Commercial Aquaponics’ Quick Start Guide – Dream Big

Commercial Aquaponics’ Quick Start Guide – Dream Big
by Colle & Phyllis Davis

If your dream is to enter into the exciting field of the commercial aquaponics business and you want to get started as soon as possible, here are some options for your consideration.

  1. You will need greenhouse space and renting a greenhouse space (instead of buying land and building one yourself) is an affordable and easy way to get started. The biggest expense in starting up a commercial aquaponics installation is always the cost of the land and the greenhouses. By renting existing greenhouses, you can start in a matter of weeks. Plus, you may never build your greenhouses because renting space can give you a one-year ROI. That is extremely attractive. Contact a real estate broker in your area to inquire about the rental availability of greenhouses in your area.

“The agricultural sector is going to face enormous challenges in order to feed the 9.6 billion people that the FAO predicts are going to inhabit the planet by 2050: food production must increase by 70% by 2050, and this has to be achieved in spite of the limited availability of arable lands, the increasing need for fresh water (agriculture consumes 70 per cent of the world’s fresh water supply) and other less predictable factors, such as the impact of climate change, which, according a recent report by the UN could lead, among other things, to changes to seasonal events in the life cycle of plant and animals.” The Future of Agriculture- Smart Farming by Federico Guerrini, Forbes Magazine.

If you rent or build your own greenhouse, here are some necessities for a successful aquaponics greenhouse structure:

      1. Orientation: Mostly North/South for the long axis in Northern Hemisphere. There are many exceptions/
      2. Ideal temperatures: Interior 60° to 100° (15 to 38C) for plants and 70° to 90° (21 to 32C) for fish.
      3. Sunlight: Minimum 6 hours of DIRECT sunlight or equivalent per day
      4. Ventilation: Interior air movement and venting to the outside to control humidity and temperature
      5. Water: Potable water available inside structure always
      6. Electrical power: Needed to run pumps and other electrical equipment including fans, heaters, and lights. Can be solar or other alternative energy source.

2) Here is the most important question to ask yourself before you launch your commercial aquaponics farm, ‘Who is your market?’ In our eBook Commercial Aquaponics GOLD the number task to do before you do anything else is to define your market. What will you grow? Who will buy your production? A commercial aquaponics installation produces a scary amount of produce and keeps doing it every week for as long as you want.

Here is a weekly updated report from the FDA entitled National Retail Report for Specialty Crops. It lists the retail prices for the most popular fruits and vegetables in the United States each week.

As you plan your crops, you must compete with either price or freshness, quality, and availability.

PLEASE NOTE: Aquaponics grows ‘above ground table vegetables’ like lettuces, basil, Swiss chard, kale, bok choy, mustard greens and some blooming plants such as green beans. It does not grow root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, etc.), and does not grow fruits that are grown on trees (apples, pears, or plums), or on larges bushes that prefer dry sandy soil (melons or berries).

Your best markets are casinos, high-end restaurants, resort hotels, and specialty markets. You will take years longer to make your money back if you go the wholesale route, no matter how much you sell. Sell to the chefs and buyers who must please the most discerning customers, and they will pay the best prices.


3) To become a successful commercial aquaponics systems business owner. First, what size space do you need. After interviewing, in person, at least ten chefs add up the number of boxes of lettuce, basil, tomatoes, and whatever else they want to buy from you and divide the number by half. This process gives you a build-in expansion to satisfy their demand.

Fun story: The first time you deliver a box or two of lettuce and the chef tastes it, they may cry. It will be the best lettuce they have had in years. Then in a few weeks, they will ask you if you can provide different lettuce, say red leaf or butter, and here is where you own them. The ‘special orders’ are where you make the most money, grown to order, local, pesticide-free are super sexy, and the product is the finest available.

4) How much can you grow in the space you are renting? With the market requirement in hand, the formula for maximizing the floor space in a greenhouse is to divide the total floor space by 350. Example a greenhouse 30 x 90 = 2700 sq ft. Divide by 350 (sq ft for each Module) to get 7.7 modules. Depending on the physical layout, a maximum of 7 Portable Farms Modules will fit in that space. Using the Commercial Aquaponics GOLD eBook means you will be selling to upscale markets you would make back your initial investment in one growing season!

Remember, you are only using enough space to satisfy one-half of the demand. Therefore, you need to get your hands wet, your crew trained, your delivery system worked out, and have shipped products before committing to a larger space.

Today is the first day of your new project. Get started by buying the Commercial Aquaponics GOLD  interviewing chefs, looking for greenhouse space, and taking the Aquaponics University Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems Course©.

  • Sample Greenhouse Facility Lease

https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/sample_greenhouse_facility_lease_e3141

  • How to Start a Plant Nursery from Home

https://www.gardenguides.com/123065-start-plant-nursery-home.html

  • Leasing greenhouse space

https://www.greenhousemag.com/article/gmpro_0110_technology_greenhouse_space/ 

Warehouse Aquaponics? Yes, Here’s How . . .

Warehouse Aquaponics with Portable Farms®? Yes, Here’s How . . .
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

How to keep a warehouse clean in four steps

We cracked the code so you make money faster and easier and with LOWER ELECTRICAL COSTS to increase your ROI for warehouse aquaponics! You’re welcome.

Those huge empty warehouses on the edge of town seem to be begging to be repurposed again in some productive and sustainable way. The enclosed spaces run from tens of thousands to millions of square feet of usable space. There must be some way to turn that empty space into a money maker.

Greenhouse & Warehouse Aquaponics GOLD

This ebook discloses the facts, figures and formulas necessary for successful greenhouse and warehouse aquaponics growing.

