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Organic Worm Casting Tea for Aquaponics – The FAST Method

LAUNCHING NEW PRODUCT FOR AQUAPONICS:
FF (Fish Friendly) Organic Worm Castings
for Making Worm Casting Tea!

FF (Fish Friendly) Organic Worm Castings are Now Available for Sale from Portable Farms. To Order FF Organic Worm CastingsCLICK HERE. (Ships from San Diego, California).

FF Portable Farms® Worm Casting Tea – The Quick and Easy Method

We suggest you purchase a simple sprayer to apply the worm castings tea to your plants.

Brought to you by PFAS LLC, Patented Inventors of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems’ Modular Aquaponics Systems

We recommend you spray the plants in your Portable Farm once a week with Worm Casting Tea to create healthier plants. There are tremendous benefits from the foliar application of Worm Casting Tea in your Portable Farm:

 

  • Safe for your fish (a very big advantage)
  • These worm casting are pure organic worm castings and not vermin-compost.
  • The worm casting tea is non-toxic to plants, fish, pets or people.
  • By spraying the worm tea on your plants (under the leaves as well as on top) and over your seed trays (seed nursery), you’re adding nutrients directly to your growing plants and making them healthier and minimizing any potential problems.
  • Since you’re spraying the leaves and fruit/vegetables, pathogens are less likely to attack your plants because you’re adding beneficial microbes (very important to healthy plant growth) to the surface of the plants.
  • Worm casting tea used as a foliar spray is beneficial and controls many fugal problems like black spot, black mildew and tomato blight, to mention a few.
  • Testing proves that there are microorganism properties in the worm casting tea that act as an insect repellent for many insects such as aphids, white fly, spider mites, and other small bugs that eat plant juices. This is due to enzyme released in the worm tea called chitinase which will dissolve chitin which is the exoskeleton of an insect.

The Portable Farms® Worm Casting Tea method works much faster than standard methods and produces tea of equal or better quality. You can make your Organic Worm-Castings Tea in as little as 4 hours and 98% of that time is allowing the tea to brew or sit and brew prior to application in your aquaponics system. Easy to make. Easy to spray. Great for your aquaponics system.

For an Aquaponic system with 200 sq. ft. of grow space, use one cup of FF Worm Casting Tea. You only need 10 cups of fish-friendly water from fish tank or aquarium to make the tea and apply it on the same day. 

Adjust amounts for your grow tray size. The Portable Farms® Worm Casting Tea Method makes two assumptions:

  1. You have an aquarium or fish tank water or water that has been in an open container for overnight.
  2. Here is a quick and complete way to remove chlorine from water – Vitamin C (just plain water-soluble ascorbic acid with no fancy additives such as Citrus Bioflavonoids or Rose Hips, etc.) at the rate of 1 mg per gallon of water. We picked up this trick for curing water from our work in Portable Farms®.

Ingredients and equipment:

  1. 1 cup FF Portable Farms® Worm Castings which is 100% organic and supplies a natural source of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron for your plants.
  2. 10 cups of water from your aquarium or your fish tank. Use tap water only when it has been treated with Vitamin C to remove the chlorine.
  3. A bucket that holds 14 cups of water (make sure the bucket has had no chemicals in it in prior usages).
  4. Let a kitchen blender to do the work to mix and aerate the worm casting tea.
  5. Use a wire mesh strainer (mesh strainer works better than a spaghetti colander) or a cloth (cheese cloth or old hosiery) to line the strainer (the tea has to pass through your sprayers nozzle so make sure the filter is smaller then the particles in the brewed tea, so strain well). If the worm casting tea is not well strained, it will clog up your sprayer. 

Process:

  1. Pour four to five cups of water which has been taken from your total of 10 cups into a kitchen blender  (this process is tough on blenders, so it’s best to buy a cheap one to use only for this type of work) and put the lid on before you blend.
  2. Turn on the blender and let it run for about a minute at a relatively high speed to entrain air into the water oxygenating it.
  3. Remove the lid and then carefully add the one cup of FF Portable Farms® Worm Castings.
  4. Put back the lid back on the blender and run it at full speed for one to two minutes, turn off and then let the mixture sit for 2-4 hours in the blender.
  5. Set up the strainer with the cloth liner to drain into the large bucket with the rest of the water.
  6. Very slowly and carefully pour the mixture through the strainer/cloth into the bucket with the remaining water. The drainage gets slower and slower so you may want to stop and change filters to speed up the process.
  7. Stop pouring when the heavier remains start to flow out of the blender.
  8. Stir the worm casting tea thoroughly.
  9. Pour the resulting liquid into sprayer. Note, the color of the Worm Casting Tea can be VERY black.
  10. Now you can spray your plants on the top and underside of leaves.
  11. Use all of the mixture within a day. It may start to ferment if you leave it in the sprayer longer than one day.
  12. BIG BENEFIT: FF Worm Casting Tea can be made in HOURS not days!

Note: Use the remaining casting residue left in the strainer cloth and blender on your indoor or outdoor plants, or your yard, at the base of a plant or tree. DO NOT PUT LEFT-OVER WORM CASTING RESIDUE INTO IN YOUR AQUAPONICS GROW TRAY.

Very Beneficial Additional Ingredients:

You can add The FF Portable Farms® Mineral Rock Dust at the rate of one teaspoon per batch at the time you add the Worm Castings, now you have a great Mineralized Worm Casting Tea.

