Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

The Future of Food and Farming

I'd like to start a discussion about this executive summary.  What are your thoughts?  How can aquaponics play a role?

Views: 801

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I know that I should never have given into my feelings to answer this blog.  I think I hear what Sahib and Sylvia are saying.  I know the feelings when you start talking about leaders and standards etc.  I feel the world closing in on me and I want to go to the Big Island find some land totaly surrounded by thich forrest, cut a clearing in the middle, build an earthship house, and do my aquaponics where no one can find me.  If I did this I could never share with the people I am desrtined to share aquaponics with.  Nevertheless It makes me feel like the report that started this blog does.  Sylvia you are right about educating people and getting the word out but with these standards are there restrictions to follow.  I think about organics and I wish I knew the history because I bet it started the same way and now look at what is happening.  I think of Oahu and the Outdoor circle they wanted to keep billbords out of Oahu.  A noble deed but 2 years ago they asked the legislature to ban the Oscar Myer Winner mobile because It had a sign on it about 1 ft in size that said Oscar Myer.  I could not believe what I was reading.  There are some communities here that cannot hang their wash on the line because it will drop the property value.  I have heard of Home Associations that have taken peoples property because they didn't follow the rules to the T.  It makes me shudder. 

We need guidelines to help us all.  There are so many new people who want to get into this and it is the answer to the food problem.  I was so filled with passion and excitement when I began I was ready to build my whole acre down to grow beds.  When I finally came to my senses ( probably because I read what people were doing in this community)  I realized I was having delusions of grandure.  I stuck a needle in myself and let the air out and came back to earth.  But not before I had 18 tanks of fish with grow beds or troughs.  I took a class from the Friendlies and believed everything they said and started out building it their way with recycled materials.  I soon found there were things that I would change: I am 70 and don't like to bend over actually I am unable to bend over and work.  I built all my troughs and grow beds up at waist level.  I  changed how the Friendlies did it.  I don't want a set of standards that would say I did wrong and I must go back.  As Sylvia said herding the cats not directing the cats.  I think a better term would be advising the cats not that a cat would take your advice but I think you know what I mean.  We need to slow down take a deep breath and plan what ever is to be in the light of what has happened before.  Because we put restrictions ,not that that is what you want to do ,we slow down progress and simply drive people away.  I am sorry that I have always been outside the box but thats where I am.  I believe that aquaponics is the way of the future if we tend it properly.  I say just look at all the discussion generated here.  There are dozens of ideas most of them good but we need to be able to try our ideas and make our own mistakes.  Sorry for the rant but it was either put it down or go away for awhile until I could never find this blog again and I am too adicted to the community to do that.  I love you all and I love reading and mulling over the ideas just don't make certain ones laws.

Aloha

As I said in a reply earlier to Nate: You can always expect people to turn up and want to be coaches, but the "aquaponics book" has not been written and there are a lot of people out there with too little experience in "many ways to skin a cat" to realize that people should really only concern themselves about the critical water quality parameters and the quality of the end product.  I sincerely hope that AP will mature in this direction, as I too am a person who sticks a fat finger in the eye of anyone that tries to nanny manage me.  I like proving them wrong, catch the bigger fish on cheaper gear (trout cannot read, thus if you have Orvis, Sage, Hardy or Thomas and Thomas written on the rod, they really cannot tell) hit a ball further with a cheaper driver, that kind of thing.

 

I think the need for standards and guidelines will be a double-edged sword, with your post above highlighting some of the dangers.  On a positive, there is the chance of regulated marketing and quality standards being developed, that could be useful.  Let us work towards taking good from all processes, and trying like hell to avaid the bad.  Where I am, that is easier than for others, but lets set ourselves some concrete goals - then the minders will not become nannies, or what?

Raychel A Watkins said:

I know that I should never have given into my feelings to answer this blog.  I think I hear what Sahib and Sylvia are saying.  I know the feelings when you start talking about leaders and standards etc.  I feel the world closing in on me and I want to go to the Big Island find some land totaly surrounded by thich forrest, cut a clearing in the middle, build an earthship house, and do my aquaponics where no one can find me.  If I did this I could never share with the people I am desrtined to share aquaponics with.  Nevertheless It makes me feel like the report that started this blog does.  Sylvia you are right about educating people and getting the word out but with these standards are there restrictions to follow.  I think about organics and I wish I knew the history because I bet it started the same way and now look at what is happening.  I think of Oahu and the Outdoor circle they wanted to keep billbords out of Oahu.  A noble deed but 2 years ago they asked the legislature to ban the Oscar Myer Winner mobile because It had a sign on it about 1 ft in size that said Oscar Myer.  I could not believe what I was reading.  There are some communities here that cannot hang their wash on the line because it will drop the property value.  I have heard of Home Associations that have taken peoples property because they didn't follow the rules to the T.  It makes me shudder. 

