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SALE! January 6 – 10, 2015 – Portable Farms®

PFAS LLC is pleased to offer our SALE of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course© 

PLEASE READ CURRICULUM OF Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© - CLICK HERE.

$500 off for regularly priced Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© of $2,500.00.

Shipping and postage are included to addresses in the US only, BUT for all order outside the US there is a US$140 shipping and handling charge.

The Portable Farms® Junior Course© is not included in this sale.

Meet Phyllis Davis, Co-Inventor, Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems.

SALE PRICE: $2,000.00               January 6 – 10, 2015


 

http://portablefarms.com is ranked in the top 229,663 websites in the United States and in the top 536,987 websites in the world. – Alexa.com – December 17, 2014 

portable-farms-logo-432Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems

(Utility Patent Application Filed December 24, 2013)

garden tools with sprayBasic garden tools for growing food in a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

sale sign red

$500 off for regularly priced Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course©
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!  SALE PRICE for course: US$2,000.00

 The Portable Farms®  Kit is included in the course price. To see what is IN the Portable Farms®  Kit and what is NOT in the Portable Farms®  Kit , please request the FREE AND INSTANTANEOUS PRICE LIST (top right box on every page of this website). One Portable Farms Kit provides you with the technology to assemble one module which feeds 8 people. Want to feed more people? Then order more Portable Farms®  Kits. Yes, it’s THAT EASY.

READ FOR FREE: THE ENTIRE CURRICULUM OUTLINE FOR Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course© -  CLICK HERE.
» Feed home-grown fish to your family . . . FROM TANK TO TABLE.
» Feed pesticide-free table vegetables to your family . . . FROM FARM TO FORK.

computerguy

Our 43 years of experience in aquaponics is now available to teach you how to feed your family FOREVER. [Read our History: CLICK HERE]

It only takes a few days to learn the areas related to assembling an aquaponics system  so you can build your own Portable Farms® Aquaponics System!

  • Let us teach you how to grow healthy fish and vegetables so you can become increasingly self-sustaining.
  • You can learn everything you need to know about building your own aquaponics system and growing healthy food by taking our FUN and easy-to-follow email-correspondence course.
  • Most students complete our course in a few days and then we ship you a Portable Farms® Kit so you can build your own system.
  • What’s in the Portable Farms® Kit? It’s listed in the FREE PRICE LIST (right top column on every page of this website.)

  • As of  December 17, 2014, PFAS LLC has received interest from more than 170 countries, 50 US States and 10 Canadian Provinces regarding the installation of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems.  
  • Our 43 years of experience in aquaponics is now available to teach you how to feed your family FOREVER. [Read our History: CLICK HERE]
  • It only takes a few days to learn the areas related to assembling an aquaponics system  so you can build your own Portable Farms® Aquaponics System!

header2014findusonfacebookTo view photos of food that is commonly grow in Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems: CLICK HERE.

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems GROW FOOD.

View a  2 minute video clip of the interior of 16′ x 33′ Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems

This small 16 x 33′ Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems (in above video) feeds ten people the table vegetables and protein (tilapia) the food they need for optimal health – forever in 528 sq ft total space and 264 square ft grow space. 

LEARN MORE! CLICK HERE.

  • Portable Farms® grow food in greenhouses, warehouses or underground structures
  • Without the use of any pesticides, harsh chemicals, antibiotics or hormones 
  • Portable Farms® use 95% less water than traditional agricultural methods
  • Portable Farms® use less electrical power than any other aquaponics system in the world and can be solar or wind powered
  • Portable Farms® provide table vegetables (greens and blooming plants such as tomatoes, peppers, etc.) and fish (tilapia) as a protein source to maintain optimal health
  • Three people can operate one-quarter of an acre of Portable Farms® which feeds 240 people forever. Twelve people can operate one acre of Portable Farms® which feeds 1,000 people forever
  • Portable Farms® can be operated by semi-skilled labor and people of almost any age (young and old)
  • Greens grown in Portable Farms® can be harvested in as few as 28 days after installation and continue producing forever
  • Portable Farms® feed families, communities, cities, countries and the world.

tokyo bekana colleColle Davis holding Butter Head Lettuce grown in 36 days.

To view photos of fresh food that is commonly grow in Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems: CLICK HERE.

Phyllis Davis was awarded Second Prize after presenting Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems to the San Diego Inventors Forum’s Annual Inventors Contest. View 8 minute presentation on YouTube video above.

  • Colle Davis, Lead Inventor, CEO of PFAS LLC, standing in front of a few tomato plants (10' tall) that supply hundreds of tomatoes while they're planted in a Portable Farms Aquaponics System. We generally leave the tomatoes in the grow trays about six months and then replant new tomatoes because their root systems grow too large (size of a football) for the grow trays.

    Colle Davis, Lead Inventor, CEO of PFAS LLC, standing in front of a few tomato plants (10′ tall) that supply hundreds of tomatoes while they’re planted in a Portable Farms Aquaponics System. We generally leave the tomatoes in the grow trays about six months and then replant new tomatoes because their root systems grow too large (size of a football) for the grow trays.

