Namaste & Aloha.
We were humbled that Susanne Friend and Tim Mann of Friendly Aquaponics accepted our humble request to visit our home in Central Florida and Sahib's Aquaponics Research Farm and share some quality time with each other.
Susanne Friend and Tim Mann are a "household name" in the world of Aquaponics. They are the Guru's in the type of Aquaponics they have practiced so far, that being the floating raft system utilizing the Deep Water Culture troughs (DWC), and keeping the density of fish in the system to a significantly lower level than that advocated by the UVI systems (who also predominantly / exclusively make use of the floating rafts and DWC). Both these Aquaponic systems are perfectly fine and operational and the selection as to which method to use really depends on the objects of the Aquapon user. Susan and Tim have shared their knowledge and taught hundreds of people their Commercial Training as well as sold and donated numerous micro and other smaller Aquaponic system manuals. There are numerous Aquapons who have used their teachings (self included), in their backyard Aquaponic growing systems and a few have gone on to launch Commercial ventures, some obtain USDA Organic certification and hopefully are on their way to becoming profitable farms based upon this way of growing in Aquaponics.
Having started to build part of my Aquaponic research farm based upon their Micro Manuel which I purchased in May/June 2010, in my quest to gain knowledge, I was seriously considering visiting their Commercial Training in Hawaii in Oct 2010 just to learn in a little more detail their larger system may offer and if there were any significant differences. Before I could confirm, I suffered an Achilles Tendon Rupture, and that on my weak leg. Well, that was the end of that! During this period, Susanne and I had shared numerous stories of her stay in Pakistan and India during her childhood, our desire to spread such knowledge and help reduce poverty via use of this rediscovered method of growing food. We found that we had a lot in common, hence my humble request for them to visit us in Florida whenever they had the chance and opportunity. So happy that was now :-)
What a wonderful time we all had with each others company and sharing the knowledge of how Aquaponics can be the key to growing food in a sustainable way of life. They spent some time at Sahib's Aquaponic Research farm looking and discussing all the various Aquaponic growing systems that I have incorporated in my small research system as well as how I am trying to incorporate that into a sustainable garden where there was waste land. They started to understand and share my view and vision of incorporating Aquaponics in the whole growing cycle with the numerous methods of "growing food", using media beds, verticals, wicking recirculating and non-recirculating beds. My belief is that Aquaponics represents only a few letters food growing alphabet...even if they are the key letters - like voules,it needs to be used with other letters so that we can write a sentence and then a whole story on Sustainable Growing of food.
They also took a look at the start of Phase II of my aquaponic research garden. Lot's of thoughts and ideas shared :-) On this visit, Susan and Tim also were fortunate to visit the beautiful Hindu Temple in Casselberry which was blessed on the opening day in June 2005 from a very famous and popular Swami (Spritual teacher), from Hawaii.
Thank you Susanne & Tim. We hope that this is the first of many such visits where we can share quality time and continue to strengthen our friendship.
Namaste & Aloha,