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Friendly Aquaponics Newsletter
Number 110
January 30th,  2013
Images from our farmily aquaponics farm
Aloha Friend,

I'm in Tennessee right now, and since I've been teaching aquaponics and greenhouses nonstop for the last ten days, I'm ready for a little change. Tonight I'm going to have some fun and talk about my horse, "Major Dude".

Our "In The Farmily" column today will be Part 2 of "The Miracle Tree", by Susanne, in which she talks about moringa.

Our second Tennessee training is full, and we're in the middle of it right now! We still have a few spaces available in
the third 7-day training in Tennessee, from Monday February 4th through Sunday February 10th, so email us or sign up soon if you want to attend.

Although our normal price for this complete training is $2,495 we are extending our $1,000 off offer to everyone who signs up for the third (February 4-10th) 7-day training.

We are limiting this last
training to 35 persons, so everyone gets a chance to have all their questions answered. Sign up soon if you want to come, it starts in six days!

When you go to this webpage to sign up you will be offered both the second and third training dates, BUT the second is full. You will only be able to register for the third training.

This training includes our $995 DIY Commercial Aquaponics package, $998 DIY Farmer's Market Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse package, and new $295 DIY Commercial Tilapia Hatchery manual as course materials!

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.

1. The four days of the Aquaponics Technology training is everything we know about the techniques and methods of growing with aquaponics. Each day has hands-on segments. In addition, you will spend all of Day Four building several 12-square-foot TableTop Systems from scratch (under our expert eyes, of course). More details of the Aquaponics Technology course here.

2. You can take one of these 12-square-foot TableTop systems home, assemble it there, and begin growing with aquaponics immediately, even in the middle of winter! The cost of this kit is only $450; much smaller "kits" from others start at $1,295 and go up from there, not including shipping.

3. The two-day Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse course is everything we know about energy-efficient greenhouses, including information and complete CAD plans showing how to build a Chinese-style aquaponic solar greenhouse; and how to convert existing greenhouses to be as energy-efficient as possible. We even show you how to purchase, move, and erect a good used greenhouse for ten cents on the dollar! More details of the Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse course here.

4. The one-day Commercial Aquaponics Training is everything we know about all the different ways of making money with aquaponics, from CSA's to Costco, from wholesale to retail, from selling simple produce to producing value-added products, including Health Department Certified Processing Facilities, Food Safety Certification and Organic Certification. We also include our commercial-scale tilapia hatchery and nursery information, so you can raise your own tilapia and make money selling the fry and fingerlings to others also. More details of the Commercial Aquaponics course here.

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

The free information in these three newsletters: last week's, the week before last week's and two weeks before last week's newsletter will meet most people's needs for tilapia breeding. However, if you want the complete story in 72 pages, with highly descriptive photos of the process and equipment we use, our new commercial tilapia hatchery manual is finished and ready for you. There's even a "micro-video" that my gorgeous biologist wife Susanne shot with her treasured Leica Microscope that explains why the techniques we use work so well.

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!

NOT An Aquaponics Nugget: Have you ever ridden a 2,000 pound, 18-1/2 hand horse? 

I named my horse Major Dude, but I just call him “Major”. His real “given name” that the breeder, Clark Jensen in Montana gave him (based on his sire’s name) is Magnus Major. Magnus’ Dad was one of the most famous Shire horses of the age: Snelson Magnus, and we were lucky to get one of his offspring in Major.

Major is a stallion, and we were hoping to breed him with our other two Shire mares. This was back when there was an economy: Susanne had had a Siamese cat breeding business for two years then, and the kittens had paid for all the animal food plus the vet bills. We were quite simplistic and thought breeding one-ton horses would just be like breeding really big Siamese. It turned out to be a little more than that.


Clark had purchased Snelson Magnus for a princely sum, and had him for only six months, during which time he’d sired a few offspring and put away some frozen semen. Clark had recently put in a state-of-the-art artificial insemination lab and had collected a few “straws” of semen from Snelson Magnus before he got ill and died, tragically and unexpectedly. Clark never had him for the years necessary to pay back his original investment, and he loved the horse to boot, so it was a severe blow to his breeding program.


When we got Major, someone (I don’t think it was Clark, he was a good breeder and horse handler), had obviously “twitched” him to trim his hooves or something, for he was extremely head-shy. “Twitching” means putting a tight loop of cord on the end of a stick over a horse’s lips (which are extremely sensitive), and then using that purchase on the lips to forcibly hold the horse down, quite painfully, while something is done to him that he doesn’t like, such as hoof-trimming.