    This fun and educational course offers photographs that take you step-by-step throughout the entire course

  • It shows you how to build a backyard aquaponics system to feed a family of 8 or you can purchase additional Portable Farms® Kits to feed more people (each Portable Farms® Kit provides you with the technology to feed 8 people).
  • It also shows you how to care for the fish (tilapia) in your farm.
  • And, how to raise healthy vegetables – year round – in any climate.

BUY NOW BUTTON (BELOW) IS FOR $2,0000. We accept MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Wire Transfers. If you would prefer, you may call us to give us your credit number over the phone: 800-906-0256 OR 800-952-6224. We also accept checks and money orders.

portable-farms-tilapia1

We’ll teach you how to:

  • Build your own Portable Farms® Aquaponics System
  • inda grow interiorOperate your new Portable Farms® Aquaponics System
  • Feed, nurture and care for the fish from ‘tank to table’
  • Plant, care and grow your plants from seed in the Grow Tray Tables from ‘farm to fork’
  • Clean the Clarifier every few weeks
  • Create a control panel that runs your system automatically 24/7
  • Harvest and replant your plants for subsequent crops
  • Receive a Portable Farms® Kit by satisfactorily completing  Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© (This offer is good only for those in the US or Canada and certain countries for consideration.)
  • A materials and cutting’s list for constructing a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System (additional materials to be purchased by student as listed in the Price List)
  • If you work on the course for an hour a day, you can complete the online course in about one to two weeks; this is a self-paced course that you complete on your schedule.
  • It’s FUN. It’s EASY and after satisfactory completion, you’ll become a Certified Aquaponist after taking the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© .
  • Enroll in the  Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© and complete it, and we will send you a complete Portable Farms® Kit. Free shipping within the US.

For more about this course or to enroll:  CLICK HERE.

bokchoywithpd3 aquaponics

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems (utility patent application filed December 23, 2013):

  • Phyllis Davis, Co-Inventor of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems holding 8 heads of kale just harvested from a Portable Farm. The average height of these kale is 47". Monster kale!

    Phyllis Davis, Co-Inventor of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems holding 8 heads of kale just harvested from a Portable Farm. The average height of these kale is 47″. Monster kale!

    Use no pesticides, harsh chemicals, antibiotics or hormones

  • Require 95% less water than traditional agriculture
  • Use less electrical power than any other aquaponics system in the world and can be solar or wind powered
  • Provide table vegetables (greens and blooming plants such as tomatoes, peppers, etc.) and fish (tilapia) as a protein source
  • Can be operated by people of almost any age (young and old)
  • Grow food in greenhouses, warehouses or underground structures.
  • REFUND POLICY - Please note. You may ask for and receive a full refund of your tuition up until you receive one or more of the sections of the Aquaponics University  Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© . At the point you open the email containing even one Section of the Course Material there will be no refund due because you have received value from the Intellectual Property and have received benefits of the Course.

Become a Millionaire on One Acre with Aquaponics

Become a Millionaire on One Acre with Aquaponics 
– by Colle Davis, Phil Estes and Phyllis Davis

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN REPOSTED BY POPULAR DEMAND on December 1, 2014

http://portablefarms.com is ranked in the top 247,934 websites in the United States and in the top 473,928 websites in the world.
– Alexa.com December 1, 2014

poor to rich

ACRES GRENHOUSESThe most common request we receive from those would like to become commercial aquaponics farmers is from people who already have the land and want to begin to cover it in aquaponics installations, BUT they do not have the money to make the initial large investment.

 


PFAS LLC is having our big annual January Sale from January 6-10, 2015
$500 off the price of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course©.

For more information about the January Sale: CLICK HERE.

SALE PRICE: $2,000.00 January 6 – 10, 2015

For more information about the January Sale: CLICK HERE.


engineer3One acre of flat, level land covered with four Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems can make you a millionaire and with an ongoing income of over $300,000 from the full acre per year NET. To fund this size operation all at one time requires approximately US$1.2Million. Here are several scenarios that demonstrate how to achieve this level of success is stages over time.

Your personal situation will obviously differ from these specific instances, but you can use these scenarios as examples and then adjust them for your unique situation.

Much of this information can be found in our Executive Summary Report available from PFAS LLC. after completing a Mutual Non Disclosure Agreement.

First we have to make some basic assumptions so we are all on the same page:

Assumptions:

  • Land cost is not a factor – meaning the land is owned or leased at a low rate already
  • You have access to $200,000 of capital or the ability to borrow that much
  • Hard work is not a problem
  • Marketing is a passion and a way of life for you
  • You or your partners have successfully operated a growing business for more than 5 years
  • You are willing to invest the time to prepare a quality business plan before you begin.

portable-farms-changing-the-worldFive Suggested Scenarios and Options for Beginning your Aquaponics Business:  

  • First Scenario:

You already own the land and it has access to electricity and water and it is mostly flat and level.  While solar power and well water are options, they come with additional costs. This land is located near your potential markets for selling your food, and you do not have the investment capital to begin the project. Currently, your land is not paying you anything in return but you are paying taxes on it, and there are other normal expenses that you incur by owning it.

clipart-farm2(Brace yourself, this suggestion may hurt . . . )

Sell enough of your land to fund the first acre or even the first 10,000 sq. ft. aquaponics installation. That way, it is your money you are investing in your own aquaponics business and you are paying yourself back with interest. For example, the ‘average’ size of currently owned acreage of those we have talked with, is 10 to 12 acres (the range is from 2 acres to several thousand acres). If a portion of this land was sold, even most of it, the project could be at least partially funded from the proceeds.

