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Distributorships and Dealerships for Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems (PFAS)

Distributorships and Dealerships for Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems (PFAS) 

Please read the article on Distributorships Available FIRST.

ACRES GRENHOUSES

Distributorships and dealership opportunities are now available for Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems.

 

 

The minimum investment to secure a Territorial PFAS Technology License and build the minimum number of commercial installation in that territory is approximately US$1.2Million.

The best part of this investment is that you can recoup ALL of your money in less than two years IF you sell and install only 6 commercial PFAS installations (1/4 acre) per year or one commercial installation every two months.

superfarmerSecondarily, you do not have to train your operators; Aquaponics University does that for you. So your company can focus on marketing, selling and installing the commercial PFAS Units as fast as you possibly can to make more money. This scenario entails having one commercial (1/4 acre) installation that your organization actually operates and sells the production to the local markets as a showcase installation.

The six basic requirements to be considered for Distributorships and Dealerships for Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems (PFAS)

  1. A marketing arm of your company that can develop and maintain relationships with the chefs and food buyers at high-end restaurants, casinos, resort hotels, institutions and other food serving establishments catering to a clientele who can afford and will buy the finest locally grown, pesticide free food in the world. Typically, these markets are within 100 miles of the location of the PFAS.
  1. engineer2A construction company or component of your organization that can design, prepare the (land) site and build climatically adapted structures or convert existing structures for the PFAS installations. The largest moneymaker for a License Holder is the actual construction and building of the PFAS installations for other people/investors.
  1. Enough money, or access to enough money (think in the US$1million range) to purchase the Territorial PFAS Technology License, build four PFAS commercial installations and still pay for everything the first year. The income from the initial installation will begin in as few as 5 weeks (early 28 day harvests of some vegetables) after completion and will increase every month over the next several years.
  1. bizgroupPast experience in owning and operating a business with five or more employees. Not critical, but incredibly useful in becoming successful in aquaponics.
  1. An understanding that PFAS LLC requires payment for the technology, training and onsite consulting be paid in advance of scheduling the shipment of the PFAS Kits. The arrangements made to build the climatically adapted structure will be between your company and the manufacturer/builder of the building not PFAS LLC.
  1. A passion for success in this new venture. If you have a passion that shows up in the successes achieved in your recent past, we want to talk to you about your commitment to the PFAS in your area.

8 Steps for Getting Started as a Distributor/Dealer with Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems

  1. computerguyAnswer these 6 question with complete sentences and send the answers to us.Six Questions:1. What size project is your group planning to build? ¼ acre? 1 acre? Etc.2. What state or country is your project targeted for installation? Please be specific.3. What is your projected time frame to begin your project? 90 days? One year? Etc.4. Have you and your company ever operated a successful business for over four years?5. Do you or your company have access to the funding required for this project? If not, do you have a target date for that available funding for the project?6. Have you explored the marketing study for selling the food Portable Farms® is capable of  growing?  Please include the following information in your email also:Your name:Company Name:

    Company Website:

    Home or Company Street Address: City, State, Country, Zip:

    Email Address:

    Best phone number to reach you:

  1. Request the 5 Phases information with your (above) six answers to continue the process. If you think you can short circuit the process by requesting the 5 Phases first, you will be redirected to the 6 questions to answer.
  1. Request the Territorial PFAS Technology Licensing Fact Sheet.
  1. Complete the marketing study to plan ‘how much of which vegetable’s your market will buy.
  1. Request a Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement for your company to complete and return so we can send you an Executive Summary.
  1. Bring your banker/investor/money manager up to speed on all of the information you have received from PFAS LLC so they are ready to fund your project immediately.
  1. Enroll in the Aquaponics University Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course© and complete the Course so you will have a deep understanding of what is involved in building and operating of PFAS. The tuition will be refunded in full payment of the Territorial PFAS Technology License.
  1. greenhouselongPrepare to build a pilot project. If your project is of multi acres, then a one acre or even a quarter acre pilot project is recommended to get your hands wet, or the hands of your operators wet, and it will bring your staff up to speed very quickly. If your project is a single 10,000 sq ft. (1,000m2) then we advise you build a single Module setup to learn the technology.

Now the restrictions:

  1. A License Holder may NOT teach the PFAS Technology to others. PFAS LLC’s Aquaponics University trains ALL Operators worldwide based on the number of PFAS Kits purchased. Our technology is copyrighted, trademarked and our information is protected with a utility patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office and may NOT be taught outside of Aquaponics University under any conditions.
  1. A minimum number of commercial installations must be built each year to maintain the Territorial PFAS Technology License and keep it in good standing. Two years of under-performance and the Territorial PFAS Technology License for that territory will revert and be available for sale again.

Start today and in as little of three months you can realize an income from your installation(s). The process is laid out here is to help insure your success but you have to follow the process outlined above to demonstrate that you can actually follow directions and are able to be a success.

Overseeing Your Commercial Aquaponics Operation

Overseeing Your Commercial Aquaponics Operation
– by Colle Davis, Phil Estes and Phyllis Davis

Lettuce growing in a Portable Farms® Commercial Aquaponics Operation in Legos, Nigeria

Lettuce growing in a Portable Farms® Commercial Aquaponics Operation in Legos, Nigeria

 

This article was written for the specific purpose of outlining the phases involved for planning, building and operating a successful commercial aquaponics business.

Whether the goal to build an aquaponics installation is to establish a pilot-program with plans for it to be grown into a larger facility using the profits generated from sales, or whether an owner jumps feet-first into the final installation configuration, the current task now is making sure the aquaponics installation is properly operated and runs in an efficient and profitable manner. Implementing the operating processes and procedures will now set the tone for many years to come for high productivity and satisfied customers.

Let’s take a few minutes and go over a few of the daily operational tasks that are mandatory for a successful aquaponics system:

 

 

 

  • Feeding the Fish and Monitoring the Plants

tilapia drawing

 

Depending on the fish chosen (rendering of tilapia on the left), their feeding will vary in quantity, frequency and type of food. Overfeeding the fish is the most common mistake made by new aquaponics farms and we recommend you follow proper feeding instructions we recommend for each Module’s fish tank.  If using a fish other than the recommended tilapia, it’s vital for the owner to determine the right balance of type of fish, size of fish and number of fish is going to take some time and experimentation on the part of the owner.