Head-shy normally means that if you put out your hand to touch a horse’s head, he will shy his head away from you so you can’t reach him. However, Major was so head-shy that if you reached for his  head he would rear up and try to strike you with his front hoofs. He was so badly fouled up by whatever happened to him that he would walk over to you just as you entered his pasture, then rear up to try and strike you. This made spending time with Major somewhat problematical; I just wanted to not get killed.


As time went on, Susanne taught me how to work with horses, and both of us spent more time with Major. He eventually calmed down to the point where he would lower his head, and let us scratch him behind his ears. If you don’t know horses, this is an extremely submissive posture for a stallion to assume, and pretty much means he trusts you absolutely. Major was only about two years old by this time, and although he hadn’t gotten his full growth, he was still about 17-1/2 hands and around 1,600 pounds.

(Part Two of Major Dude next week! I'll cover HOW to do a valid experiment in Aquaponics to try out that great NEW idea you have; WITHOUT ruining your large commercial system in the process as soon after that as possible! I promised this last week, then the Tennesee trainings intervened. I'm also doing my best to spend time with my 7-year-old daughter Rose, who came to Tennessee with me. Thanks for listening!)

The photo below is our Solar Greenhouse. 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!).

GrownOut1medium 2

Friendly Aquaponic's FIRST Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse in full bloom, Honoka'a, Hawaii, March 2012, (on a grey rainy day) showing PV panels and growing plants.

Click Here To See Our New Aquaponics Video!
Back Issues Of Newsletters Now Available, Click Here!
Purchase Trough Liner Directly From Manufacturer!

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 up for the THIRD TENNESSEE 2013 Commercial Aquaponics and Solar Greenhouse Training
and receive a free Micro System DIY package so you can begin studying aquaponics! ($99.95 value)

"The Miracle Tree, Part 2"

While Moringa is one of the newer discoveries to modern science, this plant has has been well known in many indigenous societies for literally thousands of years. What is especially interesting is that long before cell phones, the internet, and the age of instant communication, people in widely distant geographical areas found great value in Moringa. That fact alone suggests it is well worth investigating.

Moringa Kids

Moringa Kids

Ancient Indian Ayurvedic writings, dating as far back as 150 B.C., refer to the Moringa plant and its many uses. In Vedic (translated to mean "wisdom" or "knowledge") scriptures, the prophet/ physician Dhavantari revealed to his disciples that the leaves and pods of Moringa were nutritious and that the seed oil has curative properties.

Early Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians prized Moringa for its therapeutic properties and also used it to protect skin, make perfume, and purify water for drinking. However, over time, much indigenous knowledge has been lost in our headlong rush into modern life, but studies from scores of research organizations from all around the world has begun to verify many of the health benefits of Moringa that were well known to traditional societies.

The results of these studies have proven intriguing to the scientific world with its amazing balance of antioxidants, minerals and amino acids, and the world-wide awareness of this wonderful plant is growing. Biochemists, natural scientists, and healthcare workers are busy substantiating ancient claims of Moringa’s effectiveness in treating the more than 300 conditions that Ayurvedic texts listed over two thousand years ago.

Current research has led to the documentation of its astonishing range of natural vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. In addition, research also shows promise in the fight against certain cancers and many other life-threatening diseases.

Rightly called “the Miracle Tree,” and "the Tree of Life", dozens of humanitarian organizations are now actively promoting the use of Moringa in poverty-stricken areas to combat malnutrition. Groups such as Church World Service, Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, the National Science Foundation, and many others are reintroducing the different health benefits of this fast-growing, drought-resistant plant to malnourished people in underdeveloped and underserved areas.

Normally, conventional treatments for malnutrition take months, but healthcare professionals have discovered that people taking Moringa show improvement within mere days, with the most radical improvement being seen in malnourished children. One of the more amazing things Moringa is being used for is in the prevention childhood blindness, a condition develops from prolonged vitamin A/retinol deficiencies. Moringa contains sufficient amounts of these nutrients to completely eliminate this condition in children.

But despite the proliferation of public and private initiatives on Moringa, and despite the fact that It has been used by The World Health Organization for over 40 years to treat malnutrition, state-sponsored and UN-related programs have not yet gotten involved, and funding remains almost non-existent. There are only a few organizations that have supported this development in recent years. Among them, two European institutions: the Centre for Enterprise Development (CDE) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), and, more recently, the L’Occitane Foundation.

Moringa Ladies

Moringa Ladies

(Part 3 of The Miracle Tree Next Week!)

Aloha, Susanne.....

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