Q: Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: Bradenton Florida
56 Disabled Artist Fabricator
Q: How did you get interested in aquaponics?
A: I got intrested in Aquaponics because I was looking for something on the path toward self sufficency.
I wanted something that was Vegtable and protein oriented and not a real physical workout too.
Q: How are you currently working with aquaponics? Home setup, community greenhouse, etc.
A: This is a home unit, in my back yard
I am a believer in starting small. I have ideas on future endevours but right now I am still cycling the system.
The weather isn’t helping me at this point, I would start this in late fall, outdoors, of course. But life is a learning process.
Q: Tell us about your system. Geek out a bit and tell us all the specs.
A: It’s an IBC tote
My unit is house hold electric and solar.
I am trying to stay off the grid, but remain connected for cloudy days.
Q: What plants and fish have you had the best luck with? And the worst?
A: I have mostly Lettuce, Tomatoes, Peppers, Brussel sprouts, and I had Melons but they died in the PH change.
As far as fish me and my next door neighbor go to the Myacca River state park and castnet. Last time we went I got 13 Talapia in about 15 minuets we headed back, dropped them in and I started loosing about 3 a day.
Then I started reading, got my test kits from Walmart and found out how it cost me, 13 innocent individuals, so I burried them under my orange trees, in hopes that their lives weren’t wasted.
But this week we are going back, and this time I’ll be keeping the catfish and snials too.
Q: What do you like most about aquaponics? Least?
A: It’s doing something in the right direction.
It is the start of something that should have been done years ago.
I love the self containment, not relying on the Grocery Store for things that you have to have.
The simplicity, once you are started.
I can see a future in building simple cost effective systems
Q: What do you think the biggest misconception about aquaponics is?
A: My misconception was that all you had to do was put some fish poop in the grow beds, and you were a farmer. I think that most people don’t understand about the process of Cycling, That is where your book has helped me alot. Another thing is that your average Joe now adays doesn’t have the time, energy or patients, to follow such a process. Everybody now a day, wants things yesterday. That’s why the pateints part is so big.
Q: What are your future aquaponics goals?
A: This is one of those thing’s that has a life of it’s own.
At this point all is in the air. I have tried and failed with many different business’s of life, thinking the whole time that I waa going somewhere. I see myself as sustaining myself, and others. I want to learn and educate my self Aquaponicly and this takes time and patience. Start small and follow through. Everything has it’s day. I would love to farm, it’s in my bloodline, but only time will tell whether it was ment to be.
Q: What do your friends say when you show them your system for the first time?
A: They think that this has a great future and want me to succeed so that they can copy.
Most are totally uneducated to the process and outcome but are excited that someone is concerned about future food sources.
Q: What is your next big gear purchase going to be? What about your next small one?
A: More grow beds for the one I have now and another couple system totally.
Q: What’s the best recipe you’ve ever had/made, based around something you grew in your system?
A: I have been a Vegan for 25 years and cooked the same stew everyday, and still Love it.
Sauted Onions and Rice, mixed Vegtables, Peppers, Potatoes. Golf ball Tomatoes, String beans, Belle and Jalapeno Peppers, Carrots, a little Curry. Put in a Crook Pot and stewed on Low for 5 Hours
Then at night time when you come in after a difficult day it’s nice to spend a half hour frying your Talapia in Onions and Butter, mix that with your stew, feed your dog, and your in another world.