 

inda grow grow tray aquaponicsThe seedling and plants need to be watched daily to assure that any problems are addressed in the early plant-development stages. Sometimes young plants will die for no apparent reason and the best solution is to simply replant that specific seedling.  The faster growing problems are identified and addressed, the more options are available, so always train your staff to watch for any signs of poor-plant health.

Tall or vine-type plants will need a trellis to climb UP for vertical growing, and may require some pruning and hand training to enhance productivity.

Flowering plants may need to be actively pollinated by hand in the mid-mornings (since there are no bees in the structure to pollinate). Shade cloth is important to protect the plants from too much direct sunlight and may need to be placed on wires on the interior of the structure (or some other method) so the shade cloth can be moved to the end of the structure if necessary.

  • Harvesting and Distribution
Colle Davis, Inventor, Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems holding an Asian Green Komatsuna Summerfest to show how SMALL the rootball is for the plant.

Colle Davis, Inventor, Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems holding an Asian Green Komatsuna Summerfest to show how SMALL the rootball is for the plant.

 

A well-planned ‘planting and harvesting schedule’ should be developed and monitored by the farm operators as a normal part of their normal day-to-day operations inside the farm.

Once the operations of the farm are in full swing, a pattern quickly develops for harvesting and planting. This sequence will quickly make the operators aware of the needs to provide a consistent and constant supply of food products for their customers and clients.

Harvesting will always need to be done efficiently, cleanly and quickly. Do not underestimate the importance of having well-trained people with the proper equipment in place to harvest the plants and fish. A concrete floor is the best surface for ongoing operations since it will not rut from the wheels of the equipment and will not allow soil from the equipment’s wheels to come inside the structure and get into the beds. Consider the need for providing the best system available for carts-on-wheels to quickly deliver the harvest to the processing area for fast delivery to customers.

The process for moving the food products to a separate prep area for washing for quick packaging and delivery to the client in the freshest condition possible is vital. This often entails a separate building with a clean water supply to wash the products, work benches to package them, a clean area to store them and certainly good access for vehicles to load them for quick delivery. All of this was suggested for consideration when writing the business plan and was budgeted in Phase 1.

  • Replanting

As soon as a plant is harvested from the Grow Table, replace it with another seedling immediately. There is NO advantage for leaving unused bed space in the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems’ Grow Tables. The planting scheme must also take into consideration the time (season) of the year. A.B.P. – Always Be Planting seeds ahead of the harvest of the plant so harvesting and planting times coincide to maximize the food production rates.

Loyal customers will very quickly begin to ask for specific types of vegetables for their clients and coordinating these requests with the time of the year, the varieties of seeds available for that season, and when the customer wants the produce to be delivered will increase the profitability of the installation. Scheduling the planting in the Grow Tables with a layout map and a calendar is a standard activity for greenhouse food-production operations.

  • Business Activities

abossEvery business has to pay attention to the basic needs and costs for running a company. This includes paying the bills, paying employees and all taxes and requires an accounting staff to take care of customer’s orders to assure correct invoicing and collections of accounts receivable. Investors will expect regular financial statements too. In most locations, any number of licenses will also need to be kept up-to-date and maintained. Running a business requires additional skills and efforts that have nothing to do with plants and fish.

Client relationships should never be taken for granted. Again, this focus was spelled out in the early business plan by explaining how the business was going to grow and sustain itself in the marketplace. Inviting clients to visit the facilities and see the system in action is a very powerful reminder to them that their money is well invested.

 

  • Monitoring

technologyThe systems must be closely inspected and monitored every day to make sure any adjustments that are necessary are made in a timely fashion. In other materials we have described a few issues to be monitored in the PFAS modules including water quality, leaks in beds and equipment maintenance.  These are covered in the training provided by Portable Farms® staff at time of installation but they need to be part of an ongoing inspection program.  The quality of light will vary during the year and there are several options to adjust for this variation. The PFAS Clarifier tanks will need to be cleaned out every few weeks.  The resulting waste from the Clarifier tanks is a wonderful organic fertilizer that can be used outside of the greenhouse or sold as a separate organic product to local organic growers. The pumps and aerators will need to be replaced every few years and replacement parts should be available when this happens.

A control system can be installed that includes several sensors in each module and in the greenhouse to report any abnormalities by way of a control panel, alarms or an app that sends alerts via email to the farm operators.  The cost of these systems is very reasonable and should be considered a requirement.

  • Facilities’ Maintenance

gardenerleaningsideways2

 

Every facility will require ongoing maintenance so expect it and budget for it. Inspections need to be the responsibility of one person who has been specifically identified to perform basic maintenance and generally; they also have the power to make sure both routine and unexpected maintenance issues are taken care of immediately. The floors will need to be hosed down and kept clean, the doors will need to be in good working order, the fans and heaters must be working properly at all times. The grounds must be maintained especially if the installation is in an urban area. Grass on the outside of the structure will require regular mowing, fences fixed and pavement patched; these are examples of the type of responsibilities that are required of the property owner. Gates and proper security are vital considerations for each installation and should be monitored at all times.

It’s time to CELEBRATE!


juicing11

 

Colle Davis, toasting YOU, to congratulate you on your success. He’s toasting with juice from fresh vegetables from a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System. Delicious!

Congratulations!  Your new commercial aquaponics business is now in full operation.

  •  You are now producing locally grown fish and (better than organic) healthy produce while using efficient energy and environmentally sensitive methods.
  • The food products that are sold daily to clients are the finest they can buy and they simply cannot find fresher, better tasting or more nutritious produce anywhere else.
  •  The revenue stream is being produced that will finance paying for both the initial investment and the future-planned expansion.

Take the time to appreciate what you have accomplished and do this often. We can all be proud of the part that each of us has played in making this project happen and the world is a better place for our efforts.

From all of us at PFAS LLC., CONGRATULATIONS. You deserve all the credit, profits, publicity and success you so richly deserve. Thank you for allowing us to play a role in bringing your dream to reality.

Building a Commercial Aquaponics Installation

Building a Commercial Aquaponics Installation
- by Phil Estes, Colle Davis and Phyllis Davis

Prior to building your greenhouse to install your Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems you will have made the following steps FIRST:

emptygreenhouseBGathering information regarding the potential markets

  • Examining the options regarding the building (greenhouse)
  • Buying or leasing of the land for the installation
  • Discussions regarding permit and zoning requirements with local officials
  • Completing an well-written and thorough business plan
  • Obtaining adequate funding for the project
  • Designing and building an acclimatized structure for the area’s climate
  • Professional installation of the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System modules inside the greenhouse structure.
  • Now the empty grow beds and fish tanks are ready to begin producing. Very impressive! 
  • The time has arrived for the operators to turn on each module in the Unit and begin to circulate water through to ‘take it out for a spin.’  But first, there are a few other details to be addressed so the system can begin delivering beautiful locally grown produce and healthy fish to customers. 

