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Central NY Aquaponic Farm, a Business and Testing Ground for Future of Agriculture

Central NY Aquaponic Farm, a Business and Testing Ground for Future of Agriculture
October 18, 2011 | Deanna Krinn What began as a business plan drawn up for fun has spawned Aqua Vita Farms, central New York’s first aquaponic farm. Aqua Vita Farms was founded by Mark Doherty and seeks to provide wholesale food distributors with safe, high value, aquaponically grown seafood and produce. Retrofitting and construction on the company’s indoor farming facility, a 13,000 square foot building in Sherrill, N.Y. that was formerly a polishing facility for Oneida Silverware, kicked off in May of this year. The company, which currently raises bluegill fish, and grows lettuce, leafy greens and herbs in its custom-made aquaponic systems, had it first harvest shortly thereafter in August. Inspired by an article The idea for Aqua Vita Farms was inspired by an article that Doherty came across while reading the Wall Street Journal about a year and a half ago describing another aquaponic farm, Sweet Water Organics, he said. Looking for a solution to a growing problem Inside Aqua Vita Farms Related:  Green

Backyard Bounty Collective Aquaponics Aquaponics is a holistic means of raising edible fish and growing vegetables in a closed, re-circulating system. It combines aquaculture and hydroponics growing systems (hence the name) to create systems of all scales, from a small tank growing herbs in your kitchen window, to a system growing edible fish and vegetables in a backyard greenhouse. The nutrient rich fish tank water supplies constant fertilizer for the plants, and the plants’ roots harbour beneficial bacteria, which act as a giant bio-filter to clean the water so that it can be re-circulated back to the fish tank. ( more details ) Key Benefits of Aquaponics: -Fresh vegetables/herbs, year-round with no chemicals or synthetic fertilizers -Fresh, toxin-free fish -Systems can be built where traditional gardens can’t (e.g. on pavement, in your basement, in your kitchen window, on land rendered unsuitable for agricultural use) -Low environmental impact - no waste dumping into local waterways Aquaponics in Your Backyard

ECOLIFE Foundation - San Diego: Village Aquaponics The Problem: Its estimated that still nearly 870 million people, or one in eight people in the world, suffer from hunger and malnutrition. In order to meet the growing global market and reduce hunger, the footprint of agriculture has expanded rapidly throughout the world. This expansion of agriculture has led to widespread deforestation. How ECOLIFE® Helps: Aquaponics is a sustainable farming technique combining aquaculture and hydroponic farming, whereby fish waste provides nutrients for food plants and the plants in turn clean the water making it safe for the fish. Since 2010, ECOLIFE® has been working to develop aquaponic systems for homes and villages in developing areas of the world, where the vast majority of hunger occurs. Additionally, we have developed a classroom and home aquaponics kit, the ECO-Cycle™. How You Can Help: For more information on our aquaponics program click here. Community Aquaponics Workshop $40 per person. Sign Up for the Aquaponics Workshop

Home Town Organic Farm Goes Vertical in the City July 7, 2011 | Robert S. Altman Dan Gibbs, CEO of San Diego, CA-based vertical organic farming startup Home Town Farms, doesn’t believe he’s introducing a new company, but an entire industry that will benefit consumers, the environment and the future of sustainable agriculture. “Urban farming isn’t new, vertical farming isn’t new, but vertical urban farming is new,” said Gibbs. To grow the vertical urban farming industry, Home Town Farms plans to build one-half to three-acre greenhouses on the rooftops, abandoned lots, and corners of urban areas in densely populated U.S. cities. Using proprietary vertical farming techniques, each site will produce organic vegetables, berries, lettuces and herbs to be sold to local consumers on site and wholesale to local farmers markets, restaurants and grocery stores. Prior to developing his vertical farming concept, Gibbs focused his agricultural efforts on exploring opportunities in the growing organic produce marketplace. How It Works Building Costs

How to Run a Commercial Aquaponics System (Video) EcoFilms Australia/Video screen capture Since we first posted on the urban food revolution known as aquaponics, we've seen all kinds of systems for growing fish and vegetables in one, symbiotic relationship. A few, like the proposed Urban Aquaculture Center and Friendly Aquaponics' farm in Hawaii, have been commercial-scale operations. But most practitioners seem more focused on small-scale, backyard aquaponics than anything else. Nevertheless, there are those who are working to commercialize the idea. Talking to Gina Cavaliero from Green Acres Organics, aquaponics expert Murray Hallam explores just what it takes to create a viable aquaponics business. I'd love to hear from anyone else who is practicing commercial-scale aquaculture too.

"The Vertical Farm," the Movie by Sting Dr. Despommier on vertical farming. Photo by Kris Krug courtesy of Pop! Since 1989, Sting has been involved in protecting the Amazon through the Rainforest Foundation which he co-founded with his wife Trudie Styler and last month played a benefit concert for the organization. Despommier's upcoming book from Thomas Dunne Books coming to a farmscraper near you. As described in Treehugger over the last few years, the idea lays out a system of farming in which food is grown within tall city buildings as an efficient means of land use and way to get fresh food to local residents. Sting's film will document the first vertical farm to be constructed in a major U.S. city. Also, last Friday, Mayor Richard M. Vertical farming proposals as an agricultural solution for world hunger in the 21st century created in high-rises as a sustainable form of urban agriculture has been discussed over the last decade, so whether it's a salvo for all our agricultural and food problems, it seems the climb is on.

