Wasabi Lettuce? In Aquaponics? YES! YES! YES!

Wasabi Lettuce
by Colle and Phyllis Davis

GREEN WAVE LETTUCE

It’s NOT really called Wasabi Lettuce. That’s not the real name of this incredibly delicious, delightful, peppery and tasty green, but ‘wasabi lettuce’ is what we call it when we point it out to the people on tours at the Portable Farms’® Research and Development Center. When they are handed a leaf to taste, what they are actually tasting, is wonderfully pungent mustard green called Green Wave (Brassica juncea) from Johnny’s Select Seeds). As soon as they put a bite of the lime-green wavy edged leaf into their mouth and chew it slightly, their eyes light up and they say, “You’re right, it tastes exactly like wasabi.”

For non sushi eaters, this is the light green stuff that sushi eaters mix with soy sauce and dip their sushi into before eating. It is VERY pungent and a little goes a LONG way.  

 

According to Herbcyclopedia: If you like Japanese food you may by now know what Wasabi is, or at least guess because not many people knows where this strong greenish condiment known as Wasabi comes from. Wasabi(わさび山葵), originally 和佐比, Wasabia japonica or Eutrema japonica, also commonly known as Japanese horseradish(PHOTO ON LEFT) is one of the most popular spices in many Asian countries, especially in Korea and Japan, a plant member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbages, horseradish, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and mustard. The root of Wasabia japonica is used as the source of an extremely spicy condiment used in many Japanese traditional dishes as sushi or sashimi. The name Wasabi translates from the Japanese as “mountain hollyhock“. 

Many times we are asked about growing suggestions for our aquaponic systems that we have never heard of or that are being referred to by a local name that we do not recognize. Wasabi lettuce is our name of our new favorite, but that name has no meaning for anyone else. Regionally available plants are often not even known to those outside of that specific region. The only hard restrictions on growing plants in the PFAS is root crops  which do not grow well under the gravel substrate.

A grow tray of Green Wave Lettuce growing in a Portable Farms Aquaponics System.  

 

Phyllis Davis holding a bouquet of Green Wave lettuce

The huge variety of greens and blossoming plants raised in the R&D Centers over the years has been fun, exciting, very informative and has been helpful in recommending varieties to anyone using aquaponics. For the most part these experiments have been highly successful and new varieties have been slowly added to the list of approximately 300 varieties we have actually grown in the aquaponics systems. Some plants do exceptionally well, are very easy to grow, produce predictably and are on the list of recommended plants for aquaponics.  

A few have not worked out so well. Because of their desire to experiment we encourage those who want to try new and different varieties to go ahead and plant some to see how they do in the system. Some do great and some not so great. Some are seasonal and do not do well in the ‘off’ season. 

For commercial installations the initial ratio of greens to flowering plants is dictated by the marketing study done in advance of any construction. The initial profit is significant and enough to pay off the initial investment in three to five years, but the real profit comes when the customers begin to ask for specialty crops or different varieties of their favorites, some of which you may have to dig to find what they actually are before buying some for the client.  

When anything is custom grown it has a higher profit margin because that specific crop is hard to procure OR it would be readily available. For example:  After a short time of being supplied with the standard lettuce, tomatoes and peppers, the customer nearly always asks, ‘Can you start bringing me these different tomatoes or the type of lettuce that we used for wraps or can you bring me hot peppers?’ and those items bring near retail prices, or a tiny bit less than they would have to pay their normal suppliers.  

When you are asked to supply a new variety or new vegetable, start with a dozen or so plants to see what the results turn out to be for your particular system. There are always some surprises and some of the new plants are fun and some are really confusing . Have fun. 

VISIT AQUAPONICS UNIVERSITY AND LEARN ABOUT AQUAPONICS!

 


Buy a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System – Grow Your Own Food

Buy a Portable Farms® Aquaponics System

Build, own and operate your own backyard aquaponics system.
One module of Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems feeds a family of eight year round.
Install twenty to thirty modules and sell the food you grow in a commercial aquaponics operation.