The main advantage for using greenhouses is to modify the microclimate and to extend the growing season for a wider variety of crops. The protection from the weather has a huge positive effect on the plant growth and is very cost effective. The main disadvantage, in most cases, is that the greenhouse is being used in the same-old-ways of intensive farming methods that are used in regular growing. The water is applied to the plants and the excess water flows into the ground and is lost forever. Even if watering is done with careful irrigation even drip irrigation systems, the water is lost forever and, in some climates, increases the humidity inside the structure. 

How about making this available warehouse space into a huge aquaponics setup using some special grow lights to grow plants? It sounds so reasonable and straightforward. Every week PFAS LLC receives requests from all over the world from those interested in making use of abandoned warehouses in their area. They dream of converting the interior space of warehouses into a high-intensity food production facility to grow, sell and distribute food locally and make lots of money.

Greenhouse advantages:

  1. Controls pests, diseases and predators (birds, small animals, etc.) from the natural surrounding environments

  2. Protects plants and fish from extreme weather conditions (except for tornado, hurricane or major flooding)

  3. Enables ability to provide shade cloth to protect from too much sun for maximum production

  4. Extends growing season

  5. Provides pleasant, comfortable, quiet work environment for workers

  6. Offers ideal conditions for growing plants and fish

  7. Creates a space for the option of installing Grow Lights above grow trays for year-round maximum growing conditions.\The physical building needs to enclose as much air space as possible to help regulate the temperature. Buildings with taller roofs are much easier to keep cool and interestingly, they are easier to keep warm when using the PFAS Technology

 

Below is the process that nearly all warehouses must go through in order to be ready for Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems:

  1. Obtain the use of the building through leasing or purchase or whatever means of legal transfer is required to secure the right to use the space.
  2. Obtain the necessary permits to make changes to the electrical, HVAC, surface water diversion, sewage hook ups and security systems. This may also require a zoning change.
  3. Permission from Fish and Wildlife Department in the local jurisdiction.
  4. Permission from the electrical utility to ‘up the load coverage’ to keep the grow lights on.
  5. A thorough cleaning. Steam cleaning and even sand blasting walls and floors may be necessary to make the space clean and usable for growing plants and fish.
  6. Painting all surfaces and using an epoxy coating on the floors.
  7. Replacing or updating the entire HVAC system.
  8. Installing an effective grow light system first before installing the aquaponics’ Modules.

YEAR ROUND Ideal Growing Conditions for Aquaponics

YEAR ROUND Ideal Growing Conditions for Aquaponics
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis 

indiamustard3

One single head of India Mustard (tastes like a spicy lettuce) that was harvested from a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

 


 Question: 

 “How is it possible that Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems can grow such DELICIOUS and nutrient rich food year round?”

Answers:

  • In sunlight, plans use photosynthesis to turn CO2 and water into oxygen and sugar.
  • In the dark, plants switch to the same system animals use to stay alive, the building and repair of the organism itself. 
  • Added to this phenomena of growth, is the fact that as the temperature increases, chemical activity speeds up.

greenbean aquaponicsThe closer to the ‘ideal’ temperature the better for the plants to grow. The ideal temperature for plant growth is, interestingly, 73° F at the leaf surface or about the same temperature as humans enjoy.

In a climatically adapted greenhouse, temperatures are regulated so the maximum temperature the plants can comfortably tolerate is never reached and the lowest temperature that the particular plant can grow at, produce the best possible conditions for growth.

To have a warm garden in the winter time takes some planning but once it is in place, it will produce prodigious amounts of happy food. For a plant to have all of the nutrients and water it can possibly use delivered to its roots before it even needs them means the plant can grow a quickly as possible because there are no limiting factors.

  • All of the food (nutrients) for the plants arrives before the plants need it, or want it.
  • The water is always available and it is refreshed a couple of times a day
  • The light levels are always perfect in the structure
  • The air circulates in a gentle fashion to help with pollination and to help avoid dampness in the structure
  • The temperature is pleasant and varies a bit so as not to be monotonous
  • There are no bugs or weeds or poisons or harsh chemicals used to contend with, ever.
  • The water in the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems turns over ENTIRELY twice a day. Plus, all of the heavy fish poop has been removed and rerouted so it never flows into the Grow Tray or has contact with the plants.

As a result of an ideal environment:

  • The plants grow faster than the seed packets say they will
  • Food grown in an aquaponics system is much healthier than ‘regularly’ grown plants, and as a result, they are healthier for you, they TASTE BETTER and are higher in nutrition.
  • The food in an aquaponics system is grown without any chemicals (think about it; if chemicals were used, it would kill the fish). The growing food is more beautiful with each passing day
  • The plants mature in less time and require 90 to 95% less water than their dirt-grown friends
  • The plants stay clean and dry at all times
  • They are harvested when they are at their peak of ripeness and maturation which means their flavor and nutritional content are always at optimal levels
  • They are simply the best vegetables on the planet.

One of the (many) key reasons plants in Portable Farms® grow so quickly and so LARGE is because the plants roots are bathed in warm water that is loaded with nutrients and are supported by warm gravel in a warm building. What more could they possibly want or need? Portable Farms® spoil the plants and and cater to their every need for comfort.

Interior of a Portable Farms Aquaponics System. Photo taken January 3, 2012.

Interior of a Portable Farms Aquaponics System. 

 

To provide the absolute ideal conditions for growth and health to any living being, gives them everything they need to be their best. This is true of plants in a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System, raising animals and even raising children. The raising children thing is much harder actually. At least we don’t have to eat them. 🙂

 

 

Start the process of having your warm garden by taking the Aquaponics University Aquaponics Online Course today and have warm healthy and delicious plants in only a few weeks.

