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Every year, we see our world population growing and a subsequent decrease in food availability. Rural America and its small farmers are losing access to labor, ingenuity, youth, and capital. Food quality and safety are being compromised for profit and an unsustainable notion of 'progress.' Budgets are getting increasingly tight for small businesses. The desertification of our environment and build up of toxins in the eco-systems is rapidly advancing, as we approach what is believed by many scientists to be the sixth mass extinction. Our climate's stability is no longer in balance and the consequences are proving to be catastrophic to our food supply. In the face of such calamity and change, it is difficult for individuals to feel optimistic about their ability to affect positive change. The growing list of global and local issues seem overwhelming in their scope. Indeed, our future will require manifold solutions and interventions. Each of these will have their place and we must support them all. Collectively, we must support each others' efforts if we are to find answers and enact change. Are greenhouses and aquaponics a solution to many of these issues and a way for farmers to make some extra sales? Can aquaponic greenhouses proide produce all year long in northern area? WWhat sytems work the best for what crops? What are ways we can build them cheaper and more robust? Please add to this your thoughts and questions.

Todd Cleckner's picture

Check out this project to free the aquaponic and greenhouse information. Aquaponics is bringing fresh water to the parched realities of small farmers, struggling communities, and consumers. Aquaponics' clever merging of proven agricultural techniques delivers a sustainable, year-round production of fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, herbs, sprouts, and livestock fodder, and has provided small farmers with an invaluable tool which is both profitable and environmentally regenerative. The use of aquaponics greatly reduces the amount of water needed to raise fish and grow produce by traditional methods, while assuring quality and purity in the final consumer product.

Our project: COSAG- Commercial Open-Source Sustainable Aquaponic Greenhouse, will coalesce the expansive knowledge and experience of the industry and our team into a functioning 3,000 sq ft prototype capable of producing 500 pounds of produce, 125 pounds of fish, and 5000+ pounds of sprouts and livestock fodder a week. Our team has over 60 years of experience collectively in fields related to COSAG: hydroponics, greenhouse production, the food supply industry, small scale organic agriculture, open source programming, and sustainable construction. This experience, and that of our partner contributors HAPI and Open Source Ecology, have contributed a great deal of ingenuity to the COSAG project. We have whittled our construction material and start up expenses down to $25 per sq ft: less than half that of comparable off-the-shelf aquaponic greenhouses. http://igg.me/at/COSAG/x/3439941