Click to view this email in a browser

Friendly Aquaponics Newsletter
Number 120
April 17th,  2013
Images from our farmily aquaponics farm
Aloha Friend,

In today's "Nugget", we conclude our series about why we think "Big Ag" will get smaller, and why small local aquaponics and conventional farmers will be more competitive.

Our "In The Farmily" column today, by Susanne, is a continuation of the previous three week's columns about why we share.

Our two complementary columns cover why the combination of aquaponics and energy-efficient greenhouses is an excellent solution to many of the worlds problems today: the high cost of energy, tightening food supplies, changing weather, decreasing availability of water, and social and political unrest.

Friendly 2013 Training Schedule:

One-day New York Benefit Training: Saturday, June 8th: TableTop and Backyard Systems
(this is a BENEFIT, by donation). Registration is open NOW! Click here to go to our "New York Trainings" page to register for this one-day benefit training. Cost: $100

New York Commercial Training;
June 10-14 (Monday thru Friday) , the 5-day Commercial Aquaponics and Energy Efficient Greenhouse Training, $1,495 per person (this special $1,000 off discount only applies until April 25th).
Click here to register for the New York Training!

Click here to find out more about the New York Training!

Commercial Aquaponics and Energy Efficient Greenhouse Training, $1,495 per person (this special $1,000 off discount only applies until April 25th). First 5-day  training: June 17-21st (register here for first Tennessee training). . Second 5-day training: June 24-28th (register here for Tennessee second training).

(Click here for more information on Tennessee trainings).

This five-day training allow you to travel during the weekend so that you only need to take a week off your busy life to attend.

All of these five-day trainings include our $999 DIY Commercial Aquaponics package, $998 DIY Farmer's Market Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse package, $1,998 DIY Commercial Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse package, and new $295 DIY Commercial Tilapia Hatchery manual as course materials, plus our Plywood/Epoxy/ Tank manual, CAD construction drawings for all greenhouses and aquaponics systems, and much more!

If you're located near Tennessee, Randy and Katie give regular free farm tours of their aquaponics systems and greenhouses to introduce the public to the benefits of aquaponics and energy-efficient greenhouse growing. Call Randy and Katie at 256-679-9488 or email Randy to find out when the next farm tour is scheduled.

More details of the Aquaponics Technology course here.

More details of the Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse course here.

More details of the Commercial Aquaponics course here.

Click Here To Find Out More About The 2013 Tennessee Trainings!

For smaller home backyard and apartment systems, please read on:

Purchase Construction Plans and Operating Info for 4 Different Sizes of Table Top Aquaponics Systems $49.95

Our TableTop System package includes easy-to-understand building instructions and operating information for 4 different sizes of small aquaponic systems based on our years of experience. Anyone can build a system out of plastic barrels or IBC totes, but operating one successfully without good and easily-understood information can be frustrating. You simply use the "Daily Operations Checklist" in the manual and follow the step-by-step instructions on your way to success. We also cover how to make aquaponics systems out of weird things like old refrigerators and door frames; this makes aquaponics much more economical to get started in, and fun too!

We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, and built our first commercial aquaponics systems with FAR less information than this manual contains. We included all the information learned from that experience in this manual so you don't need to make any of the same mistakes we did.

Learn about our TableTop Systems!

  Aquaponics Nugget #120, Part 4: Why The Game's Over For "Big Ag"; And Why It's Just Beginning For The Small Farmer

We are covering four major areas of concern (also known as "input variables" in the food equation that gets the food to our grocery shelves) in this series: the cost of energy for food production, the effect of weather on food production, the availability of water for food production, and finally, the social forces that are combining to move our society away from oil-expensive, industrialized food production and towards local, energy-efficient food production.


We covered cost of energy for food production first, covered the effect of weather next, then the availability of water. Today’s newsletter talks about the social forces involved in this equation. 


We act as if there's plenty of water, food, and oil. We turn on the shower, we go to the grocery store or the gas station, and they're "just there". But there's reason for concern, because while we've become accustomed to having a limitless supply of these things, there simply isn’t. 


These Are The Forces That Will Effect This Transformation:


The following factors that control our food supply all respond to the "law of the market" of “plentiful supply, low price; scarce supply, high price”. You don’t need rocket science to understand what’s coming down the road: we can see it already, all around us.


Number One is oil. Big Ag is totally dependent on large amounts of cheap oil. Oil is becoming more expensive by the day, with no new finds in sight. As oil becomes more expensive, the food that Big Ag produces  and the transportation to refrigerate it and move it thousands of miles to the market both become more expensive.