This FF Portable Farms® mineralized Worm Castings Tea is quick, elegant, the perfect nutrient foliar spray, a strong insect spray for the plants. It’s fast and easy to make and is applied the same day.

This Portable Farms® Worm Castings Tea or Super Tea is quick, elegant, the perfect foliar spray, a strong insect repellent for the plants and can be made and applied in the same day. One more product and service from PFAS LLC.

Non-GMO Food . . . What is the Truth?

Non-GMO Food . . . What is the Truth?
– By Colle and Phyllis Davis

 

seedA true statement follows. This is NOT urban legend so please read carefully: There is no peer-reviewed scientific data available to prove that GMO crops raise yields. Read that again.

This GMO research data simply does not exist in the public arena. That’s because the companies that sell GMO seeds will not allow outside scientist to test the yields of their seeds in controlled experiments. Why? Because, the GMO seeds would fail miserably to demonstrate that one of their most highly touted ‘benefits’ is actually true. The truth is slowly emerging that the public, the consumer, is being lied to at every level in order to protect the corporate/political machine in charge of our food supply. (Please read the article posted below.)

Another ‘benefit’ of GMO is ‘weed control’ and there is a growing body of evidence showing that the weeds are winning this lopsided battle very quickly. The weeds are evolving much faster than the seed/chemical companies can adjust their products. The fields planted with seeds that can withstand a chemical sold by the companies to kill weeds are becoming so weed infested that increasing levels of the expensive pesticide are required to ‘control’ the weeds. This increased pesticide application is dumping more of the toxic chemicals into the soil, the water and the food products derived from the field.

Fortune cookieThere are a growing list of countries that have absolute bans on any GMO products entering their country. Not just the seeds, but the final products. For example, cheese or any milk products made from cows that have eaten GMO corn or alfalfa cannot be shipped to these discerning countries. They are actually requiring PROOF that the final products are safe. Not so with the US Government.

Organic certification can be denied because of pollen contamination of a crop from nearby or not so nearby being polluted by GMO crops. Billions of dollars are lost and the losses will continue to grow if the responsibility for contamination is not directly assigned to the companies that produce the GMO seeds and support product.

Food Science: What’s the Harm? 
by Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate, Lawyer, Author.
Posted in Huffington Post 9/16/2014 
Follow Ralph Nader on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RalphNader

Businessman juggling with planet earthCorporate CEOs are always strategizing in their quest for greater revenues and profits. Often these strategies — and their resulting, insidious successes — have shaped our elections, our government, our education system, our media, our publicly funded research and development, our tax and credit systems, our trade agreements and so on. The world has never seen such an ingenious, power-concentrating machine as the modern, global corporation.

Even science, which ideally should carry the banner for rigid standards, openness and integrity, has suffered the undue influence and control of autocratic, commercially-driven multinational corporations. In many disturbing cases, independent science has been increasingly displaced by the far more devious “corporate science” which places profits over people, above safety, and above revealed scientific method and peer-reviewed accountability.

The food we eat is increasingly engineered by such corporate science. Biotech companies like Monsanto and DuPont have moved towards monopolizing the seed market — an antitrust investigation of Monsanto by the Department of Justice was quietly ended in 2012, and no steps have been taken by regulators since.

Monsanto, with its massive, relentless marketing and harassing litigation campaigns, has repeatedly claimed that its genetically-modified patented seeds (GMOs) are superior to traditional seeds — claiming that genetically modified foods are safe, cheaper, higher yielding, more nutritious, requiring lower chemical inputs, and resistant to drought and blight. Yet Monsanto has refused to meet its burden of proof about these claims with evidence. Moreover, it intimidates independent scientists from testing its proprietary products!

Corporate science is, above all else, secretive. The flimsy excuse of “trade secrets” is used to prevent independent or academic scientists from evaluating exaggerated corporate claims. Scientists who wish to replicate or test the biotech industry’s claims about their products find a paucity of available grants, obstructed access to the products, and a litigiously backed up refusal to disclose. Research on the migration of genetically-modified pollen from farms to non-GMO-farms; the level of developing bacterial, viral, and insect resistance to GMO-linked herbicides; and longer-run studies of the consequences of GMO seeds and crops on the environment is grossly underfunded, whether by government agencies or foundations. The cover-up continues.

One Monsanto claim is that GMO seeds provide higher yields than traditional seeds. A report released earlier this year by the USDA’s Economic Research Service showed that those claims are untrue. The report states:

Over the first 15 years of commercial use, GE [genetically-engineered] seeds have not been shown to increase yield potentials of the varieties. In fact, the yields of herbicide-tolerant or insect-resistant seeds may be occasionally lower than the yields of conventional varieties.

Lester Brown, founder of WorldWatch and President of the Earth Policy Institute,puts it more bluntly: “…no genetically modified crops have led to dramatically higher yields… Nor do they seem likely to do so, simply because conventional plant-breeding techniques have already tapped most of the potential for raising crop yields.”

And there is the issue of farmers who enter into one-sided adhesion contracts with GMO seed suppliers and find themselves ensnared in a tight web of control. Under these contracts, farmers are forbidden from saving seeds (forcing them to buy new seed every season), are subject to intrusive inspection provisions, and much more. (See faircontracts.org)

Other claims, such as the long-term effects of consuming genetically-modified food remain inconclusive, largely for lack of consumer-oriented testing.

