Sustainable DC Agriculture Progress Report

Washington DC just released its Sustainable DC Progress Report.

Check out the Report here:

The main agricultural goal is to put 20 additional acres under cultivation for growing food by 2032.

Is total acreage the appropriate goal? How much food is expected to be grown on these 20 acres?

And does anyone have data on the current agricultural production in the district? What % of our own food are we growing!?!

FREE Aquaponics Conf Tix for DC Students

Anacostia Aquaponics has TWENTY FREE TICKETS for DC-area HS Students to The 2020 Aquaponics Conference, online October 16-18. Learn more about the Conference:

To claim the tickets, send us an email with a brief statement describing how the students would apply information learned at the Conference, and a list of the students interested.

Learn about the power of Aquaponics in STEM Education! Teachers are automatically eligible for $79 STEM Education / Community Discount tickets!

Dan’s Aquaponic System Giveaway!

 Dan is giving away his aquaponic system for FREE for anyone willing to move it. This includes 10 live tilapia. If interested email

List of items:

-100 gallon rubber tank (for fish)
-60 gallon rubber tank, with bell siphon and filled with hydroton, used as ebb/flow bed
-2 sawhorses to hold ebb/flow tank
-multiple pumps, 500 & 1000 gph
-2 4-port aerators
-14 Zipgrow towers
-2 60 gallon barrel tanks
-3 vertical LED light strips, with driver
-swirl filter
-automatic feeder
-50 gallon glass aquarium
-random PVC and pump fittings, accessories, etc.

VSU Water Quality Checkups

Before COVID struck, researchers from Virginia State University took water samples and bacterial cultures from aquaponic and hydroponic systems in the Virginia region, including at IDEA Public Charter School. The tests will check for water quality parameters (pH, hardness, total ammonia) and for food safety considerations.

The results will be used to promote sustainable aquaponic production in Virginia.

Water quality and food safety tests are important for the IDEA PCS aquaponic and hydroponic systems because the produce is served in the school salad bar.

These tests also introduce students to the food safety profession, which will be increasingly important as the population grows and the climate changes.

Seeking new school partners

Anacostia Aquaponics is seeking to expand aquaponics and urban agriculture education in Washington, DC.

Across the country, aquaponics is proving to be an ultra-engaging teaching tool for STEM Education concepts and Career and Technical Education.

Let’s foster a new generation of urban growers in DC! Contact us:

STEM Flyer 2020

Aquaponics in STEM Education Info Packet

We had a great time at DC Teachers Night last week at the US Botanic Garden (USBG).

Check out our STEM Aquaponics Info Packet.

Also check out a great new free resource: Greenhouse Manual; An Introductory Guide for Educators from USBG, City Blossoms, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology.

Did you know over 90% of our seafood is imported and our average lettuce travels 1,500 miles!? Let’s boost urban agriculture!!!

Rooting DC Feb 29

Mark your calendars for Rooting DC, DC’s free annual Urban Ag Forum.

This year’s event will be at Ron Brown Prep in Northeast on February 29, from 9:45am to 4:15pm.

Anacostia Aquaponics will be co-hosting a table with IDEA Public Charter School.

Anacostia Aquaponics Director Brian Filipowich will give a presentation Small-scale Aquaponics for Urban Food Production at 9:45am.

Above is a pic from Rooting DC two years ago when we had some fish in the vendor showroom!

DC Teachers’ Night at Botanic Gardens

Anacostia Aquaponics will have a table at DC Teachers Night this Thursday, Jan 30 at the U.S. Botanic Gardens.

This event is an opportunity for teachers to meet with environmental educators and bring more environmental education into DC schools.

Aquaponics is a powerful tool for STEM education and teaching environmental concepts. Aquaponic lessons fit perfectly with Next Generation Science Standards. Students learn and study the interaction of fish, plants, and bacteria in the living aquaponic ecosystem!

Aquaponic Flower Experimentation in MD

By Tom Precht

Our flower farm, Grateful Gardeners, is a 1 acre plot in Boyds, MD, providing fresh, organic cut flowers to the local market.  We are big believers in green practices like aquaponics.
While vegetables are grown readily and with great success, flowers have not been fully attempted and investigated (with a few notable exceptions).  We decided to implement a pilot study of whether or not we could grow a few different forms of flowers; Zinnias (seed), Ranunculus (corm), Dahlia (tuber), and Dahlia (cutting).
We started with a basic DIY Barrelponics system, built from the free online plans out of 3 x 55 gallon food grade plastic barrels.  We had very little money to invest in this and so we decided to use pea gravel as our grow media (a decision we would regret later as all the manuals show out there) because it was less expensive than Hydroton.
We started with Tilapia fingerlings once the system was cycled. Initial results were promising, we saw rapid growth of Ranunculus corms, Dahlia cuttings, and Zinnia seeds in the system.  Tubers did not seem to take off, but the quality of the tubers may have been an issue.  The images of the growth show the speed with which they developed.  The pea gravel started to create some pH issues and because we were not in a fully insulated space, and this was November and December, we couldn’t regulate water temperature adequately.
We eventually lost all the fish and had to shut the system down early.  We are only now restarting the system in a newly built greenhouse which we hope to be able to heat through the winter months to try these same experiments again.

Aquaponic Lettuce at IDEA PCS Salad Bar!

The IDEA Public Charter School Cafeteria recently served lettuce grown by students in aquaponic and hydroponic systems.

Students in Urban Ag Club germinate, transplant, and harvest lettuce. They also feed the fish. Then they see the fruits – nay, vegetables – of their labor in the salad bar!

Students learn the science of growing, and also build skills in urban agriculture, food safety, horticulture, and water management.

Students learn that we must follow Good Agricultural Practices if our food will be served in the school or sold commercially.

The next step is to scale up and see how much we can grow!

Are you interested in bringing aquaponics to your school? Send us an email: