The Hootie 2.0 at Iona Senior Services in NW DC

We just installed our new aquaponic system, The Hootie 2.0, at Iona Senior Services near American U. in NW DC.

The Hootie 2.0 can accommodate up to 8 medium size (.5lb) goldfish or other ornamentals. The fish waste will support a constant growth of herbs and several heads of leafy greens at a time.

The Hootie 2.0 features:

  • a 29 gallon fish tank;
  • a roll-out plant growbed for easy fishtank access;
  • hidden shelf space for electrical connections, an aerator pump, and supply storage;
  • adjustable height T5 floursecent light fixtures; and
  • an automatic bell-siphon drain in the growbed to increase system oxygenation and circulate water.

Thank You Ashlea Steiner at Iona Senior Services for the opportunity!

And Thank You John Favaloro at Avanti Woodworks for the great craftsmanship and creative problem-solving!

Event Invite: Introduction to Aquaponics + Small System Build @ H Street Farms

Anacostia Aquaponics is hosting an aquaponics lesson and system build at Cultivate the City‘s H Street Farms.

Click Here For Tickets

This event at Cultivate the City’s rooftop farm will feature three activities:

  1. Introduction to Aquaponics Lesson: learn about the basics of an aquaponic system; the benefits of aquaponics; and the current state of the aquaponic industry.
  2. New Aquaponic System Tour: see and discuss the new rooftop aquaponic system at H Street Farms, complete with new tilapia fingerlings! Tour given by the creator and manager of the system, Dan Grant.
  3. Aquaponic System Build: watch us construct a small, vertical aquaponic system (pictured below). Guests are welcome to build your own along with us to take home, just choose the proper ticket option to cover the cost of materials. We will provide free consulting to make sure you get your system up and running!

The “Aquaponic Build” ticket option will cover all the materials necessary for the physical operation of the aquaponic system for you to bring home! This ticket does not include fish, fish food, plant seeds, or water testing kits.

For any questions about the class or the aquaponic system build, email brian@anaostiaaquaponics.org

WHO: Anacostia Aquaponics & Cultivate the City
WHAT: Aquaponics lesson and small system build
WHEN: July 15, 2017 from 10:00am – noon
WHERE: H Street Farms, 910 Bladensburg Rd, NE DC
WHY: Sustainability, YOLO, etc…

Creative Fish Catching

Roy is getting creative in order to catch some tilapia at UDC’s Firebird Farm in Beltsville, MD. UDC operates two aquaponic systems at the farm.

The aquaponic system pictured here holds the fish tanks and filtration units in a large insulated shipping container. Water is sent back and forth to a greenhouse several feet away via underground pipes.

Houston, We Have Lift-Off

Marquette is feeding goldfish in the new aquaponic system at Houston Elementary School of DCPS.

We constructed a grow-trough light enough to sit on the walls of the 75-gallon fish tank.

Water is pumped from the fish tank up to one end of the trough, and drains back into the fish tank from the other side through a bell-siphon. We have some parsley and green onions planted up there to start.

Thanks to the Alice Ferguson Foundation for funding.

 

Going Vertical with Evan Bromfield

By Evan Bromfield
Look, I’m not interested in hopping on the vertical farming hype train. I’m interested in farming effectively and cheaply. And I think I’ve found the winning recipe.

I run the proof of concept vertical hydroponics farm Rosemont Horticultural located right outside DC. We provide chefs who want to differentiate their menus with year-round, affordable, exquisite crops grown with no environmental waste.

The entire farm is designed with the idea of closed-loop production, something extremely familiar to regenerative and aquaponics farmers, but a concept that’s oddly missing from most vertical farms. So what we do, unlike most aquaponic and hydroponic systems, is compost literally everything besides the system-infrastructure (no net pots, no rockwool) for future re-use. You read that right. We’re using compost in our hydroponics system.

We start our seeds in fast-draining compost plugs and within a few weeks, transfer them to the full recirculating shallow water culture system. Introducing soil and choosing a shallow water culture (similar to a deep water culture system) over something like NFT means we have a much higher biological buffer. This means that as nutrients, pH, and other variables fluctuate in our system, our plants are better able to continue thriving.

While that’s just one example, the whole system is designed for simplicity, ease of use, minimizing failure points (mechanical timers versus digital, reducing moving parts, etc.), and resilience. This reduces our labor costs, and because we are re-circulating our inputs, production costs are lowered too. This lets us focus on our primary directive: selling food effectively.

Remember, we’re just testing this out. We started with a run-down garage and transformed that into a farm that’s sold out to local restaurants and distributors since we started. It’s been great and I can’t wait to scale.

Evan Bromfield has been involved with vertical farming for 3 years with experiences in the industry ranging from private consulting to publicly funded urban agricultural development. In addition to his own vertical hydroponics farm, he also runs the Urban Vertical Farming Project, one of the few dedicated websites covering vertical farming, to teach others about the industry. Recently, he worked with the global Association for Vertical Farming to examine international biopharmaceutical production to help write and publish the most comprehensive industry white paper to-date, “The State of Vertical Farming.” Sign up for his free email list to learn more.

The Soil Food Web in Aquaponics

AQP Association Fact Sheet – The Soil Food Web

This document explains how aquaponic systems utilize the Soil Food Web to produce healthy crops – despite the lack of soil.

Our food system is rapidly changing due to the convergence of pressing global issues including climate change; environmental degradation; water depletion; economic insecurity; health problems due to poor diets and pollution; and rapid population growth and urbanization.

As we shape our new food system, one critical consideration is whether we retain access to high quality fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those grown sustainably.

This document shows that aquaponics can deliver fresh fruits and vegetables grown from seed, with the same symbiotic biological processes used by plants since the dawn of time. Check it out!

http://aquaponicsassociation.org/s/AQP-Association-Fact-Sheet-The-Soil-Food-Web.pdf

The Hootie 2.0

Working with Neto Construction in Sterling, VA on the next model of our indoor aquaponic system, the Hootie 2.0.

It has a 55-gallon fishtank on wheels for roll-out easy access. (See Hootie 1.0)

Here we see Danny Neto cutting some Ultra-Skrim FGC liner, a great product from Global Plastic Sheeting. It’s handy for aquaponics because  it’s:

1) very puncture/tear resistant;
2) pliable;
3) food grade; and
4) only 13 microns thick, whoa baby!!!