Basic openness has been pushed aside in the realm of commercialized global agriculture. Take for instance the fact that consumers overwhelmingly want the right to know what is in their food by mandating the labeling of genetically engineered food. A poll in The New York Times last year showed that 93 percent of Americans support labeling of food containing GMO’s.

Public sentiment shows that Monsanto is in trouble. While the seed production conglomerate has fought off several attempts by states to require GMO labeling, ballot initiatives to require labeling in Oregon and Colorado this November are promising developments in the food safety movement. GMO labeling has already passed in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine, although only Vermont has put the law into effect. Over 60 countries, including the members of the European Union, Australia, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, Russia and China have also required labeling of GMO’s. The new book, The GMO Deception: What You Need to Know about the Food, Corporations, and Government Agencies Putting Our Families and Our Environment at Risk is a comprehensive, definitive collection of essays by leading experts on the subject of genetically-modified food. Edited by Sheldon Krimsky, arguably the nation’s leading advocate of ethics in science, and lawyer Jeremy Gruber, this book is essential reading for those interested in the ongoing debate about the future of our food. (I wrote the introduction.) Sheldon Krimsky puts it best in his summary conclusion of the anthology:

The real and potentially adverse effects of GMOs have been understated or negated by many in the scientific community who accept uncritically a corporate-crafted message. A fair-minded and unbiased individual looking at all the evidence must reach the conclusion that there is a great deal we do not know and what we do know impels us to be both cautious and concerned, skeptical of an early manufactured consensus, and critical of a framing that fails to recognize the diversity of public objections to GMOs.

The history of corporate marketing has long used secretive corporate science and engineering to promote products. This has been the case with polluting products, pharmaceuticals, nuclear power and industrial materials and chemicals. GMOs follow these practices in the more ominous process of changing the nature of nature.

Together with resisting farmers, challenging scientists, and liberated civil servants, an aroused public will recognize that its own interests and those of posterity must be preeminent over these corporate monopolists and their short-range, narrow commercial pursuits.

For more information and to acquire a copy of The GMO Deception: What You Need to Know about the Food, Corporations, and Government Agencies Putting Our Families and Our Environment at Risk see The Council for Responsible Genetics.

8 Steps to Simply Your Life (This is Not for the Faint of Heart)

8 Steps to Simply Your Life (This is Not for the Faint of Heart)
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

The world’s love affair with technology has some interesting impacts with people’s thinking. A very high percentage of the college-educated population, and many not so well educated, firmly believe that technology will solve all the food shortage problems facing the world today. There are two tiny trends working against what is actually happening.

The cost of transportation will remain high (as long as gas is in limited supply), so any technology fixes will have to be transportation independent if they are to be effective.

  • The world’s population is already outstripping the ability of the food production system to keep up with the growing demand. Actually the real crux is the quickly increasing middle class with their new-found wealth, who can afford a more Western diet that are distorting the demand curve.

So, I address this question to the group who claim that ‘technology will solve all of our problems: What technology (or technologies) do you believe will actually make hunger disappear in the world, in your lifetime?

This is a very tough question that is being addressed by governments, academicians, agronomists, agriculturalists, and nonprofits organizations whose primary mission is to turn the tide from poverty and starvation to introduce self-sufficiency and employment for people who are hungry.

Technology has actually helped to create much of the current rolling disasters around the world. The use of modern medicines, vaccines, excellent sanitation and a worldwide food and stuff distribution system are all technology based and very recent inventions. These brilliant innovations have actually helped the world’s population double twice in the last century. In this instance, technology is creating far more problems than it solves. The odd part is that technology creates a solution to a non-problem and then very sharp sales people go look for possible problems that ‘could’ use the ‘new and better’ solutions to remedy the problem.

Has technology made life better, longer lasting and offered more choices to everyone? Yes. However, in the last 100 years it has reached the point where it is creating more problems than it is solving. The technology for removing a mountain top to extract coal or gold or some other mineral being used today is contributing to ecological disasters that will be around forever. The technology works too well to play nicely with people’s lives.

Modern medicine is keeping people alive for years longer than ever dreamed, and yet one third of all medical costs are spent in the last three months of people’s lives to prolong those same lives. Technology can keep them alive, but at a huge and growing expense to society.

Some technologies have spent literally thousands of years evolving to be more effective, efficient and more productive. Aquaponics is an example; it has been used for thousands of years and it has vastly improved over the last few decades. However, modern aquaponics is energy dependent and requires very careful attention to details, operations and other factors to insure success. Nearly all modern aquaponics systems have single points of failure. It may be a heavy duty pump, a control panel, or even a routine that cannot be offline, malfunctioning or not followed or disaster will result.

 

Building a climatically-adapted structure (greenhouse) that will last only a hundred years seems short sighted to some. To millions of others it means jobs, security, food, raising their children to be healthy and become educated and even a chance for them to live until old age and even retire to a slower pace.

What time frame do we look at with each new technology? A few years as the patent office does, a few decades as the building industry does or even a few centuries as some societies are geared to do? For you and your family, look at what has to happen for you to have a good life, create a good life for any of your children who want that life also. And do you want to be impacted by the coming crash or do you want your family to be insulated from it by having a functioning farm an hour or so from the nearest large city, have a salable trade and feel comfortable that your genes will live on to influence the future.

The choice seems like an easy one: SIMPLIFY your life.

