Click here to find out about the Fall, 2012 Commercial Aquaponics Training at Green Acre Aquaponics!
I meet new people almost every day who are interested in pursuing commercial aquaponics and ask me for direction. They usually have no background in farming, hydroponics or aquaculture but are looking to take their lives on a new path. They want to be a part of the unique potential for global change that commercial aquaponics offers.
I usually counsel them to start by reading my blog post ‘Commercial Aquaponics: 10 Things to Consider Before Taking the Plunge‘ and take the time to think long and hard about whether this path is right for them, their family, their temperament, their market, and their financial situation. If after this process, they still want to go ahead and become aquaponic farmers, I always recommend that they seek out a professional aquaponics training program.
While I typically don’t endorse any one training program or commercial aquaponics approach, I will say that the ladies at Green Acre Organics in Florida inspire me with their energy and enthusiasm for their lives as commercial aquaponics farmers, and their desire to share it with others. On April 21 – 24, and then again from April 26 – 29, they are offering their first ever commercial farming training course (update – the second Green Acres Aquaponic Farming course is being taught Oct 27 – 30 and Nov 1 – 4, 2012). Murray Hallam and I will teach the course along with Gina Cavaliero and Tonya Penick of Green Acre Organics. The idea behind this course, and what makes it different from any other course that is available right now, is the following
- It is taught be people who do this for a living every day…successfully
- It is focused on both Deep Water Culture (raft) and media based systems. This gives the farmer the most flexibility in what they grow so that they can react to changing market conditions.
- It has a strong business element – most aquaponic farmers agree that the aquaponics is the easy part. Making money at aquaponics is the challenge.
- It will be half classroom, and half hands-on at the farm. The idea is that you will be able to go home and do this yourself.
- It also offers an optional day between the two sessions where we are bringing in a couple from Colorado to teach about sustainable greenhouse building techniques and seed saving!
This class isn’t about selling equipment or ongoing consulting services – Green Acres primary business is actually being a commercial aquaponics farm. These ladies just have a genuine desire to share their knowledge with others. I don’t think they would mind if I shared part of an email exchange we once had about their aquaponics journey…
“It almost feels like our journey into aquaponics has totally reinvigorated our lives. We were so empty and bitter from a merciless construction environment where kindness was taken for weakness and there was no honor or dignity left. We had been introduced to aquaponics at a local nonprofit. I had looked at Tonya that evening and said if I thought we could make a living selling fish and veggies, we’d get out of construction right now. It’s all been a wonderful ride since”
If you are considering going down this path please check out the link below to the training we are holding in April and the video they created of their operation.
We hope to see you there!