 

  • Second Scenario:

Refinance the land and use the proceeds to build the first aquaponics installation(s). This may or may not please your banker, but he will enjoy being paid back in a few years.

  • Third Scenario:

SHAKINGHANDSWITH

Find some partners to fund the installation of the aquaponics installation on your land. Be the ‘land guy’ and be willing to structure the deal so you are the last to be paid off. After all, it is your land and the installation is on your property and it will be producing income far into the future. You may even want to structure the deal to pay off your partners in total, first, and then you will continue to receive all the income for yourself.

 

 

 

  • Fourth Scenario:

Horse FarmYou don’t own the land but you know someone who does own it, and you are willing to do all the work to make this project happen. Ask them for permission for you to use one acre of their land for aquaponics installations for a piece of the action. In layman’s terms this means they receive some of the profits. Approach several other investors to fund the installations and then you would provide the hard work of operating the commercial aquaponics system. This is the hardest scenario to accomplish UNLESS you have a proven track record running businesses.

 

  • Fifth Scenario:

greenhousepaintedpanels2Find a number of existing greenhouses in your area that you can lease and then install the Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems Modules to fit the greenhouse(s). Then use this installation to generate the capital needed to finance the expansion of additional units on your unused property. The upfront cost of doing this is a fraction of the cost of building from scratch.

Okay, enough with the options, let’s get down to the numbers.

 

 

greenhouse1

  • A single 10,000 sq. ft. greenhouse structure, just the building, NOT the PFAS Technology, has an initial capital cost of US$130,000 to US$230,000 (depending on the cost of the greenhouse you choose) but does not include the land/property costs
  • A single 10,000 sq. ft. facility can hold approximately 30 Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Modules costing from $80,000 to $100,000, installed
  • The ROI can be from 2 to 4 years depending on your markets and the crops you choose to grow and sell
  • Payroll for two full time employees to operate a single commercial PFAS Unit (30 modules)
  • The Net-Net for this example is US$100,000 per year
  • Four PFAS Units (120 modules) are needed to be a millionaire
  • Four PFAS Units will require approximately US$1,000,000 of initial investment. 

chef proud 2To start, do your homework, complete your marketing survey, talk to the casino, high end restaurant and resort hotel chefs to see how much of their weekly produce they are willing to buy from you. Talk to at least TEN chefs, add the numbers of different vegetables they are requesting together, divide by two (this gives you the built in expansion for your business) and design your installation to fulfill that amount of produce by the end of your first year of production.

Yep, it’s a LOT of hard work, focus, yours and/or other people’s money and a dedication to bringing the finest food on the planet to your market that can make you a millionaire is a few short years. You actually have to do the work to get there. PFAS LLC’s Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems technology is one way to have fun in the process.

You Can Feed Your Family Healthy Food Forever OR Buy a Used Car

portable-farms-questionFeed Your Family Healthy Food Forever OR Buy a Used Car 
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

Create Food Security and Food Safety for Your Family!

Which is a better investment?

          • Providing your family with fresh, healthy food that will last FOREVER . .
          • Or, buying a used car? 

 

portable-farms-affordable-food-forever-used-car

 

Do you want to provide your family with food for the rest of their lives, or spring for that used car that you will have to replace again in a few years? Interestingly, they cost about the same amount.

 

 

 

 

portable-farms-aquaponics-system-farmThe cost will vary mostly depending on the cost of the greenhouse itself. (Please note: We don’t sell greenhouses but we can recommend you to reputable greenhouse companies that we trust.) Some greenhouses are fancier than others and you may have most of the materials already available, there may be an empty greenhouse you can rent or you may be able to build a lean-to type structure on the side of your house for less money. You may even find a greenhouse that someone wants taken away for FREE.

This total amount includes the Aquaponics University Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course© which even has the PFAS Technology Kit as part of the purchase price.

Here’s the full cost breakdown of a backyard aquaponics system: READ ON . . . 

  • Greenhouse: Must be able to keep the interior temperature between 40 and 104° F. The costs are dependent on your choice of design
  • Wooden or concrete floor/slab – from $100 to $300
  • Insulated stem wall to set the greenhouse on top of for more height – 2×4’s and plywood – $250 to $350
  • Fish tank – sometimes known of as a livestock watering trough  – $150
  • Lumber for the Grow Tray – 2×4’s, 2×6’s, plywood, etc – between $800 and $1,200
  • PVC pipe and fittings  – $100
  • Misc – $250

You may even have some of the materials on hand or have access to recycled materials at a reduced cost. Even if you have to pay full retail price for everything, an operating aquaponics farm is a fantastically good deal. Plus, a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System is infinitely expandable because of it modular design. You can expand it and begin selling the excess to create a small income.