We need guidelines to help us all.  There are so many new people who want to get into this and it is the answer to the food problem.  I was so filled with passion and excitement when I began I was ready to build my whole acre down to grow beds.  When I finally came to my senses ( probably because I read what people were doing in this community)  I realized I was having delusions of grandure.  I stuck a needle in myself and let the air out and came back to earth.  But not before I had 18 tanks of fish with grow beds or troughs.  I took a class from the Friendlies and believed everything they said and started out building it their way with recycled materials.  I soon found there were things that I would change: I am 70 and don't like to bend over actually I am unable to bend over and work.  I built all my troughs and grow beds up at waist level.  I  changed how the Friendlies did it.  I don't want a set of standards that would say I did wrong and I must go back.  As Sylvia said herding the cats not directing the cats.  I think a better term would be advising the cats not that a cat would take your advice but I think you know what I mean.  We need to slow down take a deep breath and plan what ever is to be in the light of what has happened before.  Because we put restrictions ,not that that is what you want to do ,we slow down progress and simply drive people away.  I am sorry that I have always been outside the box but thats where I am.  I believe that aquaponics is the way of the future if we tend it properly.  I say just look at all the discussion generated here.  There are dozens of ideas most of them good but we need to be able to try our ideas and make our own mistakes.  Sorry for the rant but it was either put it down or go away for awhile until I could never find this blog again and I am too adicted to the community to do that.  I love you all and I love reading and mulling over the ideas just don't make certain ones laws.

Aloha

Hi Raychel and Kobus.  I think when we are bringing up "standards" it is an offshoot of the earlier discussion around organics.  My understanding is that Sahib is referring to an "Aquaponically Grown" quality standard that is focused on what you both brought up...probably with some food handling practices thrown in.  I wouldn't ever dream of insinuating a standard for how to do aquaponics!  I think there are many paths to the same result, especially taking into account what you want to grow - lettuce, watercress, strawberries and tomatoes might each grow best in a unique system - and how much you want to emphasize fish over produce - i.e. filtration vs. not.  Personally I look at a commercial standard as being a marketing tool..."when you by Aquaponically Grown you are guaranteed XX" that could be important to the commercial folks...but, yes, clearly you can skin that cat about a dozen ways or more!
Whatever happened to just having fun?
Wow! I think we have awakened the sleeping lion! I find it not only interesting but am greatful to hear the other side of this discussion. I understandand and respect the need to approach this prospect with the utmost caution, diligence and consideration. I am sure no one has any vision about any rules or regs with respect to how to do aquaponics, only an additional resource on aquaponics coupled with committees that could help guide aquaponics into the future of food and farming. Really thats how this discussion all started. I speak for myself, but I assume the same might apply to Sylvia, I do find this part of aquaponics incredibly exciting and fun! I love to make stuff grow I guess, fish, plants, ideas...! :)
Agreed!  This is my idea of fun.

Totally hit the "nail on the head"..."Aquaponically Grown"   Grown Locally..Grown Naturally.

 

Yes unfortunately we do need some sort of USA / International Aquaponic Association / Organization which has set the broad "standards" to issue a opinion certificate that produce grown by a certain commercial aquaponics venture meets "Generally Accepted Aquaponic Standards". That can only be done if we first have such an Association, become members and contribute to what should be such standards (reviewed periodically to incorporate changes/improvements to Aquaponics), and assist in the promotion of this "way of life" by being a collective consumer/user "ground -roots voice" to take up issues on a case by case basis....for example - helping get "property tax" rate relief for Urban Properties that are being used for Aquaponic Farms.

 

I was taught the lesson of a single stick and many sticks tied together. It is easier to break a single stick but far more difficult if they are tied together. One or a few Aquaponic growers will not command as powerful a voice as an Association representing many. We have to show the way, to light the path to this "way of life". This is really one of the best ways in addition to one by one approach we each take now :-) 

To me this "way of life" generates tremendous joy and peace as well as help me join with numerous people, some, no many who become friends and we speak like long lost souls who finally reconnected again. This is FUN and that is why I cautioned against the use of the word "Leader" and favored something like an "Educator" ...akin to a "student / teacher" relationship (Guru / Disciple in my terminology) .

 

God bless

 


Sylvia Bernstein said:

Hi Raychel and Kobus.  I think when we are bringing up "standards" it is an offshoot of the earlier discussion around organics.  My understanding is that Sahib is referring to an "Aquaponically Grown" quality standard that is focused on what you both brought up...probably with some food handling practices thrown in.  I wouldn't ever dream of insinuating a standard for how to do aquaponics!  I think there are many paths to the same result, especially taking into account what you want to grow - lettuce, watercress, strawberries and tomatoes might each grow best in a unique system - and how much you want to emphasize fish over produce - i.e. filtration vs. not.  Personally I look at a commercial standard as being a marketing tool..."when you by Aquaponically Grown you are guaranteed XX" that could be important to the commercial folks...but, yes, clearly you can skin that cat about a dozen ways or more!