Training is provided by Portable Farms® Aquaponics Course©.

Lane McClelland, Chief Installer for Portable Farms Ltd. showing a new commercial grower in Africa and Ralph The Rotarian (large bear) how to operate their new Portable Farms commercial system.

Lane McClelland, Chief Installer for PFAS LLC., showing a new commercial grower in Africa – along with Ralph The Rotarian (large bear) – how to operate their new Portable Farms commercial system.

 

While the Portable Farms® foreman is on site to complete the installation of the PFAS modules, he will also provide hands-on-training for the Operation’s staff. This training includes how to plant, maintain and harvest the produce and the fish. The training also includes methods for conducting future maintenance such as replacing equipment if necessary and that required in the course of routine maintenance. The onsite training is actually a refresher course because the Operators will have completed the Operators Section of the Aquaponics University’s Portable Farms® Aquaponics Course©  before the foreman’s arrival. Now the Operators have been fully trained and ready to operate the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems’ installation with very little outside assistance.  In addition, the newly trained construction crew will be able to construct and install the next series of Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems’ modules as the project expands.

Initial Planting instructions are provided by Portable Farms® Aquaponics Course©.

seeds 8 18

The output of the installation will be determined by two variables:

  1. The market requirements
  2. The time of year. 

The market analysis is used to determine the clients and their specific needs regarding what food products they will buy throughout the year. Crop varieties changes during the year so prepare for scheduled planting and harvest dates for delivery during the year based on the time it takes to grow a plant or a fish so the customers can expect their orders to be delivered on time.

Each crop variety that is selected has a different growing period (28 days, 40 days, 60 days, etc.) and that growing time will vary depending on the time of year and quality and quantity of light they receive. Over time, the ability to predict what effect these variables have on crop output will add to the installation’s productivity and profit.

 

insects in dirtSOIL ORGANISMS –  2 to 5% OF SOIL ORGANIC MATTER IS LIVING ORGANISMS

The number of seedlings needed to satisfy your market can be calculated with the formulas provided by PFAS LLC, and these will be modified in future plantings based upon the experience and the market demands. The real trick is to Always Be Planting (A.B.P. – a motto we use at PFAS LLC) so there are never any open spaces available in the Grow Tables.

Fish care is taught through Portable Farms® Aquaponics Course©.
tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus

The initial marketing survey will help dictate the type of fish to use in your Portable Farms® operation.  Almost any fresh water, warm water fish can be used. We highly recommend Tilapia (the fish-of-choice for aquaponics systems in the Northern Hemisphere) because they are a healthy fish and they are not carnivorous which allows growing very small fish in the same tank with the larger fish without them being eaten. In addition, tilapia fingerlings can be obtained any time during the year unlike many other fish which breed only a few months of the year (for example, catfish).

 

ONGOING OPERATIONS are included in Portable Farms® Aquaponics Course©

farm 8 3 2012b aquaponicsNow this wonderful and exciting aquaponics business is in place and the first harvest will soon be in full swing within 28 to 40 days. Developing relationships with customers and learning what they want and how to grow the plants of their choice becomes the main focus of the owners and operators. Soon the cash flow begins to pay back the investment and affirms faith in the project and it soon will allow you to grow and even expand the business with the profits that are being generated.

 

Is Commercial Aquaponics for YOU?

Is Commercial Aquaponics for YOU?
– by Colle Davis, Phil Estes and Phyllis Davis

Be-The-ChangeThe 21st Century brings new challenges for nature (as we know it) to supply food to the growing population of the world.

World Farm Ministers met in Berlin in January 2013 to discuss the issues for finding new ways to feed the projected 9 billion people that will inhabit the earth in 2050 (currently, there are 7.3 billion people on earth). According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, food prices have DOUBLED in the past ten years. Forecasters at the Berlin conference have stated that ‘developing countries” will require a minimum of $83 billion a year to feed their growing populations.

As the global food market and consumers demand a higher quality of food regarding taste and nutritional content instead of a grain-based diet in Third-World Countries or the industrially- produced products that are picked green, gassed and shipped long distances, there are very few options available today to meet the demands for food that is locally grown during 12 months per year, in any climate, anywhere in the world. 

Portable Farms®  Aquaponics Systems offer a simple solution for growing locally grown organic foods picked at ‘peak harvest time’ and delivered locally, instead of picked green and shipped great distances.

There are many resources available today for preparing a business plan. The Internet provides a wide variety of templates for business plans. PFAS LLC has also developed a business plan template that is used with our clients as part of our Consulting Services Program. It is always a good idea to conduct research to learn to write an elegant business plan before starting any major project. The steps below outline what is needed in the business plan for beginning a commercial aquaponics system:

  1. Market Analysis
  • Who will buy the huge amount of produce grown that is grown in a Portable Farms®  installation?
  • How much can you charge for that food?  

The answers to these two seemingly simple questions are vital for you to discover before you ever begin your plans for installing a commercial aquaponics system.

couple diningStart by considering selling your food to high-end restaurants, hotels, resorts, casinos, hospitals, schools and colleges, private clubs and upscale groceries. These buyers will buy all of your produce and are not as ‘price sensitive’ as lower-end consumers such as small neighborhood grocery stores, because high-end consumer markets are used to buying the best the market has to offer. Their customers are more demanding regarding quality and not as concerned about a few cents more for the cost of their meals.

Consider selling to facilities that consume large volumes of produce every day like grocery stores, cafeterias, hospitals, retirement homes, etc. Your produce quality will be a big plus to them and you can offer products that no one else is providing especially out of season crops. After all, buying fresh locally grown tomatoes, lettuce, basil, kale, cucumbers, etc. in winter months is a high value proposition. 

Look to lower quality sensitive customers also such as schools, prisons, military bases and public facilities that feed large numbers of people. You can compete with the cheaper low quality produce they are currently using because you don’t have the high cost of transportation to pass through.

This step requires making a list of potential customers and identifying the person in that organization that can make the purchasing decisions.

