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What You Can Grow

What You Can Grow

Portable Farms® Modular Aquaponics Systems 

(Utility Patent Application Filed December 24, 2013)

  • Aquaponics is easier and more productive than organic gardening or traditional agriculture and uses 95% less water. Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems also use less electricity and less labor than any other aquaponics system in the world.
  • Portable Farms® Modular Aquaponics Systems grow enough varieties of plants (greens and blooming plants), and protein (fish) to sustain human health to it’s optimum level. 
  • Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems can feed your family or your community all the table vegetables and protein necessary to sustain excellent health FOREVER. PLUS, the systems are easily operated by semi-skilled labor, seniors, those with ambulatory disabilities (the grow trays can be made wheel-chair accessible height) and even responsible 14-year olds can operate Portable Farms®.
  • There have been over 300 different varieties of seeds and plants that have been tested that can be grown in a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System. 
  • The major food groups that are not recommended for Portable Farms are root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, onions, etc.) and corn, wheat, soy or rice. Perennial plants (strawberries, blackberries, asparagus, etc.) are not recommended because the plants are dormant 9 months per year and do not produce harvestable food year round. 
Harvesting Bok Choy in a Portable Farms Aquaponics System on January 17, 2013. Average weight of each bok choy harvested today is 8 pounds 5 ounces.

Harvesting Bok Choy in a Portable Farms Aquaponics System. Average weight of each bok choy harvested in this photo is 8 pounds 5 ounces.

 

Interior of a Portable Farms Aquaponics System.

Interior of a Portable Farms Aquaponics System.

Yearly Production From Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems

  • A 100′ x 100′ ( 30m x 30m) unit produces 80,000 vegetables and 23,000 pounds (10,400 kg) of fish
  • A 24′ x 46′ (7.3m x 14m) unit produces 8,600 vegetables and 1,156 pounds (524 kg) of fish
  • A 10′ x 20 ( 3m x 6m) unit produces 1,100 vegetables and 400 pounds (180 kg) of fish.

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

A completed Portable Farms® Aquaponics System before the seedlings or the small fish have been installed. 
40 days after the fish and plants have been installed in a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

40 days after the fish and plants have been installed in a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

  • Read about the Yield and Return on Investment for planting, growing and selling tomatoes.
  • Read about the Yield and Return on Investment for planting, growing and selling zucchini.
  • Read about the Yield and Return on Investment for planting, growing and selling peppers.
  • Read about the Yield and Return on Investment for planting, growing and selling cucumbers.

Phyllis Davis, Co-Inventor, holding a bouquet of ‘greens’ grown in this Portable Farms Aquaponics System in only 43 DAYS!

Colle Davis, Inventor, Portable Farms, holding a 20.5 pound head of Bok Choy grown in 45 days. WOW, now that's a WEIGHT RECORD for growing!

Colle Davis, Inventor, Portable Farms, holding a 20.5 pound head of Bok Choy grown in 45 days. WOW, now that’s a RECORD WEIGHT for growing!

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This magnificent plant is called Summerfest Komatsuna. It is a heat-tolerant plant that grows to harvest in about 32 days. It is used in salads and stir fry, and is often called Japanese Mustard Spinach. It grows very large and lush in Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems. This plant’s leaves (in photo above) measure 23″ tall and 6″ wide. 

Broccoli that is ‘crowning’ in our Portable Farm (photo taken February 3, 2013) as it continues to develop large heads of delicious organic broccoli. The stems are also crisp and edible for salads or juicing.

Broccoli that is ‘crowning’ in our Portable Farm as it continues to develop large heads of delicious organic broccoli. The stems are also crisp and edible for salads or juicing.

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Bok Choy after about 30 days of growth in a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

Tomatoes growing in our Portable Farm on March 31, 2013. Delicious, large tomatoes that are almost ready for harvest this week.

Tomatoes growing in our Portable Farm that are almost ready for harvest.

Green tomatoes growing vertically in Portable Farms and suspended overhead to support the heavy fruit. Beautiful, aren't they?

Green tomatoes growing vertically in Portable Farms and suspended overhead to support the heavy fruit. Beautiful, aren’t they?

Ripe tomatoes and ready for harvest.

Ripe tomatoes and ready for harvest.