Imagine a 12 ft wide lean-to greenhouse 24ft long off the south side of your house. In this arrangement the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems is a carbon negative installation because it contributes more energy to the house than it consumes on an annual basis. There are installations with wood burning stoves inside them to keep them from freezing in very cold climates. Every installation is different and unique. You are only limited by your imagination and your budget.

In commercial installations, our foreman, with a crew of four, can build 30 operating Modules that are 5ft x 40ft in one week. Building a module is not rocket science and the construction is straight simple carpentry and the Aquaponics University Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course© has pictures and step-by-step instructions about how to build the Portable Farms Modules. You can have your own aquaponics farm up and running in a matter of weeks and be enjoying fresh home-grown greens is a little as five weeks after completion. Now THAT’S exciting.

Where will you be investing your money? In your family’s health and future or in that used car that will depreciate the moment you pay for it? Take our Aquaponics University Course now and build an aquaponics farm that will be producing food for your family within a couple of months. That food will continue to be there for your family FOREVER.

LEARN FROM US: CLICK HERE.

 

Setting the pH in Your Aquaponics System

Setting the pH in Your Aquaponics System
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

If the pH gets too near or above a certain range in your Portable Farms Aquaponics System, you plants cannot absorb the nutrients in the system and creates a NUTRIENT SHUTDOWN and your plants will begin to wither, show systems of leaf curl, begin to yellow, have stunted growth and not produce growth or blossoms. In effect, the plants are starving to death.

It’s easy to monitor the pH in your system and eventually each module will stabilize so you won’t have to test it as often. However, when you’re system is under six months in operation, check frequently. Checking the pH in your system at least a couple of times per week is vital, especially as the vegetables approach harvest time; this is an inexpensive process to increase production in the grow trays. This simple checking and adjustment will result in more bountiful harvests of healthy and nutritious produce.

Each plant has a preferred range of pH, or parts Hydrogen, that creates an ideal growing environment for the plant.

pHdown2These are the products we recommend for balancing the pH in aquaponics: CLICK HERE. The cost for this kit is $14.55. Good price!

  • Plants in Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems prefer a pH in the 5.8 to 6.8 range, or even a slightly lower range.
  • Fish prefer a little higher pH and to keep both organisms happy, the water in an aquaponics system needs to be adjusted.

This kit contains:

  • General hydronics Ph control kit
  • Contains ph up which add a little at a time when your nutrient pH is too low in order to raise the pH to the proper level
  • Contains ph down which uses food grade phosphoric acid to lower the pH to the proper level
  • Designed to work superbly in hydroponic environments as well as with both soil-less mixtures and soil grown plants.

The measurement of pH is how acidic (6.9 and below) or alkaline (7.1 or above) a liquid is at any specific moment. This pH measurement is not about the water’s hardness, that is a measurement of the dissolved mineral content in the water, and it is measured in a different way.

 

In aquaponics, this adjustment is very easily when the water flows through the system. To ‘increase’ the pH means to make the solution more alkaline and to ‘decrease’ the pH means to make the solution more acidic. There are quick and very inexpensive ways to change the pH of water in an aquaponic’s system.

If you are trying to grow vegetables with very different pH requirements in the same grow tray, plant the heavy feeders at the beginning (top) end of the tray and furthest from your fish tank, where the water flows into your grow tray, favoring their pH requirement and the light feeders at the end where the water flows out.

When adding any agent to adjust the pH levels in your system, allow several hours, and better yet, monitor your system over a day or two before trusting the testing medium results.

Testing can be done with simple swimming pool test strips or with sophisticated scientific instruments that have been designed for the task. Both work very well and if you use both, be prepared to have two very different readings. What you are looking for is consistency using one method. Using both is confusing and makes adjusting the water much harder. (We know from experience . . .)

We use a Microprocessor Conductivity & TDS Meters with Automatic Temperature Compensation with Automatic Calibration to check the water in our systems.

portable-farms-tomatoes-2If you are trying to grow vegetables with very different pH requirements in the same grow tray, plant the heavy feeders at the beginning (top) end of the tray and furthest from your fish tank, where the water flows into your grow tray, favoring their pH requirement and the light feeders at the end where the water flows out.

We do not grow ‘blooming plants’ (tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, green beans, cucumbers, etc.) in the same tray as non-bloom plants (lettuces and green leafy plants such as Swiss chard, all types of lettuces, basil, herbs, etc.). Each of these categories (blooming vs. non-blooming plants have their own grow trays so we can closely monitor the pH level to adapt for ideal pH levels for each variety.

For example, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are all flowering plants and prefer a more alkaline water. Lettuce, basil, Swiss chard and or green leafy plants are much happier in a slightly acidic solution. Having these plants in separate trays allows you to adjust the pH in your system to make the plants more productive with creates much less work on your part. It also reduces issues related to leaf curling.