  • Develop an interview form to fill out during each meeting.
  • A personal visit is the best most productive way to accomplish this step.
  • Call and make an appointment to meet with them and promise not to take more than 10 minutes of their time.
  • The chef is the best person to talk with because they know exactly what they want.
  • Find out when the chef has a few minutes to talk that is not during his rush times (generally after lunch rush is over). Take your time to see as many of your potential customers as you can and amass a large amount of research intelligence regarding the market in your area.
  • Ask them how many boxes of lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables they are currently ordering each week and if they would be willing to buy some of the same foods that are locally grown from your company.

2. Needs Analysis

Team symbol. Multicolored handsResearch the food growers or food distributors that are currently providing food to your potential ‘target’ clients and see what information you can learn about them. Research these companies on the Internet, go to their web sites, and search their Dunn and Brad reports, etc.

  • What products are they currently offering their customers?
  • Go to the grocery stores and see what the local produce looks like and what prices the stores are charging for it.
  • After you have completed your research, you will have a realistic ‘ballpark price’ for the current food prices when it comes time to set your prices.
  • Based on the input from your market analysis, see what products your potential customers want that they are not being provided with and then determine if this food can be produced in your aquaponics installation.
  • Focus on the crops that can be grown in aquaponics that suffer in transportation such as greens, tomatoes, peppers, fresh herbs, beans, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, and many others. Initially, plan to meet half of their projected needs and with those orders and commitment from potential buyers, you will be able to practically guarantee your success.

3. Establish an Agreement with PFAS LLC
After phone discussions and agreements, we may agree to share detailed information with you regarding our patented aquaponics system, we will ask you to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This is a standard step for business when dealing with technology, and it is required to keep information we exchange strictly between ourselves. This Non-disclosure Agreement is a legally-binding document that protects both parties involved to prevent any misunderstanding about the importance of protecting the intellectual property rights and trade secrets on both sides. The NDA has been vetted by a number of companies and legal firms and is very much an accepted industry-specific document.  It does not limit your activities or decisions, but asks you to not share our technology with others that might take advantage of our agreement.  With this signing of the NDA we can provide you with our Executive Summary that will help answer many of the most common questions about our systems.

4. Opportunities for Phased Growth

At this point, you may be ready to make some decisions regarding proceeding with your business by starting with what is possible today, and then envisioning the future.  By that we mean, “How are you going to begin this business? And, what are the available ways to grow the business?” Although your plans are not fully developed yet at this early stage your work, you can demonstrate how the business can grow and even fund its own expansion.

This is not the time to buy property; it is the time to consider the needs of the site and research property that is currently available in your area and the local property prices. This is the time a knowledgeable real estate agent who understands the local market can be very helpful.

  • Is there space to rent in an existing greenhouse?
  • Do you build a smaller version of a production unit?
  • Do you lease property or buy?
  • Do you outsource your delivery system?
  • There is no single right way to start a business, so be prepared to consider a variety of options from the very beginning and build them into your preliminary business plan.

It’s now is time to approach potential financiers.  If you have a good relationship with a banker or investor, you might buy them lunch and discuss the project with them, informally. Unless you already have your own money to cover the initial installation, you will need financial backers at some point, so start thinking about who they will be now.

5. Preliminary Business Plan Model

Butter leave lettuce ready to harvest that is 12" in width. Tender, delicious and rich in flavor.

Butter leave lettuce ready to harvest that is 12″ in width. Tender, delicious and rich in flavor.

The objective and the end product of this first phase is become focused on developing a preliminary business plan. This early plan will have many blank spaces in it and that’s to be expected. However, it should contain the results of your preliminary market survey including:

  • A list of potential customers/clients who will buy your food
  • A detailed list of their expectations for projected food orders
  • Potential revenue that you can expect will be generated by sales
  • A report regarding your competitors in your area.
  • Detailed options for establishing the first stage of the business and plans for how it can be expanded in the future.
  • Calculated estimates of the funding required for the overall project and a plan for how that funding will be obtained.

At this point, very little money has been invested and yet you have accomplished the completion for the foundation of a fabulous business. Yes, it has taken a significant amount of your personal time as well as the time of some outside experts, but you have not purchased any property, professional services, buildings or equipment yet.

Consider your best investment at this point enrolling in the email Aquaponics University Aquaponics Certification Course  explains in great detail how to build and operate the Portable Farms®  Aquaponics Systems that will be the core growing method for your new business. Most of your questions will be answered in this course and it’s filled with step-by-step directions and images. The entire course requires 10 to 15 hours to complete. Plus, as part of this online Aquaponics University Course, you also receive a Portable Farms® Technology Kit that’s required to operate a Portable Farms®  Aquaponics Systems’ module. The fun part is getting your hands wet early so you know what to expect from the system.

Once completed, the Phase 1 research and documents allow you to analyze and make a “go/no go” decision regarding any further efforts for moving forward and establishing an aquaponics business. Without this knowledge, you run the risk of spending time and possibly a lot of your money on something that is not feasible for you at this point. Resist the urge to move on to the next steps in the following phases until this preliminary work is completed so you can make a sound business decision.

PFAS LLC trusts that with the results of your efforts result in a positive decision to move forward with your project. If so, you will need to be prepared to bring in some expert’s to help bring the project to completion.  These include engineers, real estate agents, government officials, financial resources, manufacturers, contractors and certainly PFAS LLC.  We all look forward to the point where your dream becomes a reality.

Conceptional Research for Aquaponics

 

Conceptional Research for Aquaponics
– by Colle Davis, Phil Estes and Phyllis Davis

WE GROW FOOD.
Year round and in any climate.

greenhouse vegetable productionYou may dream of owning a commercial aquaponics installation, but in order to have one built and fully operational is a serious business undertaking requiring a disciplined several phase process that may be spread over several weeks or months. A commercial aquaponics installation also requires the skills and resources of a variety of people with different levels of expertise.

First of all, we want to make it very clear that there is one measure of success that has to occur or your efforts are doomed to fail: A commercial aquaponics installation must be run like a business that it pays its investors back for their investment, with interest. Even if you install an aquaponics installation for charitable purposes to ‘give back’ to your community, it must be able to generate enough revenue to fund the day to day operations and cover the cost of the initial installation.

farmfoodjuly7Please note: Ongoing revenue from produce and fish sales from your aquaponics system are required to remain successful and are a mandatory requirement for sustainability. We want your business to thrive over time by providing high quality food to your community.