  1. Raise at least SOME of your own food. We suggest a Portable Farms Aquaponics System because they require very little water or power and produce an enormous amount of food regardless of the weather or the season.
  2. Eliminate all your debt and invest in ways to sustain your family if (and when) resources become unavailable temporarily or for prolonged periods of time.
  3. Surround yourself with craftspeople (men and women) who are innovative, creative and dependable and FIRE your friends who are filled with drama and self-pity (they are a luxury you cannot afford).
  4. LEARN new stuff. Read or take courses that could benefit your life in ways that are family projects that are time-savers, money savers and fun for you and your family. In other words, instill values of self-sufficiency and health.
  5. Turn off your television and attend lectures, conferences, exhibits in your area that promote wellness and community.
  6. GET INVOLVED so you can get to know people in case the ‘bottom falls out’ so that you’ll know people in the community with whom you can barter time, resources and information. You can NEVER have too many people of value in your life if/when you need them. And believe us when we say, it is our friends who have buoyed us up during difficult times and given us the strength to ‘carry on’ when nights were long and dark. Being a lone-wolf in today’s culture is not advantageous to survival, prosperity or health.
  7. Give up your fantasy that your government or your parents/grandparents are going to save you from the perils of the world. They are powerless over your circumstances. Grow up. Take responsibility. Get serious about your life.
  8. Consider moving OUT of large metropolitan areas and move to an area (nearby) that is less populated. If ‘the bottom’ does fall out, it is the large urban areas that will suffer most if fresh food, water, gasoline or power are not available. Panic and chaos will ensue. Count on it.

 

FREE Aquaponics Business Plan Template

Commercial Aquaponics Offers a FREE Business Plan Template to present to funders or investors

This offer is ONLY for commercial inquiries from qualified parties.

Send us your commercial aquaponics business proposal for consideration, we will read it and respond: cdavis@portablefarms.com

DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS. They will not be opened. Provide the proposal in the body of an email only.

Greenhouse

redfolder2Commercial aquaponics is the fastest growing segment of PFAS LLC. The worldwide demand for locally grown and pesticide free food drives the interest in aquaponics and specifically in our systems because they can be operated by semi-skilled labor.

We receive nearly a thousand inquiries per month and the smallest commercial aquaponics system we recommend is a 10,000 sq. ft. greenhouse with 6,000 sq. ft. growing space (1/4 acre). The total for the greenhouse (varies according to climate) and our technology is about $300,000 per 1/4 acre . . .  and $1.3 million per acre.

There are many factors that determine the return on investment for an investment of this size, but generally it is between 2 and 4 years depending on the customers you have and the types of food you provide them (some crops are more valuable in and out of season) and the skill level of your operators.

The fastest, most effective way to move your project forward is for you to first take the Aquaponics University Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems Course© in order to have a deeper understanding of the technology and its requirements before you begin your project.

After completing the AU Course, which includes one Portable Farms® Technology Kit for building one Portable Farms Module that feeds eight people, we will also send you the Business Plan Template for FREE to present to funders or investors. Plus, you will have two hours of discussion time with Colle Davis, CEO, PFAS LLC, concerning what you want for an outcome and how you plan to achieve that goal. The Business Plan Template and consulting time is normally a US$750 charge, but we will waive the fee if you complete the AU Course.

PLEASE NOTE: You must already have either the money to invest in an installation OR be the owner of a successful company with a line of credit to cover the investment or have investors who are willing to step up with the money. If you are simply thinking about getting into ‘the’ business and have no business background or you do not have the money available at this time, you are not qualified for this offer. PFAS LLC reserves the right to refuse those who do not meet the qualifications above.

If you are serious about starting a commercial aquaponics business then this special offer from PFAS LLC has all the components you need to be successful. However you must be able to demonstrate that you have achieved success in the past and have verifiable references that can be interviewed.

Send us your commercial aquaponics business proposal for consideration, we will read it and respond: cdavis@portablefarms.com

DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS. They will not be opened. Provide the proposal in the body of an email only.

Local Focus Commercial Aquaponics is the HOT NEW TREND

Local Focus Commercial Aquaponics is the HOT NEW TREND
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

The impact of a single commercial aquaponics system on a community is much larger than the excellent ROI (Return on Investment) and high monthly income. The impact of multiple units will have a profound effect on virtually every aspect of a community.

 

 

 

botswana10,000 Sq ft Portable Farms Aquaponics System Commercial Farm Installed in Botswana, Africa

Commercial aquaponics systems have now proven themselves over the last two decades and are becoming more effective and efficient as the technology improves. Many people are contributing to the movement and it now appears that commercial aquaponics has finally arrived as a viable alternative to the easily disrupted food supply and the huge increase in the demand for locally grown, pesticide free food.

For investors looking for an ROI in the two to four year range, a construction company looking for a new arena to expand into over the next decade or two or even a Ministry of Agriculture or an NGO wanting to improve the lives of local people, commercial aquaponics is a viable option to address their desired outcomes to provide food and work for local people.

The large commercial installations employ local people on both a temporary (building the systems) and permanent basis (operating, harvesting and planting) and contribute to the local economy. The initial markets are not necessarily local markets; instead, their best customers now are resort hotels, high-end restaurants and specialty markets catering to the wealthy. Within the next few years, commercial aquaponics systems will contribute to local food supplies on a much broader scale (supermarkets and institutional growing for schools and prisons), but initially they may only contribute to the local economy through job creation.

