Commercial Aquaponics in Gaithersburg, Maryland

Bella Vita Farms LLC in Gaithersburg, MD opened a new greenhouse with a state-of-the-art aquaponic system about three months ago.

The farm has had no problem selling their produce at great prices because local chefs recognize the quality. In fact, they cannot keep up with demand and the farm already plans to expand the aquaponic system.

Bella Vita staff noted that not only does aquaponics provide top-notch produce, but it is also much friendlier for the environment because it uses much  less water, and no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers that pollute our waterways.

The Farm started with koi, but just recently transitioned to tilapia, which they also plan to sell to local restaurants.

Visit to South Mountain MicroFARM

We had a great visit to a VERY impressive aquaponic system at South Mountain MicroFARM in Boonsboro, MD.

This farm uses aquaponics for commercial crops like lettuce, which are sold locally. Aquaponics allows the farm to use only one-eighth of the land and one-tenth of the water as the same crops grown in soil!

Aquaponics Visit from Nigeria!

A warm Washington, DC welcome to Professor Ayoola Akinwole (pictured right) from the University of Ibadan in Ibadan, Nigeria!

Professor Akinwole is here to take our Small-scale Aquaponics Training Course. While in town, we will also be visiting other aquaponics sites including South Mountain Microfarm, the University of Maryland Envi-Sci & Tech Department, Cultivate the City’s H Street Farms (pictured), IDEA Public Charter School, and maybe UDC.

After DC, Professor Akinwole will travel to Tennessee to view more aquaponics attractions.

Tilapia on IDEA School Rooftop

We just moved 12 donated tilapia to the IDEA Public Charter School Rooftop for a new aquaponic system (some are 5 years old!) We are gradually improving their environment and water conditions to make them feel at home.

Luckily, we have an electric water heater because it’s gotten so cold lately! … tilapia are native to Africa and prefer warm water.

We’ve been feeding them a very very limited diet before we establish a good biofilter. Plus they’ll still be stressed from the move and new environment

We have to get the system planted ASAP to start sucking nutrients out of the water.

Want to learn more? You’re in luck! — we have a Small-scale Aquaponics Training Course coming up in a few weeks! Learn more:

Small-scale Aquaponics Training Course

Small-Scale Aquaponics Training Course & Certificate

This Spring, Anacostia Aquaponics is presenting a Small-Scale Aquaponics Training Course and Certificate Program. Learn more: Small-Scale Aquaponics Training Course and Certificate Program

The Course is designed to provide participants the skills and knowledge necessary to understand and meaningfully participate in the design, construction, and operation of a small-scale aquaponic system (about 30- to 500-gallons)

The course consists of 5 classes, each offered on multiple dates. Participants that attend all 5 classes will be awarded a Small-Scale Aquaponics Training Course Certificate of Completion from Anacostia Aquaponics.

Learn more: Small-Scale Aquaponics Training Course and Certificate Program

Potomac Aquaponics Conference (3/4)

The aquaponics trailer was a highlight of the Potomac Aquaponics Conference.

This trailer is a mobile educational tool that travels all over Virginia, which is why it is the perfect example for the next issue we identified at the conference: Education & Outreach.

We need to teach more people about the benefits of aquaponics, so that more people enter the industry and consumers understand the benefits of aquaponics produce.

This will need to be a large effort undertaken by the entire aquaponics community.

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.

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/