To find out what is IN the Portable Farms® Kit and what is NOT in the Portable Farms® Kit , please request the FREE AND INSTANTANEOUS PRICE LIST (second box on top panel on every page of this website).

Most students complete this online course in about twelve hours. It’s self-paced and you have one year to complete the course. Many families install a backyard aquaponics system over a weekend assuming they have some basic skills for home repair and have access to repair tools.

You can learn everything you need to know about building your own aquaponics system and growing healthy food by taking our FUN and easy-to-follow.

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, graduates receive a Portable Farms® Kit used in the assembly of the aquaponics module that is capable of building a grow table large enough to feed eight people table vegetables and fish . . . forever.

Aquaponics raises tilapia in the Northern Hemisphere as the ‘nutrient source’ for the vegetables. Portable Farms’ technology removes the heavy effluent (fish waste) from the fish tanks before it circulates through the grow tables. Tilapia are a warm water, fresh water fish. “Tilapia in the US presents a final high overall score of 8.84, and therefore is ranked Green or “Best Choice” overall.” READ MORE about Tilapia from Seafood Watch.

You will need these tools: power saw, hammer, power drill, level, hydraulic jack (for leveling), staple gun, hack saw or PVC pipe cutter, box cutter and maybe a few band-aids.

  • Think of the Grow Table as a large shallow tray on legs. You will need two people, three is better because the Grow Table is heavy.
  • The hardest part of the process is washing and placing the gravel a slow, heavy and wet process best delegated to young, strong helpers.
  • Building a Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Module does requires some carpentry skills and a person with the skills to hang a door or build a cabinet will do a fine job.

To find out what is IN the Portable Farms® Kit and what is NOT in the Portable Farms® Kit , please request the FREE AND INSTANTANEOUS PRICE LIST (second box on top panel on every page of this website).

Let us teach you how to grow healthy fish and vegetables so you can become increasingly self-sustaining.

  • Our 45 years of experience in aquaponics is now available to teach you how to feed your family FOREVER. [Read our HistoryCLICK HERE.]
CLICK HERE TO READ Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems NEW Online Course© that includes a Portable Farms® Kit.
 

Shipping and postage are included to addresses in the US only, BUT for all order outside the US there is a US$140 shipping and handling charge. 

The entire Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course©, Sections A-Z, must be satisfactorily completed within 12 months from the date of enrollment in order to qualify for graduation or the Portable Farms® Kit.

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems  Are the Most 
Productive and Reliable Aquaponics Systems in the World

  • Portable Farms® grow food in greenhouses, warehouses or underground structures.

  • Without the use of any pesticides, harsh chemicals, antibiotics or hormones. 

  • Portable Farms® use 95% less water than traditional agricultural methods.

  • Portable Farms® use less electrical power than any other aquaponics system in the world and can be solar or wind powered.

  • Portable Farms® provide table vegetables (greens and blooming plants such as tomatoes, peppers, etc.) and fish (tilapia) as a protein source to maintain optimal health.

  • Three people can operate one-quarter of an acre of Portable Farms® which feeds 240 people forever. Twelve people can operate one acre of Portable Farms® which feeds 1,000 people forever.

  • Portable Farms® can be operated by semi-skilled labor and people of almost any age (young and old).

  • Greens grown in Portable Farms® can be harvested in as few as 28 days after installation and continue producing forever .

  • Portable Farms® feed families, communities, cities, countries and the world.

Smokers Trasmit Virus in Portable Farms

Tobacco Mosaic Virus
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

Tomato mosaic virus cause yellowing and stunting of tomato plants and cuts yield production.

tobacco virus leaf

The effects of tobacco mosaic virus on a tomato plant.

Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Tobacco Mosaic Virus

NO SMOKING ALLOWED IN THE GREENHOUSE.

AND NO SMOKERS ALLOWED IN THE GREENHOUSE WHO HAVE BEEN SMOKING OUTSIDE THE GREENHOUSE.

NO VAPING WITH E-CIGS OR E-CIG SMOKERS ARE ALLOWED IN THE GREENHOUSE. Anyway you cut it, tobacco is tobacco.

