Rooting DC Forum this Saturday

Rooting DC is a free, all-day urban gardening forum that provides education about urban agriculture and food systems, cultivates health and protection of the environment, and builds community.

Event Details:
Ron Brown Prep
4800 Meade St. NE
9 am – 4pm
See the: Rooting DC 2019 Schedule

Anacostia Aquaponics will have a display table in the vendor room. Director Brian Filipowich will discuss “Aquaponics in DC” from 10 to 11am.

We hope to see you there!

 

Aquaponics Association Annual Conference Announcement

The national Aquaponics Association Annual Conference in 2019 will be September 20-22 at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY.

Stay tuned for the first round of early bird tickets within a few weeks.

Kentucky State University hosts one of the most advanced aquaculture research programs in the nation, including indoor aquaponics research systems, saltwater aquaponics research, a 30’ x 70’ aquaponics demonstration greenhouse, a 10,000sq foot recirculating aquaculture research building, and 33 research ponds.

The goal of the conference is to unite growers from around the world and advance the practice of aquaponics. The Aquaponics Association looks to build on the momentum of the last annual conferences Putting Down Roots in Portland, Oregon, 2017; and Putting Up Shoots in Hartford, Connecticut, 2018. Each hosted the world’s top aquaponics experts, a vendor showroom of the top aquaponics technology and services, and tours of large-scale aquaponics projects.

Frankfort, Kentucky is a small, quaint town with some of the nation’s top bourbon distilleries, the Keenland Racetrack, and other cultural attractions close by.

Frankfort is reachable from Bluegrass Airport (LEX); Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky Int’l Airport (CVG); and 60 minute Louisville Airport (SDF).

Bok Choy in the Living Room

Our Hootie 2.0 Indoor Aquaponic System was growing some bok choy.

One-hundred percent of the nutrition for the bok choy came from nutrient-dense fish water continuously cycled from below. Red wiggler worms in the media bed help with nutrient-cycling.

Below is our harvest, with no pesticides, fertilizers, or antibiotics. The only input is fish food! And fish and worms did all of our gardening for us.

And it was very tasty and crunchy bok choy!

We are working on some improvements to the Hootie 2.0, including an LED light, rather than the current T5 fluorescent.

Farm Bill creates Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

The recently-passed U.S. Farm Bill creates the USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production which should boost aquaponics, hydroponics, and other sustainable growing methods.

The Bill establishes the Office “to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices.” Related to this new Office, the Bill:

  • Provides for the assignment of a farm number for rooftop, indoor, and other urban farms.
  • Provides authority to award competitive grants to operate community gardens or
    nonprofit farms, educate a community on food systems, nutrition, environmental impacts,
    and agricultural production, and help offset start-up costs for new and beginning farmers.
  • Establishes an Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee.
  • Establishes pilot projects to increase compost and reduce food waste, and create urban
    and suburban county committees.

In addition to the Office for Urban Agriculture, the Farm Bill also establishes the Urban, Indoor, and Other Emerging Agriculture Production Research, Education, and Extension Initiative. This Initiative does the following:

  • Authorizes competitive research and extension grants to support research, education, and
    extension activities for the purposes of enhancing urban, indoor, and other emerging
    agricultural production.
  • Provides $4 million mandatory for each fiscal year 2019-2023.
  • Requires the Secretary to conduct a census of urban, indoor, and other emerging
    agricultural production.

Unfortunately, there is plenty of bad along with the good: this Farm Bill continues negative policies that stifle smaller growers and wastefully support large industrial monoculture growers. Nevertheless, it is welcome to see the Federal Government acknowledging the need for investment in urban and sustainable growing.

Will these government initiatives improve urban agriculture in Washington, DC?

How can the DC Urban Ag community make the most of this opportunity?

Are you interested in being part of the revolution in urban agriculture? Anacostia Aquaponics is looking for 2019 Team Members / Interns. Learn more: http://anacostiaaquaponics.org/2019-team-member-opportunities/

Vertical Hydroponic Grow Systems in Downtown DC

We recently worked on planting and harvesting vertical hydroponic systems at the new Fannie Mae office building in downtown, DC.

These systems make the best use of space by stacking hydroponic shelves vertically. All four levels are connecting to one common reservoir, which is directly connected to the DC water system.

The hydroponic system is from the Urban Cultivator. Pictured here is Niraj Ray from Cultivate the City.

Are you interested in being part of the revolution in urban agriculture? Anacostia Aquaponics is looking for 2019 Team Members / Interns. Learn more: http://anacostiaaquaponics.org/2019-team-member-opportunities/

Cultivator 1.0 Test Model

This past Summer we experimented with a prototype vertical aquaponic system – The Cultivator 1.0 – on the Cultivate the City rooftop farm by H Street, NE.

Re-used food grade 55-gal barrels cut in half served as containers for the fish tank, grow bed, and sump tank.

The Cultivator 1.0 is intended to make the most of vertical space in our dense urban environment by stacking the containers. The vertical arrangement also makes water-flow more convenient.

Was the Cultivator 1.0 successful? stay tuned to find out!

ALSO: Are you considering a career in the growing sustainable agriculture movement? Anacostia Aquaponics is looking for dedicated Team Members and Interns for 2019. Click the link to find out more 🙂

How Can Aquaponics Help DC’s Food Deserts?

By Eleanor Haworth

Eleven percent of Washington, DC is a food desert. A food desert is when there is little access to affordable food in a city. One in seven individuals in the district suffer from poverty; especially in wards 7 and 8. Even with free and reduced lunch in schools and nonprofits working to provide meals, many children and adults do not have food security.

Aquaponics and hydroponics may be able to combat this. With an increase in research and technology, families can grow fruits and vegetables on their rooftops and in their homes without worrying about large land usage and soil management. Aquaponics can be used to gain extra income for communities by selling produce to restaurants and creating small markets for the community. If a supermarket is introduced to the area, community members can work with store owners to supply produce leading to better food access AND jobs.