by Tim Day

Tim DayWhen I first got started in aquaponics, I went straight to youtube. Then Google. Then a couple of dodgy sales pitch sites. Then back to google and youtube. Eventually I found my way to Amazon and got a hold of Sylvia’s book and Murray Hallam’s DVDs. Wow, I’m glad I did. Before I had my hands on those, my aquaponics education was a mess of contradicting opinions, outlandish claims and confusion. They cleared a lot of things up for me and definitely got me inspired, but unfortunately you can’t ask questions of a book or a movie. Then I found the Aquaponic Source Community site where I was able to ask and discuss all sorts of questions. But for the hands on stuff… well I had to learn that on my own – and I had to do it under the intimidating gaze of academic supervisors as part of my university independent honors project.

This is why I am so stoked to be a part of The Aquaponic Source teaching team for our new range of aquaponics education courses starting this November! These courses are specially designed for the home or backyard aquapon who wants to grow their own fresh produce for their family but doesn’t necessarily want to sell it on a large scale. I wish that these courses existed back home in Australia three years ago because they would have saved me a lot of time, (and money spent on mistakes), when I was starting out.

We will be running an immersive weekend course, a fundamental one day course and also afternoon focus courses on a variety of topics. These will be great for beginners for several reasons:

– They cut through all the endless pages of stuff on the internet and get right down to the good stuff.

– The information is reliable and the instructor team is fantastic.

– You can ask questions about whatever you like.

– You can actually see what it is supposed to look like, feel what is supposed to feel like and experience a system coming together right in front of you.

– You get to meet a bunch of other aquapons and have the chance through the community site to stay in contact as you embark on your own aquaponic journey.

– You get a full range of course materials, complete with whatever reminder notes you’ve taken yourself throughout the course.

– At the conclusion of each course, the system constructed is sold, at less than half the regular price to a course participant.

Aquaponics EducationIn the past I have been lucky enough to attend several aquaponics courses including the Green Acres Commercial course – which was fantastic. My hands down favorite part of any course is meeting the other people in the room and hearing their aquaponics stories. It’s amazing what a diverse crowd aquaponics brings together and even more amazing how well it works as a learning environment. Preppers and hippies in the same room getting along and sharing knowledge… I love it!

So, as a part of these aquaponics education courses I’m going to have to work Saturdays… but to be honest the teaching team is full of people I would happily spend my weekend with anyway. And they are very, very good at what they do. You won’t find a wider pool of relevant experience to tap into. A master plumber, an aeronautical engineer, a civil and environmental engineer, several veterans of the indoor growing industry, off-grid specialists and of course the person who wrote the go-to Aquaponic book for beginners – Sylvia Bernstein. It’s a bad-ass line up, and I’m very excited and honored to be a part of it.

I don’t think I’m the only person on the planet who is sensing the aquaponic movement picking up steam. Things are starting to move pretty fast in the direction of environmentally conscious, sustainable, local, and self-sufficient healthy eating. Now is definitely a great time to jump on board and I can confidently recommend our set of courses as a great place to do so. I did travel halfway around the world to teach here, so I’m not just saying that.