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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Aquaponics

Industry Leaders Set to Present at Nevada Indoor Agriculture Conference May 14-15, 2014

March 20, 2014 |

Presenting subjects ranging from window farming to food security and lighting systems, the Indoor Agriculture Conference features two full days of education on controlled environment technologies, aero/hydro/aquaponic best practices and business models, automated nutrient systems, future trends, and financing options … Read More

Fisheries Biologist and Mechanical Engineer Collaborate on Maine Aquaponics Farm

March 13, 2014 |
Image courtesy of Fluid Farms

A variety of greens are seen growing at Fluid Farms’ greenhouse, an aquaponics facility in North Yarmouth, Maine. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Gaudet)

Agriculture is an ecosystem and needs to be treated as such.

That was the conclusion reached by business partners and former college roommates Tyler Gaudet and Jackson McLeod, who grow greens and raise fish at Fluid Farms.

Fluid Farms grows in a 5,000-square foot aquaponics greenhouse in North Yarmouth, Maine. The farm sells a variety of greens to area restaurants, and will sell their first fish (tilapia) this year.

The pair avoids the “sustainability” moniker, due to their belief that no form of production agriculture is 100 percent sustainable. Instead, they strive for a system that is not strictly dependent on inputs and outputs. Read More

Startup Crowdfunds To Launch Aquaponic Prototype for Small Spaces

February 26, 2014 |

aqualibriumJosh Rittenberg, Ben-Yam Barshi, and Jared Kasner needed capital to fund the production of their modular home aquaponics system, the Aqualibrium Garden. They had created a prototype, but the industrial molds were very expensive. So the trio turned to Kickstarter, launching a campaign for 30 days in fall 2013.

“It’s really a marathon, it’s not a sprint,” Rittenberg says of the Kickstarter campaign, calling the experience amazing but also harrowing.

“We were all round the clock answering emails.” Because Kickstarter has an international audience, they would get the emails in the middle of the night from countries like French Polynesia, and they had to be sure to answer every email. Read More

Montana Aquaponics Venture Grows Slowly by Keeping it Simple

February 14, 2014 |
Mark Winchel tends to his aquaponics system. Photo courtesy of Aquaponics North.

Mark Winchel tends to his aquaponics system. Photo courtesy of Aquaponics North.

Growing produce year-round in northwest Montana may sound complicated, but the owner of Aquaponics North, Mark Winchel, is keeping it simple.

Before turning to aquaponics, Winchel ran a horticultural business for 23 years and has learned that one of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur could make is trying to grow too fast, too soon—putting the cart before the horse, as he says.

“We know better now,” says Winchel. “We’re just doing this one step at a time. That goes all the way down our business plan, from what we’re going to grow and how to set our systems up; just very simple, as few steps as possible.” Read More

Austin, Texas Aquaponics Farm Ramps Up with Modular Shipping Container System

February 10, 2014 |
Jack Waite harvests at Aqua Dulce Farms.  Photo courtesy of Aqua Dulce Farms.

Jack Waite harvests at Aqua Dulce Farms. Photo courtesy of Aqua Dulce Farms.

Jack Waite, founder of Agua Dulce Farm in Austin, Texas, is truly is a jack-of-all-trades.

By combining his varied background in accounting, engineering, botany and nonprofit management, he has realized his dream of running an aquaponics farm. In recent weeks, this interesting startup reached full operational capacity. Along the way, the farm’s journey has been tested with challenges and sprinkled with luck.

After looking everywhere inside Austin’s city limits for a potential facility, Waite was fortunate enough to find a friend who had a friend who had an unused three-acre farm in the city limits. The owner wanted to contribute to the sustainable ag movement but wasn’t able to do it personally. Waite entered into a very reasonable 30-year lease and began turning the land into a viable aquaponics farm. Read More

2014 Will Be the Year of Aquaponics, Predicts Designer of Affordable DIY Systems

February 4, 2014 |
Herbs, basil and Swiss chard are grown in a FarmTower Co. do-it-yourself farm tower. (photo by Arish Amini)

Herbs, basil and Swiss chard are grown in a FarmTower Co. do-it-yourself farm tower. (photo by Arash Amini)

Chicagoan Arash Amini believes in environmental and agricultural sustainability, civic responsibility and economic development. Through aquaponics, he has brought all three of these components together.

In college at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where Amini earned a physics degree in 2010, he became enthralled with environmental science and environmental engineering. After graduating, he and some friends started a next-generation agriculture company, 312 Aquaponics. But his vision kept evolving, and in 2013 he founded FarmTower Co. in order to deliver affordable aquaponics systems to the public.

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Aquaponics Entrepreneur Establishes Facilities in St. Paul, Minnesota; Markets Inventions Globally

January 30, 2014 |
Dave Roeser, President of Garden Fresh Farms Photo Credit: Karin Martinson/Studio Caswell, Minneapolis

Dave Roeser, President of Garden Fresh Farms
Photo Credit: Karin Martinson/Studio Caswell, Minneapolis

In 2010, Dave Roeser sold his two businesses, leaving him with an empty warehouse in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. Along with his wife and son, he created Garden Fresh Farms, transforming his building into a profitable and innovative aquaponic operation.

The company’s indoor farm produces rainbow trout, tilapia, herbs, and greens for its own CSA as well as area colleges, corporate dining facilities, restaurants, and grocery stores. Roeser has also begun to market his patented equipment and agricultural techniques to growers as far away as Japan and Siberia.

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Startup Converts Former Twin City Brewery Building to Aquaponic Facility

January 24, 2014 |
Fed by nutrients provided by cultivated tilapia, a crop of parsley thrives.  Photo by Fred Haberman

Fed by nutrients provided by cultivated tilapia, a crop of parsley thrives.
Photo by Fred Haberman

As perhaps much does in Minnesota in the wintertime, the aquaponics start-up Urban Organics began with ice.

Pond ice, that is.

That’s because Fred Haberman, a public relations expert, dedicated social entrepreneur, and founder of The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships got to talking with his “ice man,” David Haider.

It came to light that the two had a common dream: to bring farms to the Twin Cities’ food deserts.

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