All forms of tobacco, smoke, vapor or nicotine will cause Tobacco Mosaic Virus, Cucumber Mosaic Virus and other blooming plant viruses. 

No marijuana smoking or marijuana smokers should be allowed in the greenhouse.

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

Since you cannot use any type of insecticide in an aquaponics system (or you’ll kill the fish), you must protect your plants and fish from toxins, pathogens, and insects.

We recommend that anyone who touches the gravel or the plants wear clean disposable gloves, every time they work in the farm. We also recommend that NO TOBACCO USERS, NO SMOKING AND NO SMOKERS ever be allowed to handle the gravel or handle the plants (with our without gloves) for fear of introducing the tobacco mosaic virus into the farm. We also recommend all plants are grown from seed because small plants brought in from nurseries hold a high possibility for having been handled by smokers and may also contain aphids and other pests.

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

Here are some links for more information:

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

NC STATE UNIVERSITY

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY


Locally Grown Pesticide-Free Vegetables Taste Great!

Locally Grown, Pesticide-Free Vegetables Are Healthy and Tasty 
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

Swimming tilapia.

Ready to harvest Tilapia (11″ – 1.25 pounds) in a Portable Farms Aquaponics System. See how clear the water is in the fish tanks? That’s because of our CAD pump that removes the fish waste from the fish tanks TWICE per day (much like flushing a toilet) and leaves the fish tanks and grow trays free of all waste.

pesticidefreezoneLocally grown, pesticide free vegetables are heathy and tasty.  Aquaponics systems that grow vegetables and fish together is an automatic guarantee that the food grow in that aquaponics system was grown PESTICIDE FREE or it would have killed the fish in the systems. Aquaponics fish are an excellent indicator that the food in that growing system has been grown without harsh chemicals or pesticides.

Now the real world enters the picture. The number one request from concerned foodies is for ‘locally grown, pesticide free’ produce. Do you see the word ‘organic’ in that request? No. Here is an example that may help illustrate the problem pulled from actual experience. If a Mexican/Israeli farmer can receive $2 per pound for organically labeled tomatoes or $.80 per pound for non organic, which box will they pack first? You have absolutely no assurance the tomato you are purchasing is really organic. You have to trust a whole list of people with your health and your money.

If the local commercial aquaponics company is offering ‘locally grown, pesticide free’ tomatoes, there is a much higher probability that what you are buying is exactly what is advertised because it is locally grown (in many cases you can actually visit the installation) and there are fish in the system to protect their health as well as YOUR health. [Weird to think that fish are protecting you and helping to deliver the best produce you can buy.]

ecosystem2Buying locally grown, pesticide free produce where fish are in the system gives you a much shorter and easily verifiable in the food chain from producer to your table. A local grower has a much greater incentive to provide exactly what they are advertising because the local people will spot a problem or a lie very quickly. Plus, the local producer is a member of the community and in many cases this alone will insure a measure of honesty.

 

Feeding the Hungry with Portable Farms®

Feeding the Hungry with Portable Farms®
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

As we find ourselves in the midst of pandemic and unemployment, there is a way to help those as close as your family or as inclusive as your community or even a larger section of the earth by installing an aquaponics system.

Now you or your organization can really make a difference in people’s lives, forever, by feeding people and providing employment to those who need it most.

Our article on the Portable Farms® website, Feeding a Family of Five, went around the world in 24 hours and drew interest from readers in over 140 countries. After all, our loyal readers are looking for immediate solutions to their own food needs. They want to avoid worrying about the cost of food, relying on coupons, tainted food, and staying current on sales from local grocery stores; they’re interested in creating a never-ending supply of fresh, pesticide free food near their kitchen so they never have to buy their table vegetables at their grocery store again, EVER.

Please note: The majority of the food grown in Portable Farms® that is not consumed by the owners MUST be sold and not given away to those in need. Why? Because the focus of donor funding always shifts, over time, to various causes and if (for whatever reason) the funders or donors who are supplying the money for the ongoing costs of labor, water, electricity, etc., required to operate a Portable Farm decide to reallocate that funding to another cause, the aquaponics system will eventually fail. While good deeds are encouraged in the world, nothing (not even funding) lasts forever. However, if food grown in Portable Farms® is SOLD to pay the necessary operating expenses for the Portable Farm, the operation has a chance for long-term survival in that community.

