Saturday, August 27, 2011

Aquaponics is the Key to Profitable Urban Farming

Sustainable Economic Development Requires - A PROFIT! 

 In any business, profit is a primary consideration.  If you cannot make a profit, then you cannot stay in business without being subsidized.  In fact many existing aquaponic farms are really not profitable on a daily basis.  Grants and philanthropic support from municipalities and foundations sustain many if not most existing aquaponics operations in America today.

The Family Fish Farms Network consists of experts in agricultural engineering, aquaponics, and  process management.  Family Fish Farms will optimize production so that the goal is not simply to produce fish and veggies, but do do so at a reasonable profit

Aquaponics For Profit
www.ecofilms.com.au Converting from hydroponics to aquaponics and making a profit with Murray Hallam from his latest DVD "Aquaponics Secrets." www.ecofilms.com.au

As the video presents, the value of the fish as fertilizer is a key factor in the overall profit picture.  Fish grow more slowly than vegetables.  It can take six or seven months to grow a fingerling to a market sized fish of a pound and a half.  Lettuce however will grow to maturity in one month.  The fish provide natural pollution free fertilizer for the veggies.  During the maturation of the fish, seven or eight crops of lettuce can be produced..  We plan to offset the initial seven moth fish growth by adding partially grown fish from existing aquaculture sites. The economics of Tilapia (the most popular fish in America today) and Boston Lettuce, an easy to grow in demand lettuce are shown here.

Aquaponics can grow a wide variety of seafood, not just fish but we import tons of Tilapia from Ecuador and Asia so it is a good production target as our fish will be fresh caught (within hours) while most commercially available fish is not fresh caught.  Our key sales proposition will be FRESH, LOCAL FOOD!  There's no competing with food just hours from being harvested.

Good Environmental Practice is GOOD Business

The Family Fish Farms Network Is Highly Efficient
  • Also, since we do not have to purchase and apply commercial fertilizer (the fish produce the best natural fertilizer possible) we save all of that cost as well.  
  • In addition, we have virtually not shipping costs since we are local.  
  • Finally, we can sell direct to the retail and restaurant's and require not "distributor," that also saves a significant part of the cost of sale.

The profit margins for Tilapia and Lettuce give us sufficient room for a reasonable profit.  However, we see aquaponics as a means to assure food security.  In other words to make certain that there is a locally avaiable supply of fresh food that is not dependent upon imports or large scale agri-business.  Most food we eat is NOT fresh.  For example the average head of lettuce travels 1,500 miles from farm to table.  The provision of food grown locally is the best hedge against a shortage and since this is an indoor growing model we are not dependent upon weather or the seasons.  

Aquaponics Urban Farming is the next generation of Food!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Family Fish Farm Network - A Profitable Social Business

Everybody is Talking About NEW Green Jobs - We are DOING Something About IT!
With unemployment in double digits and seemingly on the rise, there is an urgent need to create hope and opportunity. Our new initiative is intended to create new green jobs. In addition it will involve the community in long-term economic development and in mobilizing support for local products and production. In seeking a practical solution, we are committing our abilities and resources to the enrichment of the lives of our neighborhoods and communities. With this goal in mind, we are announcing the formation and prospective launch of: The Family Fish Farm Network, Inc.

The Family Fish Farms Network is a business that will bring a NEW and innovative model to our commercially devastated inner cities, towns, and rural areas. . The plan is to build and operate a network of Aquaponic farms within our cities that will provide local high quality organic fresh seafood and vegetables. These neighborhood fish farms will be operated by the persons within that community and they will all have the opportunity to participate in ownership. This business model is intended to provide jobs, promote pride in ownership, and offer a source of clean, fresh, local food. In addition to this, we intend to reinvest a large percentage of our profits into our communities by helping fund education and training programs for our youth, and meaningful opportunities for those hardest to employ. It is our further intention to provide both organizational and financial transparency.

The Family Fish Farms Network and The Triple Bottom Line:
The triple bottom line (abbreviated as "TBL" or "3BL", and also known as "people, planet, profit" or "the three pillars"[1]) captures an expanded spectrum of values and criteria for measuring organizational (and societal) success: economic, ecological and social. With the ratification of the United Nations andICLEI TBL standard for urban and community accounting in early 2007, this became the dominant approach to public sector full cost accounting. Similar UN standards apply to natural capital and human capital measurement to assist in measurements required by TBL, e.g. the ecoBudget standard for reportingecological footprint.

Finally, Please visit our website www.familyfishfarms.com.  Our Facebook page is: Family Fish Farms  This will be one of the means we will use to communicate our plans and to engage the energy and participation of the community. In addition to this blog we will use other social media tools like Twitter and Facebook. Our fundamental goal is to create decent green jobs. It is our plan to make this a sustainable community economic development project. Our goal is to build strong communities one business at a time!

Energy & Environment Monitor - August 3, 2011

Here's What We've Been Saying All Along

The Family Fish Farms Network is advocating for a national network of urban aquaponic farms that will change the way we grow and distribute food.  The following comes from an independent, University based study.  This is conclusive proof that our model and distributive business strategy can change the environmental, societal, and gastronomical topography of America ... it it will taste better too!

