Why Aquaponics? Why NOW?

This is a Copy of our January 2014 Aquaponics USA & Aquaponics World Newsletter. If you’d like to view this Newsletter as it appeared in its Constant Contact format go here:

We have posted all four of our Newsletters on our Word Press Blog starting with January first and progressing through to April. This is the first year we’ve put out Monthly Newsletters. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we’re enjoying sharing our journey.


Aquaponics USA & Aquaponics World, LLC

Why Aquaponics Logo 8x10

There’s a 3-pronged threat facing our planet and Aquaponics is the answer.

 Dear Subscriber:

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news in this, our first Official Monthly Newsletter. So let’s start again and wish you all a Happy New Year. You can expect to receive a Newsletter from us every month during 2014. It’s one of the Projects on our new How To Get Things Done Projects List. We’ll share more about that later. This first Newsletter is all about the important role Aquaponics is playing in the Food, Water and Fish Crisis.

We Have Entered A Time of Crisis:

And our world is now dealing with a shortage of food, water and fish. You can read all about these shortages on our website. Just click on The Food Independence Project pdf. on our Home Page. It’s a real eye-opener. Also be sure to look at some of the TED Talks and Videos about these important issues.

We talk about how the world is losing it’s soil and that soils could vanish within the next 60 years due to Big Agra farming practices unless drastic action is taken. We talk about the world-wide demand for water has tripled in the last 50 years leaving even highly developed countries like the U.S. facing water shortages. And we talk about how we have recklessly overfished our oceans and pushed many species of wild fish to near extinction levels. These are serious problems we’re facing.

But there’s something new added to the mix–Fukushima. We know this is shocking and really sad to have to say, but Pacific Ocean fish is no longer safe to eat. The plumes of radiation from Fukushima have contaminated our Pacific West Coast. We have to learn to grow our own fish; and that’s one of the reasons why Aquaponics is so important at this challenging time.

But don’t despair, Aquaponics is here and . . .

If you’re an optimist like we are over here at Aquaponics USA and Aquaponics World, you get it that a perfect storm like this wouldn’t arise if there weren’t a solution that could solve the problem arising with it. Aquaponics is that solution.

It’s all about the Water, Intelligent One.

Aquaponics food growing technology is a recirculating aquaculture system, also known as RAS so it saves 90% of the water used in tillage farming. Water doesn’t get lost in the ground. It just keeps recirculating through the system over and over and over. There is some water loss due to plant uptake and evaporation; but it’s minimal compared to traditional soil farming.

We’re Under Construction at Aquaponics World!

We’re located in the high desert of California above Palm Springs; and in case you’re wondering, we have winter here–cold, below freezing nights. So we’re building an enclosed fishroom where we’ll be putting our fish tanks and other components to demonstrate our Food Forever™ Farm designs. This will be the fish part of our Micro Farm, a miniature version of a full-scale, 10,000 sq. ft. Food Forever™ Farm.

Our Deep Water Culture (DWC) Beds, Duffy Ducts™

And these are the Grow Beds that we’ll be installing in the Growroom that sits next to the Fishroom. We’ll be growing leafy greens, including lettuce, sweet basil, greek basil in these individual DWC Beds that can grow more food using less water than standard DWC Beds.

Back to the new Aquaponics World Fishroom with its Dilution Solution!

Where we’ve added a new component to our system, the Dilution Solution Tank.

This is where you can safely input the few additives like pH-UP, chelated iron or Maxicrop that might be required to optimize your system. These solutions are simply poured into the top of this 60 gallon rain barrel where they mix with the filtered water from the Solid Separation System before entering the fish tanks.

Another Proprietary Component in the Fishroom:

This is our Water Enhancement Technology that we call WET. It’s a Mineralization Tower that greatly reduces the amount of suspended solids while putting out dissolved solids.

With the increased amount of dissolved solids and added nitrates provided by this process, the plants now have a greater amount of nutrients with which to grow.

By keeping the fish waste solids in the system and mineralizing them, the amount of nutrients available to the plants is about double that of a system that completely removes the solids. This process allows for the growth of more plants while keeping the water clean.

Another Proprietary Aquaponics World Food Forever™ Farm Design


A design was needed that split the system water into two paths, one with very clean water that could be used efficiently in the grow beds, and one path that would send the water containing the fish waste solids to be processed in its own system. It was desirable to have a continuous flow during the process. Thus was born the Solids Separation System, or SSS, which is proprietary to our design.


The operation of the SSS has the system water continuously flowing through it without interruption. All water being pumped from the fish tanks passes through the SSS where one of its outputs deliver water containing fish waste solids to be processed and then returned to the fish tank and another output with very clean water that is sent on to the rest of the system where fish waste water would interfere with those components’ processes. All water from both these post SSS processes is eventually returned to the fish tanks.

So What’s Happening at Aquaponics USA, our backyard Home and School System company?

Aquaponics USA is fast becoming the Go To Place for Schools to purchase their Aquaponics Learning Lab Systems that we call Food Forever™ Growing Systems.

Here’s an Aquaponics USA System going into an All Purpose Room in a Tucson Elementary School.

We’ve recently teamed up with a large insurance company that wants to sponsor our Food Forever™ Growing Systems in Schools around the Nation. It looks like we’ll be installing a system in a Houston High School this Spring.

Get in on the Aquaponic Gardens Campaign for Schools
and other Charitable Organizations. You can become a Fund Generator and earn while you generate funds for the campaign. Go here to learn more:

A third party entrepreneur has designed this fund generating campaign. The Goal of this campaign is to generate $1,000,000 a year in order to donate Aquaponic Gardens to Schools and Charitable Organizaitons.
The Plan is to GenerateFunds™ in order to purchase and donate Aquaponics USA’s Food Forever™ Growing Systems to the
Schools and Charitable Organizations.
We’re so honored to have been chosen by this inventive entrepreneur  whose Goal is to bring Aquaponic Gardens to Schools and other Charitable Organizations.

The Aquaponic Gardens Campaign has a “go fund me” page attached. If you just want to get in on a great crowd funding cause–Aquaponics USA Systems in Schools, go here: gofundme

We’re honored to have been chosen to participate in this charitable campaign to bring our systems into Schools and other organizaitons.
Thank You, Jason Nole, creator of the Aquaponic Gardens Campaign.

Aquaponics USA is teaming up with an organization that plans to turn school grounds into Fruit Orchards and Classrooms into Aquaponics Labs.

It’s the beginning of an exciting collaboration that will change both the outside and the inside of schools across the U.S. Stay tuned for all the exciting details about this new project.

We’re Writing a Book and hope to have it published by mid 2014. You’ll be the first to know.

We don’t want to give away the surprise so we’re keeping real Mum about it. It’s going to be unlike any other book written on the subject of Aquaponics.

One last thing. We said we’d share about our How To Get Things Done Project; and this is it. If you’re wanting this year to be more productive, buy this book! The fact that you’re looking at this Newsletter is testimony to this program working.

Everything you need to know is right here. The book speaks for itself.

We’l be recommending books in all of our Newsletters at this bottom location.

That will do it for our first Newsletter. Our next Newsletter will be all about the Food Revolution and how you can get involved.
We so appreciate our Subscribers and are so pleased to be able to share with you.
Aquaponics USA/World

Aquaponics USA

Creating A Sustainable World

This is a Copy of our February 2014 Newsletter. If you wish to view our Aquaponics USA & Aquaponics World Newsletter in its original Constant Contact format, go here:



In order to hand a more Sustainable World over to our children and grand-children, we need to make changes FAST! That’s what Aquaponics World, LLC, is all about.
Dear Subscriber:
Sorry to be sending out our February Newsletter so late in the month. But once you see it, you’ll understand why because we’ve been too busy to create this Newsletter until now. In our last Newsletter, we said we’d be talking about the Food Revolution; but that subject has been pushed forward to our March Newsletter because we have some important developments to share about Aquaponics World, LLC.
In fact, we have a big announcement to make regarding a milestone we’ve finally reached.
We have our Proof-Of-Concept MICRO FOOD FOREVER™ FARM up, running and ready for TOURS (with an NDA). 
But first, we need to take another look at what isn’t working on our planet. We simply can’t continue to act like there are no consequences connected to our unconscious behavior regarding our soil, our oceans, our waterways, our aquifers, our water availability and our use of dangerous energy choices like nuclear power.

Millions of fish are dying in mass death events all over the planet. To see the staggering list of these events that no one is talking about, go to CLN, Conscious Life News at:
We have to stop overfishing our oceans, draining our Aquifers, depleting our soil, building nuclear power plants on fault lines (or how about stopping using nuclear power all together) and polluting our waterways.

