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Friendly Aquaponics
Commercial Newsletter

Number 12
May 9th,  2013
Images from our farmily aquaponics farm

"There's Money To Be Made In Food, Just Not By The Farmer". Part 2:


This is a well-known saying we're committed to changing! Read on to find out how….


Susanne here. This is the second part of “The Whole Farm Story”. (Continued from last week's newsletter).

Through all of this horrible root-aphid nightmare, there was one plant in our system that was profoundly and totally unaffected. Everything else needed to be thrown out, but the areas planted with this plant were thriving. And to soothe me, at one point, one of our wonderful farm workers and partners, an 18 year old young man named Conner Glascock, made me a cup of tea from this plant.

But it was completely different from the tea I'd made myself from the very same plant for years , from this very plant. He'd done something that made this the best cup of tea I'd ever tasted....and all of a sudden things went CLUNK. Or, perhaps it was CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! as the dominoes fell into place.


I've noticed that human beings do not consciously process information until all of a sudden, everything just becomes crystal clear. In a moment of stunning clarity, I knew what was next for our farm. This was June of last year, and after a full nine-months (co-incidentally, the same time it takes to make a human baby!) of gestation, we're almost ready to launch a new product.

Our testing initially consisted of experiments on a small scale, then on a larger scale, and now on a very large scale of almost half of our entire system real estate. Very soon, it will be about 90% of our 7000 square feet of trough area. We are launching this exciting, value- added product in our New York Commercial Training. It will be sold in our local grocery stores, health food stores, and gift boutiques. We will sell only on our island to begin with, then expand to Maui, O'ahu, and Kaua'i over time. Hawaii will remain our "territory" for this product, unless our State uses a lot more than we can grow. If so, then we'll invite additional farmers in Hawaii to join us. People who have recently taken our Personal Intensive Training have claimed Puerto Rico and Salem Oregon - but everywhere else is wide open!


The best thing about this new product? It will allow a new farmer to start a Commercial Aquaponics venture with an infrastructure investment of between $30-50,000, which is less than 5% of what the Costco infrastructure investment would have required. What we are introducing is an aquaponics BRAND, that will introduce the general public to AP - people who might not otherwise ever learn about it.

And it's NOT just for us - everything we're learning we will share with other farmers, to help them get started earning a living with AP. There is a saying that sums up the food industry of today perfectly and succinctly: "There's money to be made in food. Just not by the farmer." We believe this is WRONG, and we are committed to changing it. The deck is heavily stacked against local farmers, with all government subsidies given to Big Ag, along with all the incredible government regulation that hurts small farmers much more than large agribusinesses.


The vision we have for this new Aquaponics Brand is that we develop a unified presence in LOCAL markets all across the country, with a single, recognizable front label, but with a back informational label that profiles the LOCAL farm that is growing the product (NOT Friendly Aquaponics). This will build interest in that farm's trainings, farm tours, and even aquaponics kit sales if that's what the farmer wants to sell.

We'll ask for partnership, with our company providing the labels and bags, and we'll collect a small percentage of gross profits. But all in all, it will be a tiny fraction of what the Costco set up would have cost, or the cost of beginning any other "franchise" type operation.


As most of you know, we do not keep many things proprietary. However, we are keeping to ourselves exactly what this product is until we're ready to officially announce it in our New York Commercial Training. I am certain this business model will be copied outside of partnership with us, probably sooner rather than later, because there are people who are are only able to copy instead of innovate.

There's already one company out there who used to partner with us, but who broke with us to partner with someone else, cutting us out completely. They've shamelessly copied our entire business model - to the best of their ability. I was taught as a small child that when someone copies what I do, it is a sincere form of flattery. And, the fact that people copy us is an invitation to never rest on my laurels, and to get better and better all the time!


We make money teaching other people what we have learned. Over 3000 people have bought our DIY Manuals and come to our trainings. It is a great acknowledgment of how hard we have worked, how far we have come, and how much we have innovated. There are hundreds of successful systems built from our technology, refined from the work Dr. James Rakocy. We stood on the shoulders of a giant and we invite our students to stand on our shoulders, because in no way is this technology complete.


We also share an incredible amount of information, FREE OF CHARGE, that will help anyone who is actually running an aquaponics system, based upon our six years of actually getting our hands wet.