Yes Sahib!  It is time for aquaponics to have a presence like you refer to.  Great analogy!

I think there is a difference between the need to work together, develop an industry voice, marketing angles and industry promotion, and what will follow when there is an attempt to develop regulation.  I am for all of the above, but remember how difficul;t it was to develop a definition for aquaponics, and how many people were still not satisfied with the compromise end result we came up with?  I think the same issues will show up again when regulations and quality control is discussed.  With regulation comes beaurocracy and with that eventually stupidity (sorry). 

 

As an example:  When South African tourism agencies decided to regulate the tour guide industry a bit, they decided to bring out a FGASA (field guide association of South Africa) level 1 - 3 training course for guides.  That sounds fair, until they decided that this will be the only accepted qualification.  It only takes a few weeks to get a course done, but that little FGASA 1 overrides a Masters degree in environmental science in this country.  Totally stupid beaurocratic wish wash.  I may now not talk to a tourist group about aquatic science, or risk getting the tour operator kicked out of the association.  Regulation often has this effect.  Gear specification, size specification, qualification specification. HACCP and ISO, proffesional body subs.  All this will eventually get tied down.  For some it is going to be fun, for other, smaller growers, it could just spell the end of their fun. 

 

I am not opposed to any regulation, I just understand that for many, it could spell a different outcome than the enthusiastic supporters it has here now.

I don't think this would need to spell the end of anyone's fun (except maybe Chi ) because no one would ever be forced to join such an association.  If you do join, and you become certified under the associations standards, then you can enjoy whatever credibility that brings along with the benefits of being marketed under the Aquaponics Association umbrella - perhaps the availability of brochures for purchase so you can hand them out at tours, a website listing of member aquaponics farms, trade advertising, and perhaps even eventually advocacy.  The model I would look at is the Progressive Gardening Trade Association (PGTA) which is an association of hydroponic retailers.  They hold an annual conference (I've been a keynote speaker in the past, and am speaking this year in Denver as well), have media kits, are developing resource kits, including presentations that members can give (click here), a section for non-trade folks.  They are all about promoting progressive gardening retailers...which has evolved to mean hydroponics stores.

 

Check it out and let me know what you think...

:-)

Sylvia Bernstein said:

I don't think this would need to spell the end of anyone's fun (except maybe Chi ) because no one would ever be forced to join such an association.  If you do join, and you become certified under the associations standards, then you can enjoy whatever credibility that brings along with the benefits of being marketed under the Aquaponics Association umbrella - perhaps the availability of brochures for purchase so you can hand them out at tours, a website listing of member aquaponics farms, trade advertising, and perhaps even eventually advocacy.  The model I would look at is the Progressive Gardening Trade Association (PGTA) which is an association of hydroponic retailers.  They hold an annual conference (I've been a keynote speaker in the past, and am speaking this year in Denver as well), have media kits, are developing resource kits, including presentations that members can give (click here), a section for non-trade folks.  They are all about promoting progressive gardening retailers...which has evolved to mean hydroponics stores.

 

Check it out and let me know what you think...

A very interesting discussion. A certification would be good for farms wanting to install consumer trust... but that might lead to all sorts of problems as we have all stated.

Might I suggest we start drafting a proposal of what this might look like and 'all' begin to weigh in. Maybe by the National 'meet and greet' in Hawaii not Florida :), we could all join hands and in a collective sigh of relief admit none of us want 'nannies' and we can all go along 'experimenting', adding to this idea, laying a great foundation for future generations to emulate and protecting us all from the corporate evil lords that would love to own it all and tell us how to live our lives.


Sylvia Bernstein said:

I don't think this would need to spell the end of anyone's fun (except maybe Chi ) because no one would ever be forced to join such an association.  If you do join, and you become certified under the associations standards, then you can enjoy whatever credibility that brings along with the benefits of being marketed under the Aquaponics Association umbrella - perhaps the availability of brochures for purchase so you can hand them out at tours, a website listing of member aquaponics farms, trade advertising, and perhaps even eventually advocacy.  The model I would look at is the Progressive Gardening Trade Association (PGTA) which is an association of hydroponic retailers.  They hold an annual conference (I've been a keynote speaker in the past, and am speaking this year in Denver as well), have media kits, are developing resource kits, including presentations that members can give (click here), a section for non-trade folks.  They are all about promoting progressive gardening retailers...which has evolved to mean hydroponics stores.

 

Check it out and let me know what you think...

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2021   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service