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Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA WHY ISN’T CALIFORNIA ON THE MAP? This is not a map of the states that have escaped bankruptcy so far. It’s a map of the K-12 Public Schools with Aquaculture in their course offerings. I admit I’m exaggerating a little because California does have one tiny little school with Aquaculture on its course list; and guess where it is. Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA Dear Agriculture/Science /Agriscience/Culinary Instructor: The one little school is Calipatria High School in El Centro so close to the southern border it’s barely even in our once great state. That school deserves applause because it’s riding the wave of the future for its students. Looking back at the first map, you see that Delaware, the 2nd smallest state in our union, has 14 public schools with Aquaculture programs. How can it be that the state with the world’s fifth largest economy, sitting on thousands of miles of Pacific Coastline isn’t offering Aquaculture programs to its students? I keep asking myself if I’ve missed something in my on-line research. I’m not an investigative reporter, nor a professional researcher. I’m an ex-high school English teacher with a lifetime California teaching credential who has turned entrepreneur and stumbled upon a very interesting discovery that I want to share with you. If I’m wrong, and there are great and numerous K-12 public schools offering Aquaculture in California, please let me know so I can quit scratching my head over this puzzling question and give them credit where it is due. Looking back at our USA map, you’ll see that with the exception of Arizona, which has a whopping 29 schools offering Aquaculture, the lions share of the USA Aquaculture offerings are sitting smack-dab on our eastern coastline. What do these states know that the rest of the states haven’t figured out yet? According to California Green Solutions, “Aquaculture is among the fastest growing segments of American agriculture and is expanding even more rapidly worldwide.” Actually, California is one of the stars of the nation with “the most diverse aquaculture industry in the United States.” Among that diversity is the production of catfish. The “California’s channel catfish industry is one of the most profitable aquaculture industries in the state with most of the production occurring at locations throughout the Central Valley and in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys of Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA southern California.” In case you don’t know, the Imperial and Coachella Valleys are desert. Fish production is happening in ponds and tanks in the middle of the California desert. Please don’t confuse this subject of public schools offering Aquaculture courses to insure that their students have access to one of the world’s fastest growing vocations with the recent push by the Aquarium Of The Pacific’s Marine Conservation Research Institute (MCRI) to bring commercial fish farming to our beautiful Southern California coastline. According to California Green Solutions, “in 2003 (California) banned farming of salmon and non-native fish in all coastal waters.” MCRI refers to parts of that pristine coastline as the “Southern California Bight” in their 120 page Forum Report dated December 2008--a report designed to convince California, USA law makers and other influential people that commercial fish farming is now a necessary money stream for our bankrupt economy. If their forum gains advocates and commercial fish farming is approved off our coast, it will be a lethal bite indeed to the stability of our ecosystem. I am not an advocate for off-shore commercial fish farming. Quite the opposite. Open ocean commercial fish farming has proven to be disastrous in many ways; and right now that industry is faltering in Chile where thousands of commercially farmed fish are dying of some mysterious disease that likely is the result of the hormones that have been pumped into their food supply. Many of these fish have escaped from their ocean cages contaminating the wild fish in their vicinity; and the massive piles of their waste are a dirge on the oceanic environment. Please let my voice ring right next to Jean-Michel Cousteu’s of oceanfutures.org when I say commercial fish farming in open oceans is disastrous. And that’s precisely why my discovery is so important. What is that discovery? AQUAPONICS I want to make sure you see that word because it’s about to become one of the most important food-growing technologies on our planet today; and it’s taking America by storm. Almost every one of those K-12 public schools with Aquaculture programs I was talking about are offering Aquaponics as part of their training. “What the heck is aquaponics?” Pic: An Aquaponics USA Grow Bed full of Aquaponic Grow Bed Media by Okotau Easy Green of Germany. Seeds planted in seed trays 7/4/09. Seeds replanted in Grow Bed 7/22/09. Picture shot, 7/30/09. Under the Grow Bed sits a 120 gallon fish tank with 50 Mossambicus Tilapia. The above quote was taken from the title of an article written by George in his Practical Environmentalist Newsletter, March of this year. It demonstrates the strange phenomenon around this