When was the last time YOU saw a tomato that was red all the way to its core? If you had a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System, you could enjoy these delicious tomatoes year round.

When was the last time YOU saw a tomato that was red all the way to its core? If you had a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System, you could enjoy these delicious tomatoes year round.

Phyllis Davis  harvesting ripe delicious tomatoes ranging from one-half pound to two pounds per tomato.

Phyllis Davis harvesting ripe delicious tomatoes ranging from one-half pound to two pounds per tomato.

Phyllis Davis harvesting several kohlirabi. Kohlrabi is similar to the cabbage family with a taste much like a broccoli stem. Can be eaten raw or cooked.

Phyllis Davis harvesting several kohlrabi. Kohlrabi is similar to the cabbage family with a taste much like a broccoli stem. Can be eaten raw or cooked.

A variety of greens (foreground) grown between 30 and 60 days of growth. The basil and Kale are 25″ tall!

Swiss chard grown in Portable Farms® that is 35" tall and grown in only 34 days.

Swiss chard grown in Portable Farms® that is 35″ tall and grown in only 34 days.

Komatsuna summerfest - An Asian Green we prefer over  bib lettuce.

Komatsuna summerfest – An Asian Green we prefer over all other lettuces.

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

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

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

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

Basil that is 52 days old that is growing beautifully in Portable Farms®. In fact, this basil became the ‘worlds best pesto’ last week! We ‘cut back’ our basil once after harvest to regrow again before we remove from Grow Tray.

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Plus, fish are an important food source grown in Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems. We recommend Tilapia for our aquaponics systems. (More about tilapia at the bottom of this page..

 

 

Lane McClelland, Director of Installations for PFAS LLC, holding ONE single head of Swiss Chard grown in Portable Farms®.

All varieties of cucumbers grow exceedingly well in Portable Farms®! This cucumber is an American Slicing Cucumber but we also grow Lemon Cucumbers (which we love) as well as speciality cucumbers for pickling and Armenian cucumbers (as well as several other varieties). 

Romaine Lettuce – 11″ tall and growing in gravel only 36 days.

ALL varieties of peppers grow WILD AND CRAZY in Portable Farms! Bell peppers and all spicy peppers are world-wide favorites!

Phyllis Davis with ONE head of Bok Choy grown in 42 days – 12 pounds.

Greens: kale, swiss chard.

These six green bean plants that produce over 250 green beans. This variety blooms again after harvest and produces a generous second harvest within 2 weeks after the first harvest.

Squash - Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems

Zucchini and yellow squash are all time favorites in Portable Farms®.

Colle Davis doing ‘morning chores’ (fifteen minutes maximum for a farm this size).

 

Phyllis Davis with a favorite green, Green Mustard Wave, which we affectionately call Wasabi Lettuce because it is as HOT AND SPICEY as the wasabi root.

Tilapia are harvested between 7 and 9 months when they are are at 1.25 pounds which produces 2 four-ounce fillets. 

Tillapia filletsFresh Tilapia fillets. FISH: Tilapia is a low-fat, white-fleshed fish that is sweet, fine-textured and doesn’t taste fishy. Enjoy your Tilapia by baking, broiling, grilling or steaming it.

The history of Tilapia can be traced back over 4,500 years to Ancient Egypt with its origins in the Nile River. Tilapia has been called St. Peter’s Fish since early Biblical times because it is believed to be the fish that Jesus fed the multitudes in the biblical parable.

The fish used in your Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems are hybrid Tilapia or catfish, or perhaps several fish depending on availability and your State regulations. We recommend hybrid Tilapia. Please note: We don’t recommend growing trout, bass, salmon, and other fish because they prefer cold water. The plants in Portable Farms® prefer warm water so we supply our systems with a fresh water/warm water fish.

Would you like to learn more about aquaponics?  Learn from us . . . 

 

 

36 comments

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  1. Cynthia Fenimore

    I am trying to find a source for tilapia – and am told by CA department of Fish & Game only a few are allowed in the county (San Diego).
    Do you sell the tilapia?

    1. portfarms

      Cynthia:
      Sorry, we do not sell Tilapia. It’s not ‘easy’ to find tilapia in Southern California because of harsh guidelines by Fish and Game but you can have them shipped to you if you’re in San Diego by our friends in Florida: http://tilapiafarmingathome.com. You can buy a colony (6 females and 1 male) and create your own tilapia farm in aquarium tanks.
      Good luck!

