Visionary Aquaponics With Maribou Latour



Visionary Aquaponics is a podcast created for you, the Aquaponics Entrepreneur, the Aquapreneur, and those who want to take their Aquaponics to the next level. This show delivers 3 episodes a week for you Aquapreneurs who want to learn more about the business side of Aquaponics. Each episode brings you a different Aquaponics expert with advice on various topics from backyard to commercial Aquaponics, passive solar design, integrated aquaculture, renewable energy, biochar, horticulture, fish breeding, organic hydroponics, farm design, systems thinking, the failures and successes of Aquaponics businesses, earth-sheltered greenhouses, and permaculture-integrated Aquaponics. We end each show with inspiration for future research and development, and the #1 tip for the Aquaponics entrepreneur.


  • 56: Natural Pest Sprays and Dual Root Zone Aquaponics with Reid Larson of PolyGuarden

    16/12/2015 Duração: 57min

    Today's guest is Reid Larson, founder and chief science officer of PolyGuarden, a company offering full-spectrum protection for both residential and commercial aquaponics with the mission of global implementation of aquaponics. Listen in as Reid talks about the products and services they're offering including eco-friendly pest sprays, proactive vs. reactive pest sprays, and Solution 3 plant supplements for root development. Reid further discusses neem extractions and dual root zone aquaponics where you get to plant on soil on top of the aquaponics media. Find out about certain products to stay away from, the use of macro and micronutrients, the need for water changes, and dealing with problems of readily available nutrients. PolyGuarden has opened up consulting, designing, and monitoring systems. Reid further discusses the Google trends and the power of collaboration. More topics will be discussed including strengthening food systems, various systems they’re using, and some advancements in their monitoring sy

  • 55: From Becoming Food Aware to Commercial Aquaponics with Steve Carrell of Ponderosa Aqua Farm in Indiana

    14/12/2015 Duração: 58min

    In this episode, Steve Carrell, co-owner of Ponderosa Aqua Farm shares with us highly valuable information on setting up a commercial aquaponics system. Steve owns a construction company while his wife, Missy, is a long-time gardener. A dynamic duo, together they formed the Ponderosa Aqua Farm based in Spencer, Indiana. It was at that time when they started to question what's in their own food that sprung out their decision of living off of only what they ate. Transitioning from an in-home basement system to a commercial system, they went to Florida to attend the course at Green Acre Aquaponics. While many commercial aquaponics growers recommend to start small, Steve takes the opposite direction believing that you have to have a certain scale in order to sell enough produce in order to be profitable. Listen in to what he has to say. He also discusses things like underestimating the cost of going commercial (can be pretty overwhelming!) including labor and plumbing, the social impact of aquaponics, market rese

  • 54: Bringing Aquaponics to the Classroom with Michael Kosko of Al Raby School for Community and Environment

    11/12/2015 Duração: 49min

    Today’s episode features an inspiring guest, Michael Kosko, a Science teacher at Al Raby School for Community and Environment in Chicago, Illinois. I got him on the show after being inspired by the article he was featured on, From Aquaponics to Robots: McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation disperses over 149,000 for school enrichment in the US and Sudan. Michael has been teaching in Chicago public schools for nine years now. He currently focuses on teaching environmental science to freshmen and exploring it together for the past years. Receiving the McCarthey Dressman grant gives them the opportunity to expand the program and support their Career in Technical Education programs, specifically culinary arts, emulating a lab-to-table model where students grow their own food sustainably, learn how to prepare it, and eventually selling it in partnership with their Business Career in Technical Education program. They are the first school to combine horticulture and culinary model together in their programs, Liste

  • 53: Bringing Aquaponics to New Zealand Schools~ Diana Fitzsimmons & Amanda Jones from Wairakei Primary School, New Zealand

