This week, and next, are both unusually busy and unusually exciting. I wanted to take a few minutes out of the madness and update you on what is going on in my world before you think I’ve just gone silent and forgotten to write!

  • We held our first Aquaponic Source open house this past weekend. We had about twenty people visit. This was perfect because we actually got to spend time with most of our guests. When you have a set time that you’ve promised just to hang around outside and talk about aquaponics the pressure is off – at least for us. What was especially cool was that a few of the people we met are going to be at the Conference in Orlando next weekend, but we never would have had the kind of time to just chat in Orlando like we did here. We plan to start offering open houses on a regular (probably monthly) basis. Stay tuned.
  • The Aquaponic Gardening book is officially off the presses! I still haven’t actually held a copy but the folks at the publishing house have (how did they get a copy before me? Hmmm) and they seem very pleased with it. There are five cases of twenty books each on their way to Orlando for the Aquaponics Association Conference and another twenty cases coming here. We will be able to start shipping all those back orders in the last week of September!
  • The final cut of the book promotional video was sent to me by the videographer yesterday, and that turned out great as well (although it is true – the camera really does put on ten pounds!). It will go up on YouTube and on many websites after it has been ‘unveiled’ at the conference.
  • Speaking of the Aquaponics Conference – wow! We now have 240 people coming to our little event, and 19 speakers. The energy and excitement is palpable throughout the aquaponics community. Heck, I even packed two days ago and I never pack in advance of a trip! Gina and I are working through the final details. We submitted dinner choices yesterday (70% wanted fish. Are you shocked?), printed name tags today and will pick up the programs tomorrow. There is much to do, but it will all get done and this will be an incredible event that I’m sure we will all remember for the rest of our lives.
  • And then there is the Aquaponics Association. The international support continues to flow in. We’ve had over thirty people volunteer to be officers. The Advisory board now has five esteemed members (pending approval), including Myles Harston of AquaRanch and Dr. Wilson Lennard from Australia. The Steering Committee is interviewing candidates for officer nominees and debating potential candidates. It is a heady time where everything is possible for this infant organization.

We leave tomorrow for Florida and the surreal experience of finally meeting hundreds of people that until now have only been part of email and phone conversations, including my now close friend and co-organizer Gina Cavaliero. We are having dinner Thursday night (also our 21st wedding anniversary) with Gina, Murray Hallam, and Frank Gapinski of EcoFilms. Then running the conference for three days, followed by Gina’s Commercial Aquaponics class and a trip to Carnegie Mellon University with my son. I will be capping off my trip with a series of presentations at the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania.

That’s all for now… I’ll let you know how it all goes.