Fukushima really happened! It isn’t some conspiracy theory.
And it just keeps happening because there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Could Fukushima be responsible for the mass fish deaths? Right now, that crippled nuclear power plant that sits 5,443 miles across the ocean from Newport Beach, CA is dumping “around 300 tons of highly radioactive water that has been flooding into the pacific ocean on a daily basis for the last two years”. The ocean just happens to be where many fish live.
The Japanese government placed a gag order on this subject in December; but just because it isn’t being talked about doesn’t mean it isn’t the worse disaster to ever hit our planet.
The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:

“This time no one dropped a bomb on us … We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”


As a result of Fukushima–
The safest food to eat is food grown in Greenhouses and Warehouses. That mostly means food that is grown using Aquaponic and Hydroponic food growing technology that is protected from radiated rain, snow and soil. That’s why we’ve developed a new copyrighted Trademark that we are putting on all of our packaged products. The dangers that Fukushima poses to our food supply can’t be kept a secret forever. The entire world is being radiated; and people will soon be looking for food that is as safe as it can be–that’s “Rad Shielded” food.

Before we go any further, we have to post this Warning!
When you get the Aquaponics bug, it can take over your entire life. So beware because Aquaponics has a mission to save our planet from soil degradation, water scarcity, food scarcity and fish scarcity.
And please forgive me for bringing up Fukushima again in this Newsletter or even talking about the crisis we’re facing on our planet. It wasn’t my plan; but they came forward anyway because this subject is so important.

So what’s been keeping us so busy this past month?
We have completely torn out everything we were doing in both our Greenhouse and our Growroom and replaced those small backyard Home and School Systems with our Aquaponics World, LLC, Micro Food Forever™ Farm Demo and Proof- of-Concept scalable Model.
And what a scene that was. We tore out nine Deep Media Grow Beds and moved several hundred pounds of expanded clay. We took out one 320 gallon Fish Tank, and three 120 gallon Fish Tanks; and moved 75 Tilapia with an average size of 2 lbs. each. One was actually over 5 lbs. In that process, we lost two fish due to mysterious reasons related to this move.
We found fingerlings we didn’t know we had due to the design of our first systems, which were in the Greenhouse and had the Fish Tanks under the Grow Beds.  We don’t recommend that kind of set up precisely because you can’t get enough contact with the fish to know what’s really happening in the Fish Tanks. Here is a photo of Oliver moving one of those 75 fish.

The Greenhouse that Was

This Greenhouse is 8′ wide and 28′ long. It had five Deep Media Beds offering a total of 55 sq. ft. of growing area and three 120 gallon fish tanks. This original demo of our Small Home and School Systems was replaced with 3 EZ-Reach Deep Media Grow Beds offering 42 sq. ft. of growing area, two 120 gallon Sump Tanks and a Vertical Duffy Duct™ System that can produce 224 heads of lettuce or other leafy greens. We lost only 13 sq. ft. of Deep Media Grow Bed space and we gained 224 holes for lettuce production. We’re in a Patent Process and will show you this Vertical Duffy Duct™ system when that’s complete.

Our new Micro Food Forever™ Farm Greenhouse with a peek at the Vertical Duffy Duct™ System inside.
It’s truly amazing how Vertical Growing can drastically change the output of a growing area. We are about to put a diffusing Greenhouse cover over the entire Greenhouse so the light is more evenly distributed and the intensity of the sun in our desert world is decreased. In the meantime, we’ve hung some shade cloth on the south side.

On the left of our Greenhouse is the Strawberry Tower

Strawberries are a very hardy plant. Right now we have temporarily placed them outside in the Tower; but two of these Towers will be inside our Greenhouse and hooked up to our Food Forever™ Farm water system. We’ll also be doing some redesigning of this Tower to make it a more efficient aquaponics water delivery item. Then we’ll put it on our Aquaponics USA website as one of our products.

Tearing Down the Growroom
Tearing apart the Greenhouse was just one half of the demolition process because we also had to tear down the Growroom, paint it and install the new Food Forever™ Farm Horizontal Duffy Duct™ System. We also had to connect what were two separate growing areas, the Greenhouse and the Growroom, into one water system that flows from the new Fishroom that we’re calling the Engine Room to both the Greenhouse and the Growroom. Our Micro Food Forever™ Farm Proof-Of-Concept Demo System is demonstrating both outdoor growing in a sun-lit Greenhouse as well as indoor growing in a Growroom with grow lighting. The photo above shows a Deep Media Bed being emptied before being removed from the room.

Here it is–the Hydrocorn from 9 11 sq. ft. Deep Media Grow Beds 

We’re going to sell it from right here after using some of it to fill the 42 sq. ft. of Deep Media Beds that are going into the Micro Food Forever™ Farm Greenhouse.

The Growroom that was

Our original 8′ x 30′ Growroom (almost the same size as our Greenhouse) had four 11 sq. ft. Deep Media Grow Beds with a 320 gallon Fish Tank (it is sitting between the third and fourth Grow Bed in this photo). This Growroom was serving as a demonstration of our 44 sq. ft. Food Forever™ Growing System, the FFGS-40. Three of these systems were installed in three elementary schools in Tucson, AZ. You can watch the installation Videos on our YouTube channel at Aquaponics USA TV.
When this photo was taken, we hadn’t evolved to using Net Pots yet and were planting rockwool cubes directly into the Deep Media Beds.

The new Micro Food Forever™ Farm Demo Growroom

We can show you this aquaponics growing technology because even though our System Designer, Oliver Duffy, thought he was designing an original system, our Lead System Technician, Keil Plotczyk, brought in a Hydroponic Growing Magazine with an almost exact duplicate of Oliver’s design so we won’t be Patenting the Horizontal Duffy Duct™ System. Aquaponics borrows a lot of already well established soilless growing technology from Hydroponics (even when we think we’re being original). Hydroponic growers have been developing technology for years that is easily adapted to Aquaponics, which is assisting Aquaponics growers to move quickly into innovative directions.
The first 12 ducts in this Duffy Duct™ System are for growing our seedlings. We move seedlings from their seedling trays into this end of the Duffy Duct™ System where the holes are much closer together than they are in the larger Grow Out Duffy Duct™ area; and they are under LED Lighting. The remaining 27 ducts are the Grow Out Duffy Duct™ System where we are growing kale, spinach, cabbage, arugala, head lettuce, romaine lettuce and butter lettuce. The cabbage, which gets huge in an aquaponics system will eventually need to be transplanted into the Deep Media Grow Beds.

On To The Engine Room Where The Fish Run The System!

In the last year, we have added this room and placed 6,000 Watts of Solar Panels on the roof to run our Micro Food Forever™ Farm. The Engine Room is the heart of the Food Forever™ Farm. We are running five 120 gallon Fish Tanks that are holding approximately 150 Lbs. of Tilapia. In the back left corner of the room, we have installed one 14 sq. ft. Deep Media Grow Bed. The Basil you saw next to the Grow Bed being torn out in the Growroom was transplanted into this new EZ-Reach Grow Bed. It’s called an EZ-Reach Bed because it is only 32 inches across and can be set against a wall and planted easily.
There is proprietary technology in this room that we have not photographed as we are applying for Patents on that technology.

Food Forever™ Farms Are As Automated As We Can Make Them While Not Getting Too Techy

The Grow Lights (not shown in this photo) in the Growroom and Engine Room over this Basil are all on an automatic staggered timing program so the Growroom does not get too hot. The Siphons in the Deep Media Beds (one shown here) are regulated with valves to control the flood and drain timing. The Fish Feeders automatically drop a pre-determined amount of fish food into the Fish Tanks a specified number of times per day. The Hydronic heating system follows the specifications of a thermostat to control the water temperature in the fish tanks. Water is automatically added to the system when the Float Valves in the Greenhouse sumps indicate it is needed.

We Debuted our Micro Food Forever™ Farm on Feb. 22nd To A Distinguished Guest List

Among our Guests in the middle  is Mr. Chuck Toussieng Sr., CEO-Senior Engineer of USA Merchant Team, LLC. Mr. Toussieng’s USA Merchant Team is marketing unconventional Agra-Farming and Garden Systems as Representatives of CHAHTECH, S.A, the internationally renowned and award winning manufacturer and developers of the CHAHTECH “Buried Diffusers”. The USA Merchant Team’s Western States Manager, Kenneth Parker on the left, was also in attendance along with Penny Steward, a USA Merchant Team Member and also a Representative of CHAHTECH products.
Kenneth Parker is also the Regional Director of Freshest Quality Organics located in Houston, Texas. This company is sponsoring the National Fruit Tree Project  whose goal is to help schools turn their environments into edible landscapes. To learn more go to Freshest Quality Organics.