    30/11/2015 Duração: 51min

    This is a fun episode as we chat with Diana Fitzsimmons and Amanda Jones from Wairakei Primary School in New Zealand, along with two of their students, Myles and Rose. Listen in as they talk about how they got into doing aquaponics, dealing with fish death, experimenting systems, getting ideas from Murray Hallam, and building an in-line system composed of media beds and clay beds. They also touch on more related topics such as insulating tanks, solar water heating, and water testing using test tubes. Check out how they dealt with nitrite spikes and staying away from fish death. Our guests today share about the teaching system in New Zealand, specifically focusing on aquaponics and how it addresses global issues where they intend to fit the aquaponic system setup into New Zealand's curriculum considering that aquaponics is a very new topic in the country so they hope to expand  the knowledge on aquaponics throughout New Zealand. More discussion on system maintenance during school breaks, the role of bacteria a

  • 52: A Smokeless Burn-Creating Biochar with TLUD Stoves w/ Spencer Curry of FRESH Farm Aquaponics

    25/11/2015 Duração: 01h05min

    This episode couldn't get any hotter as we welcome back Spencer Curry of FRESH Farm Aquaponics on the show. Listen in as he discusses TLUD stoves and all about the smokeless, double burn which is simply genius! TLUD stands for Top-Lit Updraft Stove. Today's show is primarily on biochar, why TLUD stoves rock, and how to make one. We’re talking about TLUD stoves made out of paint cans, the concept of pyrolysis, the role of an oxygenless chamber, and creating biochar with tons of surface area for microbial habitat (whether you use biochar for aquaponics or soil). We also talk about how biochar works to adsorb nutrients and how that differs from absorption. Listen in as Spencer comprehensively describes how a TLUD stove works, as well as some techniques to make it work properly. Other things included in the interview are rocket stoves vs. rocket mass heaters, liquid heat, chimneys, cinder blocks, how the combustion process works for the gases, and siphoning gas over combustion. We also delve into the downsides of

  • 51: Fostering a Sustainable Food & Aquaponics Movement in Egypt w/ Faris Farrag of Bustan Aquaponics

    19/11/2015 Duração: 01h07min

    In today's episode, we welcome Faris Farrag of Bustan Aquaponics who is stirring up an aquaponics movement in Egypt. A former banker turned aquapreneur, Faris is pioneering a movement in aquaponics while hoping to see a rising movement in the rest of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. His interest in aquaculture and food has led him to enroll at Dr. James Rakocy's course in the University of the Virgin Islands which further inspired him to stay in Egypt and break ground on the farm that he currently has today. Listen in as Faris talks about the different produce they're growing in the system, how the market has responded to their aquaponic system, and keeping up with the momentum. Faris also brings into our discussion the ins and outs of organic certifications as well as reclaiming the language by putting the responsibility on producers using chemical products. We delve into the biggest issue concerning re-circulating fish farms and how to deal with it using biofiltration systems. Faris describes

  • 50: Urban Aquaponics in Brooklyn, NY, with Yemi Amu of Oko Farms

    06/11/2015 Duração: 49min

    Celebrating Episode 50!!! Creating a flourishing green space amidst busy Brooklyn, New York is just what Yemi Amu, co-founder of Oko Farms has successfully created. Established in 2012, Oko Farms is a commercial aquaponics and educational company. Its current biggest project is called the Moore Street Farm in Bushwick, a 2,500 sq.ft. farm where they raise a variety of fish such as channel catfish, tilapia, and goldfish as well as herbs like basil, shiso, mint, cilantro, and more and where they sell mostly to neighborhood restaurants. Education-wise, they have built solid partnerships with the Department of Education through a program that connects public school children to farms around the city as well as a partnership with a nonprofit housing developer, Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation. Listen in as Yemi talks about her training with Morning Star Fishermen. Yemi illustrates their aquaponics system, initially growing plants in coir and later transferring them to rockwool as their growing med

  • 49: How Vertical Farming & Live Sales Can Transform the World of Food Distribution & Reduce Waste w/ Dr. Nate Storey from Bright Agrotech

