Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Aquaponic Cannabis Production in Puslinch Ontario

Here is an update on an Aquaponics Canabis producer we have written about in the past.

PUSLINCH, ON, Nov. 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Green Relief, a licensed producer under Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), has officially unveiled their company-wide rebrand, which also includes social media platforms as well as their website.

Green Relief was founded in 2013 by Warren Bravo, Lyn Bravo, and Steve LeBlanc on the principles of sustainability, social responsibility, and research, something that is reflected heavily in Green Relief's new brand image.

"Rebranding our company was a very personal decision," said Green Relief CEO Warren Bravo. "With legalization looming, it was imperative that our image better reflected our unwavering commitment to cannabis as medicine while simultaneously highlighting our passion for sustainability."

Green Relief wants to ensure that people are not only aware of the quality, consistency and safety of their medical cannabis but also the importance of giving back to the community and taking care of our planet.

The new concept visually combines the seven veins of the cannabis leaf, enclosed in a geometric interpretation of a water drop. The bright green is an ode to growth, vibrancy and health, while the darker blue-green grounds the identity system and is symbolic of the relationship between water and plant growth. The stylized water drop to represent Green Relief's unique aquaponic growing method. The fusion of the two visual symbols pays homage to Green Relief as the only grower of its kind.

Green Relief is the only medical cannabis provider in the world that's producing by way of aquaponics, where fish and plants grow in a natural ecosystem environment that uses 90% less water than conventional agriculture. It is considered to be the most innovative and sustainable form of agriculture. Green Relief raises tilapia in their aquaponics system and they are fed organic high quality feed resulting in an excellent source of lean, healthy animal protein for consumption. Under their current setup, Green Relief donates anywhere from 300-340 fish every four weeks to local shelters, once the fish reach market weight.

Green Relief works tirelessly to carry out one important mission: helping their patients improve their quality of life. They are also striving to further the science of medical cannabis through research and using cannabis to advance sustainable agriculture around the world.

To check out Green Relief's brand new website, visit www.greenrelief.ca. You can also visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @GreenReliefLP.

Original Source

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Full Spectrum LED Plant Lights

Purple LED Lights

Full Spectrum LED Lights
Plant lighting technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps are still the most commonly used light in commercial growing operations because they are tried and true. But HID lights generate a lot of heat and are not the most energy efficient.

Light-emitting diodes (LED) are attractive because they do not require ballasts and they do not emit as much heat so can be placed close to crop surfaces. They can also be placed in an array, and the hue can be controlled by varying the intensity of individual colours of LEDs. Initially, manufactures targeted the red and blue spectrums of light because it was thought to be more efficient to put the energy into the wavelengths that are absorbed the most.
Red and Blue light are absorbed the most by Chlorophyll
But plants benefit from the full photosynthetic spectrum (400-700 nm). Green light for example, once thought not necessary for plants, penetrates through thick top canopies to support the leaves in the lower canopy (leaves are green because they reflect and transmit green light). The more natural full spectrum also encourages photorespiration, causing plants to consume more nutrients.

Full spectrum LED lights are now available at very reasonable prices making them the go to choice for many growers. NASA for example determined that LED lights are the best single source of light for growing plants.

Other Common Plant Lights
HID - Pros: high penetration, full spectrum (HPS and MH); Cons: high heat and energy use, requires ballast
Florescent - Pros: low initial cost, low energy use, low heat; Cons: performance decay over time, low penetration, requires ballast
Induction or Plamsa - Pros: long life, no performance decay, lower heat; Cons: expensive, requires ballast

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

A Win for Aquaponics Organic Certification (but not for Aeroponics)

A group of proposals aimed at banning soilless production (including Aquaponics) from being eligible for organic certification by the USDA was recently voted down by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).  The decision came after several groups in the organic community participated in significant lobbying efforts urging the NOSB to reject organic certification for soilless production systems.

Through a series of votes, the 15-person Board decided to allow most of the soilless production methods to remain part of the National Organic Program.  The decision established a new set of standards for organic, soilless farming.  The issue of soilless production has been a source of conflict within the organic industry for years.

