The farmers of the Southern Gulf Islands of Pender, Galiano, Mayne and Saturna work incredibly hard to grow food for our area. In fact, their bounty usually flies out of the local Farmers Markets at high speed, and the biggest challenge seems to be to find ways to grow more food to meet local demand. Meanwhile, it’s still a challenge to make a sustainable living growing food.
Could aquaponic growing be part of the solution? For example, this could involve converting an existing greenhouse (small or large) to a highly efficient, easier to manage, closed loop organic growing system, e.g. to grow both trout and lettuce (fish in troughs below food, no soil or weeding – SEE BELOW)
A new GULF ISLANDS CO-OP could potentially support knowledge sharing and cooperation on aquaponics, as well as meeting other local Food Producer needs.
A farmer from Duncan, BC has written a comprehensive guidebook about setting up such a system:
A farmer from Texas explains here how a D-I-Y setup instead of buying a kit makes it significantly more cost effective, e.g. they say $21,000 CDN for a 4,096 square foot system? but better to start smaller:
See also these documents with handy starter info from the above sources:
Aquaponic Farming – Growing Vegetables plus Fish Onland
Aquaponic Business Guide from Friendly Aquaponics