If the pH gets too near or above 7.2 in your Portable Farms® Aquaponics System, you plants cannot absorb the nutrients in the system and creates a NUTRIENT SHUTDOWN and your plants will begin to wither, show systems of leaf curl, begin to yellow, have stunted growth and not produce growth or blossoms. In effect, the plants are starving to death.

The Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems are designed to accomplish this adjustment in an extremely easy manner. Checking the pH in your system at least a couple of times per week is vital, especially as the vegetables approach harvest time; this is an inexpensive process to increase production in the grow trays. This simple checking and adjustment will result in more bountiful harvests of healthy and nutritious produce. LEARN FROM US: CLICK HERE.

Backyard Aquaponics is FUN & EASY

Backyard Aquaponics is FUN & EASY
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

READ THE ENTIRE AQUAPONICS COURSE OUTLINE: CLICK HERE.globalwarming aquaponics

The suggestions in this article cover the alternatives and additional information available to enhance your backyard aquaponics installation to help your family become more self-sustaining and less dependent on transported food and yes, even healthier.

We have included solar and other alternative power sources, use of catchment for water, seed selection, integration with other growing methods and several other topics to increase the impact your new aquaponics system will have on you, your family and the world.

The aquaponics system that you are installing into your backyard will be unique to YOU and YOUR design choices for the overall look and feel of your system. There will not be another one like it on the planet. Even if you build two systems that are side-by-side and are exactly the same, they will function differently.

These hoop houses for aquaponics systems were a DISASTER because there was not enough space above the side grow trays for air circulation and the walls would be hot and burn the plants and heat the gravel. We do NOT recommend hoop houses for aquaponics.We do NOT NOT NOT RECOMMEND HOOP HOUSES FOR AQUAPONICS. We learned the HARD WAY. (Reasons stated below.)

These hoop houses for aquaponics systems were not as effective as we would have hoped because there was not enough air space above the grow trays for proper air circulation and the walls would get hot and burn the plant’s leaves and it would also heat the gravel in the grow trays and burn the plant’s roots. We do NOT recommend hoop houses for aquaponics unless they are set on a stem wall and there is an aisle between the wall and the tray. We learned the hard way and we’ve spent many years strongly suggesting to people to allow between 8′ and 10′ space above their grow trays!

View this 1 minute video clip of the interior of the Portable Farms Experimental and Research Center in North San Diego County, California, and see the three trays mentioned in the section below.

If your pH in your fish tanks is higher than 7, your plants won’t be able to absorb the necessary nutrients in the water to grow to healthy plants.

Most commercial installations experience this same oddity of varying pH readings in their fish tanks too.

  • Powering a backyard aquaponics system with solar power is incredibly simply and inexpensive. Because nearly all of the electrical power needed in an aquaponics system in needed during the daylight hours, the storage can be much smaller than that for a house or garage. Here is a suggestion that we actually did for one of our farms:

Using a 45 watt panel (or three 15 watt panels) a controller, an inverter, and one or two deep cycle batteries will make your installation ‘off the grid’ and as subject to interruptions as a grid-connected unit. If you have access to a wind generator, you can also use it to charge the batteries.

 solar panels sun1a aquaponics

  • In many areas, water is a limiting factor and using the runoff from the greenhouse itself and that from the house/garage will – in nearly every case – provide more than enough water to operate the aquaponics system. The use of rainwater storage is very straight forward and even if you need to have a small pump to move the water to the fish tank(s) because the tanks are below their level it is a tiny amount of energy and the use of the rainwater takes you completely off the grid.

rain barrel'

  • Seed selection is up to you. We mostly use organic seeds and we NEVER use GMO seeds of any kind. Often we are asked about saving seeds. If you want to save seeds from flowering plants it may be fine to let a pepper or tomato or cucumber go past their normal harvest for seeds, but greens take so long to flower, that it’s almost never a good idea to take up the grow space to provide your own seeds. Again this is entirely up to you

seeds 8 18Seeds are planted in an inert medium prior to replanting in the grow trays.

  • Because Portable Farms move the heavy fish waste lumps to a clarifier, we recommend using it to fertilize plants outside the farm. Because this ‘waste water’ is high in nutrients and is completely non-toxic, reuse it on fruit trees, roses, lawns, gardens and anywhere else you can apply compost. It is also a wonderful addition to compost because of it high nitrogen content. Some installations have ever sold the ‘waste’ as an organic fertilizer because they have no room to use it themselves.

Add the fish waste to your composting as a way of adding a higher nitrogen source.

There you have the steps necessary for becoming a backyard aquaponics farmer.

GOOD LUCK and happy growing!

LEARN FROM US: CLICK HERE.

Cost of Materials for Aquaponics System


Cost of Materials for Aquaponics System

– By Colle and Phyllis Davis

READ THE ENTIRE AQUAPONICS COURSE OUTLINE: CLICK HERE.

build5

 

 

What will it actually cost you to build a backyard aquaponics system so it will be a high intensity food production facility that grows healthy food year round?