Groups who are opposed to continuing to certify hydroponic and aquaponic production as organic, claim that the methods used are contrary to the core principals of organic production, which center around soil health.  However, soilless producers argue their methods are as equally sustainable and energy efficient as traditional organic growing techniques.

The NOSB, an advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, issued a four-part recommendation.  Hydroponic production that uses water-based nutrients to grow plants, along with aquaponics, which uses hydroponic techniques combined with fish farms, will both continue to be recognized under organic certification.  There are roughly 100 hydroponic operations certified as organic in the United States.

There were also no further restrictions placed on container growing, which is another method of hydroponic production that uses a solution of water, nutrients and organic matter to grow crops.  The container growing method is used by several large organic berry growers.

Aeroponic farming methods that grow plants that are suspended in the air with exposed roots, will no longer be considered organic.  While there are no organic aeroponic farming operations in the U.S., several companies were considering the necessary equipment to pursue certification before the vote.

Source ... (AgNet)

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Aquaponics in Hamilton Ontario

Sarah Pardy, left, and Melissa Houghton of Lumago - Barry Gary, The Hamilton Spectator
Melissa Houghton is the CEO and founder of Lumago, an aquaponics company in Hamilton. Lumago's focus is providing custom solutions for local farmers and to spread the word about sustainable farming. They have developed a small educational aquaponics system that is portable and designed to boost experiential learning and raise food literacy.

Read more at the Hamilton Spectator ...

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Decoupled Aquaponics for Nambia

Developonics Video shows decoupled system with anaerobic digestion (mineralizing solids) and distillation (increased nutrient concentration). (To turn on sound when playing video click the speaker icon on the bottom right of the video)

Monday, 16 October 2017

The water under Colorado’s Eastern Plains is running dry as farmers keep irrigating “great American desert”

WRAY — Colorado farmers who defied nature’s limits and nourished a pastoral paradise by irrigating drought-prone prairie are pushing ahead in the face of worsening environmental fallout: Overpumping of groundwater has drained the High Plains Aquifer to the point that streams are drying up at the rate of 6 miles a year.

The drawdown has become so severe that highly resilient fish are disappearing, evidence of ecological collapse. A Denver Post analysis of federal data shows the aquifer shrank twice as fast over the past six years compared with the previous 60.

Aquaponics uses less than 10% of the water used in traditional agriculture.

Read more (original source Denver Post)

Friday, 6 October 2017

University of British Columbia - Aquaponic Workshop Oct 12

UBC Centre for Sustainable Food systems is putting on an aquaponics workshop on Oct 12 from 6 pm - 7:30 pm. Register here

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS), located at the UBC Farm, is a unique research centre that aims to understand and fundamentally transform local and global food systems towards a more sustainable, food secure future. The CSFS is a living laboratory, committed to finding solutions to both the local and global challenges facing food systems sustainability and translating solutions to improve personal, community, and environmental health. Through our Vision, Mission, and Guiding Principles, the CSFS models new paradigms for sustainable communities.

The UBC Farm is a 24-ha teaching and learning space, and integrated production farm located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Situated within a 90-year-old coastal hemlock forest, the UBC Farm comprises a mosaic of cultivated annual crop fields, perennial hedgerows and orchards, pasture, teaching gardens, and forest stands. The UBC Farm is certified organic through NOOA, and grows over 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and lso features honey beehives and egg-laying, open-pasture hens.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Aquaponics in Aldersyde Alberta

Calgary-based Argo Resilience Kit Ltd. (ARK) and High River’s Alberta Tilapia Aquaponics are using Sprung Instant Structure’s newly developed tension fabric greenhouse, located at its Aldersyde facility, to develop a complete aquaponics facility that can be placed anywhere in the world. The aquaponics system is packaged with the specialized greenhouse that uses a highly specialized Japanese membrane with 64 percent transmission and high diffusion of light. The complete package is expected to cost between $300,000 and $400,000.