At some point, the small local farmer will become economically competitive with Big Ag, simply because he doesn't have as large a cold storage or transportation cost to deliver food to his local consumers.


Conventional small in-ground farmers can be more competitive if they employ alternate energy technologies like home made biogas and biofuels to produce tractor fuel (more on this in a moment), but these are expensive options for Big Ag because of the labor involved.

The best solution to Number One? The small local aquaponic farmer who has their own alternate energy system is relatively independent of whatever happens to the price of oil; his income will simply go up if oil prices go up.


Number Two is the effect of weather: hotter, colder, wetter, dryer; what's it going to be in your location? How will you grow when there's a drought and you need rain? How will you grow when you need 64 degrees and it's 38? How will you grow when it gets too hot in the summertime, or when there is too much rain instead of too little?


The best solution to Number Two? The small local aquaponic farmer who has their own greenhouse will be able to grow in conditions where conventional farmers cannot. Are you concerned about it getting colder earlier in the winter, or hotter in the summer, to the point where your crops won't grow? Here's the answer: put them in an energy-efficient greenhouse and keep them warm in the cold, or cool in the hot weather, and just keep growing throughout the year! Oh, BTW; 12 months of income from food production is way better than what’s produced during the usual 5 to 7-month growing season.


Number Three is the availability of water for food production. Water controls food production as no other single factor can. Where is the water going to come from?


The solution to Number Three? The small local aquaponic farmer has a food production system that will forever only use 5% of the water other farming methods use. When the availability of water decreases and the cost goes up, they will be the ones farming profitably.


Number Four; the real “mover and shaker” here is you! You’ve noticed the portion “downsizing” that’s occurring under your nose in the supermarket; you’ve noticed that no European country even allows GMO’s across their borders; and of course you’ve noticed the rising prices of food. There are lots more little "wakeup calls" such as these.

You’ve heard of toxic fish imports; of the millions of pounds of tainted turkey from huge producers being recalled; and the commonly-seen theme in the news when someone discovers that “this” or “that” highly refined food (or FDA-approved drug) is either not nutritious or is actually harmful to us.


You know that USDA organically certified produce is healthier and safer for you and your kids to eat than the chemical stuff; and you trust your local farmer, rancher, and poultry producer a lot more than you trust Big Ag. Big Ag is corporations, but your local producers are real people who are responsive to local needs because they are part of the community.

If a local producer kills someone with tainted food, the response is immediate: they are out of business and are shunned by the community they live in. So it’s in their best interests to be extra careful with the food they sell you.


But if you read the list of producers in this Wikipedia article who have each killed from 1 to 53 people with tainted food, you will see that most all of them are large corporations, and many of them (Jack In The Box, Pilgrim’s Pride, Dole Foods, A&P, to name a few) are still in business. This is because a big corporation simply settles with the litigants in wrongful death cases, adds their legal costs and settlement costs to next year’s expenses, and still makes a profit. Does anything strike you as distasteful or just plain wrong about that?


People (who are not stupid as the politicians and media would like them to be) are realizing this. People are learning how to grow their own food now, because it’s safe, dependable, and feels right. People are buying from local producers as much as possible (when we sold to Costco, we found out that they sell from 20 to 30% more of the same item if it’s simply produced by a “local” source). People are eating healthier food instead of the chemical, processed stuff from Big Ag.


Our huge modern cargo ships can do 35 miles an hour at sea; and to turn one of them, you turn the rudder, then (because there’s a big delay) about a half mile later the ship starts turning. But once the ship starts turning, boy, does it ever turn!


There may not be a lot of us now, but we are like the little rudder on the big ship, and the ship is beginning to turn. There are little signs everywhere, if you keep your eyes open. There are changes afoot in our society and nation that Big Ag simply will not be able to deal with, except by going out of business.

Costco cold room small 2

Our Farmily with our product in a "Big Box" store; the first time ever that a little mom and pop (Aquaponics!) farm took an account away from a multimillion dollar agribusiness. You'll see more of this, because you as consumers will demand it!

(In next week's "Nugget", we'll cover something technical, interesting, and valuable that will benefit you, our readers! Thanks for listening!)

The photo below is our Second Generation Solar Greenhouse, at ten in the morning in the Tennessee winter. It's growing plants inside right now, and you have to take your jacket off because it's so warm! It's cool when it's hot, and warm when it's cold (hope that makes sense to you, it's the best greenhouse we've ever seen!).