The question we have received most often about community aquaponics installations is:  “How can a larger group use an aquaponics system to become more locally self reliant?”

Here is our answer: “By using the same formula of 25 sq ft to feed one adult, any group can sit down and figure out what size system they need to feed their members or target audience. For example, if a group wants to feed 240 people, they would need 6,000 square feet of grow space which fits perfectly into a 10,000 sq ft greenhouse in ¼ acre. That will provide them with most of their table vegetables and fish, a regular source of healthy protein, forever. It would not include root vegetables like potatoes. carrots nor legumes and grains.”

If your organization is focused on ways to help the children in your community or somewhere else in the world, the same formula can be applied. In many cases, part of that help can also include jobs for their parents and help teach the children about ‘the cycle of life’ and the value and benefits of healthy nutritional habits. 

A religious organization can very easily address the needs of their congregation or a target group that they are assisting by using the same ‘people to grow space’ formula. For a group of one hundred persons in need, a PFAS Unit containing only 4,000 sq ft of enclosed space will do the job. That is a greenhouse only 50 x 80 feet. Nearly every religious organization has that much space in their parking lot or in an open area next to their main church building. This size will provide all of the table vegetables and some of the fish needs for the 100 people or it will also help supplement the needs of nearly twice that many people.

Community groups can also start a locally supported installation and be able to leverage their resources to a much greater degree with an investment in a permanent food-production facility run by local semi-skilled labor. The opportunity to serve the community and actually have the system help pay for itself over time is a huge advantage over nearly any other source of food items. Plus, it offers employment to a few of the locals ‘in need’ for a permanent full time job.

Even nonprofit organizations can step in and serve their community in a way that outlasts the original donor’s money. By using donor money, they can erect one or more Units, perhaps under the name of the donor, and the system becomes an income-generating fixture to the organization, or at least self sustaining investment, as it serves the target group. Even programs that are designed to provide ‘in-home help’ can benefit from having an aquaponics system on site or close by to provide food for the recipients.

For those who wish to give to, and to support those who are less fortunate, our aquaponics systems are a way to leverage their giving. By setting up a foundation or charity which actually owns the installations, an individual, or family, or organization can dramatically impact the lives of those they wish to help and insure their money is put to work doing the most possible good.

 


Solar Aquaponics – The Future of Growing

Solar Aquaponics, – The Future of Growing
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

solar system

Heat and light are the heart-and-soul of aquaponics after the water, plants and fish are in place.

Here we have to make a couple of assumptions about your current or planned solar powered aquaponics system: 1) the constant aeration pump and the circulation pump requirements have already been planned for and 2) calibrated against the output of the system.

Now let’s bring the other two CEA (Controlled Environment Agriculture) elements to your aquaponics system by adding:

    1. Grow lights – not expensive, easily available and need more power than a single deep cycle battery can supply
    2. Heat for the fish tank – less expensive, easy to install and, yes that second battery is necessary.

The grow lights require a converter to up the voltage from 12vdc to 110 or 220vac and this step takes power and additional components. (There are 12v florescent lights, but they have a long way to go to be effective.) You may already use a converter to run you water pump and if so make sure you upgrade to enough watts to handle all of the current draw on your system.

sun symbol from color splashes and line brushesThe rule of thumb (green or not) is that plants need to have full spectrum lighting or special growing lights in a density sufficient to grow and be healthy. We have successfully used the guideline of one, four tube 4’ T8 Super-sunlight fixture per 2m or 6’ of grow tray length. These fixtures, including bulbs, are less than US$80 almost everywhere in the world. The 32watt tubes times 4 tubes means each fixture requires 128watts of power per hour for up to 4 hours per day. (Indoor growing has a very different time frame and cost.) To translate this to power usage: There needs to be 128watts x hours of use = watts per hour requirements from your solar electrical system. We started with one deep cycle marine battery and found very quickly that a second matching battery was needed to operate the grow lights for three hours per day over the six months of short days.

