It was a fabulous weekend in San Jose, CA, where all the great minds of aquaponics met for the Aquaponics Association’s 4th Annual Conference. Never before have so many of the leaders and innovators been in one place!
Glenn Martinez is known for his innovations utilizing air lift pumps and alternative energy. He sets up systems worldwide.
Murray Hallam is a favorite on YouTube with his great beginner videos for aquaponic enthusiasts. Murray does projects all over the world.
Dr Nick Savidov is a senior research scientist in aquaponics in Alberta Canada. Currently, with Alberta Agriculture & Rural Dev, he was instrumental in developing the Canada GAPs for aquaponics. Dr Savidov has also done significant research with biochar.
Max Meyers is a leading permaculture and aquaponic consultant in California.
Jon Parr recently designed and operated a commercial aquaponics farm that produced over 6,000 heads of lettuce a day. He left there to pursue his passion, SchoolGrown, a non-profit dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture through advocacy, education, research, and service by placing learning lab greenhouses in neighborhood schools.
The SchoolGrown L.E.A.F. greenhouse lab is constructed of a high-performance, sustainable, water-savvy greenhouse on school property that can provide healthy organic food to student families every day of the year! The spacious greenhouse is home to an aquaponic garden, complete with fish tanks, solar power, soilless planter beds, and climate control. Additionally, it provides 50-70 family-sized boxes of fruits and vegetables every week. The environment provides a project-based learning platform for teachers in many subjects, including: biology, chemistry, math, ecology, agriculture, business, and language arts. Lesson plans correlate to the new Common Core as well as the Next Generation Science standards, and STEM education. Additionally, SchoolGrown provides a vertical-market business plan that sells the produce grown in the greenhouse, thereby providing a revenue stream that could contribute to the school. This allows SchoolGrown to include a person with each L.E.A.F lab, and keep the program running.
Ken Armstrong and his team lead the way at Ourobouros Farm in live lettuce production. Thoroughly enjoyed their farm tour.