    21/10/2015 Duração: 47min

    This is Part 2 of the interview with Dr. Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech, makers of the ZipGrow Towers. In this episode, Nate talks about the big impediments to newbie vertical farmers and why Upstart Farmers was conceived. He also talks about the UpStart University, a learning-based community that offers video courses to self-driven students as well as the Jumpstart Farmers Program, which offers entry-level mentorship. Nate briefly discusses the different courses they offer at the UpStart University including organic certification, lighting courses, business planning, and marketing. Listen in to know more about farm planning & financing, grants, Kiva loans, and how much would you exactly need to get started. Learn about the importance of understanding your market and how to go through the planning process. Nate explains why ZipGrow towers are an answer to issues concerning live sales, robust farming, and light conservation. Check out why they also reduce smog in cities! Dr. Nate further emphasizes the  im

  • 48: Food Sovereignty, Social Entrepreneurship, & Building a Growasis Permaculture Farm with Adam Brock of GrowHaus

    21/10/2015 Duração: 45min

    Adam Brock is the co-founder of GrowHaus, a unique nonprofit based in Denver, Colorado. GrowHaus is a half-acre space encompassing different aspects of the food system under one roof including food production, food distribution, and food education, with a focus on revitalizing their local community through rebuilding food sovereignty. Tune in to this episode as Adam takes us through the four-year process of building this unique community by connecting with the neighborhood as well as the different classes they have developed over time-- including Seed to Seed summer program for teens, micro business training, service learning, and even permaculture classes to the general public. Adam walks us through the GrowHaus business model - its structure, the mission, and the funding of nonprofits. He gives us a brighter perspective on social entrepreneurship that combines non-profits & for-profits, in a non-traditional "regenerative" legal structure. Adam also describes the actual systems at the GrowHaus including

  • 47: More on Science-based Systems & Commercial Aquaponics with Rebecca Nelson of Nelson and Pade

    16/10/2015 Duração: 49min

    This is part 2 of the interview with Rebecca Nelson, co-founder of Nelson and Pade based in Wisconsin. Nelson and Pade is currently working with the University of Wisconsin at the Aquaponics Innovation Center funded through an economic development grant to build a center for research. Along with Dr. Chris Hartleb of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point (UWSP), they have developed a university level aquaponics course which is now running on its fifth year. Listen in as Rebecca shares more about growing tilapia and walleye fish in their commercial systems as well as leafy crops, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, beets, cucumbers, and more! They grow tropical fruit trees too like bananas, limes, pomegranates, papaya. Discover the challenges in designing aquaponic systems and growing an aquaponic business - combating misinformation and building your business upon validated research. Rebecca also shares some tips for successful commercial aquaponic farming including good business planning and understanding contro

  • 46: Managing an Aquaponics Homestead with Jennifer Boren of Noga Farms

    15/10/2015 Duração: 45min

    Today's guest is Jennifer Boren of Noga Farms in Gordonville, Texas. A nurse by profession, she decided to be a stay-at-home mom to take care of her four beautiful children. Initially building their system from some recycled oil-filled equipment, she shares with us what they've done wrong with their first aquaponics system and how they fixed the issues along the way. Listen in as Jennifer talks more about gravity-fed systems, ebb and flow vs. constant flood, using bell siphons vs. standpipes, as well as what's growing in their raft system and pea gravel media system. Discover how Nova Farms is growing peppers, strawberries, micro-greens, red lettuce, tomatoes, beans, eggplants, and edible flowers. Currently, they run an outdoor media system connected to the barn. She also delves into topics like heat issues, lighting system, oxygen requirement, understanding water hardness or softness, off-gassing chlorine from water, cycling water; and salts and sodas for hardening the water. We also touch on filtration syst

  • 45: Focusing on Science-Based Systems & Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) w/ Rebecca Nelson of Nelson and Pade

    05/10/2015 Duração: 38min

    Listen to this highly informative episode with Rebecca Nelson, co-founder and co-owner of Nelson and Pade in Montello, Wisconsin. Their history in aquaponics goes back to the mid 1980s, beginning with commercial hydroponic production before transitioning to aquaponics in the early 90's upon learning about aquaponics from the University of Virgin Islands led by Dr. Rakocy. Rebecca partnered with John Pade and they've been building their business together for over 30 years now, with John's focus on the engineering side of things while Rebecca's expertise is in the science and biology. In this episode, Rebecca shares her viewpoints on hydroponics vs. aquaponics as well as various aquaponic start-to-finish solutions including project planning services, the Aquaponics Master Class (people from 78 countries and all 50 U.S, states!), the Nelson and Pade Grower Program, and the Complete System Packages that meet every application from home production, research, and education up to large commercial projects. Rebecca a