Here are the components you will need (assuming you are using an existing solar electrical system) to ‘go solar’ with your grow lights:

  1. A second matching battery
  2. An 800watt converter – 12vdc to 110 or 220vac (this is for one grow light fixture)
  3. One Super-sunlight T8 four tube fixture or similar per 2m (6’) of grow tray length
  4. Mounting hardware for above the trellises

These will cost in the range of US$300 to US$400.

Now for the heating system:

In most aquaponics systems, the fish tank is or can be plastic or a heavy rubberized food-grade material. (Please do not use galvanized steel because the zinc will leach into the water and is harmful to both fish and plants.) With a fish tank made of these materials you can add a thermostatically controlled heating system for under US$100, extra battery not included. Most warm water, fresh water fish do very well at between 75 and 80° F (25 to 27° C).

solar panelUsing a 12vdc heating element and a thermostat to keep the water in the fish tank within a desired range will contribute both to your production and your peace of mind. In colder climates the fish tank needs to be heavily insulated, especially the bottom and top. Placing the heating element near the aerators also helps to distribute the heat within the tank.

Here is the list of components to ‘go solar’ with the fish tank heater:

  1. 300 watt 12vdc heater element
  2. Thermostat/relay to control the heating element
  3. Adapter to mount heating element into side of fish tank (may not be necessary)

Yes, that is the list of components. Please note the adaptor, if needed, is a multipart component that may require some slight modifications to work in your situation.

The heating element is mounted in a hole you have cut in the side of the fish tank. (please drain the tank to below the hole FIRST.) The components for the adaptor are available at hardware and home centers in the plumbing section.

solar panel and clarThe thermostat is mounted near or on the top of outside of the tank and the sensor is fastened to the OUTSIDE of the tank about half way up the side and covered with insulating material. The sensor does not need to be in the water and fastening it to the outside of the tank reduces its exposure to the water and fish.

Here’s information about the wiring: The positive (+) wiring is from the battery bank (+) terminal to the thermostat then to the heating element. The negative or neutral wire goes from the battery bank (-) terminal to the heating element.

With the lights and/or the heating element(s) in place your solar electric system may or may not carry the load. Keep a close eye on its performance. Suggestion: The solar panel needs to be at least a 100w panel and the MPPT (charge controller) able to handle 20 amp loads. Upgrading either component will increase the cost. If you have not yet purchased your solar panels, opt for a minimum of 100watts and better 200watts.

A solar power system with a 200w panel, an MPPT that can handle 20amps and two deep cycle batteries will normally support a properly constructed and insulated single fish tank system including the grow lights even in extreme climates.

Send us pictures of your installations so we can brag on you.

Our Aquaponic’s Course is Fun and Easy – JOIN THE PORTABLE FARMS® FAMILY

Our Aquaponic’s Course is Fast, Fun, and Easy – JOIN THE PORTABLE FARMS® FAMILY

Feed 2 or 200 


The more Grow Tables you build, the more food you can grow and the more people you can feed.

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems

A small back yard Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

A small back yard Portable Farms Aquaponics System.

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.


To view photos of food commonly grow in Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems: 
CLICK HERE.

If you’re interested in owning your own aquaponics system, your first goal is to select the size aquaponics system you’d like to operate for your own unique purposes. We always suggest to our customers that they learn how to successfully operate an aquaponics system and if it fits their needs THEN expand to multiple aquaponics modules (the sky’s the limit).

There are literally thousands of websites that can show you how to set up a small workable open-source backyard hobby aquaponics systems without paying for the information. For those who are not able to purchase our systems, we suggest you START TODAY by working with online/open source information so you can learn about aquaponics and build your own farm. We also suggest you visit online aquaponics forums so you can ask questions you may have from other aquaponics enthusiasts. 

Take our email-correspondence course. It's fun. It's easy. It's GREAT information.

Take our email-correspondence course. It’s fun. It’s easy. It’s GREAT information.