For instance: An investor group plans to install a commercial (10,000 sq ft – 1/4 acre) Portable Farms™ Aquaponics Systems next to a restaurant in a major US city. Here is what they are planning to accomplish with their very first installation:

  1. Showcase the use of aquaponics as a LOCAL FOOD SOURCE
  2. Deliver ORGANIC, locally grown vegetables to their customers that was not treated with chemicals or insecticides
  3. Place locally grown fresh-water healthy fish on the menu that were not treated with chemicals or any kind
  4. Reduce transportation costs for most vegetables to ZERO
  5. Serve food that was harvested on the DAY it was meant to be harvested which enhances both the flavor and the nutritional content of the food
  6. Dramatically reduces their carbon footprint
  7. Reduces storage costs because the food is harvested as needed
  8. Reduces prep time because the crops are harvested only as needed
  9. Teach classes and offer lectures in the use and benefits of aquaponics to their local patrons
  10. Supply their patrons with the excess production at regular store prices

Plus the investor group will also reap these benefits:

  1. Realize an ROI of two to four years
  2. Net-net income for 1/4 acre is approximately US$100,000 or more depending on restaurant margins
  3. Become their own supplier for many of the vegetables they now purchase through wholesalers
  4. Have the marketing lead to themselves in their niche for at least two years
  5. Become local spokespersons for using local suppliers and growers
  6. Offers owners ‘bragging rights’ to attract news coverage in the media. Also offers a ‘hook’ for advertising and articles about their aquaponics system to talk about on their website to boast the use of locally grown organic food that was planted, raised and harvested onsite or locally. This alone is worth its price of investment. Word travels fast and people will drive for miles to experience an innovative approach in dining and shopping.

To have the opportunity to invest in anything that has an ROI of less than five years is very tempting and when the investment comes with all of the above benefits, the long term impact for both the investor and the community continues to grow.

Multiple installations add several more benefits to the equation.

  1. The impact on local employment grows in direct proportion to each new installation
  2. The ancillary services to support the aquaponics installations creates jobs and even new businesses
  3. Tax revenue increases to better serve the community’s needs
  4. A stabilized workforce is more resilient to economic disruptions
  5. The less a community depends on imported energy and food, the more stable the community
  6. Eventually, a surplus may be developed and shipping to other areas may occur
  7. The area could even become a net exporter of food.

The question now is, ‘How can an individual or group step into the commercial aquaponics business?’ The answer is, ‘Be prepared to spend some money to determine the feasibility of your chosen location and to work with our team of engineers and experts to establish the cost and benefits for your project.’ 

The fastest and easiest way to get started is by reading three important pages on our website related to the question of becoming a Commercial Farmer:

  1. Portable Farms™ Aquaponics Systems
  2. Commercial Aquaponics
  3. Services Offered.

Please feel free to contact PFAS LLC for more information concerning Commercial Aquaponics.

If you simply want a backyard installation to grow your own food for your family and become more self-sustaining, please see the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course©.

The HEALTHIEST Bread in the World

The HEALTHIEST Bread in the World
-
by Colle and Phyllis Davis

bread1

This bread recipe has zero/ZIP/NADDA to do with aquaponics, but many of our readers are full-fledged ‘foodies’ (as we are) and we occasionally enjoy passing along recipes that light us up. THIS ONE IS A GOODIE. You must try it.

The Danes make the best breads in the world and I’m passing along a much-loved recipe of theirs that is so good for us that we make it regularly. WE LOVE IT and it’s high in fiber and protein. It’s also gluten-free and vegan and digests easily (pre-soaked ingredients).

This is NOT sandwich bread. You can use this Life-Changing Loaf of Bread in a variety of novel and healthy ways:

  • Toast a slice
  • Crumble up a small slice and use as a morning cereal. Add blueberries, bananas or fresh peaches for a royal treat. Colle makes fresh almond milk for cereal twice a week by adding a dozen unsalted almonds, a few walnuts and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut, a cup of ice and about 10 cups of water into our Vita-Mix. Blend to mix and serve over cereal. It is delicious!
  • Toss a few tablespoons of this great bread into yogurt for a taste treat.
  • Crumble up a small slice and throw over a fresh lettuce, vegetable or fruit salad for a crunchy surprise.
  • Throw a few tablespoons into a protein drink for added flavor and texture.

bread 2

Makes 1 loaf

I mix all the dry ingredients in great batch quantities to last for a month so I can make this recipe quickly without have to get out all the ingredients every time I make a loaf. Then, when I want to make it, I just measure out the 2 2/3 cups of the dry ingredients then just mix in the liquid ingredients to let it sit (minimum 3 hours) prior to baking. Since the bread lasts five days (when wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or wax or freezer paper and secured well with 2 rubber bands), I make four or five loaves per month to have on hand for all it’s many uses.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup flax seeds
  • ½ cup hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
  • 1 tsp. fine grain sea salt

Liquid Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (we use light agave nectar – found at most supermarkets – instead of maple syrup)
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 ½ cups water

In the loaf pan, combine all dry ingredients. Whisk maple syrup (or agave nectar), oil and water together in a separate bowl.

Remember to MIX ALL THE INGREDIENTS TOGETHER IN THE ACTUAL BAKING PAN ITSELF! Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and combine until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick, adding 1-2 teaspoons water if dough is too thick to stir. Pound down the mixture in the baking pan so there are no air pockets anywhere in the mixture. Slap it with your hands or with a wooden spoon. Smooth the top and then let sit at room temperature IN THE BAKING PAN for at least 3 hours or overnight before cooking.