 

Want to Make a Chef Weak and Breathless?

Want to Make a Chef Weak and Breathless?
– Colle and Phyllis Davis

Do you want to know how to make an Executive Chef weak at the knees and breathless? Offer them a farm that grows an unlimited supply of fresh pesticide-free food and home-grown fish that’s near their kitchen. Then, after they wipe tears of joy from their eyes, tell them that the farm pays for itself and after that, the money they had been spending on food from their suppliers can now be spent on increased salaries and kitchen improvements. Since they’ll be speechless, expect a hug.

Today, Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems offer fresh food and home-grown fish in an easy to operate system that pays for itself. What could be easier? This really is 21st Century Agriculture.

If a chef has been ordering 2 cartons of lettuce per week (24 heads per carton) from the food supplier who delivers his produce, now he only needs to plant 48 seeds in ‘grow medium’ into his Portable Farms®  Aquaponics System. By planting every week, he never needs to order lettuce again. It only takes 35 to 40 days to grow a head of lettuce. Plus, the produce won’t need to travel from local or long distance farms or endure packing and refrigeration so the food retains all of its flavor and high nutritional value. The chef can always harvest their vegetables at their ‘peak’ of perfection instead of receiving vegetables that were harvested and shipped too early. These systems are a perfect example of a Carbon Negative footprint, especially when compared to in-ground growing and current agricultural practices.

The Portable Farms®  Aquaponics Systems can be sized to meet the food requirements of a restaurant. A 20 x 30′ system can be placed in the parking lot behind a restaurant and will grow 3,600 vegetables and 1,400 pounds of fish per year. This size farm won’t grow enough food for the needs of even a small restaurant with a regular customer base. However, it is large enough to supplement their food supply from existing suppliers and adds ‘bragging rights’ to customers and the local media to increase their customer base because they’ll be able to tell the public they ‘raise a portion of their own organic vegetables behind the restaurant and it also provides some of their own fresh, home-grown fish.’ They can also offer their customers a tour of their farm creating an even deeper customer loyalty. A positive dining experience and a greenhouse tour will spread the excitement around town, within days.

chef proud 2A larger restaurant who wants to reduce food costs, should consider a 90 x 120′ (1/4 acre) Portable Farms®  Aquaponics Systems near the restaurant.  This size Portable Farms® grows 60,000 to 70,000 vegetables and around 21,000 pounds of fish per year, depending on the crop choice and the market values for those crops, the ROI for this sized unit is between three and five years. The ROI is much faster for commercial sized systems because they have far more growing space for vegetables and tank space for fish.

What is a Portable Farms®  Aquaponics System?

The Portable Farms®  Aquaponics System is a closed loop, water-based fish and organic vegetable production system. It utilizes insulated and heated fish tanks to grow Tilapia, and then runs the warm water from the fish tank (rich with warm, nutrient-rich fish waste) through a clarifying system with special pumps, and then the water flows through  gravel-filled Grow Trays to feed and water the growing plants. The entire system is built in modules; each module (shown below) contains one fish tank, one settling tank, and of course, the food growing space. These modules are enclosed in a climatically adapted growing structure, usually a greenhouse. The structure keeps out pests and helps maintain a perfect growing temperature. A commercial sized system contains between 28 and 32 modules.

The Portable Farms®  Aquaponics Systems are specifically designed to utilize currently unused urban or near-urban space to grow food as close to the end consumer as possible. It is not designed to replace regular land-based agriculture. The main function of the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System is to produce nutritious food, on site, using a minimum of space, electricity, water and labor.

Restaurants generally purchase food from local and national suppliers who arrange with providers for vegetables, dairy, bakeries, meat and fish to be delivered to their restaurants. These suppliers sell chefs what’s available on the market at that time, and then make regular deliveries to their kitchens. It sounds simple, but it is not. Thousands of people are involved in the process of growing food, shipping it, selling it in the marketplace, and then distributing the food to restaurants for preparation by chefs to serve to their dining customers. And, in the process of bringing food from farm to table, the costs rise to pay everyone along the line.

Owning a Portable Farms®  Aquaponics System takes all the ‘middle men/women’ out of the equation. In fact, one full-time, semi-skilled worker can operate and maintain over 1/4 of an acre of Portable Farms®  Aquaponics System. It’s not quite ‘a drive through farm,’ but it’s close.

Make YOUR chef happy today. A happy chef creates a happy and prosperous restaurant with loyal customers who tell all their friends about their dining experience. It’s the best investment you can make in today’s competitive environment. LEARN FROM US: CLICK HERE.


Portable Farms® – Go Solar and OFF GRID. So, Sexy.

Portable Farms® – Go Solar and OFF GRID. So, Sexy.
– By Colle and Phyllis Davis

PFAS LL offers Portable Farms® Kits designed for SOLAR installations.  

The PFAS LLC Research Center installation at our headquarters in Southern Florida has operated on solar power since last August and has not missed a beat. The system is 100% solar powered and you too can have a system solar powered Portable Farms® with 12v air compressors and timers.

Full disclosure: We use a slightly modified solar electric system with a 12VDC to 110v AC converter for the large air pump because of the noise factor. We have on hand and have used a 12v air compressor for the CAD Pump and it works just fine but is much noisier than the 110VAC compressor. You have been forewarned. 🙂

Solar Aquaponics GOLD

Let us show you HOW, WHY, WHAT, WHERE and HOW MUCH it costs to install your own solar powered system for YOUR aquaponics system.

