Here are Julie, Hala, and Cheryl getting ready to brew some vermicompost tea at our aquaponics meetup last night. Cheryl looks to be digging under a bed of newspaper to find our squiggly friends below.
About 10 or 15 local aquaponics enthusiasts came by to participate last night. We tested the system water for pH, ammonia, and nitrates and discussed the results; we chatted about fish feeding ratios; we brewed vermicompost tea and discussed applications for aquaponic systems; and we added worms to the media bed.
Thanks everybody who came out to visit and share your knowledge. We’ll be posting more practical info about vermicompost tea applications in aquaponics, stay tuned!
Here are some Cultivate the City rascals, with whom we shared a table at the 2017 Rooting DC Conference last Saturday.
Rooting DC is an annual forum for urban ag folks looking to make DC’s food system healthier. Click to see Rooting DC’s great map of the DC Food System… Hey, we gotta put some aquaponic systems on that map!
Anacostia Aquaponics gave a short “intro to aquaponics” presentation. We also ran into a lot of old friends, and made some new ones. It’s likely that Rooting DC pollinated even more urban agriculture collaborations, stay tuned! 🙂
Scott has been running this system in his backyard in NE DC for over two years. Below is the fishtank, a submerged IBC Tote with cover. Scott estimates he has about 10 Bullhead Catfish and over 50 Blue Gill, some of which have been here almost three years! He and his family have eaten about 15 of their own fish grown in their own DC backyard… Gnarly! (He says the Blue Gill are much tastier.)
Up top is the grow bed. Scott estimates that during the warmer months it produces about a salad a day for his family. Wow, great numbers. And he uses rainwater from his roof, very environmentally friendly! (and lower pH)
As pictured, the system is operating under the tarp for winter. It expands out during the rest of the year, and Scott is continually adding growbeds.
Here’s a link to his forum thread in case you are interested in more info: Scott’s aquaponic forum thread.
Danielle, Jayson, and Kemani testing to see if the water is ready to support fish in the J.O. Wilson Elementary School aquaponics system in Washington, DC.
Here’s a pic of Mr. Carroll Bryant, contemplating his forthcoming aquaponic system and drinking a tasty energy elixir. Carroll and his wife Janet have a 50 gallon fish pond. I met Janet at some Washington, DC DPR urban agriculture events and she wondered if it was possible to do aquaponics with their backyard fishpond….more to come!
The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) hosted a great event last week showcasing their large aquaponics system at the East Capitol Urban Farm in Washington, DC (across from Capitol Heights Metro station). This system is one of UDC’s “urban food hubs”, which are designed to “improve Food Security and Sustainability in DC neighborhoods through food production, food preparation, food distribution, and waste and water management”. UDC is planning a food hub in each of Washington, DC’s eight wards. Each hub will include aquaponics or hydroponics. Check out their urban ag website here.
Nestle – the world’s largest food company – recently found that if everyone on the planet ate the average american meat-heavy diet, then the world would have run out of fresh water 15 years ago. The report also found that if we continue on the current water consumption trend, then one-third of the world will encounter fresh water scarcity by 2025. See the article in the link, below.
Aquaponics uses LESS THAN 10% of the water as traditional soil farming for the same output.