Instead of a typical metal baking pan, I use a silicone baking pan (it is flexible and is great for baking) and the bread just pops out perfectly (image above).

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake bread for 20 minutes, then remove bread from loaf pan, place the loaf upside down directly on a rack, and bake for another 40 minutes (it should sound hollow when tapped). Let cool completely before slicing.

Store in an airtight wrapping or container for up to 5 days.

Lanai Aquaponics in Florida

Lanai Aquaponics in Florida or Other Tropical Climates
Or Solar aquaponics in a screen house/enclosure (tropics only)
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

tropical girl2

 

The definition of lanai, for those of you who do not live in the tropics or in Hawaii:

  • noun, plural lanais. Hawaiian. (Dictionary.com)
  • a veranda, especially a fully furnished one used as a living room.
  • In Florida they are very large screened structure usually covering a swimming pool and are an extended living space for part of the year when it is not so hot.

lanaiThe lanai is designed to keep out bugs, birds or other pests. They do not stop the rain. The do slow the wind down a bit and they keep the leaves, falling coconuts and palm fronds out of the swimming pool. They also keep other flying or crawling animals or bugs (think lizards) out of the pool and away from those of us sitting on our lanais and watching the beautiful tropical sunrises or sunsets.

What does the topic of a lanai have to do with aquaponics?

It turns out that in the warm and lush tropics, lanai territory, you do not need a greenhouse for having a year round aquaponics system.

The requirements for a successful lanai aquaponics installation in the tropics are:

  • the air/ambient temperatures need to be kept between 50° and 104° F (10 to 40° C) so lanai aquaponics will only work in tropical areas that never have freezing temperatures
  • an adequately screened lanai to keep the bugs out
  • a sunscreen installed above the Grow Tables to filter the intense sun from burning the plants
  • a method for keeping the rain off of the Grow Tables to avoid the Fish Tanks from overflowing and washing in dust and insect eggs.

The new Lanai/Tropics Aquaponics System from PFAS LLC accomplished exactly that and no more. In many instances the lanai is already there and has been for years. Building 25 sq ft (2.3m2) of Grow Table space per adult in the household is now so straightforward and easy that in does not make sense not to put an aquaponics installation in your lanai.

farm with umbrellaHere is an example of a lanai aquaponics system installed in Southwestern Florida: It is the one in our lanai.

List of benefits of the Lanai Aquaponics System: 

  • Very little cost for enclosure – probably already in place
  • Usually more aisle room that in a greenhouse
  • Adds beauty to your lanai space
  • The best food in the world only steps from your kitchen
  • Local contractor or handyman can build the Grow Table/Module for you
  • Keeps the space slightly cooler because of the shading and the water
  • Great conversation piece!

 

 

solar panel and signTalking to a local builder another interesting piece of information on local codes covering the lanai emerged. Everything inside a lanai is classified as furniture or furnishings so there are no restrictions after the lanai is built as to what you build inside of it. This makes for a weird and legal possibility. Picture this: Build a large lanai, install one, two or more Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems using the Lanai Aquaponics design and have a commercial aquaponics installation that meets local codes and much less expensive that a greenhouse!

The solar power system required in the lanai system is much smaller than in the more severe climates because the only electrical components are the small air pump, the larger air pump and occasionally the tank heaters and perhaps a light for ‘oohing and aahing’ after dark. This means that a 50 to 100watt panel and controls will operate two full size commercial PFAS Modules very easily. Here again, the cost is much lower than in colder climates where the electrical requirements include vent openings, circulation fans and supplemental lighting. The tropics Rock.

 

PUT FOOD FIRST With a Portable Farm

PUT FOOD FIRST With Portable Farms®
-
by Colle and Phyllis Davis

The entire world is desperate to find new agricultural methods to sustain life in every country and yet, ‘old school’ methods of traditional dirt farming with habitual irrigation and evaporation are not solving the problems the world faces today in light of climate changes, drought regions and increasingly large areas of poor soil not suitable for agriculture.

As aquaponics gains more ‘main-stream’ acceptance as a source for nutritious food, it becomes more of an option for large and small urban cities as well as areas where water is scarce. Not only do Portable Farms® provide food, THEY PROVIDE JOBS FOR SEMI-SKILLED LABOR!

The World Bank’s motto is Put Food First. Every day nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungry. Rising and volatile food prices are causing pain and suffering for poor people around the world, driving 44 million people into extreme poverty in recent months. We need to find solutions to ensure everyone has enough nutritious food now and in the years to come.

As great minds gather together to discuss the problems of the world at global relief conferences, few have stepped up with VIABLE SOLUTIONS to the problems. Charitable organizations send grains and some medical care but without healthy water available in the regions they serve, the outlooks are bleak for creating permanent solutions to those areas.

At PFAS LLC, we believe:

  • If people have JOBS, they’ll have money.
  • If they have money, they can feed their families.
  • If they can feed their families, they can have healthier families who can grow to become educated.
  • If they become educated, they can create a stable life for themselves, their families and lift the world out of poverty.