Dr. Chahbani of Tunisia Gave A Presentation Of His World Renowned and Award Winning Buried Diffuser

This irrigation technology will forever change the face of global farming. Now, environmental water conservation is maximized over conventional irrigation, by requiring only 35% – 50% of water consumed by other systems. There is no evaporation, run-off, or energy requirements with buried diffusers. They are gravity activated and because they are buried, water delivery is made directly to the root mass. Buried Diffusers are the answer to drought plagued and arid environments. Did you hear that, California. To learn more about the wonders of the Buried Diffuser go to CHAHTECH, S.A TECHNOLOGIES
We will be uploading Dr. Chahbani’s discussion of the Buried Diffuser on our YouTube Channel in the near future. Just go to Aquaponics USA TV to view it.

Dedication Garden
This Blood Orange Fruit Tree was planted in the Micro Food Forever™ Farm Dedication Garden area and has been dedicated to the National Fruit Tree Project. It will also soon be the recipient of a Buried Diffuser, which will save it from the challenging winter conditions and the present drought conditions occurring in our Hi-Desert world above Palm Springs, CA.

Our Other Distinguished Guests Included:

Standing in the middle is lovely, Sue Huber of the famous Yucca Valley Sue’s Health Foods Store and behind her is her husband, Joe Huber. Sue’s Health Foods will soon be carrying our product line consisting of Living Butter Lettuce, Living Romaine Lettuce, Living Basil and Peppers. To learn more about this great store that’s been serving the Hi-Desert since 1984 go to: SUE’S HEALTH FOODS
Seated on the left are John Morgan and Sean Robineti from the Orange County Pond Doctor, a Water Gardening Service Company dedicated to being a full maintenance, serviceand repair resource for water feature enthusiasts who are interested in achieving harmony within a freshwater habitat. To learn more or get your water feature pond serviced go to:

What’s Coming to Sue’s Health Foods From Our Micro Food Forever™ Farm

We’re focusing on the most delicious lettuce you will ever eat including both Butter and Romaine lettuce; and it’s ALIVE. It’s packaged with roots attached so it stays alive until you eat it. Watch for our zer0 Pesticides, Petrochemicals and GMO’s Label. We’ll let you know when it’s about to arrive.
Our Living Lettuce is also “Aquaganic”, which means it’s beyond Organic because it’s grown in a living eco-system in which live natural fish fertilize the plants instead of manmade petrochemicals. And “Aquaganic” vegetables have zer0Pesticides & GMO’s.

Here’s our Product Line Up!

We’ve come up with a Recommended Product Line for our Food Forever™ Farm Farmer Associates. We decided on these particular products based on two criteria including: Ease of Growth & Market Trends.
Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow; and you can get massive amounts of Lettuce in a Vertical Duffy Duct™ System. Living Lettuce with the roots attached is becoming more and more popular in the market place as it indicates fresh, live food.
We’re also selling Living Romaine Lettuce and Living Basil. Peppers (shown below) grow profusely in Deep Media Beds so a Packaged Pepper Product rounds out the group of four Recommended Products.
Our Aquaponics World Micro Food Forever™ Farm will be growing the products; but Aquaponics USA will be marketing and selling them in our local Hi-Desert Community starting with Sue’s Health Foods Store.

Those Sweet Red Peppers
Peppers love Aquaponics systems–all kinds of Peppers. We’re featuring sweet Red Peppers as a starting Pepper product. 

The Connections Between Aquaponics USA, Aquaponics World, LLC and Mr. Chuck Toussieng Sr.’s USA Merchant Team, Dr. Chahbani and his CHAHTECH, S.A. were all made possible by one of the best networking locations on the web known as:

If you haven’t tried Linkedin yet, we highly recommend you link your company or yourself up with a site that really works if you work it.
This Newsletter was late; but it wasn’t brief. Hope you enjoyed your Tour of our new Micro Food Forever™ Farm. If you wish to schedule a Live Tour (subject to the signing of an NDA) just call us at 760-671-3053.
We so appreciate you being one of our valued Subscribers. Until our March Newsletter (to be delivered after the 19th), take care and GET GROWING!
Aquaponics World, LLC & Aquaponics USA
10% Discount

Just for our Subscribers

Due to rising costs, we recently raised our prices; but for our Subscribers, we are offering this 10% Discount on a Food Forever™ Growing System through the end of March.
We want you to know how much we appreciate you and your interest in Aquaponics USA and Aquaponics World, LLC
Just indicate you saw this offer in our February Newsletter.
Grace & Oliver
Co-Owners of Aquaponics USA & Aquaponics World, LLC

Growing Fish & Plants in an Aquaponics Micro Food Forever™ Farm

This is a Copy of our March 2014 Aquaponics USA & Aquaponics World Newsletter. If you’d like to view the actual Newsletter as it was created in Constant Contact go here:

AWorld Aquaganic Logo new 8x10

Growing Fish & Plants in an Aquaponics Micro Food Forever™ Farm is Awesome.
Dear Subscriber:
It’s been about one month since we completed our big conversion over here at Aquaponics USA & Aquaponics World turning our Greenhouse and our Growroom into a single system Aquaponics Demo Micro Food Forever™ Farm; and the results are amazing.
We turned our demonstration Greenhouse and Growroom from demonstrations of our Aquaponics USA Food Forever™ Small School and Backyard Growing Systems into a demonstration of a Micro Food Forever™ Farm.
Small Backyard and School Systems are a completely different design than our Micro Food Forever™ Farm, which at the moment doesn’t have one Deep Media Grow Bed set up.
Everything you’re about to see growing in our Greenhouse and our Growroom are growing in proprietary combination Deep Water Culture/Nutrient Film Technique Grow Beds that we call Duffy Ducts™ after their designer, Oliver Duffy.
The image above is our new Aquaganic™ Trademark Logo. Aquaganic™ food is the healthiest food on the planet because it is beyond Organic. It’s grown in a Pesticide, Petrochemical and GMO free Aquaponics systems where the fish are fed fish food that has no land animal parts like pig’s feet or cow tails as a protein supplement.

Here’s what our Micro Food Forever™ Farm Growroom looked like one month ago.
The pink light you see here is coming from four LED Grow Lights we are using to grow our Seedlings. The Seedling Area has 11 Growing Holes instead of 6 making it possible to grow lots more tiny seedlings before they are transplanted into the Grow Out Horizontal Duffy Duct™ System.

Here’s what that Growroom looks like today!
In this photo, you can see the Butter, Head, Romaine and Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce.

Here’s the front of our Groowroom where we 
are growing Swiss Chard and Butter Lettuce.
We are testing out a new Grow Light. It’s called an Induction Light; and it’s similar to the T5’s we have everywhere in our Growroom except here in the front. We’re finding there are several advantages to Induction Lighting. First and foremost, they are about twice as efficient as either T8’s or T5’s. Secondly, they last 5 to 10 times longer. A typical Induction Light designed as a Grow Light will last for 70,000 hours at nearly 100% brightness and continue on to 100,000 hours at 70% brightness.

Our Growroom Is Pumping Out So Much Lettuce We’re Starting a Locally Grown CSA Program To Sell It!
In this photo we’re growing Living Romaine and Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce along with some Living Cabbage. All of our produce comes with the roots still attached for a long shelf and cooler life.

Our Basil Is Growing So Tall It’s Touching The Lights!
One of the fastest and easiest things to grow in a Food Forever™ Farm System is Basil. It rapidly grows huge leaves and tall plants. Induction Lights hang about a foot above Fluorescent Lights, which will be perfect for growing Basil Plants this tall without them hitting the top of the Grow Lights.

We’ve Added Some Tasty Head Lettuce To Our Lettuce Selection.
The loose, curly leaf Head Lettuce is crispy, firm and fits perfectly in our Clam Shell containers for packaging and delivering to our Community Supported Agriculture participant markets.

You’re Not Going To Believe What’s Happening In Our Greenhouse!
Our system designer, Oliver Duffy, has outdone himself this time. He’s designed a Vertical System that can pump out 224 heads of Lettuce and still we have almost as much room for Deep Media Beds as we had in our original Greenhouse. The photo above is what the  original Greenhouse used to look like.

Here’s A Series Of Pictures Showing Our Vertical System We’ve Named After Our System Designer, Oliver Duffy.
This Duffy Duct™ System is working so well, it’s actually what has prompted us to start the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program in our local Hi-Desert Community. We’re being overrun with Living Romaine Lettuce that is delicious, gorgeous and huge.

In The Previous Photo, You Only See One Wall Of A Two-Wall Inverted “V” Duffy Duct™ System.

Here’s a peek at the other side of the Inverted “V” Duo Walls!

We Have Two Sets Of Inverted “V” Walls In Our 28×8 Sq. Ft. Greenhouse Growing 224 Heads of Living Romaine!
This Vertical System has been in the design stages for quite a while so it’s a real joy to see it in action; and it’s working beautifully. We’re planning to add a hoop house next to this Greenhouse with as many of these Inverted “V” Lettuce Walls as we can put in it. So stay tuned.

Here’s the Aquaponics USA CSA Program Invitation!
If you live in the Hi-Desert of California above Palm Springs, own or manage a small local market or restaurant, you’re invited to join our CSA Program. We’ll be enlarging the CSA Program to include local residents once we get that Hoop House built because then we’ll have enough Living Lettuce, Herbs and Leafy Greens to include our local residents. In the meantime, restaurant owners and market owners can call (760) 671-3053 to get an appointment with us to discuss and join our Hi-Desert CSA! Watch this Section of our Newsletter for a List of all the participating Markets and Restaurants in Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree & 29 Palms!

If You’re A Local, You Can Purchase Our Living Lettuce At Sue’s Health Foods Store In Yucca Valley!

Sue has been encouraging and supporting us for over a year now; and her Sue’s Health Food Store was the first market to sign up for our CSA Program. You can pick up a head of delicious, nutritious Living Romaine Lettuce from her cooler or get a clam-shelled box of crispy loose leaf Living Head Lettuce. No other company is selling Living Romaine or Living Head Lettuce. We’ll be delivering some Living Butter Lettuce to her store soon. Look for our
zer0 Pesticides, Petrochemicals & GMO’s™ Brand!

Get Involved! Join The Aquaponic Gardens Campaign! It’s Rolling Through A School District Or Charitable Organization Near You!

Our Mission is to Generate $1,000,000 each year in order to donate Aquaponics USA’s Food Forever™ Growing Systems to Schools and Charitable Organizations.

You’re Invited to help support our FundGenerators and their efforts to donate Aquaponic Gardens to Schools and Charitable Organizations.

The Aquaponic Gardens Campaign is seeking supporters that are able to sign up for business services from their A+ rated FundGenerating Service providers.

All Schools & Charitable Organizations are welcome to request their Aquaponic Garden donations!

For More Information Go To:

Or Email Jason Nole at:

Or Call: 760-717-4414


You Can Help Fund The Aquaponic Gardens Campaign! Just Visit our Go Fund Me Site at: 

Everyone is invited to become a FundGenerator™ where they can immediately begin to reach out to their network of friends, family and other contacts that wish to support the Aquaponic Gardens Campaign for Schools and Charitable Organizations.The purpose for FundGenerating™ is to collectively generate $1,000,000 every year to invest into Aquaponic Gardens for Schools and Charitable Organizations.

FundGenerators™ earn 25% of all “Commission Dollars” that they Generate for their Campaigns.  The Campaign donates 60% of all “Commission Dollars” directly to the Schools and/or Charitable Organizations.
15% of all “Commission Dollars” go towards operating the Aquaponic Gardens Campaign for the cost of doing business.
Thank You for being one of our valued Subscribers. We so appreciate you reading our Newsletters. Next month we promise we’ll feature The Food Revolution.
Grace Sylke
Marketing Director
Aquaponics USA/Aquaponics World
Ready to Grow Food For Your Family or set up an Edible Schoolroom, Here’s a 10% Discount on any of our Growing Systems.
This Offer Is Good Until May 1st, 2014


This is a Copy of our recent Newsletter. If you’d like to see it as a Newsletter, just go to: Aquaponics USA & Aquaponics World, April Newsletter

AWorld Food Revolution 8x10The Revolution is here. Are YOU IN?

Less than a hundred years ago, there were no supermarkets; and many families grew their own food, milked their own cows and butchered their own beef, rabbits and chickens. They made sure their vegetables were in the ground in early Spring, weather permitting, and harvested in Fall to make way for the late season crops. The excess food was canned and stored; and anything that could be preserved in cold cellars and basements was stowed away for the winter.
We were food self sufficient and everyone ate organic food. All of the milk was whole and unpasteurized because that’s how it came right out of the cow; and the vegetables came right out of the soil–fresh, nutritious and free of pesticides and petrochemicals. The words GMO’s, Bovine Growth Hormones and Irradiated were unheard of and obesity and diabetes were rare, little known ailments.
What happened? This Newsletter gives a brief account from a historical perspective of what spawned the ongoing FOOD REVOLUTION.

The Industrial Revolution spawned an Agricultural Revolution!

Spanning a mere 100 years from 1800 to 1900, the Industrial Revolution turned primarily agrarian, rural societies into industrialized urban ones. Industrialization marked a shift to powered, special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production. It wasn’t long before the U.S. and other countries challenged themselves to make agriculture more efficient and the principles, strategies and technologies of industrialization were applied to farming. Since then three and one half million family farms in the U.S. have vanished while large corporate farms have replaced them. The goal of these Big Agra Farms–to be the supermarket for the world.
In 1923, the International Harvester Farmall tractor replaced the first draft horse with a machine. The rest is history. Since then, there have been many work and time saving machines designed and used in modern farming. As more machinery came onto the farm, more family farmers gave up the way of life that was becoming a costly business investment in order to remain competitive. They moved their families to the cities to pursue other occupations and join the growing numbers of people who purchased their food from the stores and supermarkets that were springing up everywhere.
After World War II, the use of synthetic fertilizers containing the essential plant growth ingredients of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus (NPK) increased considerably allowing farmers to grow more, faster. With this vast increase of crops, there came the need for a way to eradicate the increasing pest problem; and the first synthetic pesticide was discovered by a Swiss chemist named Paul Muller. This miracle solution to the farmers pest problems was non other than DDT, a toxic stew that was banned in the US in 1972 ten years after the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s infamous book, “Silent Spring”, in which she pointed out the collateral damage of DDT to birds, mammals, including humans, and the environment. But that didn’t stop the discovery and use of new, so-called “safer pesticides”, known as POPs, which stands for Persistant Organic (meaning carbon based) Pollutants known for their ability to persist in the environment, being capable of long-range transport, bioaccumulation in human and animal tissue and biomagnification in the food chain.
Unless we understand the past, we’re destined to repeat it. We’ve been repeating it and outdoing ourselves with even more toxic pesticide brews that are necessary to keep vast fields of single crop species alive. Our modern day animal husbandry methods have become criminally insensitive to the basic rights of these beloved animals that live to feed us.
The FOOD REVOLUTION is about stopping that madness, valuing small, local family farms, lessoning the miles food travels from farm to plate, improving the conditions under which food animals are raised, appreciating real food, growing our own food again, returning to the age-old method of food preservation called canning and, in short, taking several steps backwards into our agrarian past to reclaim our right to wholesome, healthy, nutritious food and our right to be the loving caretakers of the land and the animals that give their lives for our sustenance.
In Part 2, you’ll meet an activist farmer who has that very attitude about his animals and his farm, Joel Salatin.

Big Agra and Big Chemi Companies got into the FOOD Business and are taking industrialization to the extreme! Below are three books that tell that sad tale.

Back in the decade between 1962 and 1972, it took only one book, “Silent Spring” and ten years to get DDT banned in the U.S. It’s taking many times as many books and a little longer these days as one of the world’s heros and a leading activists against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s), Jeffrey Smith, wrote his first book, “Seeds of Deception” in 2003. It was followed by his second book on the same subject entitled “Genetic Roulette” in 2007 as was F. William Engdahl’s book, “Seeds of Destruction”. Many other books on the GMO subject are out in the market.
So we’re now 11 years out since Jeffrey Smith published his first book, “Seeds of Deception”, and  in late April of 2014, Vermont put itself on the map as the first state in the U.S. to pass a GMO mandatory labeling bill so their residents will know if GMO products are in their food. Both Maine and Connecticut passed GMO labeling bills before Vermont, but their bills take effect only if neighboring states also pass similar bills. Vermont is the forerunner of what is about to become a mass rejection of GMO’s in the U.S. Finally, as we’re behind the curve compared to many other countries. More on that in Part 2.

But wait. We’ve gotten ahead of ourselves. 
What are GMO’s and where did they come from?

A recent study out of France showing huge tumors growing on rats fed GMO corn for their lifetime, which in the case of the females, is a much shorter one, caused both Russia and France to ban GMO corn. Corn grown in the U.S. is almost exclusively GMO corn; and almost every manufactured snack food is loaded with high fructose CORN syrup. Snack foods are delivery methods for GMO’s.
According to the Non GMO project, a consumer advocate group working to expose the dangers of GMOs, they “are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. We even have lambs that glow in the dark because they have genes taken from jellyfish.
Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.”


The illustration above by the famous artist, Dees, is just one of many examples of the growing movement against the Monsanto Corporation, which is largely responsible for putting GMO’s into our delicate food chain.

Monsanto was established in 1901 and it’s first product was saccharin. By 1955, Monsanto branched out into the petroleum business and acquired Lion Oil. With this acquisition, it was introduced to the fertilizer business. From there it moved into the agricultural chemical business with one of its leading products, a weed killer called Round Up, which is known worldwide.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Monsanto gained the esteemed reputation of being a leading producer of Agent Orange, which contained the toxic chemical called dioxin. They produced this chemical for the U.S. Military in Vietnam. By the end of that war, “72 million liters of Agent Orange were sprayed on over one million Vietnam civilians and over 100,000 U.S. troops. Within ten years of the end of the war, 9,170 veterans had filed claims for disabilities believed to be caused by Agent Orange.”

And now, as a result no doubt of their sterling reputation, Monsanto’s goal is to produce GMO food for the world. This company realized that they could create GMO seeds that grew plants that were resistant to their weed killer, Round Up. Farmers could buy these GMO seeds and use copious amounts of Round Up to kill their weeds without affecting their plants. Round Up is a Glyphosate. A Glyphosate is a poison, which is extremely deadly for most plants and quite toxic for people especially over time. It not only can get in the human bloodstream; but it can cross the blood barrier and reach our unborn children. Current Roundup Ready crops include soy, corn, canola, alfalfa, cotton, and sorghum, with wheat under development. We could write a book on Monsanto and are only giving you a bird’s eye view of how and why they got into the GMO food and seed business, which, by the way is motivating them to buy as many seed companies as they possibly can. It’s an attempt to control our FOOD worldwide.

We all have Monsanto to thank for the FOOD REVOLUTION that is taking place worldwide.
             THANK YOU,

Mother Theresa once said, “I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me”. Likewise, we are actually suggesting here that we all quit fighting against Monsanto and start thanking that company for being the progenitor of the FOOD REVOLUTION. By the way, this is a peaceful REVOLUTION that we fight with our wallets.
What’s the reasoning behind this theory? We had all become quite complacent about pesticides, herbicides and irradiated food. We certainly weren’t demanding to have those foods labeled or identified because we all know that every fresh vegetable that isn’t labeled organic has been sprayed with pesticides; and we’ve been consuming them for years now. The irradiated subject is much more mysterious; and we explain it in some detail below.


If Monsanto hadn’t been hell bent on putting out GMO’s in great abundance worldwide and keeping us from knowing which foods contain them, we’d still be complacently buying all kinds of toxic and unhealthy foods manufactured by the large food producing corporations. The advent of GMO’s caused us all to take a good look at the entire corporate takeover of our food production and the annihilation of the once prolific family farm. This corporate food production oligarchy dominated by a few giant corporations pays much less attention to the well being of the produce and animals that they raise and the humans they feed than to their profit and loss statements. The obesity epidemic measured by the size of our bottoms means nothing to these mega giants that are much more concerned about the well being and size of their bottom lines.
To get the details about “Irradiated Foods” scroll down to the next orange article block.

What’s Coming in Part 2?

We actually thought this was going to be one Newsletter but are now realizing that it’s at least two Newsletters.
What’s coming in Part 2 is the real Nitty Gritty of the FOOD REVOLUTION. Who are the major players? What are they doing and why? What books to read and much more. 
So stay tuned. In the meantime, read your labels, do your best to stay away from GMO’s, stay healthy and don’t miss the FREE 2014 FOOD REVOLUTION SUMMIT. Get the details below.

Don’t miss the Free 2014 FOOD REVOLUTION SUMMIT. You can learn all about how to participate by clicking here so hurry because it starts tomorrow on April 26th.

John and his son, Ocean, Robbins weren’t the first ones to coin the term FOOD REVOLUTION; but they’re running with it. Actually, a vivacious young chef from Great Britain brought the concept of a FOOD REVOLUTION to the U.S. with his fantastic TV Series called “Jamie Oliver’s FOOD REVOLUTION”. We’ll talk more about that in Part 2.
John and Ocean Robbins, of the famous Baskin and Robbins Ice Cream Brand, have turned away from their family legacy and fortune to become advocates of healthy eating and real food. This is the second FOOD REVOLUTION SUMMIT they’ve produced.
It’s FREE and offers Worldwide access. So don’t miss it. Once it streams, you can purchase the entire Summit on CD’s and share it with friends and family.

See you at the FOOD REVOLUTION SUMMIT April 26-May 4, 2014.

What is Irradiated Food?

If you haven’t heard of this industrialized method for messing with nature’s bounty, don’t feel bad. You’re among good company. We even had to look it up to get a grasp on it. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:
“Food irradiation is the process of exposing foodstuffs to a source of energy capable of stripping electrons from individual atoms in the targeted material known as ionizing radiation. The radiation can be emitted by a radioactive substance or generated by high-energy accelerators including X-ray converters. Irradiated food does not become radioactive”; but, folks, it’s far from normal.
“Irradiation damages food by breaking up molecules and creating free radicals. The free radicals kill some bacteria, but they also bounce around in the food, damage vitamins and enzymes, and combine with existing chemicals (like pesticides) in the food to form new chemicals, called unique radiolytic products (URPs). Some of these URPs are known toxins (benzene, formaldehyde, lipid peroxides) and some are unique to irradiated foods. Scientists have not studied the long-term effect of these new chemicals in our diet. Therefore, we cannot assume they are safe.” But the ugly truth is they are being assumed to be safe and are prolific in our supermarkets. From Organic Consumers article entitled “What’s Wrong With Food Irradiation?
So why and when is our food being irradiated? Again from Wikipedia, “This treatment is used to preserve food, reduce the risk of food borne illness, prevent the spread of invasive pests, delay or eliminate sprouting or ripening, increase juice yield and improve re-hydration. It is permitted by over 50 countries, with 500,000 metric tons of foodstuffs annually processed worldwide.”
In the U.S., fresh tropical fruit from Hawaii, Florida, Mexico, some Asian countries, India and Pakistan, dehydrated spices, spinach and ground meat products are all irradiated before they hit your grocery store shelves. In fact, Mexico has become the largest exporter of irradiated produce to the U.S. Varieties of produce include Mangos, Sweet citrus, Manzano Peppers, Starfruit and Guava.” Beware, if it’s produce coming from Mexico, it’s been irradiated.

Watch the Video Interview by Jeffrey Smith of the heroes who pushed through the mandatory labeling bill in Vermont.

When it’s finally over; and all of the states in the U.S. have passed mandatory GMO labeling bills, there will be lots of heroes who gave their time and energy to get this done. But for now, two of them are being honored in this Video.

Vermont becomes first state to pass GMO Labeling Laws
Vermont becomes first state to pass GMO Labeling Laws

Jeffrey Smith  teaches about the dangers of GMO’s in Las Vegas on April 29th!

Don’t miss this event. It’s an Eye-Opener. Jeffrey Smith will be at his best with the Vermont WIN beneath his wings.
We so appreciate your following our Newsletters. We’ll be sharing more about what’s happening in our Food Forever™ Micro Farm Greenhouse and Growroom in our June Newsletter.
Watch for Part 2 of the FOOD REVOLUTION in our May Newsletter.
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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

White Fly


In the last few posts, we’ve been all about the Good; but this post is about the Bad and the Ugly! What’s that, you ask. WHITEFLIES!

Don’t let their White Wings fool you. These pests are far from angelic. In fact, today I’ve decided they are pure evil; and they’re sugar addicts to boot.

WhiteFlies are not really flies at all as they are related to the aphid family. There’s a species that’s called Greenhouse WhiteFly (GHWH) and their favorite plant is eggplant. But in our Greenhouse they have decided our Basil is their plant of choice. They are also attacking our Okra and even our lettuce.

WhiteFly Sticky Tabs #1

This is Grow Bed #5 where a lot of sweet Basil is growing. That’s where the major infestation is occurring.

We totally blew it in relation to this infestation because we were going out to the Greenhouse at night when it was cooler. The WhiteFlies were tucked away in their resting mode under the plant leaves and we missed them until they became a full-blown invasion of our beautiful Greenhouse. From our perspective, we had none and a week later we had thousands. UGH!

WhiteFly Sticky Tabs #3

You can’t tell from these pictures but the Basil and small Okra leaves are full of Sticky Gooey WhiteFly excrement.

When we thought we had none, they were going through the mere 18 days of development time necessary at 86 degrees.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about this scourge on Greenhouses: “Developmental time (egg to adult) for the GHWF can take from 123 days at 54° F. to only 18 days at 86° F. GHWF eggs hatch and go through several instars (stages of larval growth) while attached to the undersides of leaves. Shortly after hatching, the GHWF larvae attaches into the leaf tissue and begins feeding on plant fluids. It remains attached until it emerges as an adult. While attached, the larvae is covered with a protective skeleton that makes it difficult to kill with insecticides. Adults can begin laying 4-10 eggs per day within 1-2 days after emergence. As the various stages of the GHWF feeds on the plant, it excretes large amounts of honeydew. A black sooty mold can grow on the honeydew that can interfere with leaf photosynthesis and transpiration.”

We’ve pretty much lost our Basil in the back Grow Bed. It’s all sticky with the sugary excrement  of the WhiteFlies. Good bye Pesto and delicious herbal spice. It’s really amazing how quickly what appears as a few WhiteFlies turns into an endless army of these invaders.

WhiteFly Sticky Tabs #5

Thank goodness they don’t seem to be interested in the Corn because it’s not mature yet. But they love the Greek Basil.

We’ve taken the first step at reclaiming our Greenhouse by putting up Sticky WhiteFly Traps. However, we didn’t use them soon enough obviously. Sticky WhiteFly Traps are about detection more than they are about waging war with WhiteFlies.

Take it from us who are learning the hard way, everyone with a Greenhouse Aquaponics system should be putting up Sticky WhiteFly Traps (especially in warm weather) for monitoring WhiteFly adults as soon as a crop is seeded. We sell them on our website Accessories page. Each adult White Fly caught on a trap may prevent 100 eggs from being laid on your plant.  And believe me when I tell you to wear a face mask if you put up traps after the infestation and then deliberately shake the plants where the WhiteFlies are residing. I didn’t and I’m going to drink a nice big glass full of GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) as soon as I finish this post. Somehow, writing this post has turned into my revenge on WhiteFlies.

WhiteFly Sticky Tabs #2

This is also REVENGE!

But the Sticky WhiteFly Traps are only the beginning of our counter attack. Because in a couple of days we’ll be receiving our Encarsia formosa (WhiteFly Parasites). We’re getting the Nile Delta WhiteFly Parasite because it will go after all major types of WhiteFly including Greenhouse, Silverleaf, Sweetpotato and Banded Wing. These Nile Delta guys are actually wasps. You can get them at Hydro-Gardens.

Nile Delta encarsia formosa

Nile Delta encarsia formosa

WASPS! EGAD! That’s fighting with some real big guns. We’re hoping they’re going to be so full of WhiteFlies, they won’t bother with us. Actually, the instructions regarding how to release them say they will only go after WhiteFlies and not plants or people. That’s good news. Here’s how they operate on the battle field.

Below is a photo of a plant leave invested with WhiteFlies. Whitefly_Infested_LeafWhat these WhiteFly Parasites do is actually lay their eggs into WhiteFly larvae. No wonder they are called parasites. WOW! That’s infiltration of the enemy lines at the deepest level. Once that happens the leaves look like the pictures below depending on which kind of WhiteFly is in your Greenhouse. The instructions do say these guys do a better job if you employ them early in the fray. We hope we’re getting a real serious Black Water bunch that can eradicate the infestation after being hired late in the insurrection.

If things go as planed, the back of the leaves where the larvae is turn into this:Encarsia_Parasitized_Leaf

The photo above is of a leaf that was invested with a species of  WhiteFly called Silverleaf after the Nile Delta Parasite laid its eggs inside the WhiteFly larvae. This is good news.Encarsia_Parasitized_LeafGHWF

Here is a leaf that was invested with Greenhouse WhiteFly after the Nile Delta parasite laid its eggs inside the WhiteFly larvae.  Again, this is the good news.

We’ll keep you posted on the process of eradicating WhiteFlies as it progresses. In the meantime, I feel a whole lot better after hitting the Publish button because I have just aided in the eradication of WhiteFlies all over the world.

We really consider ourselves to be peace loving people. We even take most bugs we find in our desert home outside rather than killing them (except black widows). But those WhiteFlies have turned me into a Warrioress who is defending her Greenhouse and her food.

Thanks for being there. Now for that big glass of GSE!

CORN Galore!

In late July the desert monsoons hit and refreshed everything with a down pour of wonderful wetness from above. This photo is a picture of that event. But wait until you see what is growing inside our rain soaked Greenhouse!

Every now and then wonderful summer monsoons hit the high desert of California. This was one of those days.

Every now and then wonderful summer monsoons hit the high desert of California. This was one of those days.

We have Corn. So much Corn it’s growing right out of the roof vent. Corn that started out as pitiful, wispy weak looking leaves, which you can see in the center Grow Bed in the next photo (which we’ve posted before). We want you to see what has happened in six weeks of time to those little plants.

Focus on the uninteresting middle Grow Beds where the little wisps of corn have

Focus on the uninteresting middle Grow Beds where the little wisps of corn have been planted.

Better yet, watch the progression (someone suggested we do time-lapse photos) so that’s what we’re showing. Here’s a photo that was taken about three weeks after the one above.

Queen Corn and their lady in waiting, Greek Basil.

Queen Corn and their lady in waiting, Greek Basil.

Then comes the most recent pictures that were taken six weeks after the first shot with the wispy Corn. These Corn stalks are so thick, they resemble bamboo; and the Corn is growing all the way up to the top of the Greenhouse roof. It’s an amazing sight to see.

Here's the Corn growing up against the roof of our Greenhouse.

Here’s the Corn growing up against the roof of our Greenhouse.

The Corn Silk is beautiful and long. It's the female part of the flower of the corn

The Corn Silk is beautiful and long. It’s the female part of the flower of the corn plant.

The male part of the Corn flower is sitting above the silk at the top of the picture. You need both the tassel looking male flowers and the silk to get corn. Here’s why.

“Corn is monoecious (mon-ee-shuss) which means that there are both male and female flowers on each corn plant. In some monoecious plants, male and female parts are in the same flower. In corn, male and female flowers are in different locations – the male flowers form a tassel which is at the top of the plant. The female flower is located at the junction of leaves and stem. It consists of a collection of hairs (silks) enclosed in the husks of what will become the ears. These silks are pollen-receiving tubes. Wind-blown pollen from the male flowers (tassel) falls on the silks below. Each silk leads to a kernel, and pollen must land on all silks for the ear to fill out completely with kernels. Kernel “skips” (ears only partly filled out with kernels) often are the result of poor pollination. ” (from Growing Sweet Corn in the Backyard Garden)

Last year we planted corn for the first time but never got actual corn to eat. Actually, we didn’t really plant it. We placed a group of rockwool cubes with corn seeds in them in a back Grow Bed, never separated them from each other and just waited to see what would happen. Corn grew but it didn’t pollinate because the plants were too crowded together; and they were competing with tomatoes. Anytime a plant tries to compete with tomatoes, it loses because tomatoes take every bit of the nutrients from the water in order to put out fruit.

So this year we decided to get serious about planting Corn; and it looks like we’re going to be eating Non GMO Corn on the cob soon. We’ll be blogging all about that joyous occasion. In the meantime, just watching this Corn grow is an event all of its own. Below is a photo of one stalk growing right out of the Greenhouse roof vent.

This stalk is going to prove once and for all if we can actually get cobs of corn as it's not being stopped by the roof. For this stalk, the sky is the limit.

This stalk is going to prove once and for all if we can actually get cobs of corn as it’s not being stopped by the roof. For this stalk, the sky is the limit.