 

 

 

 

 

table1This installation includes the grow tray(s), fish tank(s) and other items necessary for your system to operate at its peak performance. The acceptable ratios of the components to each other to maximize your production and protect the system are covered in this article.
Here are some parameters and ratios you will need to keep in mind when sizing and ordering materials

  1. The maximum comfortable distance for a person to reach across at counter-height is a width of 36 inches (1m), so a grow tray with only one side exposed can only be 36 inches wide. For a grow tray with both sides facing an aisle the maximum width can be six feet (1.85m).
  2. The aisles need to be a minimum of 30 inches (.76m) for comfort and safety
  3. The grow trays are restricted to 200 sq ft due for ease of working with aisles and carrying harvested vegetables out to the building.
  4. Grow trays must be water proof and absolutely level in both directions. The most commonly built grow trays are wooden tray tables with pond liners.

fish tank2

  1. Fish tanks can be livestock watering troughs, concrete or lined wooden structure. They do not need an outlets or drains and must be water proof.
  2. PVC pipe is inexpensive and available everywhere in the world. You will need more than you expect.
  3. The maximum ratio of grow tray space to gallons of water is 1:2.
  4. The maximum ratio of fish to water is one fish per gallon.

 

 

A completed Portable Farms® Aquaponics System before the plants or the fish have been installed.

A completed Portable Farms® Aquaponics System before the plants or the fish have been installed.

  1. Greenhouse covering range from relatively cheap construction-site plastic to quality greenhouse covers. The cheap stuff may last a year, but we have vendors who provide us with a quality product that lasts up to 25 years. It’s not a contest, but buy what you can afford.
  2. Make sure you insect proof EVERYTHING. The door is the preferred entrance for bugs. Every inch of opening has to be covered in screen. Storm doors are commonly carried in cooler/colder climates.
  3. The 2×4’s, 2×6’s, plywood, 1×2’s, insulation for the fish tank, PVC pipe and fittings, and a few more items are readily available at the home centers will usually be a pickup load of materials necessary to complete the system.
  4. Using all of the above information here are some examples of the expected cost of a backyard installation (including the US$2,500 cost of the Aquaponics University’s Portable Farms™ Aquaponics System Course© .
  5. A stand-alone climatically adapted structure of 10’ x 16’ containing one Grow Tray 5’ wide and 12’ long will require an investment of approximately US$4,800. This will provide a grow tray space of 60 sq ft or enough to feed two adults.

To build a top-notch aquaponics system that is also esthetically appealing is about $35 per sq ft.; this amount includes the cost of the greenhouse, the training from Aquaponics University that teaches you to build and operate an aquaponics system, the Portable Farms® Kit and the additional materials you’ll need to build your system (excluding solar panel or grow lights).

The examples above show what happens with economies of scale as the systems become larger. The cost difference per person is amazing. The smaller unit costing US$4,800 divided by two people equaling US$2,400 per person. The larger unit is US$8,100 divided by 13 people or US$623 per person. That is one fourth (1/4) of the cost per person compared to the smaller unit.

 

greenhouse lean to14. Lean-to structures can be done at a savings of approximately 15 to 20% of the overall cost, but they are normally more work to build. They also have slightly lower operating expenses because they are easier to heat and cool.

Up to this point, you may not have spent a dime, only some time. Now you have to decide, does the project get done this season, or does it get postponed again.

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Operating an Aquaponics System

Operating an Aquaponics System
by Colle and Phyllis Davis

READ THE ENTIRE AQUAPONICS COURSE OUTLINE: CLICK HERE.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are two assumptions that will be made here regarding the operations for a backyard aquaponics system:

1) your installation is, or is similar to, a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

2) You have built a medium/media based (not a raft based) aquaponics system. Operations include the steps that are necessary for you to keep the fish and plants alive and healthy.

A backyard farm that feeds 8 people generally takes about ten to fifteen minutes per day to maintain. This includes feeding the fish, planting seedlings and harvesting. Operations are NOT time consuming but they are DAILY operations that cannot and should NOT be skipped.

When you’re dealing with living aquatic animals, they require daily care, attention and yes, even affection to remain healthy and grow to their full size. If your fish are ‘stressed’ for any reason, they won’t eat – – – – and if they don’t eat – – – – they don’t poop – – – – and if they don’t poop, your plants will not be healthy.  So, if you’re going to be gone for longer than a day or so, ask a friend or neighbor (that you trust) that will take care of your aquaponics system.

tilapia Oreochromis mossambicusOperational tasks include:

1. Maintaining adequate levels of water in the fish tank at all times
2. Feeding your fish a high protein fish feed each day (singing to your fish is optional but they do enjoy human contact and they do enjoy the sound of talking and singing)
3. Always wear disposable gloves when preforming tasks in the building
4. Keeping the pH balanced in the fish tank
5. Stocking the appropriate number of fish in the fish tank that is in balance with the area of the grow tray                                                                 6. 24/7 aeration provided for the fish at all times (bubbles)                             7. Carefully controlling the water temperature range that is properly maintained within a very narrow range in the water in the fish tank

backyard aquaponics system2

8. Monitoring the movement of adequate water flow throughout the system that is delivered to the plants at various times each day
9. Consistently planting seeds that have been planted in a starter medium and after a 1 or 2 weeks they are moved into the grow tray on the day the mature plants in the grow tray have been harvested (can be tricky and takes practice to plan ahead)
10. Monitoring the light inside the building and making sure that the plants have the proper amount of light each day (this may include supplemental lighting in winter or in cloudy climates)
11. Harvesting plants when the desired state of ripeness/maturity has been reached

 

Plants growing in a gravel medium in a Grow Tray in a Portable Farm.

