Kobus Jooste commented...
(SNIP) I would love to learn from as many sources as I can, and enjoy collaborating and brainstorming. I think my "problem" if I may call it is twofold. First, I partnered up with a group of people that had big commercial units and large profits as motivation, neglecting the need for laying foundations with school and community / backyard awareness. They were a large engineering company with little desire for small projects. My second issue is with the perceptions of the people of all levels of education that I have to deal with. plants are stuck into the ground, given fertilizer and that is how you farm over here. I may be jumping too many hurdles in going straight for aquaponics when most people cannot get beyond water conservation.
I am now tryng to take baby steps from landscaping upwards in order to gradually phase the idea of aquaponics and urban agriculture into the mindset here.
Eric Warwick commented...
I think they aren't educated, about anything "green", and don't want to be educated. This is the must frustrating part, the willingness to be ignorant, this makes it incredibly hard: oy. I might give them a picture or something. Maybe, start again with the community, though I'm guessing they are the same. I wish that aquaponics would sprout up as quickly as this community is growing, I think once people are forced to do something they have a higher probability of actually doing it. I say don't be discouraged, but if it doesn't work try something else: I'm sorry the guys practically, in this situation, an idiot.
I have the feeling that we are, in some sense, "swimming against the tide"! Eric is, I believe, quite correct in thinking that "once people are forced to do something they have a higher probability of actually doing it.". Unfortunately, as it appears to me, is that people are primarily only forced into doing things by overwhelming economic factors. This reticence inevitably leads to the "boiled frog" sequence of events.
To rise above the tide, "walk on water" if you will, is going to take "out of the box" thinking and creative actions. I'm not suggesting that we work faster or harder, only smarter, creatively and together. Some amorphous possibilities started coming to mind when I read about Kobus's experience with large scale applications.
A maxim that I'm very fond of is "Think Globally, Act Locally ". The World has changed in ways that weren't dreamed of when that phrase first came into use! For instance, it hadn't been "flattened" by the Internet as we know it now. And, BTW, the term "Aquaponics" was not yet in use. In effect, we are in reality, very close neighbors, even tho we may live on opposite sides of the planet.
Maybe it's time for a new maxim? Like Work Globally, Teach Personally. Although learning and teaching may well be done best on a small scale, the need for environmentally sustainable food production clearly will not be met without large scale operations. That is not to say that either can best be done in conventional manners. Both need to be decentralized.
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