Aquaponic Gardening

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The Aquaponic Farmers Cooperative is a group of aquaponic farms whose shared customer base, expense of distribution and online presence will provide more sales opportunities and save money for the members.  Online tools will allow the farmers to use shared data collected at each farmers location to project sales and understand industry trends faster and should provide better business agility for its members.  Many farms creates buying power.  We will setup vendor agreements and all benefit from lower prices.

The goals:

Web presence
Online ordering for customers (we need a website name???  I like FishandVegetables.com?  its not taken :P)
Data collection and reporting
Distribution Infrastructure (warehouse, cold storage, trucks, etc)
Increased opportunities for cross-sales by sharing a customer base.
Reliable delivery of goods due to multiple farms.
Vendor Agreements

The obstacles:

Always, is money and\or time.

We will do this organically with what we have, when we can...

As before, please let me know if you like this and want to be a part of it.  or let me know i am a jackass :) hahaha

Seriously though folks, this vision has merit I think and if enough of you stand behind me it will be possible.  Once my farm is started and seeds are planted (Feb 2011)  I will be the first to join this and will begin investing into its infrastructure.  Who will be number 2?  I say we share and protect each other. 

Who am I?  Just another ex-code monkey from microsoft trying to change the world.  Let's do it :)

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Daniel, while I'm not a commercial grower so I won't participate actively in this I applaud your initiative and courage for taking the bull by the gonads and running with it! Change only takes place when there is a champion leading the way.

Thought you might enjoy one of my favorite quotes (used to be taped to my monitor at AeroGrow)
"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries … and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it."

– Niccolo Machiavelli

That said, I'll bet that those who become involved here are credulous, rather than incredulous. That is my hope, anyway.
I wish you lots of luck in finding someone up to jumping into the governmental aspects of such things. Also some good grant writers would be good to attract. (Both of those things tend to make me very sleepy just thinking about them.)
Thanks for those words of encouragement Sylvia.


Sylvia Bernstein said:
Daniel, while I'm not a commercial grower so I won't participate actively in this I applaud your initiative and courage for taking the bull by the gonads and running with it! Change only takes place when there is a champion leading the way.

Thought you might enjoy one of my favorite quotes (used to be taped to my monitor at AeroGrow)
"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries … and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it."

– Niccolo Machiavelli

That said, I'll bet that those who become involved here are credulous, rather than incredulous. That is my hope, anyway.
Thank Aleece :)




TCLynx said:
I wish you lots of luck in finding someone up to jumping into the governmental aspects of such things. Also some good grant writers would be good to attract. (Both of those things tend to make me very sleepy just thinking about them.)
I am broke.  If I can get some interest from other folks and money I will return to this.

Hi Daniel,

Great Idea! Very progressive thinking!. As with any idea we pursue it's about the energy we use daily on the road we travel toward it and not the length of time it takes. If the idea is important to us, the time will not matter. If we keep our mind on the bigger picture it will happen. Ap has allowed me to dare to dream, a dream that i believe in, a dream to help me and others, a dream that will happen no matter however long it may take.Make it happen Daniel.

Thank you for the encouraging words Harold.   Your right.  This idea is important to me and I do want to accomplish it.  It will just take some more time to save.  I pretty much used up my start-up money since I wasn't able to find a job.  I have considered grants as well but I am not good at sticking my hand out for free money it seems...  I need to tho :)

Daniel, your idea is very similiar to one we have had for quite some time.  I must say, great minds think alike!  I think we are both on the right path in thinking that commercail ap definitely needs support in the form of a facility or what we call a 'distribution hub' that would support individual small farms and collectively have more distribution weight and support facilities.  The idea of a place that could provide cold storage, transport, distribution and marketing would not only pool together small farm products but help solve issues inherent for the small farmer.  Already, those are things we struggle with as we operate our commercial farm. 

 

Part of our thoughts on this is that these hubs would be spaced out every 300 or so miles.  The distance for local food is generally an accepted 150 miles so the 300 mile span would work.  I think your location relative to ours would have your farm supporting the same hub!  Of course the challenge not only to this type of infrastructure is not only funding but in order to work, we must have farms.  Lots of them!  We hold farm tours, do presentations, commercial trainings and talk to people at farmer's markets constantly about this idea so we can hopefully inspire others to take up the gauntlet.   So perhaps, in the meantime while you are broke, help advance this idea by just simply talking to as many as you can about it.  There is relatively little cost associated with that!

 

Soon we will begin formulating a business plan for this type of entity and more than likely we will set it up as a NPO.  We think this would be the best type of vehicle for optimal funding and operation.  Lets definitely brainstorm more about how to make this a reality.  Hang in there on being broke, you are very wealthy in spirit and mind.  :)

Like your concept...plan on doing the same in my area ...since my small setup is a prototype for the rest it will depend on how successful it is..
Cheers...

I like the idea too.  Setting up originally with hubs handling 150 miles in all directions sounds like a good start, but I think eventually it would be good to shrink that range a little.  Using Florida as an example, a hub in Orlando would cover most of central Florida from Jacksonville to Jupiter.  I suspect if I lived in Jacksonville I'd be tempted to try to stay closer to home.

 

Have we got a list of equipment and space needed for this?  Commercial refrigeration facilites, packaging, people to package.  Would the packaging be at the individual farms, and the produce brought to the distribution facility already packaged?  Would this distribution hub have delivery trucks and drivers to get the produce out to the retailers or restaurants?

 

And if we're going to do all that, why not try to contract with a company that already has these distribution systems set up, such as Sysco or US Foodservice?

 

 

Depending how big you operations are ... start with local ... and expand your market as cash flow allows for increased production... i am leaning more toward the little guys ... your neighbors .. your town etc....
Could you elaborate more on your idea? What benefits does this have for the small farm and their customers?

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