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!
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).
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.
PODCAST – Anacostia Aquaponics Director Brian Filipowich discusses the future of aquaponics with the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. LISTEN: http://bit.ly/2Fgh1lW
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
- Provides $4 million mandatory for each fiscal year 2019-2023.
- Requires the Secretary to conduct a census of urban, indoor, and other emerging
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/