Original Source

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Montrealers Aquaponic Solution to Food Insecurity

Two young Montrealers hope to help change the harsh reality that fresh food is scarce or unaffordable for many people in places like Nunavik, the northern third of Quebec.

Original Source

Saturday, 2 September 2017

720 Acre Aquaponics Farm in Wisconsin

Superior Fresh's flagship facility is one of the largest in the world. It's 40,000 square foot fish house produces 160,000 pounds of fish and it's 123,000 square foot greenhouse produces 1.8 million pounds of leafy greens. It's good to see commercial aquaponics at this scale.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Dead Zone in Gulf Of Mexico is now the Largest ever measured

The numbers are in. The 2017 Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone, or Dead Zone, measures 8,776 square miles—about the size of New Jersey. This is the largest ever dead zone in the Gulf since mapping of the zone began in 1985!

It begins innocently enough. Farmers use fertilizers to increase the output of their crops so that we can have more food on our tables and more food to sell to the rest of the world.

But it is this agricultural run-off combined with urban run-off that brings excessive amounts of nutrients into waterways that feed the Mississippi River and starts a chain of events in the Gulf that turns deadly.

These nutrients fuel large algal blooms that then sink, decompose, and deplete the water of oxygen. This is Hypoxia -- when oxygen in the water is so low it can no longer sustain marine life in bottom or near bottom waters – literally, a dead zone.

When the water reaches this hypoxic state, fish and shrimp leave the area and anything that can’t escape like crabs, worms, and clams die. So, the very fertilizers that are helping our crops are disrupting the food chain and devastating our food sources in the ocean when applied in excess.

If the amount of fertilizer, sewage, and urban runoff dumping into the Gulf isn’t reduced, the dead zone will continue to wreak havoc on the ecosystem and threaten some of the most productive fisheries in the world.

Aquaponics grows fish and plants together with minimal agricultural discharge.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Nova Scotia's first commercial aquaponics farm coming in February

Nova Scotia’s first commercial aquaponics farm is poised to start production by next February at the former Newport Station elementary school building in West Hants. Before proceeding, the property needs to be rezoned, which should be concluded by mid-November. As the business is developed, the plan is to construct other buildings on the site, and predict an investment of about $3 million over five years.

In addition to the commercial aquaponics operation, the company also plans to start an aquaponics educational class next year which the public will be invited to attend to familiarize themselves with aquaponics.

Original Source

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

New Tax Rules in Canada Impact Farmers

The National Post reports that the federal government's proposed tax reforms could affect Canadian farmers that are family farm corporations (shares are held by family members). The legislation is meant to remove the benefits of income splitting to lower the effective tax rate.

Read more here ...

Proposed new tax rules — such as disqualifying capital gains earned by minors and restricting the use of family trusts for the exemption — could mean farmers take a big hit on their retirement plans.

Monday, 31 July 2017

U of Arizona Lectures: Plant Physiology and Controlled Environment growing

University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) Lectures
on Plant Physiology and Controlled Environment Technology

Video Playlist:

  • Introduction
  • Light Intensity and Quality (part 1 and 2)
  • Photoperiod
  • CO2
  • Wind
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Energy Balance 1
  • Canopy Environment 1
  • Energy Balance 2
  • Canopy Environment 2
  • Plant Nutrition
  • Substrate
  • Water Relation
  • Sink Source 1 and 2 (the playlist has these in the wrong order)
  • GH Environment 1 and 2

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Taking Decoupled Aquaponics to the next Level (EU Presentation)

The four loop design allows for optimal nutrient levels in the plant loop, while maintaining low Nitrate levels in the fish loop with very little water loss. A desalination system allows desalinated water to flow from the hydroponic loop back to the fish loop.

A presentation by Simon Goddek (Wageningen University, NL) given during the EU Aquaponics Hub training school on 'Modelling nutrients, energy and growth in aquaponic systems' at University College Cork, Ireland, in April 2017. Filmed and produced by Em Cooke.