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Santa Barbara Aquaponics November Newsletter- This month's topics, Sol Foods, Farmageddon, Sustainability, and Water Quality Corner

The Aquaponic Journey

Begins with the first step....

What are you waiting for? Aquaponics is a way for you to begin your own food revolution. Yes, it is a journey, one where you'll learn a lot along the way, make some mistakes, have breakthroughs, and meanwhile, grow food for you, your family, and friends.

Santa Barbara Aquaponics is there to help you understand aquaponics and design, build, and operate your system. We will provide you a little help or a lot. How much do you need? Kevin Childerley and Randy Turner of Santa Barbara Aquaponics are dedicated to helping bring aquaponics to the forefront of the local food movement. With a mild Mediterranean climate, Santa Barbara is a great place for aquaponics. What are you waiting for?

Sol Food Success!

Sol Food Festival was a great event. The Santa Barbara Aquaponics booth was packed and we were able to share with our guests the theory of aquaponics and our vision of what aquaponics can be here in Santa Barbara. We want to thank everyone who came by and spent part of another gorgeous Santa Barbara Saturday with us.

As a side note, our 45 goldfish were successfully returned to our experimental pond in Santa Ynez, no worse for wear. We can't say the same for the lettuce and chard which were consumed over the course of a few dinners. Yum!

Sustainability

Not just a buzzword: Sustainability matters to us and it should matter to you too. One of the main benefits of aquaponics is it uses less energy, less water, and less back breaking labor to grow great tasting food. Santa Barbara Aquaponics wants to help redefine sustainable agriculture here on the South Coast and find innovative ways to incorporate solar hot water, ground source cooling, photovoltaics, and greenhouses into our systems. When designed with renewable energy and ultra energy efficient water pumps and aerators, an aquaponics system can generate the most eco-groovy produce around. 

Water Quality Corner

Ever Measure Water Quality? You Should. The quality of your water determines whether or not your fish will be swimming happily, or belly up. Likewise, your plants require water of a specific quality in order to take up nutrients and thrive. Is there an ideal 'water quality'? Yes, but it varies for each species of fish and plant you want to keep. With that said, try to pick fish and plant species which will prefer similar water quality so they both can thrive.

Water Quality Corner will be a recurring column and your window into the world of success by covering a different aspect of water quality in each edition. For now, we will just say topics slated for appearance include temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, hardness, alkalinity, iron, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. We will take some time out to cover general practices which will help you maintain good water quality; things like how to insulate your tanks and why, what to test for and when, and why regular cleaning of that filter is a good idea. Water Quality Corner will be the go to place to learn how to make sure your system is healthy and productive.

Upcoming Event- Farmageddon at UCSB this Friday at Corwin Pavillion at 6:30

Farmageddon is a documentary about good people growing good food, and regulations which are written with big agribusiness in mind and often unfairly impact family sized farms just trying to do the right thing. Movies like this are scary, but not in a Freddy Kruger type way, so come on out and learn what The Man is doing and how we can build a better system for the local food movement. To see a trailer, click here, or to see the event flyer, click here.

Kevin and Randy of Santa Barbara Aquaponics will be tabling at the screening of Farmageddon on Friday November 4th, 2011. The role of aquaponics within our local food system will be impacted just like a traditional farm would so this is an issue we care about too. While our concerns may be slightly different, because aquaponics is a new method of farming, we have an even higher hurdle to overcome to convince the USDA the produce and fish from aquaponic systems are inherently safer than what you get from a factory farm and your chain grocery store.

Pick of the Day

Jack from Friendly Aquaponics holding Bok Choy. Look at those roots!: Friendly Aquaponics on the Big Island of Hawaii has been a pioneer in the industry; helping bring down the cost of aquaponics through energy efficiency and appropriate technology. They are now in the process of transitioning from growing exclusively lettuce to a Community Supported Agriculture model which is where aquaponics can really shine. The aquaponics (R)evolution has begun!

What do YOU need?

We want to know: Do you have questions? Do you need advise? Do you need installation tips? Do you have advice for us? We are here for you and want to know how we can best serve your needs. Don't hesitate to email us, we want to hear from YOU!
Email Kevin and Randy at santabarbaraaquaponics@gmail.com or go to our website at www.santabarbaraaquaponics.com. Thanks!
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