I was reading the blog by Kobus about marketing. I was trying to visualize what I wanted to market anyway. I spent 10 years selling the fruits from my trees to the flea market here in Hawaii. I suffer from severe burn out from people trying to get my produce for less than nothing. The thought of having to go out and sell my vegetables and fish makes me want to run away. Every time someone comes and asks me what am I going to do with the fruit of my labor I am lost. Yet when I get to show my systems to people I am filled with enthusiasm. I get so excited I am beside myself. I know this is the way for people to go. Yet I really freeze up if I think I will have to market this. It is a bit nuts then that I keep building systems. I love to give my produce to people when they come. I take it to work for my coworkers yet I hesitate to sell anything. Still my mind keeps saying "What are you going to do with all of this?"
I experienced something this Sunday that really helps to clear up this question in my mind, My new WWOOFer, Diana introduced me to a web site called Meetup.com. She is a vegetarian mostly raw foods. I don't have to feed her much she just eats the fruits on the trees and the veggies on the aquaponics. Anyway she asked me if I wanted to have a raw food meet up. I said sure why not. So she arranged it. I figured no one would come as I live out here in Waianae which for some reason has a bad reputation. She happened to mention that it was on an aquaponic farm. This was the clincher. About 20 people showed up including the women who were making the IBC tank into an aquaponic system. They were excited about the aquaponic systems. I spent the whole afternoon giving tours and explaining everything. It was very stimulating to say the least. One older couple had a system they had bought and starting growing things. They were amazed that I could build a system for so little money. The food every one brought was wonderful and it was a glorious experience. I guess you want to know what that has to do with what I want to market. It became very clear to me that I want to market aquaponics itself. I want to show the people I come across how easily and cheaply it can be done. I want people to get as excited as I get when I harvest the food. I want people to experience the fun of raising fish in a big tank. The joy of having them slap water on you as you feed them. This one man said that he was told that you don't need to put water hyacinth on the top of the fish as I do. That really made me think. i told him no he didn't need to do that but I want my fish to be comfortable. Isn't that silly comfortable fish. But I really feel that way. I think the fish enjoy the plants. They are shade, food, a place to hide for the little ones, and when they bloom they make my heart sing. Call me a silly old lady but I want my fish to be comfortable. The man said well maybe I should buy some. I filled up a bag with hyacinths and gave them to him and we both were happy. Now he will have comfortable fish.
I can't explain my love for this thing called aquaponics I can only feel it and it feels joyful, exciting, wonderful and spiritual. Yes I want to market aquaponics in a way that everyone can participate. I coined a phrase for my thoughts about this: START WHERE YOU ARE, USE WHAT YOU HAVE, SCROUNGE FOR THE REST
LOW BUDGET AQUAPONICS FOR NON ROCKET SCIENTISTS