Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I'm starting this forum topic for anyone who is interested in talking about the new Aquaponics Association.  While nothing will be set in stone when we officially adopt the Charter at the Conference on Sept 16, we'd like to get it as close to representative of what the aquaponics community is hoping for by that time.

If you go to the page that we've set up on the Association site (click here) you can download the Charter and Organizational structure, and answer some questions about your constructive feedback and how can we give you value for your membership dues.  Please take the survey!

Feel free to ask any questions about what we are doing here - the Organizing Committee (myself, Gina Cavaliero, Murray Hallam and Wayne Hall) is an open book, and everyone is a member in this community site.  We are 100% committed to creating an organization that will serve aquaponics well...although we obviously won't be able to do everything right out of the gate, nor will we be able to make everyone happy.  

I'd like to start the discussion rolling by asking a question  that I asked on Murray's forum this morning - how can we bring value to both Individual Members and Commercial members for their dues?  We've listed several things we could do on the survey linked above.  What are we missing?  What sounds great?

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@ Ryan, there is much to respond to in your comments, but I'm going  to keep it short for now and just point out that you actually make the perfect case for why promoting aquaponics is so important...while deeming it to be unimportant at the same time!

No one knows what aquaponics even is, let alone are they looking for an aquaponics association membership before buying the produce.

No one who is organizing this Association, and I'm certain no future officers, has the time, inclination or the desire to "fly around the world" - LOL - hell, we can't even find the time to get on Skype calls until late at night!  That said, key to successful commercial farming, and keep to the future of the backyard world is to let people know what aquaponics is, and about the safe, organic (little "o"), sustainable food it produces!  

This Association is committed to being transparent and financially responsible and the members will not only know where their dues are going, but can be assured that there are safeguards in place to prevent the misuse of funds for things like visiting Wayne at his grass shack on the beach 


sorry Rupert, i have spent more time reading this morning than enjoying my coffee. Perhaps i should wake up before i lash out. Im just not sure i understand your point. what is it exactly?

No worries Rob... I'm still literally coming up to speed with this proposal... so sometimes I'm not necessarily expressing a "specific" point, but more trying to determine the nuts and bolts of the intention of the association, who it represents and how membership groupings tranlate to voting rights etc..

 

You guys, and gals in the US have embraced aquaponics with a fervour over the last 12-18 months.. and with perhaps sheer weight of numbers, availability of land/capital etc... and the "friendlies" model... leapt into "commercialisation" on a scale that's just not happening else where in the world...

 

As such, an association... and certainly one that focuses on commercial growers... is certainly warranted... within the US...

 

But I'm not so sure that an "international association" .. outside of the US.. is as warranted or pertinent to the rest of the world or for the average backyarder... I'm not so sure that the benefits are there... or compelling enough to draw a great level of support...

 

I've made many references to HACCP and "best practice" adoption.... and I will probably join the association to continue to express that viewpoint.. as I believe it is critical to the future of aquaponics...

 

Sadly, the importance, incorporation and budgetary planning for such practices appears to be lacking in most "ventures" to date... but that is another discussion...

It sounds like the Association would benefit greatly from your input, and I look forward to future exchange. I have been HACCP trained, and thought it was something that all food processors have to adhere to in the US. im not sure we still have an option of adopting these practices. So lets all talk more about these regulations and how they affect the industry.

Fair enough John though I think that is a very slippery slope. 

What components?  Pumps (air and water), diffusers, etc or tanks and troughs?  I am not entirely sure what you mean by components.  We do service quite a lot of backyarders with equipment and design and I think suggesting endorsement from an association with a limited collection of experience is treading water.

 


RupertofOZ said:

Absolutely not Paul.... I merely meant that customers should be able to buy a product that has been given the tick of approval by the "association"... for their own piece of mind...

