There were signs with painted flowers and suns and bugs surrounding quotes, or cautionary instructions like, “No hands in the water, the fish are sensitive!” and a picture of a very surly looking tilapia.Tawnya Sawyer
And sensitive indeed, as I saw a few minutes later. Some of these tilapia (real ones, not the painted ones) were captured in nets and Tawyna, of Colorado Aquaponics, got a nice, swift jab from a tilapia spike straight to the thumb vein. Yowza! The sunlight filtered down through the roofing, glinting off the scales of that feisty fish as it frantically flopped, trying to evade capture. I certainly don’t blame it; I would throw a spike too, if I were about to be someone’s lunch. Once the fishies quieted down (eek! Poor guys!), I peered down into their little pond, which was partially under a table with big green plants spilling off the top.
“Mmm, smells like fresh tomatoes over here,” I said out loud. “Smells good.”
“Well these are tomato plants,” said a fellow standing next to me.
I turned to look at this smart-alec. “I figured. Thanks for THAT.” He and his friend laughed, and it turns out I was standing in front of an aquaponic ecosystem, with two of the lads who keep it up and running. An aquaponic system is where fish and plants are raised together in a circulating, high-yield setup.

Continue reading