  • 44: Getting the Best Produce Out of ZipGrow Towers with Nate Storey from Bright Agrotech

    01/10/2015 Duração: 46min

    Tune in to Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech, the innovator of the ZipGrow Tower and a vertical farming expert. Nate started developing the ZipGrow tower while working on his Masters degree, and his PhD was focused on the equipment itself - developing it and testing it for production and for certain market models. Today, Nate sells towers all over the world reaching Australia, Africa, Asia, and all throughout North America and Europe. Find out more about Nate’s brainchild including the ZipGrow tower design, his criteria for building it, the resulting components, and the learning curve for using it. He also talks about volumetric growing, aeroponic growing, some constraints to doing aquaponics, and understanding the ecosystem approach to red worms, mineralization and nitrification. Nate also illustrates how to go about planting using the ZipGrow tower and harvesting methods as well as cleaning and maintenance of media. He additionally discusses growing cut & come again crops, live sales, integrating the ZipGr

  • 43: Sustainability Education through Food and Grant Funding w/ Lori de La Cruz of Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas

    29/09/2015 Duração: 01h01min

    Let’s discuss sustainability education and grants! Lori de La Cruz is the Sustainability Project Coordinator at Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas where she provides hands-on learning projects and resources to the faculty to integrate sustainability into their curriculum across all departments. Listen in as Lori talks about her school’s Sustainability Program and how aquaponics plays a key part in it. What started out as a community garden, the college fortunately received a federal STEM grant and a grant from Wells Fargo that allowed them to expand the whole food venture into building their aquaponics lab in an existing glass greenhouse in their campus. Learn more as Lori talks about the challenges they encountered with their aquaponics system under intense Texan summer as well as closed loop hybrid systems, pillow stuffing as media for the vertical tubes, and other issues such as fungal infection and not being prepared for the enormous amounts of food that they grew. Other topics discussed are L-shaped

  • 42: Utilizing Nature, “New Nitrogen,” and Fish Patterns with Donald Holmes of Old World AquaFarm

    26/09/2015 Duração: 52min

    Retired veteran Donald Holmes of Old World AquaFarm talks about growing root vegetables efficiently and how an efficient root system works, as well as his unique filter systems. Donald currently lives on an 11-acre plot of land, 2 acres of which he’s built into the Old World AquaFarm. Aside from root crops, he is growing a couple hundred fruit trees, has a 2,100-sq.ft. greenhouse for research and a 2,400-sq.ft. barn for manufacturing. Established since 2008, Donald has been personally funding the Old World AquaFarm primarily for research and soon, taking on his plan to go commercial! Listen in as we talk more about self-cleaning filters, systems and automation, fish tank system, "new nitrogen," and the advantage of using a long, narrow fish tank. He also discusses utilizing fish patterns to maximize their growth, efficient use of pumps to avoid clogging, aeration techniques, recycled plastic bottles as biofilter and PittMoss (an environmentally sustainable alternative to peat moss!). On the plant side, learn

  • 41: "FishPocalypse": Lessons from the Fish Apocalypse with JD Sawyer of Colorado Aquaponics & Flourish Farms

    21/09/2015 Duração: 01h12min

    JD Sawyer, founder and CEO of Colorado Aquaponics and Flourish Farms in Denver, Colorado, talks about his business partnership with The GrowHaus, fusing a for-profit aquaponics farm with a non-profit food justice organization. Using what JD calls "business permaculture," Colorado Aquaponics operates Flourish Farms, a large aquaponic farm and workshops space inside the GrowHaus, an old greenhouse converted into a food access hub which is split between aquaponics, hydroponics, and a tropical indoor food forest. Additionally, Colorado Aquaponics donates 10% of the food produced at Flourish Farms to the GrowHaus, which then distributes affordable food baskets to the community, offers cooking classes in their community kitchen, sells to restaurants, provides flexible-use community programming space, composting, permaculture systems, education, and a mushroom-growing lab! JD also talks about their systems design, what's growing in their farm, and risk management strategies such as decoupled systems and backup syste

