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WHY ISN'T CALIFORNIA ON THE MAP This is not a map of the states


  • pg 1
									Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA


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?
 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

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

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.

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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

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Hopeful Future Vendor Report by Aquaponics USA

Some Final Resource Information about sustainable farming from

Links to Other Education Information

The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Farm Internship
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.

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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,
Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, University of California at Santa
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

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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
Organic Farming 101, Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Resources Management
and Sustainability
Upstate School of Sustainable Agriculture

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