If you'd like our 17-page Pest Control Manual for Aquaponics, we'll send it to you, whether or not you've ever bought anything from us. If you are applying for organic certification, we'll share our successful applications to two separate Certification Agencies in writable .pdf form (whether or not you've ever bought anything from us) All you have to do is remove our information and add your own, One of these agencies, Organic Certifiers, now will certify the systems of people who use our designs, even before vegetable production begins! (Contact Cheryl Hudson,

If you want Food Safety Certification, we'll share our GAP plan written specifically for Aquaponics with you, whether or not you've ever bought anything from us. To take advantage of these offers, email Susanne directly.


Bottom line, we want aquaponics to become as successfully integrated into our world, and to increase food security and pure food accessibility to the 99%, not just the 1%.


Thanks for taking the time to read this. Come join us in New York and Tennessee in June, to learn everything we know about this exciting new aquaponics brand, and everything else we've learned in six years of our wonderful aquaponics adventure! With Aloha,



2013 Training Schedule:

3 One-Day Benefit Trainings:

One-day Micro System and TableTop System Benefit Trainings taught in person by Susanne and Tim at the following locations and dates:

Oakland, California, Sunday May 26th: To benefit Planting Justice, an Oakland non-profit dedicated to teaching inner-city residents how to grow their own food.
Register on this page. Cost: $100

Orlando, Florida, Saturday June 1st: To benefit Feed Hunger Now, an Orlando non-profit dedicated to "feeding the villages" in rural India. Register on this page. Cost: $100

New York; Saturday, June 8th: To benefit The Point, a Bronx non-profit teaching inner-city residents how to grow their own food. Register on this page. Cost: $100

5-Day Commercial Trainings:

New York Commercial Training; June 10-14 (Monday thru Friday)
, the 5-day Commercial Aquaponics and Energy Efficient Greenhouse Training, $1,495 per person (we extended this special $1,000 off discount until the course date).
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 (we extended this special $1,000 off discount until the course date). 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).

These five-day trainings 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.

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

Sign up for New York!

Sign 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)

The $5,000 Washing Machine:

There's so much information out there on aquaponics that it can be daunting to sort out the useful and good information from the nonsense.

You know how to do your due diligence. But to help you, we've constructed a "ruler" which you can use to "measure" aquaponics information with:

This is what someone finds when looking for aquaponic knowledge now:

1. There’s a $5,000 washing machine for sale; it's cold-water only, and has a hand-wringer to get the clothes partially dry before hanging them out on the line. But it’s a washing machine!

It’s way better than banging those clothes on a rock down by the creek and wringing them out by hand, isn’t it?

This is how “aquaponics consultants”, “kit sellers”, and other shysters make their livings. People just haven't realized yet that something better is available.

2. But wait! Right across the street (if you’d thought to look) is a washing machine store that offers $500 washing machines with hot, warm, and cold water wash and rinse; that have five different wash modes for delicates, normal, dirty, etc; and a spin cycle that gets the clothes almost dry enough to wear!

The best thing about this washing machine is that you can build it yourself using a $50 DIY manual and $450 worth of parts you can buy at Home Depot or Lowe’s. This is the Friendly Aquaponics washing machine.

The reason shysters get away with selling all kinds of poop as “aquaponics systems” or even as “commercial aquaponics” is that there isn’t a generally competent level of knowledge about aquaponics in our society as there is about washing machines.

No one would buy a $5,000 washing machine, but people who don’t know any better routinely buy $5,000 aquaponics systems all the time, when they could have built them themselves for $500.

As the general level of knowledge about aquaponics increases in our society to the point where knowledge about aquaponics is as common as knowledge about washing machines is now, the shysters will sell less and less of their poop, because people will see it for what it is.

Susanne and I both broke out laughing the other day when someone sent us a link about a "competitor" who is selling mosquito fish at 15 for $50! They were also selling tilapia fingerlings at 15 for $50!

Susanne read this to me, and we both cracked up! We sell tilapia fingerlings for $1 each when someone buys 50 or less (because of the labor involved), and in quantities over 50, sell them for fifty cents each!

You know what really made us laugh? When anyone buys tilapia fingerlings from us, we give them a couple hundred mosquito fish at no extra charge! That's so funny: $50 for mosquito fish that you can go catch yourself down at the creek!

So, learn all you can about aquaponics. Teach it to your friends, community, and your kid's class at their school; as you spread the word, you'll be creating the day when aquaponics is commonplace, and the shysters are all history!

Aloha, Tim.....

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

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