The PFAS LLC Florida solar electrical system:

solar panel

  A single 100 watt panel installed next to a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System        

The increasing demand from our students in areas of the world where electrical power is erratic or non-existent has prompted us to offer the Portable Farms® Kit that is part of the Aquaponics University Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course© with a 12 volt DC OPTION. The price is exactly the same as the regular 110 AC system, but we need to know when you order the AU Course or additional Portable Farms® Kits that you want the 12volt option.


With the price of solar panels continuing to drop, the price/value proposition has swung over to favor the solar installations EVEN IF YOU HAVE GRID POWER. For example, the system in use –shown above – is a 100watt panel, MPPT controller, a 12v constantly on air pump for the air stones, a 12v timer, (here is where the difference in our system lies) a 700watt converter 12/110 to run a 110 VAC 65lmp air pump to run the CAD Pump and one deep cycle marine battery. That’s it. The system is bullet proof with all the controls on a panel under the Grow Table.

 

What will ‘going solar’ do for you?

  • Reduce the worry of a power failure that could impact your fish.
  • Reduce the cost of electrical power from your house. Our system will take about 2 year to pay for itself because so little power is needed for the Portable Farms®.
  • Increasing the solar installation size to run Grow Lights for winter growing will quadruple the size/cost and will take about 3.5 years to pay off depending on the size of the installation.
  • Give you incredibly huge bragging rights.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint.

There you have it, PFAS LLC has made solar power components an option with their Portable Farms® Kits. If you are planning a commercial installation the needs of a 10,000 sq ft (1,000m2) climatically adapted building on solar is about the same as a small 2 bedroom house. The main difference is that the Portable Farms® uses the most electricity when the sun is shining so the battery bank can be much smaller than for a house.

To insure you receive the correct power components for your Portable Farms® Kit(s) you must notify us when you receive your Congratulations on Graduating Letter (or before) so we send you the right Portable Farms® Kit.

Begin reducing your carbon footprint and enroll in the Aquaponics University Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems Course© today and let us know when you start, that you are joining the solar revolution and want the 12volt Portable Farms® Kit for your installation.

Growing Marijuana in Aquaponics – Part 1

Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics – Part 1

By Colle and Phyllis Davis 

Read our Three-Part Series on Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics

Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics – Part 1

Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics – Part 2

Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics – Part 3

 

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “Can I grow marijuana in my Portable Farm?”

There are  many variables to this question but,  “Yes,  you can grow marijuana in aquaponics.”

In this series, we discuss the different ways to grow medical herbs in aquaponics, the necessary modifications to produce the best results, and the pitfalls of single cropping and mixing herbs with other plants in the grow table.

  • In our first year of offering the Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems training in 2008, the most common general question we received was, “How does that thing work?” meaning aquaponics.
  • The next question was, “Can I grow marijuana in aquaponics?”

Step back for a moment. When we launched Portable Farms in 2008, the herb was illegal in most places in the US, including California, where we lived. Supporting an illegal activity with the use of our technology gave us pause and our lawyers warned us against pursuing anything related to marijuana. We would not be doing anything illegal by selling our systems for the purpose of growing marijuana by our customers, but we were advised to avoid anything that could draw negative attention to our young and thriving company. We took their advice.

About that time, a competitor of ours in the aquaponics business decided to grow marijuana and they both went to jail. We wanted to avoid any implications or suspicions that could create legal problems.

Now, 12 years later, the laws have changed in about 19 states that allows their citizens to grow small amounts (generally 6 to 12 plants) of marijuana for personal use. Disclaimer: Check with the laws in your state for laws related to growing marijuana. *Disclaimer, we accept no responsibility regarding legal advice or updated rulings regarding growing marijuana plants for personal or medicinal use.

  • A list and links posted below (our thanks to productiongrowers.com  for their thorough reporting of all-things-related to marijuana) regarding states where growing marijuana is legal and states where it is prohibited).
  • As you have may have guessed by now, marijuana and the growing of marijuana along with offering advice has been a legal-slippery slope for us. Our company, PFAS LLC, is moving from only giving a few general suggestions on the phone to customers who inquire about growing marijuana to today — we have now begun writing and publishing growing advice for the maximum production of marijuana and other herbs in aquaponics. Our reluctance has once again been prompted by moving our residence and corporate headquarters to Virginia, a state that does not currently allow the use of marijuana or the growing of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. We are law abiding citizens, but also aware of the demand for information regarding the link between aquaponics and marijuana. We do NOT grow marijuana. FULL STOP.

Information for Growing Herbs in Aquaponics

One module of a Portable Farms Aquaponics System

Growing herbs requires research for each plant to determine their watering needs. Many herbs require less water than the vegetables or greens that are grown in Portable Farms. In fact, many plants prefer loose sandy soil over aquaponics growing for that very reason.

All Portable Farms® Kits are commercial kits designed to support Grow Tables up to and larger than 200 sq ft (18m2) and work even for the smallest Grow Table installations. The difference is the timing of the water flow.

Aquaponics is best known for growing greens. Image above is a tray of Romaine Lettuce.

If you want to grow a few ‘herbs’ in your regular Portable Farms® Module, plant a few and see how they mature. You may find they require less water than two water cycles per day.

Changing the timing on the water pump to once a day with a longer cycle still gives you great vegetables, and your herbs will be happier. If you are only growing greens, changing to once a day timing will slow their growth a bit because they love water. Herbs, not so much.

Fish joke: We do not yet have data on whether the fish get the munchies from the new plants, but when someone has good data, we will see if we can share it with you.

Mixing plants in a single Grow Table means compromising on production because of the different moisture needs. Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and peppers dislike wet roots. They need plenty of water in the morning, but not in the afternoon.