 

And I was talking about kits, and/or components.... the average "backyard" customer.... not the type of client you would typically cater for...


if anyone's feeling "slighted"... it's due to the fact that nobody in Australia was aware that the proposed association was to be "international" in flavour..."
Rupert old mate....the idea/news/proposal was released as soon as we felt it was ready enough and had some meat on it. I just cannot get my head around just when you think I should have announced things on my forum?  It would appear that no time would have been the right time.
And as to who is being slighted....I am the one being slighted big time by certian little Aussies. (and you have copped a bit as well)
It reminds me of the seventies TV series # 96  "Why wasn't I told"

I have always believed that an industry body is needed and I believe that now is the right time.  There is lots of positive stuff emerging as more people who can see the "dream" express their opinion.

As for the notion that all we want to do is jet around the world.....that is just so funny and silly.....the folks that think that have not sat in economy (cattle class) for 14 hours beside some BO laden whatever, then stand in the customs queue for another hour to have the rare privilege of being fingerprinted then to discover they can't find one of your bags.......give me a break.

Look, I'm not going to get into a this way and that way over tiny statements, but unless you know all 2600 odd people on this forum, have their resumes and know their capabilities, you should be careful as to making statements on ability my friend.  I know people that have been in an industry all their lives and are as useless as can be, and people fresh into it that will blow your abilities out the water and humble you any day of the week.  Your statement here is dangerous as you seem to imply that all involved with trying to get this association together are a bunch of fools.

 

On a technicality: you could end up being on the board.  Will the endorsement then also be from an association with limited experience?

Earthan Group said:

Fair enough John though I think that is a very slippery slope. 

What components?  Pumps (air and water), diffusers, etc or tanks and troughs?  I am not entirely sure what you mean by components.  We do service quite a lot of backyarders with equipment and design and I think suggesting endorsement from an association with a limited collection of experience is treading water.

 

Here is a small part from someone completing the form on the Aquaponics Association website. This is a good representation of the feedback coming in.
There is a steady groundswell happening.....good people are stepping forward and putting their hand up.

"Come on Aussie, come on, come on, come on Aussie come on" 

ADDITIONAL_COMMENTS: I love Aquaponics and all it represents... health, sustainability, symbiosis, independence, etc. and would like to contribute to the industry in any way possible.

Touche! Count us both naive.

Carey Ma said:
What's the difference between growers, gardeners and farmers? How do these more mature associations handle this and why? What true functions do these organizations perform and how do they actually help their members?

I believe we need do need to form an association as an as idealistic independent entity, formed much like The Constitution of our forefathers: for what reason does this entity serve but to serve it's members by providing knowledge, wisdom and defense against all threats foreign and domestic?

As far as being international…what a joke people. All this spittle wasted over misplaced ego. Grow up will ya! Why can't we, as a group (of friends), come together and simply dream. Write down this dream and we each form our own grassroots movement in our respective countries under this same ideal...kinda like the YMCA (idea without franchise part). Purely no profit intuitions of knowledge building and support.
Wholla! No more fruitin bickering!

We need to get together and pool our resources to be, “The Authority” on our portion of the sustainable train with AP supporting the pivotal point between gardening (urban) and agricultural (rural) food supply and by having the ability to self correct through continuous knowledge building, so no government or corporation can derail our ability to grow for ourselves and/or provide wholesome foods to others. That, in my opinion is a worthy institution.

Sadly, most are scams of disguised self-marketing. Case in point. A certain Mr. Yan is the founder and operator of the entire Greenroof association including the national association, the Beijing, the Shanghai Greenroof association and a few others I believe. Anyway the point is, that he refers to only certain firms, which he apparently has no vested interest in until you find out that these companies are actually run and own by his son in-laws. I’m sure every one of you can tell me stories of useless, waste of time and money or unscrupulous associations.

Let us be of one mind to preserve our god given right to feed ourselves in the most wholesome, holistic way possible and give our offspring a future instead of serfdom.
Lets put away greed and pride and simply do what needs doing for a better future for all!

But then again, maybe I’m just naive.

Carey:

     Thank you for that educated and well worded addition to the conversation. I am just starting to read the posts and it appears a bit dicey at this point. We had our first north county San Diego tour yesterday, (which was great fun, sorry you weren't there), and the round table opinion of an "association" went over like a fart in church. Having belonged to several small agricultural organizations with minumum fees and maximum participation I think that Sylvia is on to something. How exactly it becomes what it can become is really up to the active participation of the aquapons involved after putting the egos on the shelf. Please continue to put in your thoughts; enjoy reading them.