Plants growing in a gravel medium in a Grow Tray in a Portable Farm.

12. Making sure that NO one is allowed inside the building that smokes or has dirt on their body, shoes or clothes
13. Performing routine maintenance on all mechanical or electrical components on schedule
14. Cleaning all surfaces in the building to keep the floors, surfaces and working areas clean and dust free
15. Periodic cleaning of the clarifier
16. Occasional rinsing off of the outside of the building if no rain has occurred in the last 60 days.
17. Carefully removing any dead or diseased plants as soon they are noticed.

A conscious fourteen year-old can operate an aquaponics system of up to 1,000 sq ft of grow space working about thirty minutes per day. A complete Operations Section is part of the AU Course and covers the specifics above in much more detail.

 

LEARN FROM US: CLICK HERE.

 

Build Your Aquaponics System Close to Your Kitchen

Build Your Aquaponics System Close to Your Kitchen
- by Colle and Phyllis Davis

READ THE ENTIRE AQUAPONICS COURSE OUTLINE: CLICK HERE.

 

Note the farm sitting in the back of our house in Southern California. We had two acres on our property but chose to install it close the house near the kitchen for care of the farm and for easy harvesting. This small 16'x33' farm was large enough to feed ten people FOREVER.

Note the farm sitting in the back of our house in Southern California. We had several acres on our property but we chose to install it close the house near the kitchen for care of the farm and for easy harvesting (near the kitchen). This small 16’x33′ farm was large enough to feed ten people FOREVER.

 

Build your Portable Farms® Aquaponics System as close to the kitchen in your house as possible for
easy care of the farm and close access for harvesting food to feed your family. 

  • backyard fortAvoid large trees (that may be bare in winter but bloom in summer and block sunlight) and shadows that are cast from your house or fences.
  • Choose a location that is placed (ideally) on the long axis, or long dimension, of your house and can be oriented so the ‘downwind’ end, which contains the exhaust fan(s) of the greenhouse, move greenhouse air away from your house.
  • Position your farm close to an available source of fresh water. This can be as simple as a garden hose or a waterline buried underground to keep it from freezing. There is very little evaporation inside the greenhouse because the water is not exposed to the air very much, but the plants transpire and literally pump water into the air to bring nutrient up to use. In hot weather, the plants in a grow tray of 100 sq. feet can ‘drink’ up to 10 gallons of water per day.

 

  • Electricity also needs to be available inside the structure. This can be as simple as running an extension cord from the house or garage to the greenhouse. We strongly suggest that it be either buried or run through conduit underground or at least 8 ft. or more above the ground to prevent accidents with cutting or running over the wire. The best solution is to run the wire inside conduit and place it underground. If you have a friend who is an electrician, have them put in the electrical system for you and include three outlets for the control center, air pumps, exhaust fan and circulating fan and lighting and then when you have a harvest, offer them fresh vegetables in exchange for their services.
The interior of the farm shown in picture (above).

The interior of the farm shown in picture (above).

To recap, the location for your Portable Farms® needs:

  • Six hours of sunlight
  • A water source
  • Electrical power
  • Easy access to the door out of your farm and into your kitchen.
  • You can also use a lean-to structure off the south wall of your house or garage or existing building. This gives you three huge advantages: 1) The space is warmed, 2) and protected by the existing building and 3)you do not have to go far to harvest your produce.
  • There is also an interesting side effect. The house will receive more heat from the greenhouse during the day time, no matter the time of year than it will use at night. This arrangement means in many cases the lean-to installation is carbon negative. Nice added bonus as a survival system.

 

LEARN FROM US: CLICK HERE.

Let’s Talk About Greenhouses

Let’s Talk About Greenhouses for Your Aquaponics System
– By Phyllis and Colle Davis 

READ THE ENTIRE AQUAPONICS COURSE OUTLINE: CLICK HERE.

greenhouse backyard

YES! With the proper structure housing your aquaponics system, you can grow food year round in ANY WEATHER - in very cold or very hot temperatures. Even if you don’t have ample sunlight for growing, you can add supplemental induction lighting and go ‘off grid’ with a 100 watt solar panel for a small backyard farm. Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems are more ‘flexible’ for growing healthy food year round than you might imagine for many reasons . . .

 

farmrosarito

 

It’s important to learn the advantages and limitations of each type of building so you can you utilize the space inside the structure for maximum yield and efficiency.

Here is where the specifications for the successful aquaponics system become more rigid: The technical term used by the inventors of Portable Farms is, “The greenhouse must be a ‘climatically adapted structure.”

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Your choice of greenhouse must be capable of maintaining the interior temperature between 40° F and 104° F (4° to 40° C) so your plants WILL survive and in fact, they will even thrive.