For example, lettuce, Swiss chard, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, and collards enjoys two water cycles a day. This water need is why raft culture works well for them; their roots are in water all the time. Herbs prefer a much dryer root zone and become waterlogged and unhappy when over watered.

Next, in this series on growing marijuana in Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems, we will cover modification to the basic Module layout to produce a more abundant crop. You can still use some of the Grow Table for regular vegetables, so you can grow your herbs and vegetables at the same time.

The following list by productiongrowers.com provides information regarding growing cannabis in all US States.

Alabama

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Alabama.

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/alabama-law/alabama-marijuana-laws.html

Alaska

Adults aged 21 and older can legally grow marijuana at home. The grower does not have to register with the authorities. One person can grow up to 6 marijuana plants, although only 3 of the 6 plants can be mature and flowering at any one time.

If there are at least two 21-year-old adults in the same household, that household can grow up to 12 plants at the same time. However, the limit does not increase if there are more than 2 adults in the household.

Sources: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Director/Documents/marijuana/ResponsibleConsumerFactBook.pdf

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/07/29/heres-how-many-cannabis-plants-alaskans-ca n-now-legally-possess-at-home/

Arizona

A qualifying patient or the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver who has been approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services may cultivate medical marijuana, so long as the qualifying patient resides more than 25 miles from the closest dispensary.

Any individual who cultivates medical marijuana must do so in a surrounded and protected area.  The individual can grow up to 12 plants.

There is no higher limit if there are more than 2 qualifying patients who reside in the same household.

Sources:

https://www.azdhs.gov/licensing/medical-marijuana/index.php#faqs-cultivation

Arkansas

It is not legal to grow Marijuana at home in Arkansas.

Source: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/medical-marijuana-faqs

California

Anyone who is above the age of 21 can grow marijuana. Each residence is allowed to grow 6 plants, no matter how many adults reside there.

There is a difference in what Prop 215 and SB240 says about growing marijuana by a medical card holder. The former states that a medical card holder can grow as much as needed, and the latter states that only 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants can be grown.

Sources: https://aizmanlaw.com/marijuana-cultivation/

https://www.gorelick-law.com/marijuana-cultivation-2 

Colorado

Adults over the age of 21 can grow marijuana. The individual can raise up to 6 plants with 3 plants flowering at once. A house with multiple qualifying adults can grow up to a maximum of 12 plants.

Source: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/marijuana/home-grow-laws

Connecticut

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Connecticut. There is no producer’s license for medical marijuana in Connecticut.

Sources: https://norml.org/laws/item/connecticut-penalties

https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/Medical-Marijuana-Program/Medical-Marijuana-Producer-License

Delaware

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Delaware.

Source: https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/medmarfaq.html

Florida

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Florida.

Source: http://www.flhealthsource.gov/ommu/faqs

Georgia

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Georgia.

Source: https://www.macon.com/news/local/article218984495.html

Hawaii

It is legal for registered patients and registered caregivers to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes in Hawaii. However, growers must register with the state government, and they can grow a maximum of 10 plants

Source: http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalcannabisregistry/patients/growing-medical-marijuana/

Idaho

It is not legal to grow marijuana in Idaho.

Source: https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/marijuana-laws-in-idaho-whats-legal-whats-not-andwhat-does-it-take-to-face-jail-time/277-6530c414-73d5-4c67-a530-940478763493

Illinois

While it is illegal to use marijuana for recreational purpose in Illinois, the use of medical marijuana is allowed. However, it must be procured from a dispensary. Only companies have access to the medical marijuana cultivator license, making it illegal for individuals to grow marijuana for any purpose.

Source: https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/cannabis-or-marijuana-laws-and-penalties-basics

Indiana

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Indiana.

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/indiana-law/indiana-marijuana-laws.html

Iowa

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Iowa.

Source: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/marijuana-laws-and-penalties/iowa.htm

Kansas

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Kansas.

Source: https://www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article223398620.html

Kentucky

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Kentucky.

Source: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article223075125.html

Louisiana

While recreational marijuana remains outlawed, medicinal use is allowed. It is not legal to grow marijuana in Louisiana. The only legal growers in the state are the agriculture centers at Louisiana State University and Southern University.

Source: http://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/2892

Maine

Only adults who are above the age of 21 can grow marijuana. In each residence, a maximum of 6 mature plants and 12 immature plants can be cultivated

Sources:

https://legislature.maine.gov/lawlibrary/recreational_marijuana_in_maine/9419

https://goodtoknowmaine.com/laws/

Maryland

It is not legal to grow marijuana in Maryland. It is only allowed for medicinal use, and it must be purchased from state-licensed dispensaries.

Source: https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/patients_faq.aspx

Massachusetts

Only adults who are above the age of 21 can grow marijuana. In each home, up to 6 plants can be grown. If there are more than 2 adults, 12 plants can be grown

Source: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/marijuana-in-massachusetts-whats-legal

Michigan

Adults who are older than 21 can grow up to 12 marijuana plants at home.  Medical caregivers can grow up to 12 plants for up to 5 patients, meaning that caregivers can grow up to 60 plants for patients and an addition 12 plants for themselves.  Caregivers must register with the state.

Sources: https://www.michiganradio.org/post/recreational-marijuana-legal-today-michigan-here-are-5-t hings-know-lighting

https://www.clickondetroit.com/michigan-marijuana/growing-marijuana-in-michigan-here-s-w hat-to-know-about-the-law

Minnesota

It is not legal to grow marijuana in Minnesota. It is only allowed for medicinal use, and must be purchased from one of the 8 Cannabis Patient Centers located around the state.

Source: https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/cannabis/patients/patientguide.html

Mississippi

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Mississippi.

