The warm days keep piling on and there’s no complaints about it as our outdoor season is benefitting from the extended summer-like temps. We’re starting to see growth slow down a bit in our client’s greenhouse systems as the days get shorter but we’re able to keep things like peppers, basil, and tomatoes going for a while longer!
This week’s harvest is chock full of goodies. We met with a group of international Uconn students who are coming here to learn about entrepreneurship, benefit corporations and in general the challenges of starting your own business. We also got our first plants in the system this week, finished the airlines, will catch up on news from the industry and much much more!
In this week’s harvest:
1. Client Spotlight
This morning we visited with international students who are spending a few weeks at Uconn learning about entrepreneurship and the differences between America and their home countries in how to go about starting a business. We do this event about once a quarter with Uconn and it’s always a great time. This time we had students from the South East Asian countries and had a few interested in agriculture businesses and sustainable farming. We shared our stories as an almost 5-year-old startup and discussed the challenges of entrepreneurship along with the rewards to provide the students with a realistic picture of what starting a business from scratch will look like.
The best part about this event though is always the Q&A portion where the get to ask questions about their business ideas, their obstacles, and about our experiences to gain a better understanding of how they can take action on their ideas when they return home. This group, in particular, asked some great questions that really made us think about the process and the mindset that leads to persistence and ultimately success.
2. Company Updates
This week was another productive one on the farm. We got our third round of seedlings planted in our seeding room and got the first round into our system this Tuesday! We “turned the key” on our system actually integrating the aquaculture tanks with the hydroponic beds to create the aquaponics loop. This system design allows us to decouple the system, run the two independently, or run it coupled where the fish water flows to the plants and then back to the fish tank. We’ll run our system coupled, so we recirculate the water and reuse it over and over again. The decoupling just allows us to shut off a portion of the system if we run into an issue. Say for instance we get a leak in the system we can shut off the beds to stop the water flow and fix the leak without having to affect the aquaculture side. It also adds an extra layer of safety for both the fish and plants. If anything gets out of sync we can decouple the system and address it without affecting the health of the fish if it’s a plant issue or the plants if it’s a fish issue.
We went live on social media to capture the momentous occasion of turning the switch and starting the aquaponics system. We’re officially farming again and it feels good to be making progress every week. We’re set for our first harvest at the end of October, just in time for FreshCSA shares starting the first week of November. To check out the video you can catch the replay here.
3. Blog Updates
Top Three Benefits Of Classroom Aquaponics – In this post we look back on our 4+ years doing aquaponics in schools and reflect on what we think are the top three most beneficial aspects of using aquaponics as a learning tool in the classroom. If you’ve ever thought about aquaponics as a learning tool in the classroom or any other setting, this post may be exactly what you need to make it happen!
Has Aquaponics Driven The Most Powerful Nations In Human History? – Did you know aquaponics was practiced by the ancient Aztecs, the ancient Chinese, and even was the secret backbone to one of the 7 wonders of the world: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. People have known to use fish waste to grow plants for thousands of years, it’s only taking that concept and putting it into a recirculating setup that has led to the advancement of this practice and allowed us to practice aquaponics anywhere we have a power source and a water source.
4. Industry News
National Organics Standards Board Wants To Ban Aquaponics And Hydroponics From Organic Certification – Aquaponic and Hydroponic farmers may no longer be able to certify their farms as organic this coming fall despite the fact that many do not use any synthetic fertilizers, many use no pesticides at all let alone organic ones and most are more resource efficient than field operations. This could be a huge setback to an industry that is poised for growth and will affect many small-time farmers and farming families. If you have a moment, check out the post to see how you can contact the NOSB to reconsider their proposal and keep organic certification available to all farming styles.
Urban Organics And Pentair Honored As 2017 Agricultural Project Of The Year – Urban Organics is making waves in the headlines again with their new 87,000sqft facility which just recently received 2017 Agricultural Project Of The Year by the WateReuse Association. This association awards projects that are focused on water sustainability and the recirculating nature of the Urban Organics farm and the scale earned them this honor. Read the full story here including quotes from Urban Organics founder Dave Haider.
5. Featured Product
With September coming to an end you have less than a month to get in on our FreshCSA Founder’s Share. This is the only way to get our delicious produce all fall and winter. If you want to end your year on the right foot our FreshCSA is the perfect way to do that with no effort. Pesticide Free, clean, healthy fresh food through the end of the year. Grab your Founder’s Share today before it’s too late!
Thanks so much for following our journey and supporting us on our mission to create the City that Feeds ItselfTM. We couldn’t do it without the support of our following!