 And we’re seeing the correct pollination formula with tassels over silk. YEAH!
But Corn isn’t the only thing growing in our Greenhouse right now. Next to the Corn in those same uninteresting middle Grow Beds in the 2nd picture above is Okra. This is the first time we’ve planted Okra and it loves growing in a Food Forever™ Aquaponics Growing System. Between the tall Okra Leaves and the massive Corn Stalks, walking into that part of the Greenhouse is like walking through a jungle canopy.

Welcome to our jungle canopy with Okra on one side of the Grow Beds and Corn on the other.

Welcome to our jungle canopy with Okra on one side of the Grow Beds and Corn on the other.

In the background of the above photo is Greek Basil. It’s also loving this environment and is growing into lovely bushes of luscious smelling basil.

When Okra flowers it puts out this lovely yellow expression of joy.

When Okra flowers it puts out this lovely yellow expression of joy.

So that’s what’s going on inside the Aquaponics USA Greenhouse this summer. Not to mention the R&D for our commercial-sized Food Forever™ Farm Systems that we’re designing under our new business, at Aquaponics We can’t show you that Grow Bed as the new designs are proprietary. But I can tell you it’s getting real exciting around here right about now.

Thanks for visiting. All the effort, wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if we didn’t have you to share it with.

We Have Solar, Finally! Part 2

We lucked out and actually had a place to stack the panels on the roof prior to installing them.

We lucked out and actually had a place to stack the panels on the roof prior to installing them.

This was a small section on the original porch roof where the solar water heating system wasn’t. Our Master Carpenter turned into a Solar Panel Installer (even though he’d never done this before in his life); and we were soon installing our ten rows of three panels deep across our new Fishroom roof.

In the background of this photo, you can see our Greenhouse. The new Fishroom sits under the Solar Panels that are already installed. The existing Growroom we built in late 2010, sits under the solar water heater strips and extends about 30 ft. to the left of the photo.

Our plan is to connect all three of these areas together into a single recirculating aquaponics system we’re calling our Micro Food Forever™ Farm, which will be about 1/10th the size of a full commercial-sized Food Forever™ Farm. To learn more about our Food Forever™ Farm designs, go to our new website at Aquaponics

We started the installation process by securing that expensive hardware to the Fishroom roof.

We started the installation process by securing that expensive hardware to the Fishroom roof.

Here's an up close view of that expensive hardware we realized we needed to purchase to get our Panels secured to the Fishroom roof.

Here’s an up close view of that expensive hardware we realized we needed to purchase to get our Panels secured to the Fishroom roof.

As you can see from the photo below, it requires quite a lot of that hardware to safely secure the Solar Panels especially when you live in the California desert where wind velocities can reach gusts of up to 40-50 miles per hour.

We started the installation process by securing that expensive hardware to the roof first.

The panels were then secured to the hardware starting at one end.

The above photo also shows the solar water heating system that heats our 32 x 18 ft. pool up to 104 degrees F, at which point we refer to it as a large hot tub.

The photo below shows an important piece of the securing hardware that clamps the solar panels to the rails.

The clamps secure the Solar Panels to the rails.

The clamps secure the Solar Panels to the rails.

Below is a front view of the roof line with the Solar Panels installed.

There's a breezeway between the roof and the panels that is about four inches in height.

There’s a breezeway between the roof and the panels that is about four inches in height.

Installing the Solar Panels was only one part of the job. They then had to be wired up by our electrician. The photo below shows the power boxes that were installed to facilitate this wiring process.

There are ten of these power boxes. Each box contains the wiring for three Solar Panels.

There are ten of these power boxes. Each box contains the wiring and circuit breakers for three Solar Panels.

Wiring both the Fishroom and the Solar Panels has constituted a large portion of the money this project is costing. We hired a Master Electrician who does not believe in cutting corners when it comes to wiring. We’ll be posting a Part 3 of this project in which we show photos and describe the parts of the Solar Panel system that are hidden away in our garage and home including the Inverter-Charger, the MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) Solar Chargers, the Generator Control Module and the System Control Panel.

This is an Off-The-Grid System. If the Grid goes down, we stay Up! One of the big problems with signing up for free Solar Panels offered by companies that want to use your roofs (they get the rebates) is these are Grid-tied systems. If the Grid goes down, you don’t have electricity.

We also have a Generator (photos coming in Part 3) that automatically starts and connects when the power has been off too long and there is not enough Solar (night) to keep the system going. It is all very transparent, and we only become aware that anything has happened to the grid supply when we hear the  generator start. This smooth transition is done with the support of 10KWH of AGM batteries that will keep us alive for quite a while if the grow lights in the Growroom are off but only several minutes if the grow lights are on. Grow Lights take quite a lot of power; but once you get the right combination, they work like a charm. Below is a photo of our Fluorescent T5’s growing massive amounts of veggies in this perfectly controlled environment.

Our Fluorescent T5's growing lettuce and basil.

Our Fluorescent T5’s growing lettuce and basil.

 Just as we got the final Solar Panels installed, a massive summer monsoon down pour occurred that chased our Installer off the roof.

The best Solar Panel Installer in the business. A real "Jack" of all trades.

The best Solar Panel Installer in the business. A real “Dan” of all trades.

Here’s a photo of our Greenhouse in the midst of that down pour. Just wait until you see what’s growing inside of it, which we’ll be sharing in our next post.

Every now and then wonderful summer monsoons hit the high desert of California. This was one of those days.

Every now and then wonderful summer monsoons hit the high desert of California. This was one of those days.

Thanks again for following our Blog. It’s so much fun to share the joy of being aquaponics farmers.

We Have Solar! Finally!

We did it!  We got our Solar Panels up on the new Fishroom Roof!

Our Fishroom Roof with Solar Panels!

Our Fishroom Roof with Solar Panels!

What a project this has been. It all started when we discovered Sun Electronics in Miami, Florida was selling Solar Panels for about $1 a Watt. We also knew we could pick them up at a distribution center in Phoenix. This company is now selling panels for 72 cents per Watt. This was late 2011. Next to the Solar Panels, you can see our Solar Water Heating System which took up all of the porch roof we doubled in size when we first moved to the desert in 2006.

The joy of watching fish and plants grow.

The joy of watching fish and plants grow.

We had sold three of our Food Forever™ Growing Systems to three elementary schools in Tucson, Arizona, and we planned to deliver and install them during the 2011 Christmas break. So it would be the perfect time to pick up our Solar Panels with the U-Haul we rented to make the school deliveries. This saved a lot of money on shipping of the Solar Panels. The photo above was taken in early 2012 about three months after we installed one of the three Food Forever™ Growing System in the Davis Bilingual Elementary School Library.

Now, back to the Solar Panels. The following photos show the process of getting our Solar Panels into the now empty U-Haul.

We really thought we'd be able to go home and get these panels up in a month or so. One and a half years later, they're up.

We really thought we’d be able to go home and get these panels up in a month or so. One and a half years later, they’re up.

The Solar Panels are going into the empty U-Haul.

The Solar Panels are going into the empty U-Haul.

Oliver, our System Designer, watches the loading process.

Oliver, our System Designer, watches the loading process.

Done deal; and we're back on the I-10 to Yucca Valley.

Done deal; and we’re back on the I-10 to Yucca Valley.

This purchase cost approximately $6,000. But we unwittingly neglected to purchase the hardware necessary to secure the Solar Panels to the structure that was to hold them. That hardware, which was also purchased from Sun Electronics, cost another $3,000. So far our Solar project has cost $9,000. We paid labor hours for two System Installers who were hired to install the three Tucson school systems so about $150 extra was paid in the hours it took to pick up the Solar Panels.

Then came the big delay in the project, a delay that lasted one and a half years while our beautiful Solar Panels sat useless in the garage waiting to be installed and our electric bill kept going higher and higher. They became a cumbersome fixture in the garage where they were shown to many Tour participants and touted as a project that was to be completed sometime in the near future.

Why the delay? We had no where to put our Solar Panels. Our south facing house roof had already been taken by our solar pool heating system. Those are the black rubber strips right next to the Solar Panels.

Our Solar Panels on the Fishroom Roof next to our Solar Water Heater

Our Solar Panels on the Fishroom Roof next to our Solar Water Heater

So we were going to have to build something to hold the Solar Panels. Our first thought was to build a roof only structure that would extend from our existing growroom addition lengthwise toward the greenhouse. Then came the dellimma about what to make this structure out of–wood or iron. Then came the consideration about making a possible move to Arizona, which we dropped given how far back a move would take us in our business and our Solar Panel project.

Finally, we decided to stay put and build an addition to our existing Growroom in the form of a Fishroom so we could separate the indoor growing area from the fish tanks. The following photos show that Fishroom building process.