Source: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/marijuana-laws-and-penalties/mississippi.htm

Missouri

Growing marijuana for recreational use is illegal in Missouri.  Beginning in July of 2019, Missouri will accept applications for medical marijuana cards.  The state plans to allow medical marijuana cardholders to grow marijuana at home in “an appropriately secured facility”.

Source:

https://health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/faqs.php

Montana

Patients who require marijuana for medicinal use can grow up to 4 mature plants or 12 seedlings. However, growing for recreational use is not allowed.

Sources:

https://dphhs.mt.gov/marijuana/cardholders/cardholderfaq#159672069-how-many-plants-can -i-have-if-im-on-the-montana-marijuana-registry

Nebraska

It is not legal to grow marijuana for either recreational or medicinal use.

Source: https://norml.org/laws/item/nebraska-penalties-2

Nevada

Any individual above the age of 21 can grow marijuana at home but only if there are no state-licensed retail marijuana store within 25 miles of the home.

An adult can only grow up to 6 plants and a maximum of 12 plants per household. Registered medical marijuana user may grow up to 12 plants provided they live 25 miles from the nearest marijuana dispensary or if the person is unable to travel to a medical marijuana dispensary due to illness or lack of transportation.

Sources: http://marijuana.nv.gov/Legal/GrowingAtHome/

http://www.nvdispense.com/portfolios/right-grow-cannabis-home-elevate-nevada/

New Hampshire

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Hampshire, for either recreational or medicinal use.

Source: https://www.watchdog.org/new_hampshire/new-hampshire-bill-to-allow-home-marijuana-cult ivation-stalls-in/article_31976612-522d-11e8-95e7-774e9da58d0c.html

New Jersey

It is not legal to grow marijuana for either recreational or medicinal use.

Sources: https://www.newsweek.com/marijuana-new-jersey-legalization-legal-states-laws-612844

New Mexico

A Qualified Patient who has a Personal Production License issued by the NM Department of Health can grow a maximum of 12 seedlings and 4 mature plants. A single location cannot have more than 2 personal production licenses

Sources: https://nmhealth.org/about/mcp/svcs/pdb/

http://164.64.110.134/parts/title07/07.034.0004.html

New York

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in New York.

Source: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/faq.htm

North Carolina

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in North Carolina.

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/north-carolina-law/north-carolina-marijuana-laws.html

North Dakota

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in North Dakota.

Source: https://www.ndhealth.gov/mm/PDF/Program_Informational_Guides/FAQ%20for%20Patients-C aregivers%20-%20Updated%206-21-2018.pdf

Ohio

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Ohio.

Source: https://www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/patients-caregivers

Oklahoma

A registered medical marijuana patient who needs marijuana for medicinal use can grow it. Only 6 mature plants and 6 seedlings can be grown at a time.

Source: http://omma.ok.gov/adult-patient-application-information2

Oregon

It is legal to grow marijuana provided you are older than 21. For recreational use, 4 plants per residence can be grown. Patients registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program can grow up to 6 plants.

Sources: https://www.oregon.gov/olcc/marijuana/pages/faqs-personal-use.aspx

https://www.oregon.gov/olcc/marijuana/pages/faqs-personal-use.aspx

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/CHRONICDISEASE/MEDICALMARIJUA NAPROGRAM/Pages/top20.aspx#patientlimits

Pennsylvania

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Pennsylvania.

Source: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/programs/Medical%20Marijuana/Pages/Patients.aspx

Rhode Island

Qualifying Patients that register with the Rhode Island Department of Health can grow up to 12 mature plants. For residences with more than 2 adults, there is a limit of 24 mature plants per residence.

Sources: http://www.health.ri.gov/healthcare/medicalmarijuana/

http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE21/21-28.6/21-28.6-4.HTM

South Carolina

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in South Carolina

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/south-carolina-law/south-carolina-marijuana-laws.html

South Dakota

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in South Dakota.

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/south-dakota-law/south-dakota-marijuana-laws.html

Tennessee

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Tennessee.

Source: https://www.mpp.org/states/tennessee/

Texas

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Texas

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-marijuana-laws.html

Utah

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Utah.

Source: https://health.utah.gov/medical-cannabis

Vermont

Adults older than 21 can grow marijuana. The limits vary depending on whether the marijuana is for recreational or medicinal use.  For recreational use, 2 mature plants and 4 immature plants may be grown per residence. For medicinal use, registered medical marijuana cardholders can grow up to 2 mature plants and 7 immature plants

Sources: https://www.vpr.org/post/you-asked-we-answered-vermonts-recreational-pot-law#stream/0

https://medicalmarijuana.vermont.gov/patients-and-caregivers#cult%20req

Virginia

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Virginia

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/virginia-law/virginia-marijuana-laws.html

Washington

Cultivation of marijuana for recreational purposes is not allowed in the state of Washington.  However, registered medical marijuana patients may grow up to 6 plants at home. If the healthcare practitioner determines the patient requires more than that, they may authorize up to 15 plants.

Sources: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/can-i-grow-marijuana-my-own-personal-us e-washington.h

https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Marijuana/MedicalMarijuana/PatientInformation /PossessionAmounts

West Virginia

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in West Virginia.

Source: https://dhhr.wv.gov/bph/Documents/MedicalCannabis/Patient%20and%20Caregiver%20Info% 2004202017%20-%20rev.pdf

Wisconsin

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Wisconsin

Source: https://shepherdexpress.com/hemp/is-it-time-to-reform-wisconsins-cannabis-laws/

Wyoming

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Wyoming

Source: https://norml.org/laws/item/wyoming-penalties-2

 

Worm Casting for Aquaponics

FF Portable Farms® Worm Casting Tea – The Quick and Easy Method  
Brought to you by PFAS LLC, Inventors of Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems
https://portablefarms.com 804-367-3752    pdavis@portablefarms.com

 CLICK HERE to learn about Mineral Rock Dust.  Both Worm Castings or Mineral Rock Dust have been shipped to Portable Farms® customers in ALL 50 US STATES!  