amazing technology. In a Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA few sectors of the USA, Aquaponics is well known and classroom/and or huge greenhouse systems have been up and running for years. Elsewhere (like most of California) it’s a complete mystery; but not for long. Aquaponics is a hybrid technology combining the best of aqua-culture (growing fish) and hydroponics (growing veggies without soil). It’s completely organic because the fish produce natural fertilizer used by the plants and that means no man-made chemicals. These two components are then inter-linked. The water is pumped from the fish tank to the Grow Bed and flows back to the Fish Tank. The fish produce ammonia and with the help of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria, the ammonia changes into nitrate thereby becoming the plants’ natural fertilizer. In turn, the plants clean the water for the fish by absorbing the nitrate. It’s a symbiotic relationship--natures way when left undisturbed by man. Aquaponics is so much more than a little spring garden. It’s about providing full-time, self- sustaining food--both the protein and the vegetables--for a family, community, world year round. Unlike the disastrous results of too much fish waste in our open oceans due to commercial fish farming, the waste of aquaponically raised fish is used to replace the destructive effects of pesticides and chemicals. Ah, but wait. There are even more benefits from employing this ancient but recently revived technology. Water usage is minimal compared to all other forms of farming including hydroponics because Aquaponics is a recirculating, self-cleaning system. Here are some mind- blowing facts from the above quoted article entitled: “What the heck is aquaponics?” “Compared to conventional agriculture, aquaponics is a huge water saver. On a farm in Oklahoma, it takes 6 gallons of water to grow a head of lettuce. At 24 heads per case, that means raising 1,250 cases of lettuce using conventional methods would require 180,000 gallons of water. A DeepWater aquaponic system uses about 16.1% as much water to create the same results (and it generates more than 3,600 pounds of fish fillets and 7,400 pounds of fish scraps for use as fish feed or fertilizer).” Aquaponics In The Classroom: Now that you know what Aquaponics is, let me show you how seamlessly it integrates into classrooms--not just one kind of classroom as it combines disciplines offering you the ability to cross-link subjects. Aquaponics is about Science, Agriculture, Business even Culinary Arts. In Connecticut at the Harris Sr. Agri-Science & Technology Center which serves freshmen to seniors from Bloomfield High School as well as high schools in Windsor, East Granby and Hartford, learning how to grow food is a main course (pun intended); and many of the lessons are about Aquaponics. So when Timothy Cipriano, the new food service director came along in 2005, he began an on-going collaboration between the Agri-Science, Culinary Arts and Food Service departments to create what’s being touted in the culinary-school world as a cutting-edge education program with Aquaponics sandwiched between the other two departments. The result, Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA a cafeteria menu with fresh, organic vegetables and pan-fried catfish and tilapia, two of the most popular Aquaponic food fish. Likewise, Aquaponics plays an integral role in the Vermont Summer Camp Program when students ages 10-17 attend the Kid’s Culinary Academy. Because, as stated in Aquaponics For Kids, “Aquaponics uses no chemicals, requires one tenth the water needed for field plant production and only a fraction of the water traditionally used for fish culture,” participating students are engaged in the most efficient use of resources while growing the very food they are being taught to prepare. Poised in the middle of the Culinary Arts Classroom at the Columbia Area Career Center in Missouri is an Aquaponics system offering up a continuous supply of fresh cilantro, sweet and lemon basil, thyme, parsley fennel, oregano and many of the other favorite chef herbs. These Culinary Arts students learn the nuances of becoming chefs extraordinaire with a dash of science thrown in. Many Aquaponics units created by the gorilla method of construction have utilized salvaged materials. Hydroponic equipment can easily be converted to Aquaponics. That’s exactly what happened to Hether Judkins and her class at the Seminole High School in Tampa Bay, Florida. They found a left over grow light and an old hydroponics system from the chemistry lab and were inspired to create their first Aquaponics lab. Motivated by their need to find an answer to a water-conservation funded aquaculture project that had back-fired and was using way too much water due to high ammonia levels, their new Aquaponics lab came to their rescue. Not far away at Pasco Middle School, students using an Aquaponics system donated to them by Morning Star Fishermen in Dade County, Florida boasted a plentiful harvest of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. According to the founder of the non-profit company, Morningstar Fishermen, Hans Geissley, Aquaponics is the “victory garden” of the new millennium. This technology has the capability of providing