Maintaining a temperature for maximum growth (between 75 and 80° F) in consistently cold weather is VERY expensive unless you have geothermal or similar heat available for nearly no cost.

Almost any protected interior space will maintain a higher temperature than the outside ambient temperature because the wind is not stripping away the heat. The trick to growing healthy plants in a greenhouse is not related as much to heating the interior space as much as it is for cooling the space in hot temperatures in warm climates.  

Remember, the fish tank water that is being circulated twice a day is 78 to 80 degrees F and relatively warm and there are literally tons of gravel in the grow trays contributing to a very large thermo mass that maintains temperatures very well. In some instances, in very cold climates, a supplemental heating system will need to be installed. This can be a simple a one or more electrical heaters placed on the floor and set to their lowest setting to insure the space never freezes.

Portable FarmsThe cooling of the interior to keep the plants happy is harder than most people realize. Inside a well-constructed greenhouse when the outside temperatures are in the 20’s (-3 C) the interior temperature will be around 40 (4 C). As the temperature approaches 100° F (38 C) the exhaust fan(s) inside the structure are removing the warm moist air from the space and drawing in ‘cooler air’ through screened intakes. When the temperature reaches 104 degrees F in the grow tray area, the plants shift from growing to simply maintaining turgor (keeping the leaves from wilting) to stay alive and they are pumping the maximum amount of water to cool the leaf surface through evaporative cooling.

greenhousepaintedpanels aquaponics

 

Here is where modern and ancient technology together, comes into play. The use of ‘swamp coolers’ or ‘wet-walls’ are used to reduce the temperature of the air coming into the structure through evaporative cooling. When water is spread across a porous material it increases the surface area exposed to the air. Drawing air across this thin film of evaporating water significantly reduces the temperate of the air because the heat energy is used to evaporate the water. A wet wall or swamp cooler can lower the air flow temperature up to 15° F  (6° C). That means incoming air at 110° F (42° C) can be reduced to a balmy 95°.

stemwall

 

We do not recommend PVC pipe hoop houses (we’ve used them and can tell you all about the short falls), but if you insist on building a hoop house to start your project, paint the PVC pipe or it will ‘outgas’ and eat holes in your plastic cover. You can use cheap interior paint for this project because it’s only meant to seal the surface and it’s not for looks.
greenhouse lean to

To use a small commercially available greenhouse such as one from Tuff Greenhouses (really nice people and a great product) and placing it on a 4 ft. stem wall will satisfy the requirements in most locations. In really cold areas, you need to add four inches of insulation to the stem wall to keep the interior warmer.

Lean-to projecting from the south face of an existing building is the most effective design in cold climates. The greenhouse actually contributes to the heating of the house and very quickly becomes a focal point in the house. Using a lean-to off of a garage or unheated spaces is also very efficient because the entire north side came be HEAVILY insulated to reduce the need for supplemental heating. Tip here: Paint any insulated surfaces a white or light color to reflect the light around inside the structure. Make sure you have enough area for an aisle, preferable on both sides of the grow tray.

LEARN FROM US: CLICK HERE.

Feed your Family with Aquaponics

Feed your Family with a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System 
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

farm 8 18 2012How many people do you want to feed? Let’s start with that  . . . 

In a highly effective system with gravel as the medium base, a grow tray space of 25 to 30 sq. ft. will feed one adult their table vegetables year round – FOREVER.

Use the number of people you want to feed times (x) the 25 sq. ft. required for each person and the resulting figure will be the size of grow tray space you will need. That’s easy.

The formula for number of people times the 25 sq. ft. required to feed them can be applied no matter what the number of people you want to feed. A commercial installation with 10,000 sq. feet of enclosed space provides 6,000 sq. ft. of grow space and will feed 240 people.

This 16' x 33' greenhouse contains 3 modules of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems and feeds 10 people FOREVER.

This 16′ x 33′ greenhouse contains 3 modules of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems and feeds 10 people FOREVER.

WHERE will you install your aquaponics system?

We recommend a location with six hours of direct sunlight available. Or, you can install a small aquaponics system in a garage, basement or spare room but you must use grow lights to grow the food. Sunlight is preferable if possible because it’s free and grow lights require electrical power. However, if you install your aquaponics system to receive sunlight, you must enclose it in a greenhouse to protect it from weather, insects, etc.

What type of building would you like to select to surround your aquaponics system?

You can build your own greenhouse for about $25 per sq ft or you can buy a fully made greenhouse for slightly more than that.

What kind of fish will you use in your aquaponics system?

Check with your State Authorities with the Fish and Wildlife Department and find out if tilapia are legal in your state. Tilapia are the fish of preference in ALL aquaponics systems in the Northern Hemisphere. They are a fresh water/warm water fish and very healthy.

 

What is the total cost for my backyard aquaponics system?

A generous number we recommend is $35 per sq ft. which includes the cost of the greenhouse, the training from Aquaponics University that teaches you to build and operate an aquaponics system, the Portable Farms® Kit and the additional materials to build your system (excluding grow lights).

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