Our Friends Are Successful With Commercial Aquaponics
In contrast to other aquaponics trainers who offer you photos of greenhouses under construction, websites under construction, or minimal aquaponics farms that can only produce a part-time income, our farmer Friends are earning their living from growing aquaponic produce using our commercial aquaponic system designs. You can too! Some examples follow on this page, with photos:
For a partial listing (we only have 15 farms on the list at the moment) of our students successfully operating commercial aquaponics farms for a living, including their website and contact information, please click here. We’re in the process of turning this list into a nicely formatted photo gallery organized by type of climate the farmer is in, so keep in touch if you want to know more!
(Below) A part of Ben and Alysha Godfrey’s 4,800 square feet of aquaponics trough inside greenhouses in the January snow in Texas: nice and warm inside! People have to eat all year long, so it’s a smart farmer who produces food all year long.
(Ben Godfrey): “When I first saw the price of your Commercial Aquaponics Book, I was having a hard time justifying a $1000.00 book. I am so glad that I did. I saved over nine thousand dollars by using your suggestions over the system that I was about to use. That does not include the priceless consulting that you freely gave us during our unusual start-up phase. I often tell others that you provide an entire business in a book. Thank you for taking the time to record your experiences and compile them in a concise and useable format so that we don’t have to spend our time and money finding out what doesn’t work.
Confession: as I’m out in the field spreading manure, spreading lime, shredding weeds, plowing, cultipacking, marking rows, planting, cultivating, hoeing, irrigating and fighting bugs, I look up on top of the hill at my employee working in the aquaponics greenhouse sitting in his chair seeding and transplanting and I start planning my second aquaponics system. Thanks for all your help. God Bless.”
-Ben Godfrey, Sand Creek Farm
(Zac Hosler): I am doing $1,500 a week (gross income) right now in the middle of the slow season. Some weeks better and some weeks a little less. If we have a good busy season this winter my yearly average should be more like $1750 to $1850 per week average.
(Editor’s note: Zac explains these “low” numbers as a result of loving his son Noah and having to spend a lot of time away from the farm taking Noah to chemo and radiation treatments on an island that is a $600 plane ride away for both of them from where he lives): I am gone from my farm a lot due to taking my 5 year old son Noah from our island to Oahu regularly for chemo treatments. As you know Noah was diagnosed with Leukemia back in October. I am gone a lot. My loss due to pest and weather etc. went from 5 or 6% to upwards of 15 to 20%. For example, I was gone on Oahu for a month straight a while back. While gone my crew kept things afloat but let bug infestation happen with several crops. By the time I got home all of my Bok Choi (one of 4 or 5 crops I normally grow) was trashed. -Zac Hosler, Living Aquaponics Farm
Click here for much more information about Zac’s farm and his journey to becoming a successful commercial aquaponic farmer.
Steffi Lee came to intern on our farm in March of 2010 while recovering from surgery to remove a large tumor in her brain. A single mother of two girls, she was determined to change her life to include aquaponics. After finishing the internship with flying colors, she returned to Taiwan, where she borrowed money from her mother and sold her house to build the first commercial aquaponics farm in Taiwan.
Steffi was taking a risk for sure, but in July 2013, a Taiwan TV station ran a program on her farm, and the floodgates opened. Steffi was recognized as the first person to bring aquaponics to Taiwan, and was invited to give talks on aquaponics at schools, universities, and to the media. She was even invited to give a talk at the Presidential Palace! She has given farm tours to over 5,000 people, has designed and is selling an easy to use DIY aquaponics kit, and is teaching commercial aquaponics courses to Taiwanese residents and groups that come from overseas.
She was recruited by the Taiwan University Of Science And Technology to teach aquaponics and eco-environment classes there; and is currently building a commercial aquaponics farm with a Chinese partner in China.
(Richard Archer): I know that one of the main things you warned about in the June 2013 course in Tennessee was to build small and expand once you’ve mastered the system. Well, in my enthusiasm, in local surfer parlance, I “dropped in steep”. I planned and built a full commercial system.
It has been hard, grueling, frustrating and tedious, but after 18 months of learning the hard way, I am turning out our first crop of 5500 heads of lettuce. I have landed an unlimited supply contract with the local supermarket chain with 7 locations and supply deals with the best restaurant on the island (www.thecliffbarbados.com). We now have eight functioning prodctive troughs and have built an additional 8 which we plan to commission in the next couple of weeks. -Richard Archer, Cloudreach Aquaponics Farm
(Below) Tim Sewells moringa, growing in the ground nearby (watered with aquaponic system water).
(Tim Sewell): Your plans have been used on my project through Amigos for Christ here in Nicaragua to help feed the 900+ poor school children that they feed daily. I completed the 1024 s.f. system according to your plans and everything worked as promised. I have been involved in construction for many years and these plans along with your manual lacked nothing. I never needed to call you for help…..
Thanks for all of your help and your product exceeds your claims. I would recommend building your system to anyone, because it is easy to build and if you follow the plans and specs, it will operate like it is supposed to. Very best regards,
-Tim Sewell, Volunteer Project Manager, Amigos for Christ in Nicaragua