Start a Hobby Farm for Family Fun 

Start a Hobby Farm for Family Fun
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

Start your own hobby farm and invite your entire family to care for the fish and plants to grow your own food. A small farm requires only five-minutes a day to feed the fish and tend to the plants.

For most people, having a built-in cushion of almost anything provides a really great feeling of comfort. The topic of ‘food security’ for families is in the news today especially in cold climates where fresh food must be imported up to eight months per year instead of being grown locally. Aquaponics offers the choice for growing fresh food grown near your kitchen and available year round.

To have a few months of money that you’ve saved safely tucked away, or a full tank of gas, or cupboards stocked and supplies in the house makes us all feel much more secure. Now, add to that a nice garden, some survival foods tucked away and the means to obtain more food on short notice and you begin to feel that you and your family are ready for whatever might happen in the future. And something will happen, let’s all hope it is something nice.

Assuming you have some of the items (listed above) taken care of and you can afford to create a real survival farm/garden, consider an aquaponics system inside a weatherized greenhouse, basement, garage or even an outbuilding. To size it properly, use the formula for a highly efficient aquaponics system (think Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems) of 25 sq ft of grow space which is necessary for each adult. This ‘small acreage’ will feed that adult all of their surface vegetables year round forever and provide a source of protein: fish. You may want to increase the total area slightly to insure you can feed those who show up at your door if times do become more difficult.

Lanai Aquaponics in the tropics. This tray feeds four people.

Lanai Aquaponics in the tropics. This tray feeds four people.

Ah yes, the cost. To build a greenhouse (10 x 30′) to house a single PFAS Module for feeding four adults will cost somewhere between US$3,500 and US$5,000 depending on many factors. Cost of greenhouse, climate considerations, floor covering, local lumber costs, etc.

There you have it. If you put the PFAS in your basement or garage there is no cost for the greenhouse, only the PFAS Module materials and some grow lights for indoor growing. Neat, elegant, practical and affordable and the best part, it’s AVAILABLE TODAY.



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    • Tommy on 2014-03-13 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks Phyllis,
    I am seriously considering rearing trout/salmon in my aquaponics system for resale. Have you experimented with trout? How much more difficult are trout than tilapia, and is it worth the cost difference?

    1. Tommy,

      Unless you have free electrical power the heating/cooling cycle required to raise cold water fish is not cost effective. It is not worth the effort or the money.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Tommy on 2014-03-11 at 2:38 pm

    In a totally enclosed greenhouse, basement, etc…how are the blooming plants pollinated? I would love to prevent as many pests as possible. They are rampant in my part of the country.


    1. Tommy:
      Greenhouse growing utilizes a form of electric toothbrushes for pollination since there are no bees. Workers vibrate the main stems of blooming plants between 10 AM and 2 PM when the blossoms are open the widest.

      Phyllis Davis

    • Cliff on 2014-02-07 at 11:09 am

    Can you tell me the cost of a system that would take up a green house size of 30 x 72 feet? Can you tell me the dimensions for the floor space that veggies will grow in comparison to the fish area and equipment? In this size of green house what should I expect to be able to produce? I do have farm growing exp. but I want to see if this change will make a big enough difference.


    1. Cliff,

      I’m going to assume that you have the greenhouse already and you are only asking for the cost of the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems inside the climatically adapted building. Yes, that is a big assumption, but I’ll make it for now.

      In a greenhouse with that particular footprint you would be well served to lay out the PFAS Module long way and then 6 Modules 6’ x 32’ will fit nicely. This will give you 1,152 sq ft or 53% of the total of 2,160 sq ft space for growing area.

      Each PFAS Module requires approximately US$800 to US$1,100 of materials to build, this includes the Fish Tanks and Clarifier Drums. You will have to complete the Aquaponics University Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems Course© in order to purchase the additional PFAS Kits. This will mean your cost is a total (excluding the cost of the greenhouse, the most expensive part of the installation) of US$2,500 for the AU Course which includes one PFAS Kit, 5 more PFAS Kits US$7,000 (@ US$1,400 each) and the cost of the material for six Modules US$6,000, of US$15,500.

      The production is laid out on the front page of the website and a translated to your size your yield will be approximately 17,000 vegetables and over 2,000 lbs of fish.

      We trust this information is help to you. We look forward to have you as a student.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

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