My name is Laura and as it says above i am from Ireland. I have recently become interested in Aquaponics and i am researching it with the hope of starting a small bushiness to supply local businesses with fresh veg.
Has anyone got any advice on where to start and any do's or don'ts?
I have just recently joined the site based on my general interest in Aquaponics. I occassionally find free information in regards to Aquaponics and business, by just doing simple google searches for pdf. I would encourage you do that (which you probably already have), but I have noticed quite a bit of information for various designs on the commercial level within content on youtube also.
Aloha Laura from the Big Island of Hawaii. We have been growing food for sale for many years now. I recommend you start a small system and test many crops to find what will work best in your area. Once you find what works best in your area you will have samples to take to potential buyers. If and only if you have something that somebody will buy then take the next step of building a larger system. It may take some time to build a market for what you grow so do not get discouraged. Look for niches that are not being provided locally but imported. You live on an island like us and I'm sure there is much imported produce you may likely compete with once you have found the best way to grow it. Good luck!!!
Hi Laura. I'd add a different twist on what Sam said about free information on the internet and just advise you to be very careful about what and who you listen to. The old adage of "you get what you pay for" definitely applies and I've seen many AP systems fail because of random internet advice they followed. Not a big deal if you just have a small backyard system, but since you are planning on going bigger you should consider actually paying an experienced whose credentials you understand for their advise, plans, etc.
Best of luck to you in your adventure!
Read Sylvia's book. Honestly, it helped a lot and I came from an aquaculture background and currently am tied to the soil with my hot pepper product company. Tired of buying my raw material from companies across the company or across the globe and tired of the $$$$ they charge.
Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together by Sylvia Bernstein
Plus ask any questions you have around the group..most are very helpful and will offer the encouragement when things might seem askew, and remember one dead plant or one poor fish that didn't make it does not mean failure. Oh yeah, keep an eye on the credit cards...you will get carried away.
Thank you all for getting back to me! I will take all advice on board and no doubt i will be picking brains again at some stage!
I am definitely going to purchase Sylvias book, i have also got in touch with http://www.aquaponicworld.com/ with regards to training and setups etc. I will also get in contact with Teagasc and my local fisheries board and research what veg will be best for my area!