Are you researching to add commercial aquaponics business to your farm? There is a lot of information to be discovered that eventually even brings about more questions. Who do you talk to? Where do you go without spending days, weeks months or years deciding if this is the answer for you?
I was recently in Birmingham Alabama and I had the opportunity to go to a couple of restaurants that use farmed fish and seafood for their menus. They had signs in their establishments that stated that upon request that they would furnish you the information as to how their fish was farmed. Again, this brings up the question of USDA Organic Certification, or do you choose Certified Naturally grown? There is a newer accreditation that I had not heard of before: Herban farms is a GAP farm which volunteers to be monitored by the USDA since 2011. You can go to this link below and learn more about it:
It seems that there is more and more certification available to the point you can be spending a ton of time and money just to get the most from your crop. But is it worth it? The answer is in your customer base.
What I discovered while at the different restaurants is that they all want to serve the best quality of food for the best price to their customers. Here in the United States, with the droughts happening over a large percentage of our nation, water is a very important factor. That is where I believe the answer for your farm or commercial smaller operation is in what can you do to control costs and conserve water.
In Oregon, the local governments are now fining and jailing farmers and landowners for collecting rain water. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/329723 is an article that I read about this. There are quite a few more of these articles, so if you have to collect rain water and build ponds to build your aquaponics system, now is the time to discover what your local government regulations are for collecting rain water and using it for your farm or garden.
During your research, if you can speak to others in your area and see what kind of fish that they would like to purchase, do not forget to go to your local pet stores or landscaping companies that build koi ponds as well as stock ponds with other fish so that you can sell locally. This is a big deal for local areas, as the fish will be acclimated to the local environment.
The other place to get help is from forums. As I shared in other articles, there are some very knowledgeable and helpful farmers and aquaponics business men and women who are more than willing to tell you their experiences. Heck, if you are one of those already professionally growing aquaponically your story would be great to hear and post on this site if you would like to share!
Remember, what we do and who we are. We are the people that remember that one way or another, we are all related. We have the mindset to make a difference in the world and in the food industry and we also want to build our passion. That passion can look like hard work or in the form of a successful business, but if it is your passion, stay connected.
I am looking forward to hearing your stories and sharing the ones I encounter as I continue to speak to others with the same passion for farming and aquaponics. It just makes sense to me to build a complete ecosystem that we can control and grow into a local healthy food source. Today is a Great Day to begin acting on your Passion and taking the first step on your new journey.
Founder hisfarm.org and Ambassador of Natural News and Sustainable Living on How to Live on Purpose.com