  2. jim

    I live outside Gainesville FL on a pecan orchard.We can build most anything.Where could I see one of these in action.Sounds like I’m in the 20×30 size.
    TKS
    Jim

    1. portfarms

      Jim,

      You are welcome to visit our installation here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There are no publicly available PFAS Units in your area yet. Soon.

      Colle Davis, Inventor

  3. Nan Sung

    Hello,
    I really like the way you built your grow beds. We are trying to enlarge our system from small indoors to large greenhouse. Is it possible to get some details on how you built them?

    Thank you.

    1. portfarms

      Thank you. The Grow Beds have evolved over the years and we are always looking for ways to improve the Portable Farms™ Aquaponics Systems. The Aquaponics University Course covers the building of them in great depth.

      Colle Davis – CEO

  4. Cooter

    Hi, how do you address the differences between PH requirements of the fish and the bell peppers?
    thanx, coot

    1. portfarms

      Coot,

      Carefully. The pH requirements of the two actually overlap enough so they can be raised in the same water. The overlap is not the perfect area for either, but they both can grow very will there.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

  5. Michael Alvarez

    For a non-profit, home use system it would make sense to grow some veggies in the aquapond system and rooted veggies in the traditional, raised bed way correct? Couldn’t the waste water (the silty, fish waste stuff you get when you clean the aquapond system from time to time) be used to irrigate a raised bed? Any issues with leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers etc. grown in the aquapond getting mold, mildew or gnats?

    1. portfarms

      Michael,

      You are certainly welcome to try your methods. We only have 43 years of experience in the industry and have a guaranteed to work system, but maybe you’ll learn faster using your cobbled together system than we did.

      Good luck in all of your endeavors.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

      1. Don Powell

        1) Can you use the silt from the cleaned system to use a fertilizer for a raised bed?

        2) Have you seen any issues with mold or mildew with the aquapond?

        Don

        1. portfarms

          Don,

          1) Yes. Several people actual sell their ‘solid waste’ product to others because they have no place to use it. It is a fantastic fertilizer.
          2) What ‘aquapond’ are you referring to in the question? With proper ventilation, mold and mildew are not normally a problem in the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems. However if there is inadequate air circulation and wide temperature fluctuations then they can become a problem.

          Colle Davis – Inventor

  6. Lance

    Hey,

    Just curious how deep are your grow beds? I have some that are about 5 1/2 inches which seems shallow, but they work great. Was able to grow some rutabaga in the shallow beds even though everything I have read says I couldn’t. Have photos if you want to see? Also I love your site and your systems look great!!

    Thanks,

    Lance

    1. portfarms

      Lance,

      The Grow Tray depth is the same as yours. We use 2×6′s to make the Grow Trays. Everything grows fantastically. Thanks on the photo offer, we have lots.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

  7. Donald

    Is there a list on the web site that details which crops are recommended and which are not?
    In particular I am interested in suitability of Broccoli Cauliflower Carrots Beans?

    1. portfarms

      Donald,

      There are articles on each of the ones you note. Use the Search Box, top right. NO ROOT CROPS do will. This is stated many times on the website, its the gravel thing. The other you mention do very well.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

  8. Katrina

    Hello, I live in Arizona and its gets up to 110 degrees in the summer, we are a family of 4 I would love to use one of your systems but we are vegans so we would not be eating the fish, can we just use the same fish for years? and I price estimate of everything to get set up (greenhouse, lights, fish, everything) I know you don’t sell the green houses but maybe you know the prices from the company you work closely with? I am just looking for a general price range for a entire set up, 5k, 10k? Thank you

    1. portfarms

      Katrina,

      No matter where you live you need a climatically adapted greenhouse, this means a space that can be kept between 40 and 104 degrees F. You can raise carp, catfish, koi, goldfish and never harvest them. You can name them if you want. Koi and carp are really easy to raise and will grow and survive on dog food. An estimate on the TOTAL package for a 4 person installation is approximately $4,500 to $6,000, up and running including the Aquaponics University Course which includes the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Kit.

