Working with AquaBiotic Systems, Nor Cal Aquaponics designed and assisted in the installation of a Trout and cool season vegetable based system in Santa Cruz, California. This system was the first of its kind in the country using local, untreated and sustainably produced bamboo as floating rafts.
3 Month Old Trout
This technique of “Floating Farming” was brought back to the United States by Nor Cal Aquaponics' researchers studying this system of farming and learning age old methods from the farmers themselves in Burma. The system produces nearly all of it's own feed and uses rainwater harvesting and storage to provide system water. We capture all fish waste and send it to a worm bin to reproduce worms, worm castings, compost, compost tea and more as valuable sources of food, fertility, organic pest prevention and disease control. The system has been in operation for almost a year now, with very little to no outside resources needed. It is maintained at optimal health and production levels with only 2 hrs. of labor a week! We now use this site as a place to hold hands-on trainings, on-site Aquaponics consultations, guided tours, videos documentation and Permaculture based Aquaponics research and experimentation.
A video of our work at AquaBiotic Systems
Finca Neptuno's Recirculating Aquaponics Installation
Finca Neptuno's 200 Acre Flow-Through Aquaponics System
70 Acres of Aquaponically Fed Rice
Finca Neptuno's Aquaponics Fish Hatchery
Finca Neptuno – 200 acres
Located in the north western part of Costa Rica, Finca Neptuno began in 2010 as a project of Nor Cal Aquaponics. The goal was to transform an existing Costa Rican Aquaculture project into a Permaculture based Aquaponics farm and Institute. We hoped to help any local farmers desiring to learn these techniques while serving as a fully operational example. The nearly 200 acre Aquaculture farm had not been in operation for several years and cows living on the land were eroding and destroying the elaborate labyrinth of levies, berms, dams, ponds and lakes. Piles of pesticide barrels, bottles, containers and trash littered the farm. It was offered to Nor Cal Aquaponics in the condition we found it. We begin the huge task of cleaning up the land and restoring the farm. Soon we had 50,000 Tilapia, Guapote, Mojarra, Tilapia, Catfish, eels and other species being cultivated once more in the ponds. We were breeding fish, eels, shrimp and crayfish.
Red Headed Mojarra, beautiful & delicious!
In addition to being one of the world’s largest Aquaponics project, Finca Neptuno provided Aquaponics and Permaculture based education to the public while exemplifying methods of farming that heal the land in the process. Finca Neptuno would act as a demonstration of how a farm can clean polluted water, grow an abundance of food and other useful crops, advance regenerative farming skills and methods, create local jobs, use no chemicals, conserve energy and can be implemented at a large scale in the dry tropics. In addition to farming and education, Neptune’s Farm was conducting cutting edge Aquaponics research and experimentation.
Tilapia in one of Finca Neptuno's Ponds
Staff and University students were keeping daily records and data so that we can continue to learn from and improve this amazing whole systems design science. The farm is now being used to produce large scale crayfish and rice. After each crop of rice, the crayfish clean and prepare the fields, while feeding and fattening up in the process. This is another example of how Aquaculture (the crayfish) and Agriculture (the rice) can support and help each other in diverse and dynamic ways.
UHS Classroom Aquaponics System
High School System Construction
Interview at the High School Fish and Farm Program
Nor Cal Aquaponics is currently working with the Agriculture department at Ukiah High School to construct an Aquaponics system on campus that will serve as an educational model, working farm, student run business and revenue source for the UHS Ag. Dept. The system has been funded by donations and a $12,000 grant from North Coast Opportunities. It will be housed in an existing greenhouse which in currently being renovated and adapted to meet the needs of the Aquaponics mini-farm. This project is providing the students with cutting edge education in Aquaponics, Ecological Design, Sustainable Living and real life hands-on experience. Due to the diverse nature of the system it will also be used by other UHS departments and students providing new educational opportunities, examples include; Science, Biology, Engineering, Metal and Wood arts, etc.
Time Magazine Video Featuring Our Ukiah High School Aquaponics Program
All labor is being performed by students, volunteers, Max Meyers and the Nor Cal Aquaponics team. Once completed, the solar powered and heated greenhouse will produce fish, prawns, vegetables, worms, compost, fertilizer, algae, aquatics plants, snails, insects and methane gas. The UHS Aquaponic mini-farm is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) system and subscriptions for lettuce have already been received. We feel very fortunate and excited to be a part of such an amazing project that will not only produce food for local businesses and our community, but also provide an amazing educational model for current and future generations.
Thank you everyone for all your dedication, hard work and support!
Estimated completion date Summer 2012
Finca Las Nubes System Construction
One of Our Breeders
Finca Las Nubes Raft With Tomatoes
Working with Chris Robertson of Finca Las Nubes in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua we designed and assisted in the installation of an Aquaponics system intended to provide food, employment and income for the local community. Finca Las Nubes was started 12 years ago with the intention of creating a thriving landscape, sustainable community, eco-retreat, organic farm and Permaculture education center. Emphasis is place on maintaining local and Nicaraguan cultural while providing education, training, rich living conditions, employment and housing to some 50 or so Nicaraguan people.
Max Meyers and Nor Cal Aquaponics were not only asked to build a system capable of producing 1,000 lbs. of fish and 20,000 heads of lettuce, cilantro and basil annually, but to help in the creation of a Permaculture education center. These projects produce fresh local food for the community, and act as a demonstration system and education model to all who visit, work, live and train at the farm.
Completed April 2010
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