Would you like a few aquaponics modules (each module feeds 8 people) so you can begin to sell the food you grow and then expand? If so, then take the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course© and learn  everything there is to know about aquaponics and begin to build modules.

Or, are you interested in the commercial side of aquaponics that raises and sells vegetables and fish to local markets in your area? You can begin at the top and install multi-acre commercial systems by taking the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course©.


The future of food production involves growing food in a controlled-environment greenhouse. By growing food in greenhouses, growers are no longer dependent on weather conditions (think climate change), and they can grow food year round, in any climate, and the grower doesn’t need to use harsh chemicals or pesticides to protect their plants.

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


farm 8 18 2012

The next step up is almost too easy; yes, you can sell the food you grow. The desire to ‘sell the excess’ is almost too good to pass up. Your neighbors and friends will be delighted to receive your excess bounty for free and a few of them will offer to pay for it. TAKE THE MONEY. It is your reward for being smart and focused on your business. Building a larger installation to house two or more Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems’ Modules makes the adventure into a real commercial aquaponics business. Starting with about twice as much money as noted above, a person can become a millionaire is less than ten years.

  To view photos of food commonly grow in Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems:  CLICK HERE.


Duckweed to Feed Tilapia in Aquaponics – The Food of the Future

Duckweed to Feed Tilapia in Aquaponics – The Food of the Future
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

Portable FarmsDuckweed MAY be the food of the future. Grown under ideal conditions, duckweed ranges between 25% and 45% protein and doubles its growth every 36 hours, and OUR TILAPIA love to eat it along with their fish chow.

We do not profess to be experts at growing farm-raised duckweed to feed our fish. In fact, quite the opposite is true. We have grown duckweed in kiddy-pools, large and small containers and even open-air tanks off-and-on for many years and we have not always been successful in our efforts to maintain our duckweed farms, but we keep trying and we continue to experiment to find the answers to pass along to you.

Duckweed seems to overgrow in places that people do not want it to grow – like ponds, rivers and lakes, but it’s been difficult for us to raise it in tubs for more than a few weeks before it dies. If duckweed covers the surface of a body of water, there is an oxygen depletion which kills fish in the ponds, rivers or lakes. (Feed tilapia only enough for them to eat. The remnants are picked off over time.)

Our latest experiments for growing duckweed suggests putting PVC pipes or PVC fittings in the water in the tanks for the duckweed to grow around it (which makes sense) so we’re going to try that and we’ll keep you posted.

If you plan to raise enough farm-raised duckweed to feed your fish for a commercial sized-farm, we recommend you speak with a local botanist in your area that might be able to guide you better than we can. There is a vast amount of scientific research and available information on the Internet about duckweed.

Image of duckweed growing near a bridge. If you look for areas near your own home with standing water, you may see your own ‘starter batch’ of duckweed. 

Fun fact: People asked us for a long time what duckweed tasted like. One day our construction engineer said, “Well, I guess you ought to taste it so you can tell them.” So I did. It tastes like watercress. Tangy, peppery and very clean tasting.  “Thought you’d like to know.” – Colle

Also, starch that comes from duckweed can quickly be changed into ethanol, which it can used instead of corn for ethanol. Farmers from large-scale hog farms, rid their waste through large duckweed lagoons.” It helps manage their animal wastes through biological treatment and can even ‘clean’ hog-waste water and makes the water potable by running the water through enough duckweed. Interesting, eh?

Here are a few links for you to study duckweed and its benefits and complexities:

http://www.fishfarming.com/duckweed.html
http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd7/1/3.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemna
http://www.mobot.org/jwcross/duckweed/Fish.htm

Portable FarmsDuckweed in kids 8′ kiddy pools

In fact, here is a link to a technical working paper by researchers for the World Bank, Duckweed Aquaculture, A New Aquatic Farming System for Developing Countries, by Paul Skillicorn, William Spira and William Journey – Emena Technical Department, Agricultural Division. 

