eat only the food you designate for them, at some point they will say "No thanks, I will grow my own," and that is happening worldwide now. Besides people are not cattle they are thinking, feeling beings with their own viewpoints and opinions.

It's a myth that aquaponics is only for commercial farmers either. Anyone can grow food this way. People who live in apartments, average homes and owning small farms are seriously taking an interest in aquaponics. They realize the huge potential it has for feeding their families. Aquaponics produce grows up to four times faster than soil grown vegetables, it's so much cleaner and there are less problems with hazardous bacterial outbreaks. How often have we heard of ground grown crops being destroyed over an E-Coli and Salmonella outbreak?

The good thing about aquaponics is that it can work for just about anyone. Whether you live in a small apartment or have a big greenhouse in your backyard, you can grow your own food. Commercial growers are popping up everywhere and supplying healthy, clean produce to restaurants and other organic stores.

My own interest grew increasingly over the last four years and I have seen people coming out of nowhere, to learn more about this fantastic way to grow their own healthy produce. You only have to ask people why they are looking into growing food with aquaponics.  Most of the time they will tell you because "I want to have healthy, chemical free produce to eat, at a great price." You can't beat growing your own for those good reasons.

I will be writing a series of blogs about the experiences I have had with others, their thoughts and the reasons they now grow food by using aquaponics. Some of the thoughts will come from our Facebook community.

In the meantime I really encourage people to subscribe to our magazine. Every month we put out something that has been beneficial to all people. We encourage people to write for us who are both professionals and hobbyists. We don't care if you have 15 years experience or 6 months. The fact is your learning and understanding of the process, is valuable to other people trying to learn how to be successful in aquaponics too. Click on any of the links to learn more and subscribe. 

If you are looking for some good information on raising healthy fish and how to be successful at it, then pick up my book on Amazon. Essential Fish Care In Aquaponics is the name and I wrote it so all those questions people ask about natural chemicals and fish can be answered in the easiest way possible. We have 13 good reviews, a 4.2 star rating and the book continues to sell everyday.

Take a good look at what and how you are growing food now. If you think something could change and aquaponics could be a viable solution for you, then go for it. I promise it is all worth the effort. Take a look at some of the links on this blog and spend some time on our website
Good Luck with your future aquaponics ventures! Join our community on Facebook and stay in touch!

Warm Regards

Victoria Kelley