Aquaponic Gardening

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OK, this may have been covered already...just joined a few days ago. 

Does anyone have any feedback or know of anyone that has purchased the Back Yard Aquaponics System from Friendly Aquaponics ?  

The info sounds great, but at $ 295 for the manual and drawings, I would really like to know more about it from a "hands-on" type of info.

Thanks for the warm welcome when I signed up.  best regards to all, Larry

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Which size system is it?  Green Acres has a micro system set up at their place.  It is the one using a 300 gallon fish tank and two 4' by 8' raft beds that for a beginner I would say should support 19-20 tilapia.  Is that the system you are thinking of?

I would send contact Green Acres http://aquaponicscommunity.com/profile/GinaCavalieroandTonyaPenick?...

They are members on here and they are based right here in FL and can provide more support for you.

 

I can't comment on the package Friendlies sells since I've never purchased any of them and personally prefer the ease of media based systems once they are set up.

Thanks, I want to go as large as I can. Of course one step at a time.  Have some old hoop houses ( 20x100') on my retirement property. Just need to get something going so I can grow with the learning curve.
I recommend you contact a few of the Florida aquaponics members with existing systems and go do some visiting since seeing systems in person will definitely help you with some ideas.
Yes, I will contact Green Acres and see if I can drive over there and visit with them.  I am open to all suggestions regarding  small farm based food production.  With  the many retirement Villages nearby, selling the surplus that I cannot use would not be a problem ( local food for local people) regards Larry

Larry, please consider food safety aspects, processing plant and HACCP compliance costs into your business plan...

 

Killing off a few members of a retirement village would not only be costly to yourself... but detremental to aquaponics in general

Thanks, I am a little busy for the next couple of weeks also. Got a shipment of fruit trees coming in from Georgia today, will be busy planting them for a few days, also large Spring garden in the plant and water every day stage.Thanks for the prompt reply, I will get in contact with you in a couple of weeks or so.  best regards  Larry.



Green Acre Organics said:

Hi Larry.  We are most definitely Friendly fans.  We too purchased their micro system manual and also attended their commercial training.  We have both a Friendly style micro system and commercial system.  The $295 system or family size system you are considering is an excellent system for growing a considerable amount of food.  The best part is that these systems are completely and easily scalable, so it will be easy for you to add on if you want at a later date.  The systems are easy to build and maintain and the manual is very thorough.   There are certainly advantages to different types of systems, such as bigger plants in media based, but the raft system is pretty conducive to growing lots of food in a dense configuration.  Starting small and growing your system with your knowledge is a good plan.  We started with our micro system too and were soooo glad, as it was a great learning tool and now acts as our experimental system, in order not to compromise the big commercial one.  We can certainly acommodate a tour for you but the next couple of weeks are pretty tight as we have our Friendly Commercial Aquaponics Training coming up and then a Micro System training shortly after.  You can check out our website at www.greenacreorganics.biz for more info and let me know if we can be of any help! 

Thanks, probably a CSA  type program will be the way to go.  Not worried about killing off a few old folks. Will take whatever steps necessary to keep everything safe. Farmers markets and the like are all around this part of the state. Most produce is shipped in from some other country with who knows what or how it has been raised or what is left on it. Not aware of any problems with this or local farm raised food.

thanks for you concern. best regards Larry

RupertofOZ said:

Larry, please consider food safety aspects, processing plant and HACCP compliance costs into your business plan...

 

Killing off a few members of a retirement village would not only be costly to yourself... but detremental to aquaponics in general

No worries on the timeframe Larry.  We will just keep in touch until things are a bit less hectic for us both.  Glad you too are not worried about 'killing a few old folks'.  We too take all necessary precautions for food safety and handling and approach it with a positive outlook by being prepared without focusing on the negative aspects.   In reality though, the bigger concern with food supplies and food borne illnesses mainly lie with big ag and large food processing facilitities. 

 

We too have a CSA in our plans and hope to get it under way for fall of this year.     

Thanks, just  finished digging 12 large holes and planted fruit trees in number two garden. Shovel work is really low on my list of things to do.  A few cold ones has helped me get over it.  You are so right...there is not time in this life for anything but positive energy. I have a few ideas I would like to share with you when my pardner and I visit with you in person.     Just to let you know a little about myself and my pardner go to TheFloridabud on Youtube.com   regards, Larry       



Green Acre Organics said:

No worries on the timeframe Larry.  We will just keep in touch until things are a bit less hectic for us both.  GTlad you too are not worried about 'killing a few old folks'.  We too take all necessary precautions for food safety and handling and approach it with a positive outlook by being prepared without focusing on the negative aspects.   In reality though, the bigger concern with food supplies and food borne illnesses mainly lie with big ag and large food processing facilitities. 

