Hydroponics and aquaponics are an important part of sustainable agriculture, especially in space-scarce urban areas. Numerous high schools recognize the bright future of hydroponics and aquaponics, and as a result include it as part of their curriculum.
Here is a sampling of those across the nation:
New York City resident Jason Green wanted good local produce available in his city on a year-round basis. Concluding that other New Yorkers wanted the same thing, he addressed this insufficiency with aquaponics.
Desiring a more intimate relationship with food, Green was already gardening in his apartment window box. But in order to grow local produce year-round in New York City, he knew that a new sort of infrastructure was needed.
So Green, along with co-founders Ben Silverman and Matt La Rosa, founded Edenworks, which utilizes vertically-terraced, closed loop, modular aquaponic ecosystems.
After New Mexico Black Chamber of Commerce chairman Michael McNair investigated why some black farmers in the state experienced water shortages, he learned about aquaponics from watching videos on YouTube.
In a moment of epiphany, he realized that aquaponics would work not only for these farmers, but for the entire state of New Mexico. Since, he has become president of the New Mexico Aquaponics Association, and helped spearhead New Mexico House Bill 201, which adds tilapia and hybrid striped bass to the list of fish regulated by the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish.
When a Benedictine sister at a St. Leo, Florida monastery wanted to do more in helping feed the hungry and heal the world, she did something a bit unexpected: she started an onsite aquaponics system.
Prior to this endeavor, Sister Miriam Cosgrove’s knowledge of aquaponics did not extend far. So last March, she sought the advice of experts at Morning Star Fishermen, an international aquaponics research and training center in nearby Dade City.
But there were still other hurdles to jump. First was the issue of funding. Second, the City of St. Leo wanted Holy Name Monastery to acquire a permit to start construction. This led to Cosgrove having to educate city officials about what aquaponics entails.
Pablo Alvarez and Craig Petten are Toronto natives with a combined 40 years of experience in the food industry. By starting a new aquaponic farm in their home city, the co-founders hope to both increase Toronto’s food stability and increase people’s connection with their food.
Alvarez and Petten first discovered aquaponics during their time at Humber College, where they majored in Sustainable Energy and Building Technology. After 20 years working in the hospitality industry in Toronto, the pair founded Aqua Greens. As Petten explains, their work in hospitality allowed them to see first hand the lack of connection between food and its source.
Going a Step Beyond Farm-to-Table, SF Restaurant Slings Aquaponic Fare Along with a Hefty Helping of SustainabilityFebruary 11, 2015 | Trish Popovitch
Established restaurateurs Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint have a penchant for accountability in the food industry. Their latest offering, The Perennial, is set to open this spring. It will provide tech district office workers with a lesson in sustainability as well as a locally grown lunch.
“It’s really important to us that our restaurants are not purely business concerns but also work on building community,” says Leibowitz, who has opened several restaurants with her husband including ‘Mission Chinese Food’ and now ‘The Perennial.’
“In 2012, we had a daughter and that got us thinking more seriously about the future. We started to think about ways the restaurant industry could positively engage with environmental issues,” says Leibowitz. “What would happen if we made a restaurant that brought together all of the best practices with regard to the environment and were really transparent with all our success and our failures and shared that with other restaurant owners and consumers?”
Aaron Flora has worked on creating farms with Renewable Farms for years, but he just recently embarked on his biggest project to date, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign: a mega-aquaponics farm for the city of Anaheim, California that will double as a community training center.
Seedstock recently interviewed Flora and asked him about how Renewable Farms made the Anaheim project happen, how the mega farm will remain sustainable and what he hopes this farm will achieve in the future.
How can a cold, Midwestern state grow organic produce all year, while also providing fresh fish to the local community? Those are the questions Justin Long, co-founder and CEO, and Jason Fry, co-founder, asked themselves before founding Blue Lotus Aquaponics in November 2013.
Before creating their company, Long and Fry did their research by traveling to a few Midwestern states and visiting places where people were experimenting with aquaculture techniques.
Long wanted to dabble in aquaponics because of its sustainable, high-yield nature. And Fry’s family background in commercial farming in northern Indiana helped him to flesh out the company’s overall concept.