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems SOLVES the issues of:

  • Climate change – Our aquaponics systems are placed within acclimatized greenhouse structures that allow food to be grown year round and ‘out of season’
  • Transportation – When food is harvested for our systems that is delivered to local venues: stores, restaurants, schools, hospitals, etc. The fact that the food is PICKED WHEN RIPE, it contains a higher degree of both taste and nutrition than food that has been harvested early (before it achieves ripeness) and shipped 1,500 miles during summer months and 2,500 miles during winter months to areas that freeze during winter months.
  • Water use: Portable Farms® use 90 to 95% LESS WATER than is required in irrigation because the water in our systems is recirculated throughout our systems twice a day to water the plants growing in the gravel grow beds. There is no issue of evaporation.
  • Labor: Aquaponics does not require ‘skilled labor’ nor does it require heavy machinery to operate. Our systems create good jobs for those with minimal skill levels. Plus, healthy women of all ages, and strong, responsible teenagers are fully capable of operating even a commercial-sized Portable Farms® Aquaponics System (10,000 sq ft which feeds 240 people all the food they require, year round).
  • Energy: Portable Farms® require minimal energy to operate regardless of the size of the system.
  • No weeds or soil pathogens that need to be resolved. Growing food in gravel prevents many of the problems that require work and chemicals to resolve.

Feeding America Urges Congress to Protect and Strengthen Federal Nutrition Programs. They go on to report that four million U.S. Senior Citizens are now considered ‘food insecure.’ They must often choose between basic life’s essentials such as safe housing, health needs or FOOD.

Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security from Feeding America:

  • In 2012, 49.0 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.1 million adults and 15.9 million children.
  • In 2012, 14.5 percent of households (17.6 million households) were food insecure.
  • In 2012, 5.7 percent of households (7.0 million households) experienced very low food security.
  • In 2012, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.0 percent compared to 11.9 percent.
  • In 2012, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.0 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (35.4 percent) or single men (23.6 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (24.6 percent) and Hispanic households (23.3 percent).
  • In 2011, 4.8 million seniors (over age 60), or 8.4% of all seniors were food insecure. [v]
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 2.4 percent in Slope County, ND to a high of 35.2 percent in Holmes County, MS. [vi]

If Nothing Changes, then NOTHING CHANGES. And that is the dilemma our world faces today in areas of drought and increasing desertification there is little hope for the people who live in those regions to survive and prosper.

NOW is the time to PUT FOOD FIRST and invest in aquaponics. Own your own system for you and your family or build a commercial system to sell food as an ongoing profit center in your area. Contact us for more details. LEARN FROM US: CLICK HERE.

Solar Aquaponics

Solar Aquaponics 
By Colle and Phyllis Davis

solar panels sun1aWelcome to the world of telling the people who think they run the world, or at least the local fiefdom trolls to ‘go hang it up’.  By installing your own home aquaponics system powered by solar energy you get as close to being self-sufficient as one can get in this day and age, EVEN IF YOU LIVE IN A CITY.

The components for a modern solar powered aquaponics system are very straightforward, readily available, easy to assemble, fun to work with and the resulting installation will raise prodigious amounts of food. Solar installations are now so common that no one actually ‘sees’ them anymore. Besides they are relatively easy to hide. Aquaponics is one of the fastest growing segments of farming and is acceptable and ‘becoming normal’ as a way to produce the best food on the planet.

 

Living in the United States, most think that there is no such thing as ‘food insecurity’ and that life is a banquet for ‘all you can eat.’ After all, the US has one of the best distribution networks for transporting fresh food in the world, but much of our rich farming community that produces much of the nation’s fruits, nuts and vegetables has suffered horribly with record-setting drought conditions the last few years. The horrific drought in California as caused over $2 billion in crop failures and agricultural damage. Much of the water used in growing vegetables has been diverted to save the almond trees.

winter 2014This leads one to question the food security for colder regions of the US in the upcoming winter months for 2014 – 2015. What will the price be for a fresh tomato in New York City in February 2015? Or a fresh head of lettuce in Chicago? Or a green pepper in Kansas City? Or a sprig of fragrant basil in Detroit? Yes, most of this food will be grown hydroponically and then shipped to consumers (. . .  think food grown in water and chemicals with little nutrient content or taste) in regions from Canada to Mexico and harvested early and shipped thousands of miles to local markets and restaurants.

Food Miles is a term that determines how far your food has traveled before it reaches you, the consumer. The Worldwatch Institute states that for most Americans, food travels 1,500 miles before it reaches the consumer.

 

farm with umbrellaAs the inventors of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems, we watch the world from a different perspective because we are able to enjoy fresh vegetables 12 months a year that we grow ourselves. We eat food that is harvested and consumed on the day it is ripe. And now, with the introduction of solar panels to our Portable Farms®, we are OFF GRID and enjoying the freedom associated with no electrical bills.  We will enjoy the best food in the world for the rest of their lives and if anything does happen, as in ‘go wrong’, it will not impact us, or our customers’ ability to feed themselves.

Here are some more advantages of solar aquaponics:

  • The food is only steps from the kitchen and the only real work is plant, harvest, feed fish
  • The investment pays for itself relatively quickly
  • The installation is easy to build and operate
  • Nearly all of the replacement parts, if needed, are readily available
  • Components have very long MTBF (mean time between failures) – they last a LONG TIME
  • You do not have to tell your neighbors. Occasionally you could give them a green bean or two to brag on, but that’s up to you.

solar panel and clarHere is an odd side note, it would be nearly impossible to confiscate the installation because each farm is built as ‘site specific’ AND the gravel is HEAVY and does not travel well. The most that thieves could do is to steal your fish and vegetables that were harvestable at that moment. Then when they leave, you simply replant, restock and keep going.