 

We too have a CSA in our plans and hope to get it under way for fall of this year.     

Really,

HACCP...? Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points?

The Gentleman is asking for information for starting his project... He is a long way away form HACCP..... I think at this point he would be happy just to have a viable Aquaponics garden.  The biggest problem from contamination is from time and and temperature of Protein products and from mishandling from uncooked to cooked, not from starting an Aquaponics garden and selling lettuce to the Retirerment community. There are exceptions, but so are wining the lottery and getting hit by Lightning in the state of Florida. I think a little more positive feedback would have been more helpful and or information to point him in the right direction!!  FYI...  I have a B.S in Biology, Class C W.W License, and Florida Food Managers Certification. The Green Acres folks are correct, the more hands that touch the product the higher the risk!!!  Check the statistics! (FDA)

Here are the web sites for info, for HACCP (FDA)

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/HazardAnalysisCriticalControlPoi...

and  D.O.H (Department of Health)

http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/food/foodmanager.htm

 

Smile, life is to short not to have friends!!!!

 

RupertofOZ said:

Larry, please consider food safety aspects, processing plant and HACCP compliance costs into your business plan...

 

Killing off a few members of a retirement village would not only be costly to yourself... but detremental to aquaponics in general

I realise the initial post and intended system is based around a "family" sized concept... but my post followed several where Larry stated that he wanted to "go as large as I can"... and noted "With  the many retirement Villages nearby, selling the surplus that I cannot use would not be a problem"...

 

Both points seemed to  indicate an intention to develope a "commercial" operation... in the near future, even if not immediately....

 

Given the "at risk" market group that Larry identified... as indeed identified within the second link you provide...

 

<blockquote>

Establishments that serve highly susceptible populations (a group of persons who are more likely than other populations to experience foodborne disease because they are immunocompromised or older adults institutionalized or preschool age children in custodial care), or that have three or more employees at one time engaged in the storage, preparation or service of food must have at least one certified manager present at all times when these activities are taking place.

</blockquote>

 

I think my comments regarding food safety and HACCP principles are entirely justified....

 

HACCP isn't just about compliance... it's also a methodology/philosophy... even a management tool....

 

Given that many of the members and threads here are dedicated to the "commercialisation", positioning and "branding" of aquaponics....then I think such principles are not only warranted in terms of discussion... but almost manadatory in terms of application....

 

If the burgeoning commercializarion of "aquaponics" is not founded, and/or self regulated upon best practice....

 

Then such practices and regulation... will be imposed upon it... especially if any links to contamination are identified...

 

Should such an event occur, especially in an "emotive" and "high risk" area such as aged care.... the negative impact on "aquaponics" in general... and the commercialisation of aquaponics specifically.... would be significant...

 

It wasn't my intention to be "unfriendly"... or to infer that Larry might be in any way deliberately negligent... but more just to raise the issue of food safety, and best practice methodologies... and the costs of such that need to be factored into any "commercial" business plan....

 

I do confess to a degree of uneasiness that the headlong rush to "commercialisation"... often seems to be without regard to issues of food safety... or even at times, to be almost flippant or dismissive of such ideas...


Really,

HACCP...? Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points?

The Gentleman is asking for information for starting his project... He is a long way away form HACCP..... I think at this point he would be happy just to have a viable Aquaponics garden.  The biggest problem from contamination is from time and and temperature of Protein products and from mishandling from uncooked to cooked, not from starting an Aquaponics garden and selling lettuce to the Retirerment community. There are exceptions, but so are wining the lottery and getting hit by Lightning in the state of Florida. I think a little more positive feedback would have been more helpful and or information to point him in the right direction!!  FYI...  I have a B.S in Biology, Class C W.W License, and Florida Food Managers Certification. The Green Acres folks are correct, the more hands that touch the product the higher the risk!!!  Check the statistics! (FDA)

Here are the web sites for info, for HACCP (FDA)

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/HazardAnalysisCriticalControlPoi...

and  D.O.H (Department of Health)

http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/food/foodmanager.htm

 

Smile, life is to short not to have friends!!!!

 

RupertofOZ said:

Larry, please consider food safety aspects, processing plant and HACCP compliance costs into your business plan...

 

Killing off a few members of a retirement village would not only be costly to yourself... but detremental to aquaponics in general

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