To assure your success and as part of our process, we strongly encourage you to write a quality business plan based on your goals and resources. It’s your responsibility to take the lead on this effort since the local market, resources, opportunities and variables are unique to your situation and a business plan is not something that is easily outsourced to someone who doesn’t know your market.  If you are diligent about creating this business plan, which is a major undertaking, we are certain that you will be capable of producing an effective workable document to present to investors.  There are plenty of resources for writing a business plan that are online or can be sourced from professionals in your community. If you wish to have the support of Portable Farms, we can help get you started with our Consulting Services using a draft business plan created specifically for aquaponics installations.bizgroup

Installing a commercial aquaponics system is not a simple turn-key operation where someone is hired who will give you a fixed price for everything and then hands you the keys when they’re done. Sorry, we do not offer a turn-key service. What we can do is to help you assemble a team of experts to help you make this dream become a reality.  You will need some serious partners who will, in most cases, include investors or bankers, engineers, planners, some government contacts, consultants, manufacturers,  construction people, accounting and business staff and of course, PFAS LLC.  Do not let this daunting challenge keep you from beginning to examine the possibilities this exciting opportunity provides.  Together, we can help you get to that goal if you are willing to put in the work and listen to your advisers.

While you may not invest a large amount of time on every step in these phases, you will need to review each one and make sure that the impact of each has been addressed. As you review each of these articles additional steps will arise that you will need to add to the work for your specific project. Do not jump ahead until the first steps have been completed or your goal of establishing a strong foundation needed to build on will not exist.

First Step:

  • Market study and analysis – who, where, what, how much
  • Needs analysis – who is providing these products now
  • Establish agreement with PFAS LLC – Sign a Non-disclosure Agreement and receive our Executive Summary
  • Opportunities for phased growth – start small and grow
  • Preliminary business plan model – the basis for your enterprise. 

Second Step:

  • State and local requirements – zoning, business, agricultural requirements
  • Utilities – electric, water, gas
  • Property investigation – undeveloped rural, urban, existing facilities, rentals
  • Engineering assistance – site work and zoning assistance
  • Concept –  analysis of how big you want to grow, what to grow, how to operate
  • Finalize Business plan – the most important thing you can do for success
  • Establish financial resources – how much and when do you need it. 

Third Step:

  • Acquisition – buy, lease, modify
  • Permitting – city, county, state
  • Engineering – prepare plans and specifications as needed for site
  • Construction – prepare property for your facility
  • Greenhouse – order the design and erection to Portable Farm’s specifications
  • PFAS installation – installation of modules in completed structure. 

Fourth Step:

  • Training – onsite staff training onsite and online for operating system and growing food
  • Initial planting – designed for your clients’ needs
  • Fish – species and size selected
  • Ongoing operations – feeding fish, tending to plants 

Fifth Step:

  • Feeding the fish and monitoring the plants
  • Harvest and distribution – harvest, package and deliver
  • Replace products – start new seedlings, replace harvested fish
  • Business activities – accounting, sales, human resources, marketing
  • Monitoring – temperature, water quality and levels, light quality, equipment
  • Facilities maintenance – greenhouse, grounds, lights, fans, heaters, shade cloth, PFAS equipment and tanks
  • Celebrate your success! 

SHAKINGHANDSWITH

Feel free to Contact Us if you wish further information or to employ us using our Consulting Services.

We strongly suggest that if you are serious about moving forward with this that you consider enrolling in our online course that is available through our training division for our company, Aquaponics University, or have your lead operator do so before going forward.  You can complete the entire course in 10 to 15 hours of your time and most people take a week or two to complete it.  In the online training, we will show you how to build a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System module, teach you to operate the system and to grow healthy plants and vegetables.  We also offer the graduate of the course a Portable Farms®  Kit which contains the technology allowing you to construct a single module.  The aquaponics course answers a lot of the questions that you may have regarding our patent-pending systems.

We extend you our best of wishes in your exciting new undertaking and offer our support for your success.

Basics for Commercial Aquaponics

Basics for Commercial Aquaponics
– by Colle Davis, Phil Estes and Phyllis Davis

Group Of Men Meeting In Creative OfficeThe facts speak for themselves: Aquaponics grows healthy food year round. Now it’s time for you to contact local buyers who are willing to pay top dollar for pesticide free food that is locally grown and chemical free that is grown locally, harvested when it’s ripe and delivered fresh at its peak of flavor and nutrition.

Growing marketing efforts will generate profits that pay for the costs of building the greenhouse and the aquaponics system and will continue to support itself as an ongoing and profitable business.    

With a well-written business plan and adequate funding, an aquaponics business is ready to become a reality. Now it’s time for other professionals to become involved in the business-growth activities and there will be business expenses for expert’s time and services.

  1. State and Local Requirements

usmap2Because PFAS LLC provides our Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems ans services all over the world, we have no way of knowing what the local, state and national laws will be for all of our customers. However, there are requirements that must be met, so now is the time to begin talking to government officials who are responsible for enforcing their regulations and laws and be prepared to ask them questions to finalize plans.

At the local level, there are zoning requirements, city ordinances regarding the site maintenance, storm water, landscaping and many other issues.  Begin this investigation at the city level or with municipal offices.  Discuss both short term and long term plans with officials to determine the requirements to make plans and then budget for those costs.

At the state or national level, there are laws governing agricultural businesses and special laws designed for greenhouses, fish farming, organic farming, and many other issues. Become aware of laws governing labor, taxes and general business requirements by searching on the Internet and speaking with other people. Be prepared to visit government representatives and have face-to-face conversations to begin to prepare for the licensing, permitting and other business requirements.

While these interviews may initially seem like a nuisance, avoiding them will create huge problems later by being unaware of the legal requirements. Take time to find out what the State and Local requirements are at the outset of this project. It may be possible there are grants, or tax incentives, low interest loans or other financial assistance available. Now is the time to find out if any funds are available and then learn the qualifications for them.  Don’t hesitate to contact the offices of local and state-elected officials to request help.

  1. Utilities

solar panels sun1aThe PFAS LLC installations require very little in the way of ongoing resources but they do require electricity, water and sometimes heating.  PFAS LLC can provide the information regarding the power requirements for the PFAS Unit and modules, but the power for lights and other users of electricity vary from site to site. Heating is also climate variable and depends on local weather conditions, the type and quality of the greenhouse and the selection of crops grown.