The solar energy can even be used to temper the water in cold climates. The Sun is our friend, use that warm glow to grow and be prosperous. Team the sun up with one of the most advanced aquaponics systems in the world and become ‘off grid’ and more independent in a matter of weeks.

 

sign pfas

 

 

Our NEW solar installation for our new Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Experimental and Research Center is located on the lanai (screened in porch) of our home in Southern Florida. We live on a 200′ wide canal that leads to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Each day during winter months hundreds of ‘sea worthy’ yachts and pleasure boats pass by our back door and see our Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems.

 

 

solar panel and signWe have listed our suppliers so you can see exactly what you will need to make a duplicate of the PFAS LLC solar installation:

  • 100 watt Solar Panel Kit
    – larger than needed. A 40 to 50 watt would have been enough
  • MPPT Controller
    – we upgraded the above kit
  • Deep cycle 12 volt marine battery – Go larger than you think necessary
  • Small air pump
    for air stones – 12 volt air compressors are much more common now
  • Larger air pump for CAD Pump
    – toughest to find, now have a supplier
  • Timer for CAD Pump
    – oddly enough, a not as easy to find component
  • Inverter
    for lights or tools – Just get one so you have it, they’re cheap.

The total system, including mistakes and replacement parts was about US$500 and you could certainly set up a system for significantly less to use in your own solar aquaponics installation.

Side note: One of our suppliers for overseas installations noted that he is now selling thousands of the small 12v air compressors to people/companies in the US. This is a huge increase in volume to the US in the last year. More and more people are beginning to see the cold light of reality shining on the fact that life as we know it needs to be solar powered, no matter what the government says.

 

The Most Frequently Asked Question is “What’s the Best Fish for Aquaponics?”

The Most Frequently Asked Question is “What’s the Best Fish for Aquaponics?” 
by Colle and Phyllis Davis

The most often asked question in aquaponics after, “How does aquaponics work? What fish can be used successfully other than tilapia?” The vast majority of aquaponics installations in the Northern Hemisphere use tilapia because they are readily available year round, they’re a healthy fish that grow quickly, convert feed very effectively into body mass and are very easy to raise.

 

There are some jurisdictions in which tilapia are not allowed. This is because they are so prolific in increasing their numbers that they displace native fish if allowed into the wild. PFAS LLC has passed on millions of dollars of business because the California Fish and Game Dept only allows, under specific condition, the possession of tilapia in the six most southern counties of the State. In the rest of the State, tilapia are banned by the Fish and Game Department and are considered illegal, and the cost to the perpetrator is a nice round $10,000 PER FISH in violation fines. Fish and Game are very serious about banning tilapia because of the severe shortage of water in the state and their need to protect the rivers, ponds and streams. 

Now that we’ve relocated our corporate headquarters to Southern Florida, we’re using BLUE TILAPIA because that variety of tilapia is legal in the State of Florida. 

Blue Tilapia

Blue Tilapia

What other fish can be used in aquaponics successfully in aquaponics?
Catfish is our personal preference because they taste great, we grew up eating catfish, they grow fast and are very easy to raise. The single problem is the fry or fingerlings are only available three months during the late spring each year (May, June and July). This inflexible supply of fish requires a batched system where all the fish are the same age and have to be harvested at about the same time. This leaves the systems with fewer and fewer fish near the end of the annual cycle.
Koi are a wonderfully easy fish to raise. The fingerlings can be obtained year round, they grow fast, they are beautiful and no one eats them. They are the perfect ‘poop producers’ because their gut is very ineffective and they eat and poop constantly. There is a market for the most unusual and most beautiful specimens of koi but again, no one eats them. If you only want poop, these are a great choice or if you are a vegan and want to name them as pets, koi are your answer.
Goldfish, yep, the little feeder goldfish you buy in the pet store for a few cents each can be used in aquaponics. You need five to ten per gallons of water instead of one, as with tilapia, because they are so small and grow relatively slowly and never grow too large in size. The problem? What do you do with them? Eating them is out, selling them is unprofitable and so you will simply have to keep them for a long time. Eventually you will have to start removing some of them from the system because they are prolific breeders also. Putting in a few bass or perch or even some catfish might work too.
Salmon/trout are a slight possibility if raised in cold climates. The fingerling problem is similar to the catfish in being seasonal. The systems for these fish requires a double heat exchanger arrangement and there needs to be an inexpensive source of electricity because the water has to be first heated and then chilled each time the system cycles.
Carp work extremely well but they have the same limitations as koi without the possibility of selling the cute ones. Some ethnic markets will buy all you can produce, check your markets to see if there is one nearby.
Perch, bass, crappies and several others are carnivores and the feed for them is currently limited. They also have the same limitations as the catfish of limited fingerling availability.
In Australia they use white perch and barramundi in their system very successfully. These fish in most cases cannot be imported into the US and Canada.
Crayfish and shrimp are both detritivores and some of them are cannibalistic and present the operator with different challenges. Yes, they can be raised in aquaponics successfully. Some people use them to help keep the bottom of the fish tanks cleaner and add a tiny bit of revenue to their operation.
Our choice is tilapia – a fast growing, healthy, easy to obtain in most places and with an unlimited supply of fingerling year round. That is spelled TILAPIA.
LEARN FROM US: CLICK HERE.

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