GreenhouseSnow3Small 2

Watch The Friendly  Aquaponics Philosophy Video!
Back Issues Of Newsletters Now Available, Click Here!
Purchase Trough Liner Directly From Manufacturer!

New Source! Trout Fry/Fingerlings Shipped Directly From the Hatchery To You!

Free Farm Tours
Aquaponics tour at the Friendly farm!

We hold a free workshop on our farm the FIRST Saturday of every month at 10:00,  focused on growing food with aquaponics and permaculture.  Click here for information. See you there!

If you are a school, a non-profit organization, an organization working with the poor, Native Hawaiians, or ex-inmates, or if you are a church, we will hold a free farm tour for you anytime. You DO need to email us first to schedule, or we might be out on errands!


Thousands of inch-long "fifty-cent" baby tilapia from our "backyard" hatchery


What they turn into about a year later: a beautiful 2-pound white tilapia grown in the fish tanks of our aquaponics systems

Special Offers!

Sign yourself up

for the New York June 10-14th, 2013 Commercial Aquaponics and Solar Greenhouse Training
NOW, and get a $1,000 discount, plus you receive a free Micro System DIY package so you can begin studying aquaponics! ($99.95 value)


Sign yourself up for the FIRST

Or sign yourself up for the SECOND

TENNESSEE June 2013 Commercial Aquaponics and Solar Greenhouse Trainings
NOW, and get a $1,000 discount, plus you receive a free Micro System DIY package so you can begin studying aquaponics! ($99.95 value)

Why We Share, Part 4: How Fast Does The Stadium Fill Up?

One of the biggest reasons we share EVERYTHING we learn as freely as we do is that we believe time is short. Metaphorically, we believe our species is in what we call “the 45th Minute”, due to the stresses our vast human population is putting on the planet.


Exponential is a hard concept for us to grasp, so we love the Stadium example, modified a bit from Chris Martenson's Crash Course, which is highly recommended reading!
“Imagine that you’re in a massive stadium, in a seat right at the top, at the back. For some reason, you are handcuffed to the seat you are in, and cannot escape. There’s also a whole group of other people in the top row, all chained to the seats, with nowhere else to go.
A drop of water appears on the pitcher's mound, and it's magical. It’s going to grow exponentially and will double every minute. This means that at the end of the first minute, there’s one drop of water, at the end of the second, two drops, at the end of the third, four drops and the end of the fourth minute, there will be eight drops of water. You get the picture.
The question is: how long do you have before the stadium is completely full and you drown?


Do you have hours, days, weeks, or months to get free?
Our human brains tend to be linear and therefore wildly over-estimate the time we have. We conclude that the answer is many hours or possibly days or even weeks.

Actually, it’s just 49 minutes.
But the real surprise is that at 45 minutes, the stadium is still 93% empty. That’s right, with just four minutes to go, you will look down and notice there's only two feet of water on the infield. If you are exceptionally intelligent and aware, you might see a dangerous situation developing. But you'd look around you, and because no one else seemed too concerned, you'd probably still fail to do anything to save yourself”. 


Human population doubled between 1960 (3 billion) and 1999 (six billion). That's only 39 years. Even if you do not agree that the human population is putting incredible stress on our environment, how long can our population keep doubling before you would agree that there are too many - 12 billion? 24 billion? 48 billion? 96 billion? At some point, everyone agrees that human population growth must stop its exponential growth.


The wonderful example above completely hits the nail on the head for us. We believe Humanity is in the 45th minute. To a large degree, things still seem fairly normal. There's food on the grocery store shelves, gasoline to be purchased at the gas stations, and anything we could possibly want to buy at the wonderful Wal-Mart nearby (sarcasm!).

However, if you are willing to look deeper, you might find that there are real problems developing - droughts, food shortages, crop failures, resource depletion in many areas, and in the face of all this, our population keeps growing - exponentially.

We see aquaponics as a wonderful solution - no matter what the future holds. And because we believe that time is short, we're not "holding on to our aces", as the saying goes.

We're not patenting anything, we're not proprietary, and we're completely willing to share everything we've learned in six amazing years of being Primary Food Producers.

Thanks for reading!

Aloha, Susanne.....

Forward this message to a friend

This email, our manuals and construction plans are all copyrighted by  Friendly Aquaponics, Inc, Susanne Friend and Tim Mann, 2008-2013

Email: Friendly Aquaponics

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line or simply click on the following link: Unsubscribe

Friendly Aquaponics, Inc
PO Box 1196
Honoka'a, Hawaii 96727

Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.

Try Email Marketing with VerticalResponse!