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!
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.
Business Development was the last issue we identified at the Potomac Aquaponics Conference last Fall.
Commercial aquaponics ventures have high upfront costs, and must manage multiple sides of the business: fish and plants.
We identified municipal business development agencies, the USDA, and agriculture colleges as possible collaborators in developing the commercial side of aquaponics.
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.
Participants at the meeting identified three areas in which Potomac-region growers could advance aquaponics.
The first was food safety. We identified all the actors involved in aquaponics food safety, which turned out turned out to be a very long list! We identified:
- state departments of health,
- state departments of agriculture,
- the USDA,
- the FDA,
- fisheries, and
- third-party auditors
Coordination will be critical among these groups to ensure consistency, fairness, and efficiency in aquaponics food safety regulation.
Stay tuned for more from the Potomac Aquaponics Association.
Last Fall, Members of the Potomac Aquaponics Association met for a two-day conference to discuss advancing aquaponics in the Potomac region.
Represented at the meeting were: the national Aquaponics Association, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the University of the District of Columbia, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, and Anacostia Aquaponics DC LLC.
We identified three areas in which we could advance aquaponics in the Potomac region. Stay tuned for part 2!
The D.C. Environmental Education Consortium (DCEEC) recently hosted a Teachers’ Night at the U.S. Botanic Gardens. DC Teachers networked with local environmentally-focused organizations, and a great time was had by all!
Anacostia Aquaponics hosted an information table at the event and met many great teachers.
One of Anacostia Aquaponics’ goals is to incorporate aquaponics into DC STEM curriculum, as is already being done across the nation!
Classroom aquaponics is an approachable, scalable, engaging, multi-disciplinary learning tool.
An aquaponic system lends itself to learning across disciplines, particularly the NGSS focus in Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Engineering Design. [Credit for aquaponics STEM quotes to Kevin Savage, Aquaponics Association; and Kieran Foran, Trifecta Ecosystems]
We had a great time at the Rooting DC Urban Ag Forum this past Saturday. Here are some pics from the Info Fair, including Ian Harris and daughter Nevaeh Charisma Harris at the Anacostia Aquaponics table.
Here is the Anacostia Aquaponics presentation from the forum: Rooting DC 2019
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.
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!
PODCAST – Anacostia Aquaponics Director Brian Filipowich discusses the future of aquaponics with the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. LISTEN: http://bit.ly/2Fgh1lW