Our Master Carpenter, Dan, measures the roof line

Our Master Carpenter, Dan, measures the roof line

The outer wall studs are in place.

The outer wall studs are in place.

We had to give up some of our original deck area to add this room. We put a solid floor over the decking and added two drains.

Here's what the inside wall of the Fishroom looks like after we tore off the siding and wired it for our new system.

Here’s what the inside wall of the Fishroom looks like after we tore off the siding and wired it for our new system.

The wall studs are in place along with several roof beams.

The wall studs are in place along with several roof beams.

The supporting posts were placed in a ribar reinforced box according to code.

The supporting posts were placed in a ribar reinforced box according to code.

In order to hold the 30 Solar Panels, the roof had to extend past the Growroom.

In order to hold the 30 Solar Panels, the roof had to extend past the Growroom.

The farthest support beam on the right side of the photo is the one placed in the ribar reinforced and cemented hole.

Wall studs and roof beams in place.

Wall studs and roof beams in place.

Plywood is going up on the roof to receive the finishing roofing material.

Plywood is going up on the roof to receive the finishing roofing material.

The roof edging is in place. The door is the door to our existing Growroom.

The roof edging is in place. The door is the door to our existing Growroom.

We didn’t get a shot of the completed roof without the Solar Panels. Believe us, it was beautiful. We are still in construction on the Fishroom.

Here's the Fishroom as it sits today. The roof has the Solar Panels in place; and the solid floor is finished.

Here’s the Fishroom as it sits today. The roof has the Solar Panels in place; and the solid floor is finished.

As you can see, the room hasn’t been enclosed yet; and, once again due to funds, we may need to delay the finishing of the interior and exterior walls until late Fall.

That’s not going to stop us from completing the floor and moving the four 120 gallon fish tanks and fish into their new Fishroom. Then we’ll be dismantling the Food Forever™ Growing System we call the FFGS-40 that is presently in the Growroom and building our newly designed aquaponics system we are calling our Micro Food Forever™Farm. If you want to learn more about Food Forever™ Farms, visit our new website at Aquaponics We’re building a single system that will link the Greenhouse to the Growroom and Fishroom. This new system will be growing leafy greens for our local marketplace to prove that money can be made doing aquaponics. Wish us luck.

We started building the Fishroom in February making the finished roof the top priority of that project so we could place the Solar Panels on it. The roof of this Fishroom was designed to hold the thirty Solar Panels. Once the roof was completed, we had to stop the project until we saved up enough money to pay for the extra $3,000 in hardware costs, mentioned above, the electrician and laborer that would be required to get the Solar Panels installed on the roof. We’ll show you the Solar Panel installation process in our next Blog post as this one is getting to be a book.

Thanks so much for following our Blog.  Sharing our adventures (and expenditures) in Aquaponics somehow makes it much more worthwhile.

There’s been a coup in the Greenhouse!

Things change fast in the Greenhouse. We published a beautiful Greenhouse photo (below) in our June 20th Blog post that featured the two Queens of the Greenhouse. They were huge Zucchini plants that were sitting in the back. Greenhouse Full ShotIn that picture, the middle beds had Okra and Corn that were little spindles of growth we hoped would survive. The original Zucchini Queens have been replaced by new Sovereigns, the Corn. It’s unbelievable how quickly and beautifully they are growing. And this corn is among the small number of corn stalks in all of the US that isn’t GMO! And believe it or not, this all happened in 18 Days.

New Queens in the Greenhouse!

New Queens in the Greenhouse!

Now you will notice that we have one rather challenging problem in our herculean efforts to grow corn in our Greenhouse. It’s obvious that at this incredible rate of growth, it won’t be long before our corn stalks reach the ceiling. We’re going to try to bend them forward and are taking the tomato plants that are standing in front of them out of the bed and planting them outside in order to accommodate the corn. We also have a ceiling window we can open to let two of the stalks grow out of the ceiling.

Queen Corn and their lady in waiting, Greek Basil.

Queen Corn and their lady in waiting, Greek Basil.

Next to the corn is a lovely little maid in waiting to the new Queens. It’s a Greek Basil plant. It seems that Basils of many countries love aquaponics systems. Here’s another shot of the Queen Corn, the Basil and the tomato plants.

Queen Corn, Greek Basil, Tomatoes and Okra.

Queen Corn, Greek Basil, Tomatoes and Okra.

Behind the tomato plants in another bed is Okra. We’ve never planted Okra before but it also seems to thrive in an aquaponics system. Apparently, Okra is a flowering plant that puts out edible green seed pods often called lady’s fingers or gumbo. So far, we haven’t seen any pods growing; but we sure do have the leaves.

Our first grow out of Okra.

Our first grow out of Okra.

In this last photo, you see the Queen Corn and the Okra together in one bed. The corn is spread across the back of two of our 11 sq. ft. Grow Beds. About midway in the shot at the top, you can see the roof window we’ll be opening so a couple of stalks can grow out of it.

Queen Corn and our first grow out of Okra.

Queen Corn and our first grow out of Okra.

So that’s the story of the recent Greenhouse coup. We’re learning gardening in this Food Forever™ Growing System as neither myself, Grace, or my partner, Oliver, had ever gardened before we built this aquaponics system and this Greenhouse. What’s important for you to realize if you don’t already know, we live in the California desert where the temperatures were 105 degrees F last week and there is no real soil, just sand. This is a climate-contolled system that is growing so much better than our outside raised bed plants with soil. This system is a great teacher, which explains why schools are buying our Food Forever™ Growing Systems; and we have them in several edible schoolrooms around the U.S.

Thanks for visiting. We’ll keep you posted on how the Queen Corn does as she runs into her “glass ceiling” (polycarbonate actually).

Out of the Grow Bed, Into the Pan and Onto the Plate

Here’s what’s going on in our Aquaponics USA Greenhouse these days.

Greenhouse Full ShotWe just harvested a ton of lettuce and moved into flowering plants. Notice we still have lettuce in the first Grow Bed, which is about to be harvested. In the back bed we have the Queens of the Greenhouse–a couple of huge Zucchini Plants that are pumping out huge Zucchini. The leaves on these plants look like African Elephant ears. They were planted in early April. We’ve got eggplant, tomatoes, okra, peppers and corn in the middle beds.

We’re giving corn another try this summer as we actually got cobs to grow last year; but they didn’t mature into edible corn. I’m so eager to be able to grow non GMO corn, which is pretty much impossible to get in the U.S. these days thanks to Monsanto and friends. I just broke down and ordered non GMO corn flour so I can make my own corn tortillas as tacos is one of our favorite dishes around here. Bob's Red Mill

We just harvested four Zucchini from the Queens; and I can’t wait to get them into the kitchen so I can cut one up and make Italian Zucchini paddies.Four Zucchini and the Queens #1Four Zucchini and the Queens #2

Below are a couple of photos of an outdoor Zucchini Plant that was planted on the same day the indoor plants were placed into our Food Forever™ Growing System. Every day we have to go out and water this puppy. Once we do that this evening after the hot desert sun goes down, it will perk right up and not have those droopy puppy-dog ears.Zucchini in soil #2Zucchini in soil #3

The difference between these two plants is remarkable to say the least; and we’ve hardly done anything in the way of maintenance on the indoor plants. Trimmed off some of those huge elephant ears the other day and that was about it. No watering and no weeding. Aquaponics systems don’t have weeds, and the watering is done automatically in what is called an ebb and flow schedule designed into the system.  That means about every 15 minutes the Grow Bed is flooded with water and then it drains out. This goes on 24/7 with the aide of the Bell Siphon.

So here they are in the pan, thick slices of zucchini that were dunked into a couple of raw whisked eggs and then dipped into Italian Bread crumbs and quick fried.Fried Zucchini Paddies

And from the pan, they went to the plate. I’m not planning on auditioning for Master Chef any time soon; but I had to add a few leaves of our fresh basil (we’re growing tons of it on our growroom right now) for color and image appeal. Notice shadow of the cook in the foreground.Zucchini on the Plate

Here’s a photo of the ingredients that went into making the zucchini paddies. Fresh, just picked zucchini from our Food Forever™ Grow Bed, 2 eggs, some Italian Bread Crumbs, graded cheese, salt, pepper, oregano and our own aquaponically grown dried basel (in the bottle with the yellow lid). Oh, and some Prego on top.Ingredients for Pan Fried Zucchini

This is making me hungry so if you’ll forgive me, I’m going to send the zucchini on the next leg of its journey–into my stomach.

Thanks for visiting.