Find the Order Form at Bottom of this Page.

We suggest you purchase a simple sprayer to apply your worm castings tea to your plants and spray the plants in your aquaponics system 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 aquaponics system:

 

 

  • Safe for your fish (a very big advantage).
  • Our FF (Fish Friendly) Organic Worm Castings are pure organic worm castings and not vermi-compost.
  • This 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 are adding nutrients directly to your growing plants and making them healthier and minimizing any potential problems.
  • Since you are spraying the leaves and fruit/vegetables, pathogens are less likely to attack your plants because you are adding beneficial microbes (very important to healthy plant growth) to the surface of the plants.
  • Worm casting tea 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 FF (Fish Friendly) Worm Casting Tea method works much faster than standard methods and produces tea of equal or better quality. You can make your 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 (only 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 cup FF Worm Castings which is 100% organic and supplies a natural source of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and iron for your plants.
  • 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.
  • A bucket that holds 14 cups of water (make sure the bucket has had no chemicals in it in prior usages).
  • Let a kitchen blender to do the work to mix and aerate the worm casting tea.
  • 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 must pass through your sprayers nozzle so make sure the filter is smaller than 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 is 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 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, and a strong insect spray for the plants. It is fast and easy to make and is applied the same day.

This is one more product and service from Portable Farms® to encourage successful growing in the field of aquaponics.

Code

Product Name

Size

Price

FF – Worm Casting 105 FF Worm Casting 5 lbs
$16.50 plus $14.25 Shipping and Handling = $30.75. 




FF – Worm Casting 110 </td FF Worm Casting 10 lbs $26.22 plus $17.00 shipping and handling = $40.32.




FF – Worm Casting 140 FF Worm Casting 40 lbs

$39.50 Please email us your zip code to determine shipping charges to your location from Southern California.

FF – Worm Casting 2000 FF Worm Casting

Export Minimum Order outside US is 2200 lb./1000kg  –  tote

Please email us your zip code to determine shipping charges to your location from Southern California.

The Real Cost of INDOOR Aquaponics

The Real Cost of INDOOR Aquaponics

–by Colle Davis

 

Aquaponics is a pesticide-free and chemical-free way to grow food. More and more people require food grown under these conditions.

Building a garden at your home gives you the advantage of controlling what you and your family eat.

The plants growing in the aquaponics’ grow tables are filled with crushed gravel. The plants receive their nutrients from the fish effluent (tilapia or catfish). Because of the ideal growing condition, the food is vulnerable to insects (ants, aphids, and mold), and the use of insecticides will kill the fish.

Aquaponics’ grow tables typically are installed in insulated greenhouses that receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight per day and protect from wind, rain, birds, rodents, and insects. Aquaponics systems may also be installed in well-ventilated warehouses with the addition of LED grow lights in place of direct sunshine.

Aquaponics uses air pumps, and we don’t recommend installing the systems in an empty room in a house. This caveat relates to the air pumps’ sound, along with the slight smell emitted from the fish tanks can be distracting.

However, we do recommend installing an indoor aquaponics system to grow fresh table vegetables and tank-grown fish. You can easily convert space in your basement, garage, workshop, or enclosed porch. If you have available space, you can install a grow table and fish tank to grow food and have fun.

When people contact us, they always ask, What will it cost me to get started?”

Here is the answer:

  1. The Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course© includes the Portable Farms® Kit containing the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems’ technology. Our online course teaches you to how to build and operate your aquaponics’ system. To learn the cost of our online course, please visit our website (right panel signup).

  1. The cost of the materials to build one module to feed eight people up to 200 sq ft [18.6m²] of grow space is approximately US$700 anywhere in the world.

  2. Full-spectrum grows lights ensure growth for the plants (both green and blooming plants), and the cost is about US$400 (price does not include the electricity required for the grow lights).

  • This total of $3,500 plus some labor includes cost variances and is in the US$4,000 range. This cost excludes anything related to a greenhouse. This quote/information specifies costs to install a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System in an indoor growing space.

Outdoor Portable Farms® Aquaponics Grow Tables  

Caveats to be aware of in this conversion process: 

  1. The numbers above apply to spaces up to 450 sq ft (42m²). Above 450 sq. ft. (42m²), you will need two grow tables, and the cost will go up, but not much on a per sq. ft. basis.

  1. Any space you utilize will require excellent ventilation to reduce the humidity. Having an indoor garden means you will be venting some oxygen and humidity into your very dry space or outside your home in most cold climates.

  2. We recommend you clean and paint the space before using it. The area needs to be clean of dirt, dust, and mold.

  3. The grow tables are heavy, so the floor underneath them must safely support 30 lbs. per sq foot (4.8k per m²) of dead load.

  1. Water gets spilled, and the floor space must be easy to clean up (preferably with a hose).

  1. Square spaces are much harder to plan and build in than rectangular areas.

The total cost to convert an enclosed space of 12ft x 25ft (3.7m x 7.6m) or a similar size is close to that described above. The cost per square foot will be in the range of US$12+ per sq. ft (4.8k per m²) approximately.

Diagram of One Module of a Portable Farms Aquaponics System

Here are the necessary parameters to determine how to utilize the space:

  1. Grow Tables usually are 5ft or 6ft (1.5m or 1.8) wide and up to 40ft (12.1m) long. The most effective way to utilize space is to subtract 4ft (1.2m) from the area’s length to see how long a grow table will fit and how many grow tables and aisles you can do in the space.

