Just thought I would let people know what good time I had giving an Aquaponics Workshop for the Save Maumee watershed group in Fort Wayne, Indiana; and share some of the resources I presented with everyone. We had a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing how I am using Permaculture Principals and Ethics in what I am doing with Aquaponics Farming in Central Illinois with Fresh Taste Aquaponics and also how we are sharing what we are learning in the field of Aquaponics with the education outreach efforts of the Aquaponics Association.
We started off the evening with one of my favorite videos from my Great Global Information YouTube Playlist. I really like this video “Who Killed Economic Growth?” from the Post-Carbon Institute because I feel it demonstrates a very realistic side of reality that we often don’t talk about or I would say that we are distracted from talking about in a large scale meaningful way. I feel like our Midwest Region is in the beginnings of a very slow transition that has many smaller very local and independent transitions that are connected via larger shared climate based changes (..human caused).
I also began by taking our cozy group of attendees through the US Ecological Footprint Calculator. Here is my most recent report. I am using almost 4 earths. Seeing this, one really learns how dependent they are on an oil based system. (Here is an awesome Homesteading video that talks about dependencies)
We were shocked to see that if we went through it as a group, and averaged out our habits that we environmentalists were still using up 4.6 earths worth of resources. This stemmed mainly from our habits as consumers of services that are energy intensive and we also were on average using a lot of resources do to the traveling nature of most of our lives. I recommend everyone to use this calculator themselves and watch this video (Part One and Part Two) about the matter of fact science behind how we use finite resources as if they were infinite and why this is probably not a good thing.
I also shared an Introduction to Permacutlure with the Save Maumee group mainly so that they understood the lens that I try to use as I find my niche and look for ways to help others build their relationship with food. Here is a link to two recent videos that I found that I believe gets to the heart of what Permaculture is. The first video, while informational, I feel does an even better job at showing how important other people are to our lives. This video has a Part One, Part Two, & Part Three. This next video is of John Jeavons speaking at an “Authors@Google Talks” series on their campus. You will notice that while this second video is in my Introduction To Permaculture Playlist, this video and in fact both videos here do not expressly talk about “Permaculture” but are Permaculture in essence. I believe that is because both videos remind us and educate us on how important it is to have an agricultural system that builds soil, bio-diversity, and community. That is Permaculture.
I was also able to share with this group some of the basic principals of exactly “What is Aquaponics?”. I was fortunate enough to be asked a very interesting question. “Is this just another CAFO described as a fish tank?” And I had to be honest, It could be. Which is why I explained that if you are just concerned about inputs and outputs and that your only goal is to get a profitable output then yes this is another manufacturing process that harms fish, delivers average goods, and alienate people. But if you use the patterns of nature as a model and build an aquatic ecosystem with an edible biological garden as it’s filter and if you use food to bring people together and if you constantly strive to increase biodiversity and stack functions than your aquaponics system will not be a CAFO and you will find ways to create an agricultural system that saves water and promotes health, that regenerates resources for future generations instead of degrading them..
Unfortunately we were having such a great time that 2 hours was not enough time and we were rushed out of the Library as it was closing and I was not able to go through many of the pictures that I have with the systems that I have helped with. That being said I would like to share some links to some photos that I have and I would also like to share my presentation slides and other links.
If you had a great time at the event I would love you to leave a comment or ask me some questions. Also if you would like to learn more about how Fresh Taste Aquaponics is using Aquaponics as part of it’s Permaculture Plan. And of you would like to know more about how the Aquaponics Association is helping to educate and share information among the Aquaponics Community also feel free to shoot me an email.
All material and rights are under an unofficial creative common license. Use and share freely just give credit were credit is due and please link back to the source!