      Good luck.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

  9. Craig Mirkovich

    Hi Colle,

    Is it possible to grow rooted vegetables in soil in the same greenhouse that houses your aquaponic system? The rooted vegetables would be in no way connected to the aquaponic system. I’m just trying to conserve space and eliminate the need for two separate greenhouses but I’m worried that there might be contamination issues (soil/organic fertilizers/bug larvae) that I’m not aware of…

    1. portfarms

      Craig,

      Nearly everything is possible, but we strongly recommend that any type of dirt or compost never be inside the space where the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems is installed for exactly the reasons you point out. It is much better safe than sorry. Spend the time, money and effort to make a space separate for your rooted vegetables. Good luck in your project.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

      1. Craig Mirkovich

        Hi Colle,
        Thanks for the prudent advice. I’ll be in contact with you this winter. I plan on taking your 12 hour course and constructing your module this coming Spring. I’m also looking into the viability of a commercial facility in our area. I’ve founded and own several successful small businesses and I’m intrigued with the scalability of your system. Thanks again for the advice.

  10. portfarms

    Michael,

    Tomatoes do extremely well. Tree or bush fruit are mostly perennials and take up too much space while their not producing fruit. Melons the same, yes they grow well, BUT they take up huge amounts of space. You are much better served to plant vegetables that have short growing cycles to maximize the use of the Grow Trays.

    Colle Davis – Inventor

  11. jack

    Hi Colle, I’ve been gardening for years and recently I’ve become interested in aquaponics. I have a family and I’m the only income. Do you offer any financing?

    1. portfarms

      Jack,

      No financing of backyard systems is available. You would have to take the Aquaponics University Course anyway to obtain the PFAS Kit.

      Good luck in all of your endeavors.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

  12. Richard

    Hello Colle,

    I live in Eagle River Alaska and am interested in putting a system in an 8′w x12′l x16′h greenhouse. Is this enough space for your system? Would it be better for me to use bass and or trout for the colder conditions and can you tell me what the PFAS kit consists of?

    Thanks,

    Richard

    1. portfarms

      Richard,

      The Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems can be successfully operated in any climate as long as it is inside a climatically adapted structure. The space you are describing is actually too small to be effective. You need aisles on three sides in order to have access to the Grow Tables so the need is to have 2.5′ of space around the entire Grow Table PLUS the Grow Table itself. Most PFAS installations use Grow Tables that are 5′ or 6′ wide. In the space you describe the MAXIMUM size Grow Table can only be 5′ x 8(9.5)’ long. That will not quite feed two people. The entire contents of the PFAS Kit is available on every page, right column, top box. Enter your first name and email, click SUBMIT and up pops the PRICE LIST.

      We trust this information is helpful.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

  13. Antony Peter

    Well,I have read in a malayalam Magazine about Aquaponics and now I have seen in net.Wonderful!!

    1. portfarms

      Thank you. – Phyllis Davis

  14. Maxine Ransom

    I live in Georgia and am a member of a farm co-op. I am wondering is there is something that you can mill to me so I can interduce the program to the group?

    1. portfarms

      Maxine: You can request 5 phases for Commercial Growing by answering the six questions on the front of our webpage and sending them back to us so we can supply you with the correct information for your specific project. This document explains the process for installing commercial aquaponics systems. Then, after completing the six questions, send the answers to the email address provided in the area with the six questions. – Good luck and happy growing! Phyllis Davis

  15. dean stuart

    Do you have any operations in Canada or specifically in the Calgary, Alberta region

    1. portfarms

      Dean:
      Yes, we do have operations in the Calgary area but they are not available for tours. – Phyllis Davis

  16. Jason

    I live in Michigan. Tilapia is a warm water fish. Wouldn’t perch be a better choice here?

    1. portfarms

      Jason,

      Perch is a great choice, but we have never raised them so currently, unless you want to be the research center and do the work yourself, we do not recommend them. Besides plants do not like cold or cool water, it slows their growth dramatically.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

  17. Zulaa

    Hello,
    Is there anyone experienced planting lemon and lime in aquaponic. Lemons are on high demand on our market and we are considering to plant lemons. What is the production and how long willl it take to harvest lemons and limes?

    1. portfarms

      Zulaa,

      Perennials require too much space to be grown in controlled atmosphere environments. The short answer is yes, probably, BUT it requires a very different arrangement than the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems. We have no information on ‘orchard’ aquaponics, sorry.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

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