The Rest of this blog post is a direct quote from The Energy and Environment Monitor:

"...Aquaponics produces safe, fresh, organic fish and vegetables. When aquaponics is combined with a controlled environment greenhouse, premium quality crops can be grown on a year-round basis, anywhere in the world. Aquaponics can be used to sustainably raise fresh fish and vegetables for a family, to feed a town or to generate a profit in a commercial farming venture.

■ Aquaponics uses less than 2% of the water that traditional farming does.
■ Aquaponics is energy-efficient: current systems use one-tenth of the energy conventional farming does.
■ Aquaponics has eight to ten times more vegetable production in the same area and time.
■ Aquaponics is fully scalable from backyard family systems to full commercial systems.
■ Aquaponics produce can be USDA Certified Organic and Food Safety Certified.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why We NEED Aquaponics - Desperately!!!

We are exceeding the planets natural capacity for food production
Traditional farming and fisher communities around the world are being forced to innovate in order to deal with global changes in environment and natural resources caused in part, by man’s population growth.  Commercial fishing is stagnant and stuck at 2002 levels of around 90 million metric tons.   This is reflective of environmental concerns not consumer demand.  Another 53 million metric tons are produced from fish farming as the demand has risen from 10 kilos per person in the 1960’s to 17kilos per person in 2008.  The demand for fish continues to grow at between 6% and 8% each year.  This combined with the rise in overall food prices is driving whole populations to the brink. Of the 41 countries on the WFO’s Famine watch 36 are in Africa.

Aquaponics is the future of food
Many countries see traditional farming as insufficient to meet the consumer demand for quality vegetables as well.   Holland and Spain have hundreds of square Kilometers of greenhouses all growing veggies as hydroponics looms as a significant contributor and alterntive to field crop farming methods.   The traditional farming food production chain is being further challenged by the scarcity of another natural resource: clean potable water.  Many parts of the world are woefully deficient in this precious resource, namely Africa and the Middle East.  In ground growing requires lage amounts of clean water.  China for example is now running short of fresh uncontaminated water.

Traditional farming is hard on the environment
Another impediment to traditional farming is the need for using nitrates and connercial fertilized.  The fertilizer is washed off by spring rains and contaminates the water table.  The need for environmentally damaging fertilizer along with millions of gallons of water creates a potent argument for an alternative to both traditional farming.  Aquaponics that produces both high quality carbohydrates (vegetables) and seafood, and excellent source of quality proteing is the obvious answer.  It is not a question of, "If," but, "When?"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our Senseless Food Model

Sure, ya' gotta eat ... but WHAT?
The green revolution that made America the envy of the world has passed.  Our "better living through chemistry," experience has left us with plenty of empty calories and empty, nutrition less vegetables, depleted soil, cardboard tomatoes, a ravaged food chain and more.  We are the best fed, under nourished people in the world.  Our high caloric food content is making us all obese and to be honest, I am the poster boy for that catastrophic example of scientific maladministration.

Now, science is telling us that they will make it right by further hyping our food with gene splicing and DNS modifications that will save us all.  AgriBiz has made the small farm untenable economically.  The days of the small farmer supporting a family and feeding thousands seems a myth from the past.    We want to change all that!

Aquaponics is an idea whose time has surely come
Aquaponics uses a natural process to create high quality organic food with no commercial fertilizer, very little water consumption and comparatively little carbon cost.  Since all production in our model is local, there is no real transport cost.  You should know that the average head of lettuce travels fifteen hundred miles to your table.  You can find out about Aquaponics by viewing one or more of the YouTube vids on this blog and from the MSNBC Green Planet segment below.

Our Business Model is Our Competitive Advantage

WE are a social, For Profit business!  Our goal is to create  prosperity, not wealth!  We believe we can establish a network of small efficient aquaponic urban farms in every city in this country (and elsewhere) These Family Fish Farms will be owned and operated by the people in the neighborhoods in which they exist.  We will handle the sales and marketing and provide a national brand to assure customer loyalty and quality.  I plan to use this blog ot explain our model and to educate our viewers about sustainable development and to share our vision of distributive production.  We don't want to be Agribiz ... we want to be Local Food. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


So, Why This Blog?
We hope to accomplish two things with this blog.  First, to use it as a public information tool to disseminate information about Recirculating Aquaponics Systems.  I am assuming that if you've found your way to this blog it is because you have interest in our mission of Fresh Local Food and the triple bottom line - Environment - Social Responsibility and Profitable Operations.  Second, to use it to communicate with our team and supporters around the world.

We see Aquaponics as a Food Security issue in addition to a commercially attractive alternative to large scale Agribiz!  We are Capitalist rebels with a cause.  That cause is to provide sustainable and responsible market driven solutions to the problems facing our country, our continent, and our planet.  it all starts with FOOD and WATER.

Here's where we start.  To paraphrase Winston Churchill,  this is not the beginning.  It is not the end, but it is, perhaps,  the end of the beginning.  You can find our website at www.familyfishfarms.com  Links to Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin will be up here shortly.