Electricity is required for every site in order to power the water pumps, aerators, circulation fans and some overhead lights as minimum power requirements. Solar power is a very viable option for commercial installations. Portable Farms® can work with the supplier of electricity (whether it’s from the local power grid or a solar installation) to insure the correct amount is available at all times. Solar installations including controls and their battery back-up for night demands can involve a significant initial cost but depending on location and local utility rates, solar may be a good investment. Often the local grid power is readily available and is the most cost effective way to provide power for the Portable Farms unit initially but later on, solar lighting may become another business decision.

waterfall aquaponicsThe second required resource is water. Portable Farms® modules (patent pending) are the most efficient methods of greenhouse aquaponics in the business. They require comparatively little in the way of ongoing water supply but they do require a supply of potable water to support the plant growth and support any plant packaging operations if it is onsite. If a local water supply is available, it is the best option but it is possible to use well water or even collected rain water if the quality is adequate.

One warning on water quality: if the water is too hard, meaning too alkaline with a high pH value, it can cause growing problems for the plants by causing nutrient lockout and will require reducing the pH to compensate. Water quality is an issue requiring ongoing monitoring to keep it within a narrow range for the plants. pH can be adjusted to meet plant’s growing requirements and once stable, it is easy to monitor.

  • If heating is required in cold climates, a greenhouse manufacturer will make suggestions for keeping the interior temperature within the working parameters for best plant growth. A well-built greenhouse can stay fairly warm with a good source of sunlight during the day and may only need supplemental heating during very low temperature periods. The huge amount of thermal mass in the gravel and warm water in the fish tanks (78 degrees F to 80 degrees F) help temper the temperature swings.
  • Because the waste water from the PFAS is nontoxic, the waste disposal is much less of a problem than other types of farming. The waste can be applied to fruit trees, flowering plants, lawns and even sold as fertilizer. It also qualifies to be dumped into the sanitary waste water utility.

If a fish or food processing facility is added to the site, the fish waste water disposal may need to meet local codes and guidelines. While this is not a requirement for the PFAS operations, there may be rules that must be met regarding waste disposal with local authorities if the plants are going to be processed to sell the produce there onsite and water is used to rinse and clean them. Plus, restrooms for staff and visitors fall under the prevue of local authorities. While the PFAS modules do not require the water to be treated, other activities may, so consider it now when speaking with local authorities and if necessary, include their suggestions in the preliminary budget.

3. Engineering Assistance

engineer2

If a site requires grading, storm-water control, city permitting and other improvements, PFAS LLC offers these value added services or a local consulting engineer can help with this portion of the project. These engineering professionals can help in:

  • Site selection by understanding what is required for each location. Some sites may have hidden problems that can be exposed by an engineer
  • Going through the zoning and permitting requirements of the local government
  • Surveying the site and preparing the plans and specifications for a contractor to improve the site to meet specific requirements
  • Providing on-site inspection to verify the contractor’s quality of work
  • Working with the greenhouse manufacturer to provide the correct site conditions for their installation activities.  

If searching for a consulting engineer, meet with a local developer and ask for their advice regarding qualified consulting companies in the area.  Selecting a well-qualified firm is good business.

  1. Concept

drawing global conceptNow is the point to decide how big this dream is going to be. . .

  • Do you start small and grow in an organized fashion?
  • Do you have the capitol to move forward with a larger project from the beginning?
  • Will you conduct a phased approach with a pilot site that grows as funds grow and the market allows for it?  
  • The worth of potential clients regarding how much they will buy and what they will pay?
  • What are the property options and what they will cost?
  • What are the costs for starting up the business as a legal entity?
  • What is the estimated revenue you can generate with Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems?
  • Now it’s time to make those tough decisions and describe in detail where, how large, when, costs, cash flow, staffing, sales and distribution and how costs support or impact the project.

If you can find a local professional that does this type of work then you may want to employ them by using the information you have developed.  When it has been completed, it will be a powerful business tool in establishing a profitable and successful business.

  1. Establish Financial Resources

engineering automation building designMost projects require some outside financial backing and with a quality business plan in hand, that help is available. Whether you own the property and invest your own money or have deep-pocketed family or friends, or have grant money available, be prepared to be part of the financing partnership and share your business plan with them and discuss it in detail. Your willingness shows that you understand the business you are getting into and have thought it through, and that you are therefore worthy of their investments.

Having completed all of these steps, it is time to buy or lease a property, hire engineers, file for the permits and licenses, order the greenhouse and schedule the ordering of the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems modules.

 

A List of Aquaponics Components

A List of Aquaponics Components for Commercial Growing
- by Colle Davis, Phil Estes and Phyllis Davis

Now the FUN begins for installing your aquaponics components.

The dream of becoming a commercial aquaponics farmer becomes a reality. Yes, it’s true that the plans, the permits, site preparation, the inspections, the ordering of the greenhouse and the thousands of small and large steps have all been a bit tedious so far. But once started on the site development and the assembling of the greenhouse everything becomes REAL and moves all the plans into actions. This is always a very exciting time for our new customers and brings a sense of ‘this is real’ for everyone involved.

All construction projects (large and small) require planning and careful execution to build that dream to completion. Every new building is surrounded with a glow and an energy that is very difficult to describe and yet everyone knows the feeling of accomplishment and the energy that result when carefully executive plans come together and begin to materialize.

Preliminary installation stages for greenhouse to house Portable Farms Aquaponics System in Legos Nigeria.

Preliminary installation stages for greenhouse to house Portable Farms Aquaponics System in Lagos Nigeria.

These steps will result in being almost there in the project’s completion:

  • Design the climatically adapted greenhouse which, by the way, is THE MOST EXPENSIVE component of any new Portable Farms® Aquaponics System’s installation. You will be required to have the installers build the greenhouse to PFAS LLC’s specifications to assure the protection and health of the plants that will be growing inside. We strongly suggest to our customers they consider leasing/renting an empty greenhouse in their area to start with, if at all possible, instead of paying for land and a new greenhouse to be installed on their site. Leasing an empty greenhouse is a far more affordable option.
  • Schedule the time with PFAS LLC for the Portable Farms® Kits to be delivered to the construction site and to have the Portable Farm’s® onsite construction foreman there to train your assembly crews. 
  • fish tank3Upon completion of the greenhouse(s), assure the materials for the assembly of the Modules (lumber and fish tanks, etc.) will be delivered on time to the site for the assembly crews who are being trained by the PFAS LLC’s foreman. 
  • Ordering your fish and arrange for the baby fish (fingerlings) to be delivered upon completion of the first set of Modules. 
  • The greenhouse will be a climatically adapted structure design and built to house the plants and fish in an environment where the temperature is maintained between 40° and 104° F (4 and 40° C). All air intakes, or anywhere air comes in, will have screens installed to keep out the bugs, dirt, dust and rain. Idea growing temperates are in the mid-80’s F.
Shade cloth on roof and side walls of structure. Note the screens on this greenhouse. We have since removed the screens and replaced the screens with SolaWrap because dust came through the screens and caused problems related to white flys within the farm.