  1. A module (grow table and fish tank) is 7.5ft or 8.5ft (2.25m or 2.6m) wide. The width of the grow table plus a 2.5ft (0.76m) aisle on each side.

  1. Use the formula to find the number of modules to fit into your space. The floor space width minus 2.5ft (0.76m) divided by 7.5ft or 8.5ft (2.25m or 2.6m) equals the number of modules that will fit in the area you have available.

Fill & Drain vs. Raft Aquaponics

Fill & Drain vs. Raft Aquaponics
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

portable-farms-commercial-greenhouse-growing

The Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems are ideally designed for community aquaponics growing. 

One acre of land can accommodate 120 Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems’ modules installed in four separate greenhouses housing 30 modules each to grow 320,000 vegetables and 92,000 pounds of fish which will feed 960 people all the food they need to be healthy FOREVER. Plus, it only takes 12 people to operate a full acre.

Many large aquaponics installations are designed on the ‘Virgin Island model.’ They are a raft system using a single large fish tank, heavy-duty pumps and filters, and long-shallow grow tanks where the rafts are gradually pushed from one end to the other as the plants mature. By moving the plants several times as they mature, the actual yield-per-square-foot of surface area is very high.

Let’s look at how the raft systems are designed: 

  • The fish tank(s) is very large, often thousands of gallons and the water is moved constantly by a single heavy duty pump from the fish tank to some sort of bio filter or filtration system.
  • The water often goes through an aeration system because the water flowing to the plants growing in the rafts need to have a very high oxygen content in the water for their roots or they will die.
  • The water is then returned to the fish tank with the nutrients stripped out and depleted in oxygen.

The weak points of this type of system are as follows:

  • There is a single large pump the controls the water flow out of the fish tank and if it fails, the fish die.
  • The water at the end of the grow tanks needs to be lifted back up into the fish tank, this involves more pumping and the pumps can fail.
  • The bio filter must be cleaned daily, or the waste will overwhelm the system and poison the plants.
  • The plants are handled several times, first planted in some type of pot or medium, transplanted to a wider spacing, transplanted at least once more to their final raft and finally harvested.
  • The system requires a very large amount of water to start and consumes large amounts of water because the fish tank is open on top and evaporation is taking place.
  • The filtration system has also exposed the water to the air and evaporation takes place.
  • Only small leafy vegetables can be raised in this system (mostly lettuce and basil).
  • The raft system works, and it works very well. It requires more water, more power and more labor to operate than the medium-based systems (gravel grow beds).

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems use a fill and drain, medium based system. Here is how this system works:

grow tray 2013aEach module is a standalone system with the fish tank, clarifier and grow tray working together.

  • There is no limit to the number of modules in an installation (example, 30 modules fit into a 10,000 sq foot greenhouse).

  • The maximum amount of water in each tank is 400 gallons.

  • The maximum number of fish in each tank is 400.

  • The ‘bio filter’ is in two parts, the clarifier and the huge gravel bed. The clarifier only needs to be cleaned every two to four months and the gravel NEVER needs to be cleaned.

  • The water is lifted one time (requiring electricity) using a small pump and the rest of the time it is flowing downhill back to the fish tank (gravity and flow).

  • The plants are handled three times. For greens, the seeds are planted into inert cubes, the seedlings/cubes are planted into the gravel and then at harvest time the entire plant is removed.

  • Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, peas and other flowering plants can be grow in great quantities and harvested over time.

  • Two full time employees are required for each 10,000 sq ft installation and most of their time is taken up with harvesting and planting, not moving and transplanting seedlings.

  • IF the electrical power fails to the entire system, it is designed so well that the fish will survive 12 full hours without aeration and the plants can go a full 24 hours on the residual water in the gravel. That is a HUGE safety factor.

  • If an individual pump fails it has no effect on the rest of the installation, only that particular module.

  • Not transplanting is required.

The differences are also reflected in the water and electrical usage:

  • A raft system uses over 15 times as much water initially, and requires four-to-ten-times as much makeup water as the PFAS commercial installation.
  • The raft system has more than one single point of failure and the PFAS has no single point of failure for an installation only in each module.
  • The electrical power requirements are four to six times higher in the raft system compared to the fill and drain medium based systems.

Bottom line: Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems are ideally designed for community aquaponics growing. One acre of land can accommodate four Portable Farms® that grow 320,000 vegetables and 92,000 pounds of fish which will feed 960 people all the food they need to be healthy FOREVER. Plus, it only takes 8 people to operate a full acre. For more information on the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems contact us today.

Community Aquaponics is the HOT NEW TREND

Community Aquaponics is the HOT NEW TREND
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

The impact of a single community aquaponics system is much larger than the excellent ROI (Return on Investment) and high monthly income. The impact of multiple units has 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 and community 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 community 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, community aquaponics is a viable option to address their desired outcomes to provide food and work for local people.

The large community 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 necessarily local markets; resort hotels, high-end restaurants, foodies and specialty markets catering to the wealthy. Within the next few years, community 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 planning to install a commercial (10,000 sq ft – 1/4 acre, 1,000m2) 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 locally grown, pesticide free vegetables to their customers not treated with chemicals

  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. 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 and the selection of crops you grow and sell to them

  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

  7. The area could even become a net exporter of food.

The question now is, “How can an individual or group step into the community aquaponics business?”

The answer is, “Be prepared to spend some money to determine the feasibility of your chosen location and to work with engineers and experts to establish the cost and benefits for your project.”