Advice for ridding unwanted duckweed from ponds from the Royal Horticultural Society in London:

Non-chemical controls: Complete control is impossible and growth should be controlled before it reaches nuisance levels. Try the following for control and prevention of duckweed:

  • On small ponds repeated raking or netting will keep the weed under control. Continuous removal is usually necessary
  • On larger pools use a floating boom to sweep from end to end. Sweep at intervals from early in the season and continue until winter dormancy
  • You can compost the removed weed
  • Fit stop-boards at any upstream inlets to prevent duckweeds entering ponds or lakes
  • Weed-eating water birds, such as domestic and ornamental ducks, moorhens and coots will provide some degree of control
  • Grass carp will eat Lemna species
  • Shading can reduce duckweed growth. This can be achieved by planting on the south side of the pond. Waterlilies and other plants with floating leaves can also substantially reduce the level of duckweed. The use of a fountain to disturb the surface may also help

Aquaculture and Aquaponics are NOT the same!

aquaculture2

Aquaculture and Aquaponics are NOT the Same Thing!
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis 

The U.S. government is pushing for increased farm-raised fish production (in order to erase a seafood trade deficit). Estimates are that half the fish consumed worldwide will be farm/tank raised by the year 2025.

The main difference is that aquaponics’ tank-grown fish grows fish as a primary resource for the nutrients (primarily nitrogen) in the water to grow healthy vegetables. Portable Farm’s technology removes the heavy fish waste from the fish tanks before that nutrient-rich water flows through the grow tables.

Aquaponics is the growing of fish, or other water-based animals, along with land plants in a controlled environment, to maximize the use of the energy and nutrients in the system in order to harvest the greatest amount of vegetables and fish protein from the system.

Aquaponics raises Mozambique tilapia. They are a warm water, fresh water fish.

The word aquaponics comes from words ‘aquaculture,’ which is the cultivation of fish or other water-based animals, and the word ‘hydroponics,’ where plants are grown in a sterile medium or completely in water.

Aquaculture is about the aquatic farming of fish for food. 

“Fish farming has often been touted as an extremely efficient way to produce animal protein: the Global Aquaculture Alliance claims 100 kilograms of fish feed can deliver up to 15 times more meat than an equivalent amount fed to cows. The industry has gained international traction, with farmed fish surpassing wild-caught ones (pdf) in the global food supply in 2014. But traditional fish-farming methods come with significant environmental drawbacks. For example, salmon farmers in Norway and Chile—the world leaders in salmon production—typically use open-ocean cages that corral fish in suspended netting or pens. This setup allows waste to flow directly into the environment, along with pathogens and parasites that can infect wild populations. Open-air pond farms—found worldwide and representing the most common type of aquaculture in China, the top global producer of farmed fish—also have a track record of polluting local waterways with fish effluent and veterinary medicines that are used to keep disease at bay.” Scientific AmericanThe Future of Fish Farming May Be Indoors. New advancements in water filtration and circulation make it possible for indoor fish farms to dramatically grow in size and production, By Laura Poppick on September 17, 2018,

According to WikipediaAquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments.

 

Can the Oceans Keep Up with the Hunt? 

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The reported output from global aquaculture operations would supply one half of the fish and shellfish that is directly consumed by humans, however there are issues about the reliability of the reported figures. Further, in current aquaculture practice, products from several pounds of wild fish are used to produce one pound of a piscivorous fish like salmon.

Particular kinds of aquaculture include fish farming, shrimp farming, oyster farming, aquaculture (such as seaweed farming), and the cultivation of ornamental fish. Particular methods include aquaponics, which integrates fish farming and plant farming.

Raising fish in netted cages in coastal water is often promoted as a means of easing stress on overfished populations. But, just like large scale agriculture, it has its downsides.

The main concerns about aquaculture include:

  • Creating fish feed for farmed fish depletes other fish species and upsets the balance of the ecosystem.
  • Antibiotics and other drugs used in fish farming can seep into open waters.
  • Waste from fish farms can pollute and breed bacteria that are unhealthy to bottom-dwelling sea creatures.
  • Farmed fish are generally less nutritious than wild fish and can contain twice as much of the less-healthy omega 6 fats.
  • FDA studies have shown that wild salmon have a 20 percent higher protein content and 20 percent lower fat than farm-raised salmon.

