Greenhouse Canada

Four-day course in aquaponics studies

Looking for more information on aquaponics?

May 21, 2013  By Dave Harrison

Farming methods have changed many times since man planted the first seed in the ground 10,000 years ago.

The most recent innovation? Aquaponics.

Aquaponics is a growing technique that takes advantage of the tremendous efficiency of hydroponics, but uses the waste product of fish as the organic source of plant fertilizer in a recirculating environment. The plants, in turn, filter the water in which the fish live.


Aquaponics uses 90 per cent less water than is used in traditional soil-based agriculture, and aquaponic farms can be established anywhere there are people in need of fresh produce – even in parking lots and abandoned warehouses.


And through aquaponics, farmers automatically have sustainably raised fish that they can harvest and sell alongside their produce.

Green Acre Aquaponics in Brooksville, Florida, has both pioneered this growing technique and has created a profitable aquaponics farm model that integrates six different growing techniques (deep water culture, media-based, nutrient film technique, vertical stackers, vertical towers, and wicking beds) in a single hybrid farm system to supply the demands of their ever-changing local market as efficiently as possible.

These techniques and the technology that underlies them, as well as farm business management and marketing concepts explicitly tailored for aquaponic farms, will be taught during two back-to-back, four-day courses held June 15–18 and June 20–23.

The hands-on, farm sessions will be held at the GrowHaus, a non-profit urban farm and market in the heart of a Denver food desert community known as Elyria-Swansea. Here the Green Acre’s Aquaponic Farming Course approaches aquaponic farming education from all angles with the hands-on approach at the farm and detailed aquaponics and business education in the classroom.

The goal is to have course students walk away with all the knowledge they need to build, start, and run their own successful, profitable aquaponics farm.


The Green Acres teaching team is comprised of three aquaponics professionals with a unique blend of aquaponics farming experience, industry leadership, and business experience.

Speakers include:

• Gina Cavaliero, the managing director of Green Acre’s Aquaponics Farm and the current chair of the Aquaponics Association.

• JD Sawyer, founder of Colorado Aquaponics and the aquaponics farm at Denver’s GrowHaus, and the director of the 2012 Aquaponics Association annual conference in Denver.

• Sylvia Bernstein, author of “Aquaponic Gardening: A Step by Step Guide to Growing Fish and Vegetables Together,” and the founder of The Aquaponic Source.

Click here for more information or to register for the course.

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