Shade cloth on roof and side walls of interior of structure.

  • There should also be shade cloth installed on the ceiling and/or sides of the greenhouse to insure the plants do NOT have direct sunlight on them or on the gravel.
  • There will be exhaust fans and circulating fans to insure the air is fresh and circulated at all times. Provisions for cooling must be made for very hot weather. In some very cold climates some heating will be required.  These requirements are part of the normal greenhouse design and building.
  • The construction team on the ground (who will build the climatically adapted greenhouse structure) can begin as soon as the design is approved and funded. This will speed up the entire process.
  • You have agreements with new customers that will be ready to accept your food orders when the plants and fish are ready for harvest and delivery.
  • Insure your complete support group is in place: assembly personnel, operators, sales people, packers, delivery people, etc
  • The availability of vehicles and other items need to be in place because the harvest of vegetables can begin is as little as five weeks after the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System is turned on and running water with plants and fish in place.
Lane McClelland, Director of Installations for Portable Farms Ltd.

Lane McClelland, Director of Installations for PFAS LLC

Employees of PFAS LLC  are the manufacturers of the patent- pending components that are included in the Portable Farms® Kits and are built in our own assembly facilities.

To ensure your projects stays on schedule, we require a defined lead time for your order to insure the requested number of Portable Farms® Kits will be available for delivery to your site on time. Production runs are scheduled to coincide with construction projects spread throughout the world, and because of this, PFAS LLC has the flexibly, if your project is ahead of schedule, to shorten the shipping time to meet your needs.

Part of the documentation provided to our customers is a complete list of materials needed to build all the Modules.

Once the greenhouse has been started, or near completion, the materials need to be delivered to the job site and ready for the Assembly Crew to begin construction the moment the PFAS LLC construction foreman arrives. A crew of experienced builders can assemble 32 or more Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Modules in five or six days. These modules are not hard to build if all the materials are onsite and easily available. The main criteria for constructing the modules is that the Grow Tables are built to be VERY Strong and absolutely level. A single Commercial Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Grow Table (40ft in length) weighs over four tons (9,000 lbs).

Phyllis Davis with ONE SINGLE HEAD of India Mustard. Harvested December 25, 2012.

Phyllis Davis with ONE SINGLE HEAD of India Mustard.

Careful planning and ordering supplies of seeds, growing medium and fingerlings (fish) begins the moment the funding is in place. Finding a source of fingerlings is critical because the fish poop is needed as soon as the Modules have water running through them. The plants in the Grow Tables can grow and survive for a week or so without fish in the system, but any longer and the lack of nutrients will stunt their growth. At PFAS LLC we like to say, “If a plant has a happy childhood, they will grow to be a healthy plant.” So, please be ready to install your fish as soon as possible after the water is running in your modules. Besides, the fish are tiny while the first planting of vegetable are tiny. They start off together and grow quickly. The small fish provide the perfect amount of nutrients for the small plants. Everybody’s happy.

PFAS LLC Publishing NEW EBook

Raising Healthy Fish and Vegetables in Aquaponics©  (New Ebook)

Learn Trade Secrets from Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems

-by Colle and Phyllis Davis

©2008-2015 – Colle Davis, All rights reserved – Utility Patent Application Filed December 24, 2013.

ANNOUNCING . . .

NEW ONLINE EBOOK – Publishing Date Mid-February 2015 – $39.95

bokchoywithpd3 aquaponicsPhyllis Davis, Co-Author, Co-Inventor, Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems

NEW ONLINE EBOOK – Publishing Date Mid-February 2015 – $39.95

To be notified of publishing date, please provide us with your email address: CLICK HERE.

Please note: This new ebook does NOT teach the reader how to build a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System. Instead, it focuses on fish and plant care in aquaponics.

Announcing a new Ebook exposing Portable Farms® trade secrets! LEARN FROM US!

TRADE SECRETNEW EBOOK – Publishing Date Mid-February 2015 – $39.95

To be notified of publishing date, please provide us with your email address: CLICK HERE.

This cutting edge information offers FULL EXPLANATIONS for 15 Trade Secrets along with 100 pages of tips and tricks for raising healthy fish and vegetables in aquaponics.

Find out the answers to these aquaponics trade secrets in our new book.

  • TRADE SECRET #1The carrying capacity for fish in an aquaponics system is based on the following formula:_____________________.
  • TRADE SECRET #3To size the Fish Tank correctly, follow the following formula to calculate the number of gallons needed for the Fish Tank size:_____________________.

The purpose of this book is to fill in the gap between the burgeoning varieties of technology available today for aquaponics and all the various growing techniques. It is our pleasure to offer many of our own time-tested and effective techniques for raising healthy fish and plants in aquaponics.

This book teaches the solutions to problems that we have faced while working in the field of medium-based aquaponics (gravel or substrate based systems) over many decades.

This book does not provide instructions for building a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System. However, if your goal is to build your own Portable Farm, please visit Aquaponics University to view the curriculum for the coursework.

Inventors of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems publicly reveal their TRADE SECRETS for growing delicious food in aquaponics systems. Take advantage of our 43 years of refining our own and our customer’s aquaponics systems and learn from ALL of our mistakes so you won’t have to make them.

  • Learn how to care for your fish and then harvest and enjoy the fresh fish from your aquaponics system.
  • Let us show you how to grow healthy, pesticide free table vegetables for your family.
Mozambique tilapia

Tilapia

Aquaponics has become a passion for many people. As a result, there are many designs for aquaponics systems available online as ‘open source’ (free) information for those interested in replicating an inventor’s system and installing their own aquaponics systems for growing food.

Yes, it is a sad truth that we have inadvertently killed countless plants and fish over the years and as a result of these tragedies, we have learned from our mistakes.

As the inventors of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems, we have worked diligently in our Aquaponics Research and Development Centers in both California and Florida to experiment with fish varieties and fish care and seed selections and planting experiments for growing vegetables with simple techniques for maximum production in aquaponics systems.

superfarmerAs of today, Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems have been sold in almost all 50 US States, in 10 Canadian Provinces and in 11 countries outside the US. Our customers have installed small aquaponics systems in their garages and basements and in small greenhouses in their backyard. They have also created community farms in greenhouses to feed several families as well as large ¼ acre commercial aquaponics farms for selling food locally to customers who want to buy the healthiest, pesticide food available.

