How much are we actually growing?

What percentage of fresh fruits n’ veggies consumed within DC is grown within DC?
a) <1%
b) 1% – 5%
c) 5% – 10%
d) >10%
e) no one knows

Washington, DC is doing some great things for urban agriculture. For more info, check out the DC Sustainability 2.0 Report, or the Food System Assessment. We also recently created an Office for Urban Agriculture.

But a lot more work needs to be done. An old adage: “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Here’s some questions we should answer:

How much are we actually growing as a percentage of our consumption? what are we growing? and what is our goal?

What percentage of food grown in DC is edible, and what resources are needed to improve our growing skills and grow better fruits n’ veggies?

One issue is that policy-makers nationwide continually underestimate the skills and resources necessary to grow high-quality crops consistently… it’s very hard! Unfortunately this is the problem UDC ran into over the last few years.

Answering these questions will inform the next steps we take to improve urban ag in DC!

Brian Filipowich, Director
Anacostia Aquaponics DC LLC

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.

Potomac Aquaponics Conference (1/4)

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!

Teachers’ Night @ the U.S. Botanic Gardens

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]

Rooting DC Forum this Saturday

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.

Event Details:
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!

 

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/

Cultivator 1.0 Test Model

This past Summer we experimented with a prototype vertical aquaponic system – The Cultivator 1.0 – on the Cultivate the City rooftop farm by H Street, NE.

Re-used food grade 55-gal barrels cut in half served as containers for the fish tank, grow bed, and sump tank.

The Cultivator 1.0 is intended to make the most of vertical space in our dense urban environment by stacking the containers. The vertical arrangement also makes water-flow more convenient.

Was the Cultivator 1.0 successful? stay tuned to find out!

ALSO: Are you considering a career in the growing sustainable agriculture movement? Anacostia Aquaponics is looking for dedicated Team Members and Interns for 2019. Click the link to find out more 🙂