Of course, wild fish often costs more than farmed fish due to the expense of harvesting. And environmental factors can make the availability of wild fish inconsistent.

But the health benefits are clear.


Aquaponics Uses 90 to 95% LESS WATER than Traditional Agriculture.

Aquaponics Uses 90 to 95% LESS WATER than Traditional Agriculture.
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis

As global warming, the price of gas, drought conditions and desertification continue to impact agriculture, the world is aggressively looking for new ways to grow food locally, using less water than is required by traditional agricultural methods.

75% of available water is used in agriculture and that potable water is becoming scarce – on  a global scale.

Being protective and adopting an attitude of sustainability is key to the future for a prosperous and healthy world.

The earth has 7,689,853,500 inhabitants.  

The population of the United States is 328,561,723.

Components of Population Change
One birth every 8 seconds
One death every 11 seconds
One international migrant (net) every 34 seconds
Net gain of one person every 18 seconds

TOP 10 MOST POPULOUS COUNTRIES (July 1, 2019)

1. China 1,389,618,778   6. Brazil 210,301,591
2. India 1,311,559,204   7. Nigeria 208,679,114
3. United States 331,883,986   8. Bangladesh 161,062,905
4. Indonesia 264,935,824   9. Russia 141,944,641
5. Pakistan 210,797,836   10. Mexico 127,318,112

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems require 95% LESS water than in-ground growing. PLUS, they produce the ready availability of a protein source though the growing of fish. Dr. Latham, Director of the Program in International Nutrition at Cornell University claims that malnutrition is a frequent cause of death and disease in third world countries. Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) affects 500 million people and kills 10 million annually.

Image result for world drought map

This map shows the results of computer models that have
projected the risk of drought for the years 2030 to 2039. 

This saltwater-cooled greenhouse grows crops in the Sahara are an example of using the most abundant natural resources available to make a new kind of farming possible. Read that sentence again, the key word is at the end, possible.

The cost of the installation was so high that the investment will never be recouped and the system will probably never be duplicated. It is another example of a solution in search of a problem where the solution is so expensive that it will not impact the problem in any meaningful way.

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But affordable food can be grown YEAR ROUND in aquaponics systems in the deserts, mountains, urban areas, warehouses or backyards! Building a modern climatically adapted structure containing modern aquaponics systems placed near high-end restaurants, casinos, resort hotels and other markets which demand the finest foods, results in a very attractive ROI. Add to that the initial PR buzz and the attraction of more investors being drawn into the space where they can take advantage of the new technology. Every installation has to be tailored to the area it will be build in order to be designed and built to leverage the advantage of the location.

 

 

 

greenhouse4The desert is also one of the best places to collect and use solar energy to power plant and fish growing systems. The time of day when the highest utilization takes place in an aquaponics system is during the day when the sun in nearly always bring and shiny. The demand for energy drops off before sunset and drops to a minimum requirement during the night hours.

If you live in a desert climate or almost anywhere there is adequate sunlight most of the time then a Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems installed in a climatically adapted structure will make your life much safer, more secure and you will have the best food in the world at your fingertips.

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems  Are the Most 
Productive and Reliable Aquaponics Systems in the World

  • Without the use of any pesticides, harsh chemicals, antibiotics or hormones. 

  • Portable Farms® use 95% less water than traditional agricultural methods.

  • Portable Farms® use less electrical power than any other aquaponics system in the world and can be solar or wind powered.

  • Portable Farms® provide table vegetables (greens and blooming plants such as tomatoes, peppers, etc.) and fish (tilapia) as a protein source to maintain optimal health.

  • Three people can operate one-quarter of an acre of Portable Farms® which feeds 240 people forever. Twelve people can operate one acre of Portable Farms® which feeds 1,000 people forever.

  • Portable Farms® can be operated by semi-skilled labor and people of almost any age (young and old).

  • Greens grown in Portable Farms® can be harvested in as few as 28 days after installation and continue producing forever .

  • Portable Farms® feed families, communities, cities, countries and the world.