We have worked in every aspect of aquaponics from building and constructing backyard greenhouses, installing commercial aquaponics’ farms to working closely with our global customers to advise them how to grow healthy fish and a wide range of table vegetables.

Aquaponics is trending and today, even city planners are focusing on funding for both hydroponics and aquaponics systems to create higher degrees of food security in large cities to feed their growing urban populations. Their plans include the use of vacant lots for the installation of attractive greenhouses and retrofitting empty warehouses for growing food year round with the addition of grow lights.

 

Urban Aquaponics is HOT in 2015!

 

Urban Growing with Commercial Aquaponics HOT in 2015!
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

Aquaponics is the future for urban agriculture as well as a reliable food production facility for remote and desert areas and areas susceptible to desertification.

hong kongIf growing and transporting food becomes an issue in a large urban area, it will create chaos (think New York City or Los Angeles). Urban Agriculture is at the forefront of discussions for large cities to create food availability for residents. And, as city planning committees consider alternative agricultural technologies, both hydroponics and aquaponics are high on their list of suggestions for funding considerations in the coming years. “Fresh, Locally Grown Food” is also high on the list of chef’s options as well as those families who enjoy preparing healthy meals at home.

Aquaponics has been trending (albeit slowly) for about decade, but in light of drought issues in the South and Southwestern US as well as in other countries dealing drought issues, extremely harsh winters and issues related to flooding, investors and city officials are looking at  new ‘technology’ as a way to add to community levels of sustainability by creating community farms as well as micro-farms for growing healthy food. More funding is now available to investors; according to MicroEntrprise, “Direct to customer neighborhood meals sales through community sustained farming (CSA), farmers markets and farm stands improved from about $600 million to $1.2 billion from 1997 to 2007. USDA approximates that farm-level worth of local meals sales amounted to concerning $4.8 billion in 2008 (1.7 percent of earnings from all farm manufacturing) and are expected to continue double-digit growth into 2015 as well as past.”

farmer and wife

  • Portable Farms® Aquaponics System and PFAS LLC has proven our concept for growing healthy food in the US and on a global level.
  • The day of the family-owned farm is changing as we speak because the average age of US farmers is 59 years old.
  • As Urban Agriculture becomes a key talking point for city leaders, it is because over 50% of the world’s population currently lives in cities and healthy food is a vital necessity for its residents.
  • Currently, the statistics are grim for the topic of Urban Agriculture since only 5% of the world’s food is currently currently grown in cities.
  • According to UN projections, 2/3 of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2030 and Urban Agriculture must become a focus for current funding to install growing systems for it’s residents.

 

 

 

kale aug 20

With Portable Farms®  Aquaponics Systems (utility patent application filed December 23, 2013), our proven technology and scaleable modules fit into any size greenhouse in any climate in the world, and have no ‘single point of failure.’

  • One quarter-acre of Portable Farms (one 10,000 sq ft greenhouse)  feeds 240 people forever.
  • One full acre of Portable Farms (four 10,0000 sq ft greenhouses) feeds 1,000 people forever. 
  • With Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems’ minimal need for ENERGY, WATER AND LABOR, we can grow more food with minimal requirements than any aquaponics system in the world. 
  • With the discovery of FF Mineral Rock Dust, aquaponics growers now have the perfect balance of 57 trace elements not consistently available from just plain ordinary fish poop and growers no longer need to add harsh chemicals to grow food. Now growers can consistently grow blooming plants with the addition of FF Mineral Rock Dust, because the plants and fish poop now contain adequate levels of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, just to mention four of the vital elements for successful growing in aquaponics. Plus, it’s fish friendly and the fish are healthier and happier.
Colle Davis, showing Inda-Gro light suspended above the grow tray.

Colle Davis, showing the interior of a Portable Farms Aquaponics System

 

  • With the use of grow lights, aquaponics can be maximized in any climate, anywhere in the world for year round growing (even in basements or closed buildings).
  • With the discovery of specially designed greenhouse covers, greenhouses receive higher yields because of increased durability and light limiting features that protect the plants.

 

Smokers Spread Tobacco Mosaic Virus in Farms

Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Smoking is NOT permitted near any Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems for fear of spreading the dreaded Tobacco Mosaic Virus

- by Colle and Phyllis Davis

The  Tobacco Mosaic Virus has been known to stay on dried plants 50 years. It also remains on clothing and even garden tools for years to come. KEEP SMOKERS AWAY FROM YOUR FARM.

According to the University of Florida, the Tobacco Mosaic Virus effects the entire tomato plant. It’s leaves exhibit light and dark mottling with the dark areas being raised and crinkled; plants appear stunted with some yellow leaf mottling also; fruit deform, spot or streak with the mottling remaining even after ripening often stretching from stem scar to shoulder.

Through abrasions or wounds caused by machinery, workers, pruning or tying operations-even chewing insects; survives infected foliar and root debris or smoking tobacco or in weed hosts. Can occur in all seasons in all tomato-producing areas.

PLEASE NOTE: The Tobacco Mosaic Virus also effects peppers, cucumbers, ornamental plants and 150 plant varieties. Do not allow smokers near your aquaponics system. ALWAYS WEAR DISPOSABLE GLOVES when handling your plants, gravel or fish. If you see a ‘mosaic’ pattern on the leaves of young plants that appears as light and dark green variations, REMOVE THE PLANT from your aquaponics system immediately.

Since you cannot use any type of insecticide in your Portable Farms® Aquaponics System, you must protect your plants and fish from predators of any kind.

We recommend that anyone who touches the gravel or the plants wear clean gloves, every time they enter the farm. We also recommend that NO SMOKING AND NO SMOKERS ever be allowed to handle the gravel or handle the plants for fear of introducing the tobacco mosaic virus into the farm. We also recommend all plants are grown from seed because small plants brought in from nurseries hold a high possibility for having been handled by smokers and may also contain aphids and other pests.

 

This Tobacco Mosaic Virus attacks tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and produces
bumps on the leaves, uneven coloring and stunted and distorted fruit.

Smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco, dip, snuff, pouches) can also carry the tobacco mosaic virus and is transmitted by human hands to the research plant material.

For more information about the tobacco mosaic virus we recommend further reading:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/dg1168.html
Cornell University: http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/factsheets/Viruses_Tomato.htm

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