Basement Hydroponics System Sprouts A Winter Garden Dave Howe is growing tomatoes and strawberries in a homemade hydroponic garden at his home in Blue Springs, Kansas. The plants grow in plastic cups resting in a system of PVC pipes. Photo credit: Keith Myers/ Edward M. It’s spring in Dave Howe’s basement. He has already harvested a crop of romaine and buttercrunch lettuce, and his tomato plants are green, leafy and flowering. Howe’s oasis at his home in Blue Springs, all the more notable during this winter’s harsh grip, grew from efforts he began in Florida as he was assisting his elderly parents there. He got interested in hydroponics, systems that use circulating water with added nutrients rather than soil to grow plants, and then aquaponics, which throws fish into the mix. Howe did his research and started building, eventually creating an aquaponics system with 35 goldfish, big ones. Click to read the rest of the story.

Aquaponics: Sustainable Food Production Web extra: Introduction to Home Aquaponics Clyde Tamaru stands on a small rise, dense trees and the verdant Windward face of the Koʻolau range behind. He looks across a grassy area dotted with round water tanks of various construction, rows of raised plant beds, a small garden shed and, off to the right, a taro loi, all part of an aquaponics research and demonstration facility tucked at the back of Windward Community College. “This is our ahupuaʻa,” the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources extension specialist says with evident pleasure. The Hawaiian mountain-to-sea land division—and the sustainable ecosystem of food resources that it represents—is modeled here in an area perhaps half the size of a football field. Aquaponics combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) with hydroponics, (growing plants in water). Tamaru at his Windward Community College research facilities “Give credit to those red worms, I tell you!” “That’s what we do. top

Digest: Vertical Farming Startups Seek Profit by Bringing Sustainable Agriculture to Cities August 12, 2011 | seedstock It’s Vertical Farming day over at Seedstock and we’re celebrating with a digest that features stories on a number of vertical urban agriculture startups that have the potential to play an outsize role in furthering the goals of sustainable agriculture. Enjoy your reads! Rooftop Farm Couples Science with Sustainability Finding fresh, high-quality produce in Montreal is a challenge. Growing a Million Heads of Lettuce on a Pin To grow one million heads of lettuce using conventional agriculture methods in the US requires either 16 acres of land in the Northern states, 8 acres of land in the Southern states, or .9 acres in a traditional hydroponic greenhouse operation. Home Town Organic Farm Goes Vertical in the City Dan Gibbs, CEO of San Diego, CA-based vertical organic farming startup Home Town Farms, doesn’t believe he’s introducing a new company, but an entire industry that will benefit consumers, the environment and the future of sustainable agriculture.

DIY Covered Greenhouse Garden: A Removable Cover Solution to Protect Your Plants — Apartment Therapy Tutorials Planting season is upon us, so let me tell you a little story of how this garden came to be. When we bought a house last year, I failed to inquire about the summer weather, thinking it would be just as warm and clear as it was on our open house day. NOPE. Instead, I encountered summers full of chilly fog and harsh winds, much to the dismay of my aspiring green thumb. Determined to keep home-grown veggies on our plates, I put my thinky-brain to work and thus, this covered greenhouse garden was born. (Image credit: Stephanie Strickland) Materials Step 1: Assemble a raised garden frame with 2x12s (or stacked 2x6s to keep costs down) and staple a small-weave mesh to the underside to protect from burrowing pests. Step 2: Create the frame for your cover using 2x2s, with 2x4s for corner bracing. Step 3: Bend 10-ft PVC pipes to create the arches and attach them to the cover frame with pipe clamps. Step 4: Tie a large-weave wire mesh to the PVC arches using zip-ties, wire, or electrical tape.

Aquaponics A small, portable aquaponics system. The term aquaponics is a blend of the terms aquaculture and hydroponic agriculture. Aquaponics (/ˈækwəˈpɒnɪks/) refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponic systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponic system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline.[1] History[edit] Woodcut from the 13th century Chinese agricultural manual Wang Zhen's Book on Farming (王禎農書) showing rice grown in a floating raft planter system (架田, lit "framed paddy") in a pond Aquaponics has ancient roots, although there is some debate on its first occurrence:

Aquaponics A recent Treehugger article alerted me to the fact that the folks at Growing Power are involved in what sounds to be a very exciting new proposed project in Milwaukee, called The Urban Agriculture Center. The planned center will apparently feature a 150,000-sq ft indoor aquaculture/agriculture facility combined with educational facilities, sustainable farming exhibits, a restaurant and fish market. As the author of the Treehugger article points out, the Urban Agriculture Center website is somewhat confusing, so it is quite challenging trying to find pertinent information regarding the status of the project. Nevertheless, this is certainly very exciting news, and something I look forward to following as it develops. Here is a blurb from a press release posted on the site (also included as part of the TH article): In Milwaukee, the Urban Aquaculture Center is working to expand the industry using an approach that engages the community. Can’t wait to see how Patti’s crop turns out! Stay tuned!