Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

After a year of preparation, Solutions for Change will launch a social purpose commercial aquaponics operation in northern San Diego county. Phase One will be completed May 2012 and we anticipate our 2000 new Talapia friends swimming and our veggies growing within 45 days. Called 'Solutions Farms' this 20,000sf operation (all phases) will be a beta for additional aquaponic farms as part of a privately led nonprofit initiative called Finding Our Way Home. The purpose of the initiative is to solve family homelessness one family, one community at a time. Parents of homeless children will work the farm, grow food to feed their families, share the food with others but most importantly sell the food using a farm to table marketing strategy developed by Solutions for Change with area restaurants.

We will be bringing you more details in the weeks to come. We are excited and looking forward to sharing our knowledge and experience to help the aquaponics community. We are strong business minded social entrepreneurs with robust public and private sector financial backing but have much to learn. We hope to be of greater service to this community and ours.

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Hi Chris,

Is it possible to get a tour of your facility? I live in San Marcos CA and would love to see your operation when you're ready for visitors.

Article in today's newspaper.

Great work Chris. I'm anxious to get over and see your project. I'll drop you an email soon.

Hi Chris,

I LOVE what you're doing!  I recently purchased a small farm property in Vista, and am cycling my first aquaponics system, too! (much smaller than yours though)  My plan is to learn to grow food for my family, friends, and the community using aquaponics.  Please let me know if there's anything I can do to assist!!!  I would love to see your operation too.  Best wishes to your group 

Awesome work Chris!  I live in San Diego and can't wait to come take a look at the operation.

Great work Chris... would love to see a blog on this project so that we can keep fully up to date with what you guys are doing!

There are ALOT of very talented people working on this. We are definately outside of our comfort zone. But we might just be nutty enough to pull it off. Stop by anytime. 
Russ Grant said:

Great work Chris. I'm anxious to get over and see your project. I'll drop you an email soon.

Thanks Elizabeth and Kyle for the well wishes. Message us anytime for info/visit. We will be getting a blog up soon.

A little behind schedule but we are there! Grand Opening of Solutions Farms July 25, 2012. Here are a few of the before/after images from our Facebook page: Here are a few more:

Aquaponic Grow Beds before rafts go in:

Two 2000 gallon fish tanks - anew home for 2000 Tilapia fish:

Aquaponic Grow Beds - center core Phase 1 @ 7,000 sf.

What this looked like 3 months ago:


Great work - one of the nice things about this type of growing is that it is inherently organic.  I could go on all day about how terrible our processed food is for body/mind/spirit - but I wont.

I have been trying to get something like that going where I live but all the business people with property I would like to be able to use would rather it be covered in wild blackberry and take their tax adjustment for non-productive farmland as a way to greater profits in sub-dividing proven "worthless" farmland.

It feels great to be able to others a hand-up, rather than just a hand-out. I am thankful that your group was able to do so.  Maybe you could also work with your local community college so these workers can get class credits and additional ag. education so they can understand the processes and have brighter futures for their families. I believe it is a communities responsibility to do the best it can for its children, whatever their age.

Now, on to just a little thought about your system.  Could you put cucumbers, kiwi, or some other type of living shade over the fish tanks?  I think the tilapia would appreciate the insects it would attract (underwater lights, pointing up, have a way of providing free food) and the occasional grape or whatnot it would provide.

I take it the decidedly crooked lines adorning the bottom are air lines? How much air are you pumping? What are you using for distribution? What are the formulas behind it?  Are you using the large root masses as bio-reactors?

What is your water re-circulation rate?  What are your plans for initial cycling of this large system? Any kind of solids separation? Filtration? Bio-reactors? Do you have outside gardens for using the sludge that accumulates?

Plans for polyculture? Vermiculture (plant trimmings)? Are you going to sell live fish to the restaurants or are they just for the families consumption? Compost tea to add micro-nutrients the fish don't provide?  Anaerobic digester for the sludge and plant trimmings?  Chop the trimmings for use as fish food supplement? And the question I've always wondered about - If you feed them enough herbs will they be pre-seasoned for cooking?

OK, bottom line is that it looks great, and I'm jealous!


Networking & Brainstorming = Synergy

Grand Opening today of Solutions Farms. Rafts are in. Fish are swimming. Place looks amazing!

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