hundreds of pounds of fresh fish and vegetables for families in America as well as the world where thousands still starve daily. Gordon Creaser, an international Aquaponics consultant based in Crestview, Florida, says “Aquaponics is the wave of the future.” Everywhere you go in the world that knows about it, you hear allusions to Aquaponics being the most advanced form of farming on the planet today. In Virginia, the Tunstall High School Aquaponics Project A has been “designed for students who want to be on the edge of technology.” Keeping this in mind along with their goal of helping their local farmers move out of an industry that’s loosing it’s customers by the thousands (many due to death), tobacco, Tunstall High School built a greenhouse laboratory. Because most farmers start their tobacco plants in green houses, greenhouse Aquaponics wouldn’t be that much of a stretch for them. This Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA course is divided into five parts: aquaculture, advanced plant science, hydroponics, biotechnology and environmental impact of Aquaponics. Many instructors have had to engage all of their creative juices to get their programs up and running. At the South Brunswick High School in North Carolina, Byron Bey began his aquaculture program in 1987 when he started raising fish in a ditch on school property. Today, this is one of the programs that stands out on both a state and national scale. At the Westside Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Florida, instructor Linda Rothenberg, teaches her students to be caretakers of an Aquaponic ecosystem that raises Koi and Tilapia. The system was acquired by a grant written before she arrived at the school; but she’s written her own grant and hopes to improve on her existing system. Her students are raising lettuce, parsley and tomatoes while learning about water quality, pH, the hydrogen cycle and the rearing and feeding of fin fish. Instructors who have embraced Aquaponics in their classrooms have found it to be a very worthwhile endeavor as it naturally stimulates student’s interest in both science and agriculture. An Aquaponic system can be used to demonstrate various principals taught in technology, plant life-cycles and their structure, how to make effective use of recycled materials, low tech/high yield gardening, ecological issues and sustainable farming. It could also be used to demonstrate in real time how the nitrate cycle works, the parts of the seed, its germination and the growth rate of seedlings. One of the most important lessons could be how to deter insects from eating your vegetables without using pesticides by selectively planting them next to each other and so on. The many areas of study are endless. Exploratory investigations could send students off to the net, to libraries, to a farm visit, etc. An unexpected surprise came from the excitement of the Culinary Arts instructors and their students, many of whom feel they can’t be without their Aquaponics systems. The day is quickly coming when tanks of fish will be as common as pencils and pens in school classrooms and fish will, indeed, be swimming in schools. What Are We At Aquaponics USA Proposing? Our designer, Oliver Duffy, an aerospace engineer, has designed the perfect stand-alone, complete, compact Aquaponics food-growing systems on the market today; and we would like nothing better than for your classroom or lab to purchase one. These systems are as close to a plug-and-play situation as you can get. All you need to add is the water, electricity and fish; and your students are experiencing this incredible food-growing technology. Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA Pic:The Aquaponics USA FGS-1 with accompanying pump-box step for easy access to the single Grow Bed. This step is adjusted in ht. for K1-6 students. The FGS-2 is the premiere model giving you 20 sq. feet of Grow Bed fully supported by the 120 gallon fish tank. Both of these systems are as durable and strong as they can be as they are strengthened in two places by 3/4” plywood making them very sturdy. Pic: The Aquaponics USA FGS-2 with accompanying pump-box step for easy access a second step and two Grow Beds. Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA If you’d like to learn more about these units, just go to our website at www.aquaponicsusa.com where we list detailed specs as well as sell a variety of other growing technology like grow lights, chillers, in-line water heaters, automatic fish feeders, Aquaponics Grow Bed Media and much more. We offer a 10% Discount to Schools even when we’re having a sale like the one going on now. But You Need More Than A System: Beyond the FGS-1 or FGS-2, we realize you need support and resources like activities and lesson plans that will integrate the use of your Aquaponics USA system into your existing curriculum; and here’s where we stand out from others. We will share existing curriculum ideas here; and there are a few out there. What we have new to offer is peer support for both you and your students. We are working on setting up a program through The Global Schoolhouse where you can collaborate with those very teachers and schools you’ve been reading about so they can share their extensive knowledge base with you and your