  • 40: Island Aquaponics: Using Coconut Husks as a Medium w/ Damian Hinkson of Baird’s Village Aquaponics Association

    19/09/2015 Duração: 55min

    Growing in coconut husks: Damian Hinkson is the co-founder of Baird's Village Aquaponics Association in Barbados. Check out this episode and learn how Damian scaled his aquaponics system from a thousand gallons to 10,000 gallons in an effort to promote aquaponic food production to the community. Damian shares about doing aquaponics with very limited resources on an island, use of coconut husks as a medium for plant roots, and some challenges that he had to overcome. He also talks about seeding and how he basically set up the system in a way that prevents him from constantly flooding the system. In this episode, you will learn more about the 3 categories of people doing aquaponics, circular tanks and sump tanks, drying time for beds, compost teas, molasses, venturis and low-density systems, wicking beds, water lettuce for filtration and more!   Check out the interesting things Damian is doing with no water testing and no aeration yet he still has managed to successfully run a commercial aquaponics system with

  • 39: Decoupled Systems and Fermented Culinary Herbs for Pest Management with Damian Hinkson of Baird’s Village Aquaponics Association

    19/09/2015 Duração: 36min

      This is part two of the interview with Damian Hinkson of Baird's Village Aquaponics Association in Barbados. Creating a 10,000-gallon aquaponics system supported by a U.N. grant, Damian openly delves into the topics of building connections as well as various aquaponics resources to help you get to the next level. He also talks about automating aquaponics systems, transporting modular systems, and open source systems. As our conversation flows, Damian shares his insights into solar power and windmills, bio-dome, society's sustainable way of feeding itself, raising fish in an urban setting, organic pest management through aloe vera and fermenting culinary herbs, fermented barley, decoupled systems, treating plant diseases, and rainwater systems.

  • 38: The INDY 23 System, CHOP 2 System, and Aquaponic Income Streams with Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics

    16/09/2015 Duração: 01h49s

    Living in south of Brisbane, Australia, Murray started doing Aquaponics 10 years ago and up till now he continues to create aquaponics systems for people and give trainings in various places. Check out this episode to learn more about media beds, rafts, hybrid systems, and the challenges in building aquaponics in 3rd world countries.   He talks more about biofertilizers such as compost teas and vermiculture, chelated iron, seaweed extracts and giant kelp powder, growing tomatoes, handling nutrient deficiencies, calcium carbonate, dealing with pH levels, and potash. He also expounds on various systems like the INDY 23 system, decoupled systems, and CHOP 2 system. We further delve into the topics of self-sustainability vs. community sustainability, interdependence vs. independence, protective cropping, growing bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, grains, and fruit trees.   Lastly, Murray touches a discussion on aquaponics as a business, creating multiple income streams, and a few good reasons many commercial aquaponi

  • 37: Starting Aquaponics in Barbados with Damian Hinkson of Baird’s Village Aquaponics Association

    09/09/2015 Duração: 44min

    Growing lime in da coconut!!!! In this episode Damian shares with us how people are his driving force to pursue aquaponics, his own definition of it and how it has changed how his community thinks towards farming. He also talks about how he got a grant from the United Nations to create an aquaponics system in Barbados and how he uses coconut HUSKS as his organic media. Learn more about growing lime trees and get a better understanding of how decoupled systems work. Also find out how Damian categorizes people in aquaponics under three types, what beginners need to learn from about aquaponics, funding and setting up community aquaponics, and why Damian thinks farming is not for everyone! For a country such as Barbados that basically imports almost everything in to the island, getting the local people involved in aquaponic farming and getting the word out there are some of Damian's biggest contributions to the island.  

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