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Friendly Aquaponics
Special Newsletter

Special Edition Newsletter Number 6
October 12th,  2011
Images from our farmily aquaponics farm
Aloha Friend,

We're sending out this special newsletter to all our friends on the Big Island of Hawaii. We don't have a way to not send it to the rest of you, so if this is not interesting to you, please return to your other valuable pursuits. If you live on the Big Island, please read on:


Susanne launched our CSA this week (Farm-To-Fork Community-Supported Agriculture, what a mouthful!), and you can read more and sign up to purchase our organically-certified produce; just click here. This is a brand new business model for us; after selling a huge amount of the same thing to Costco for nearly two years, selling a huge variety of produce directly off the farm is a big change. But it is a welcome change for several reasons:


One, we teach commercial aquaponics, and many of our students do not have the capital or other resources to come into this business at the $250-500,000 level of investment that is required to build a farm that can even ship ONE product to Costco. What we're doing now is far more applicable to a wider range of our students than our previous Costco business model, because you can get started in this model of commercial aquaponics for as little as a $5-6,000 investment in materials if you provide your own construction labor to build your system.


Two, having a farm with only a SINGLE variety of vegetable (AKA monocropping) can lead to disastrous events, as we learned when we got our entire lettuce crop wiped out by a blight in two weeks back in May! We thought it was infected seed, because four other aquaponics farmers who purchased the same seed also had the same problem with their lettuce; but after the "event" was past, we planted more of the same batch of seed with no problems.


Good farm practice should include having different varieties of crops and rotating them from field to field so the same field isn't always growing the same crop; this also holds true for aquaponic growing, as we sadly learned.


Now we feel much more secure with a mix of from fifteen to twenty-five different vegetable varieties in our 5,500 square feet of systems. Not only is the farm more stable, but we're now learning in-depth information about how to grow all these varieties, including data on yields, special planting and harvesting methods, and much more, all of which we'll be able to pass on to our students in future trainings.


We also seem to be overstocked on tilapia, so we're having a special! We're selling about 1,000 pounds of tilapia at $3/lb (if you pick up 20 pounds or more), so call us at 775-7745 if you want some. You can also haul these fish live and use them to stock your aquaponics system; we rent out our hauling tank for $50 a day if you don't have one (it holds 300 pounds per trip). We held onto our extra fish for the longest time because we thought we needed them to stock additional aquaponics systems, but Susanne came up with a new seeding and sprouting protocol this last year that doubled our production out of the same systems, so now we have extra fish!

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Click to see our new Video!
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Purchase Trough Liner Directly From Manufacturer!

Free Farm Tours
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Aquaponics tour at the Friendly farm!

We hold a free workshop on our farm the FIRST Saturday of every month,  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!


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3-1/2 pound kalo (taro root) grown in a 2" net pot (little bump at bottom)



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4-month old prawn (macrobrachium rosenbergii) grown in hydroponics troughs of our aquaponics systems


Special Offer! Sign up for our October 2011 Hawaii Aquaponics Training now, and we will email you our Micro System package so you can begin studying aquaponics!

Sign up for Hawaii Aquaponics Training





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

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