     Carey Ma said:

What's the difference between growers, gardeners and farmers? How do these more mature associations handle this and why? What true functions do these organizations perform and how do they actually help their members?

I believe we need do need to form an association as an as idealistic independent entity, formed much like The Constitution of our forefathers: for what reason does this entity serve but to serve it's members by providing knowledge, wisdom and defense against all threats foreign and domestic?

As far as being international…what a joke people. All this spittle wasted over misplaced ego. Grow up will ya! Why can't we, as a group (of friends), come together and simply dream. Write down this dream and we each form our own grassroots movement in our respective countries under this same ideal...kinda like the YMCA (idea without franchise part). Purely no profit intuitions of knowledge building and support.
Wholla! No more fruitin bickering!

We need to get together and pool our resources to be, “The Authority” on our portion of the sustainable train with AP supporting the pivotal point between gardening (urban) and agricultural (rural) food supply and by having the ability to self correct through continuous knowledge building, so no government or corporation can derail our ability to grow for ourselves and/or provide wholesome foods to others. That, in my opinion is a worthy institution.

Sadly, most are scams of disguised self-marketing. Case in point. A certain Mr. Yan is the founder and operator of the entire Greenroof association including the national association, the Beijing, the Shanghai Greenroof association and a few others I believe. Anyway the point is, that he refers to only certain firms, which he apparently has no vested interest in until you find out that these companies are actually run and own by his son in-laws. I’m sure every one of you can tell me stories of useless, waste of time and money or unscrupulous associations.

Let us be of one mind to preserve our god given right to feed ourselves in the most wholesome, holistic way possible and give our offspring a future instead of serfdom.
Lets put away greed and pride and simply do what needs doing for a better future for all!

But then again, maybe I’m just naive.

Again, I meant no disrespect but I don't know any of you on a personal level and when you have people and money, you have the chance that someone will take advantage of the situation. It happens in all buisnesses and shoulnt be taboo to bring up.

 

I am hearing a lot of good discussion here and maybe it will iron out some issues. :)

Many are basically asking "What am I getting for my membership dues?" on a backyard/commercial basis. Is this so that you have a vote in the direction of the association or is there something more to it? Can any more clarity be given as to what you forsee the dues being spent on? Or at least, what you would propose they be spent on?

Ryan typically charters offer some of the following attributes depending on funding and size. Lobbying power to local and federal governments to facilitate marketing of your product or service. Education of the political class and the general population about your product or service. Safe standards for delivering your product or service to the consumer. In our case  a known set of successful products to use to start up in aquaponics operation. Like Friendlys, Vigin Islands , Murray or BYAP, ect...ect... Without funds it is all just a bunch of internet nerds talking and not accomplishing anything to further the concept of aquaponics. This really needs to happen to further the cause of aquaponics as a viable alternative to dirt farming pesticide and herbicide free. There are hundreds of functions the charter will have to tackle over time but they will have to target a couple in start up due to funds and members will be small in numbers. I think education of techniques and principals will be the start. If people like Rupert and others put sound science in writing for the general population and politicians and the charter shows it can work and provide a safe food for the general population then all aquapons win. Dont you think. I dont think money corrupts all people and the funds they will be using will be a joke as far as dollar value in start up. We as hobbist growers have to trust mankind a little on his or her wanting to do good for this industry. It probably doesnt serve the hobbist as much as the commercial side but you can see how they are codependent. I know alot of hobbists including myself that plan on expanding over time into a larger role. Just a thought.............D

Ryan said:

Again, I meant no disrespect but I don't know any of you on a personal level and when you have people and money, you have the chance that someone will take advantage of the situation. It happens in all buisnesses and shoulnt be taboo to bring up.

 

I am hearing a lot of good discussion here and maybe it will iron out some issues.

Many are basically asking "What am I getting for my membership dues?" on a backyard/commercial basis. Is this so that you have a vote in the direction of the association or is there something more to it? Can any more clarity be given as to what you forsee the dues being spent on? Or at least, what you would propose they be spent on?

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