students. Our vision is to create a network of Aquaponics teachers and students in cyberspace all sharing and exchanging their ideas, experiences and excitement for this new technology. We also plan to create on-line Workshops for teachers which will take place in our own 28 foot greenhouse here in the high desert of Southern California. If you can attend a live Workshop all the better. We’ll price the live, hands-on Workshops as inexpensively as possible and give away the on-line ones. Those are just a few of the Support ideas on the table right now. Several Universities, State and Junior colleges in California are running Aquaponics programs. They seem to have caught on to the coming Aquaponic “wave of the future” but don’t seem to be sharing their discovery with their K-12 neighbors. Encouraging collaborative efforts to link high schools with colleges and middle and grammar schools with secondary schools could also be very beneficial. Together we can get California Schools back on the map. Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA Here’s Where You Can Get Existing Curriculum: This Aquaponics Curriculum is designed for grades 7-10 and is an excellent tool for any teacher who is using or intends to use Aquaponics in the classroom. The curriculum contains 8 chapters including: Aquaponic Systems & Designs Water Quality Plant Selection and Care Fish Nutrition and Health Plant Nutrient Requirements Photosynthesis and Light Seed Germination/Planting Introduction to Fish Anatomy The Educator’s Guide consists of lesson plans and outlines, time periods, objectives, activities, required equipment, tests, answer keys and data forms. The Student Manual contains each complete lesson, data forms and test/review, Nelson & Pade. Available at Aquaponics USA This is the premiere text for Aquaculture in the classroom. It’s been written by a Ph.D., Rick Parker, covering every- thing your Aquaponics students would need to know, and then some, to raise fish. The Teacher’s Manual pro- vides learning objectives and answers to text questions. The Lab Manual contains student exercises and activities ranging from culture of various organ- isms to dissection and water quality testing. Step-by-step instructions are included with each lab, Rosemary Vaughn. Available at Aquatic Eco-Sys- tems, Inc. Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA Backyard Aquaponics is an Australian company that ships this Material to the USA. This set of 6 DVD’s about Aquaponics is available now and is a complete course filmed in the USA. You get 10 hours of information on these 6 DVD’s. Available at Backyard Aquaponics. A Manual, DVD and CD created by Backyard Aquaponics. This Man- ual has been around the world as it was the first Manual to be specifically about Aquaponics. It’s been used in universities, colleges, schools, homes and libraries. Available at Backyard Aquaponics. Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA In Conclusion: From the moment we discovered Aquaponics over here at Aquaponics USA, we were hooked (pun intended). What it offers is just short of miraculous and it has arrived on our world stage just in time. We aren’t just in a business, we’re on a Mission--a mission to make Aquaponics a household word in the USA by the end of next year and to make sure the families of America are fed regardless of what happens to our faltering economy. We hope this report has helped you see the incredible potential of this food-growing technology. As the world population continues to increase and world food reserves all but disappear, this technology could be the only thing standing between us and starvation. It can hold us even in a faltering economy because once it’s up and running, it’s completely sustainable. The plants make their own seeds for the next season, the fish breed; and this exquisite ecosystem goes on and on and on. If you would like further information please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We would also love to meet with you in person and give you a tour of our Southern California greenhouse where three of our systems are up and running. It’s a beautiful sight to see. We’ve been brainstorming some creative-financing ideas like two schools or more sharing a single system that travels kind of like “The Traveling Pants” movie. We could call it “The Traveling Ecosystem” plan. We will also entertain any ideas you may have in this regard. To Your Health and The Prosperity of our Nation Through Aquaponics Grace Sylke, Marketing Director Aquaponics USA firstname.lastname@example.org Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA Some Final Resource Information about sustainable farming from www.attra.org/education.html: Links to Other Education Information The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Farm Internship Curriculum This curriculum was designed to be used by individual farmers during the course of the workweek. Ideally, a farmer will use the In-Field curriculum when he or she is demonstrating a new task to interns. Its companion Handbook was authored by Maud Powell and developed and tested by Oregon farmers and interns It details successful methods of recruitment, hiring, negotiating with, training, and managing interns. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) AFSIC specializes in information related to sustainable, organic, low-input, biodynamic, and regenerative agriculture, focusing on alternative crops, new uses for traditional crops, and crops grown for industrial production. AFSIC also offers the publication Educational & Training Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture, which lists internships available at U.S. and international institutions and organizations--as well as farms outside the U.S.--offering education, training, or information in organic, alternative, or sustainable agriculture. Meeting the Diverse Needs of Limited-Resource Producers: Educator's Guide This resource from SARE is intended for agricultural educators, heads of community development and agricultural organizations, government agency staff and others who want to better connect with and improve the lives of farmers and ranchers who remain hard to reach. Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Programs for K-12 Youth This 16-page 2006 publication from SARE is a guide to sustainable agriculture-oriented educational opportunities for schoolchildren that features more than 50 programs and curricula nationwide. The publication includes direct links, program contact information and ideas for integrating lessons into school programs. It is available in print or PDF. Making the Farm Connection: Farm-to-School Farm Visit Manual Community Alliance with Family Farmers developed this manual to let farmers know what to expect when hosting a farm visit, and to prepare teachers and classes so that they may get the most out of their farm visit. The farm visit concepts outlined in this manual are best suited for students between second and sixth grades. The manual is available as a PDF file. Aprovecho - Education for Sustainable Living Aprovecho is a non-profit research and education center located outside of Cottage Grove, Oregon. The 40 acre rural campus is a classroom featuring working examples of Appropriate Technology, Sustainable Forestry, Organic Agriculture, Permaculture, and the interconnectedness that is shared by these systems and with the land. Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch This Sustainable Agriculture Network bulletin describes how to conduct research at the farm level, with practical tips for both crop and livestock producers as well as a comprehensive list of more in-depth resources. Organic Volunteers Organic Volunteers connects people who want to learn about sustainability with people willing to teach. You will find everything you need right on the site including a searchable host database, printable host lists, and forums to chat with other volunteers. Links to Sustainable Agriculture Educational Programs University and College Programs Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems Program, Montana State University Agroecology Masters Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison Agroecology Program, University of Wyoming Agroecology Minor Program, North Carolina State University Department of Plant, Soil, & Environmental Sciences, University of Maine Food Systems Program, College of the Atlantic Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University Sustainable Agriculture Program, University of Missouri-Columbia Sustainable Agriculture Major, Sterling College, Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Program, Central Carolina Community College Entrepreneurial and Diversified Agriculture Program, Marshalltown Community College, Iowa Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, University of California at Santa Cruz Agroecology Home, Univeristy of California at Santa Cruz Online Organic Agriculture Certificate, Washington State University Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program, University of Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (UC-SAREP) Agriculture and Landscape Program, University of Massachusetts Amherst Agroecosystems Management Program, Ohio State University Ecological Agriculture Projects, McGill University Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society (PEAS), University of Montana Interdisciplinary Studies Program in Organic Agriculture, Colorado State University Ecological Agriculture Major, University of Vermont Organic Agriculture Degree, University of Florida Dual Major in EcoGastronomy, University of New Hampshire Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755 Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA Organic Dairy California State University, Chico Organic Dairy Organic Dairy, University of New Hampshire Other Training Programs Minnesota Farm Beginnings, Land Stewardship Project Lake Superior Farm Beginnings, Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association Stateline Farm Beginnings, Angelic Organics Learning Center Central Illinois Farm Beginnings Cultivating Success Growing Places, Women's Agricultural Network People Learning Agriculture Now for Tomorrow! (PLANT), Orange County& NC State University Organic Farming 101, Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Resources Management and Sustainability Upstate School of Sustainable Agriculture Reprint with permission from Aquaponics USA, www.aquaponicsusa.com 760-298-3755
"WHY ISN'T CALIFORNIA ON THE MAP This is not a map of the states "