Imagine Aquaponics Consulting for Green Phoenix Farms

Several months ago, Imagine Aquaponics was contracted to create a 3D plumbing design for a project by Green Phoenix Farms in Texas. Believe it or not, this is a “personal system” for a client of Green Phoenix!
The first two images are screen shots from the 3D CAD file Imagine AP created.
As you can see in the other two images, our friend and colleague Adam Cohen has done a spectacular job implementing it, and it’s been amazing watching it all come to life.

Aerial View WM

Index Valve Plumbing

Index Valve 1 ScreenShot WM

Index Valve AND Plumbing

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Special Needs Gardens at McGovern Park Senior Center, Milwaukee.

Raised Beds 2

Aquaponics isn’t all we do.  There are too many great ways to help folks grow their own food,  but for some people gardening is physically limiting.  It’s hard on the back, neck, and knees to be sure (& we can vouch for it!)

So when Stephanie Harling of Havenwoods Edc asked Jesse Hull of Imagine Aquaponics to use certain parameters to design raised beds that could accommodate the folks with physical limitations, and then to lead the teams in constructing them at McGovern Park Senior Center in Milwaukee, WI, he went straight to work.

What he came up with was a raised bed design that allows people to sit and work at the same height they would if they were at a desk.

Final Design Image 1

 


“Jesse was an integral part of the Havenwoods team that built an adaptable garden for seniors and those with physical limitations. Jesse’s role was to assist in the design and installation of 17 adaptive gardening beds with amenities that included waist high beds, benches affixed to each garden bed, and a self watering system. This design opened up the world of gardening for seniors in the Milwaukee area that could not have done it without this adaptive design. Jesse also used this as a teaching opportunity for our youth crew to learn about agriculture, rainwater harvesting, and construction. This was truly an intergenerational project.”

-Stephanie Harling – Executive Director, Havenwoods Economic Development Corporation


 

Jesse had the pleasure of working with not only Stephanie and Jessica Noth of Havenwoods Edc, but also Antoine Carter,  Nick DeMarsh and several members of Groundwork Milwaukee, and the hard working ladies at Genesis Transitional Living in building the raised bed garden complex.

Group Shot 2 w Stephanie

Getting the job done is rarely the only job.  Teaching people, especially young people, the skills and values in constructing food growing systems means hope for the next generation which will be take charge of a world that will need special skills to create a better tomorrow.

Jesse Removing Staples

Jesse on chopsaw

Antoine Carter with volunteer

 

Separate 2’x8′ beds needed to be built first to be stacked & reinforced into taller units  later.

SAMSUNGJesse with Circular Saw & Faceshield

SAMSUNG

 

The women from Genesis Transitional Living were amazingly hard workers, and eager to learn as well.  They really made this project move!

Genesis Transitional Living Volunteers2SAMSUNG

 

Groundwork Milwaukee members installed self-watering (wicking) components into each bed and will later be adding a rain harvesting system to supply water to each.

Jessica Noth Installing Watering System

Watering System and Compost

 

After the watering system was installed in each bed, they were filled with The Farm’s Compost  -wonderful stuff which we’ve used many times in other projects.

Each morning we would arrive to work and find that gardeners had already started transplanting plants from home into the new beds.  So great to see them being used right away!

Plants going in as we build

 

Seats were then constructed and placed in triangulated positions to allow those working on their gardens full access without having to bend over or reach.

Building Benches 2

There were 17  units of various shapes (single, ‘L’, and ‘U’-shapes) built in all.

Raised Beds 1

Raised Beds 3

 

McGovern Park Senior Center will rent out the raised garden beds each spring to experienced gardeners or to any member wanting to try their hand at growing their own food.

Milwaukee Public Radio has said that they would like to make this project part of a story on urban gardening scheduled for the near future.

 

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Jesse Hull of ImagineAP presenting again at this year’s Midwest Renewable Energy Fair

Jesse Hull gave two presentations at the 2014 MREA Fair on Aquaponics.  The first was on building educational AP systems, and the second was on advanced techniques & commercial production. Packed tent both times.

We love the MREA Fair!

Tent presentation2 SAMSUNG Jesse MREA Presentation 2014 MREA Fair Aerial View 1

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Imagine Aquaponics Radio Spot with Susan Bence

Molly & I, and teachers/students from Hawley Environmental School will be on Wisconsin Public Radio’s  Lake Effect with Susan Bence tomorrow (6/11/14) for the closing segment (approximately 10:45 am) – 89.7 FM
Susan Bence will be covering the AP system Imagine Aquaponics is installing in Hawley’s rooftop greenhouse through the Aquaponics Association’s Microgrant program, and additional grants through AT&T and the National Education Association Foundation.

Molly & Jesse BVC Interview SAMSUNG Susan Bence Interview 3 - 5.16.14 SAMSUNG

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Imagine AP in the news again…

 

 

Molly & Jesse BVC Interview

Click here for the story:

Teaching Aquaponics to the Next Generation” - Bay View Compass

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Imagine Aquaponics to Build AP System for Hawley Environmental School

Hawley Environmental School Greenhouse - Outside View

Hawley Environmental School Greenhouse – Outside View

We are very pleased and excited to announce our latest project – installing an educational aquaponics system in an existing greenhouse at Hawley Environmental School.  You can read more about this great school on Hawley’s website.

Funds were provided through grants from  The Aquaponics Assocation, AT&T, & the National Education Association Foundation, and we would like to thank them for recognizing the fantastic educational opportunity that elementary school aquaponics systems provide in all subjects, especially science, technology, engineering and math!

Additional monetary donations were made by Jeff Hembrock of Miller Brewing Co. (the Miller bottling plant is located just a short distance from the school) and Brian and Teather Fricano of Sustainable Supply.

We will be updating our Facebook page with more pictures and details about this great project as it moves along.

 

Hawley Greenhouse - West Side

Hawley Greenhouse – Interior West Side View Before Aquaponics Install

 

Molly Working at Hawley Greenhouse Feb 2013 Jesse Working at Hawley February 2013SAMSUNG Hydroponic Troughs In Progress 2 Hawley Feb 2013SAMSUNG SAMSUNGSAMSUNGSAMSUNGSystem BVC Interview System BVC Interview - 2 SAMSUNG

A presentation “Designing and Building Aquaponics Educational Systems” was given by Jesse Hull at the 2014 Midwest Renewable Energy Association Fair.

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Listen to Imagine Aquaponics on Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin Public Radio’s Glen Moberg interviewed Jesse and Molly last night as part of a program featuring aquaponics and the Energy Fair.

The other guests included Dr. Christopher Hartleb of UW-Stevens Point and our friend Pierre Beauchamp, a talented young aquaponic farmer who is using his high school greenhouse to grow food for the cafeteria aquaponically.

You can listen online or download an MP3 at this link.

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Midwest Renewable Energy Association Fair!

We’re so excited to be a part of the 24th annual MREA Energy Fair.  We will be presenting “How to Optimize Fruiting and Flowering Crops Using Aquaponics” Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Green Tent.   Our friend Pierre Beauchamp will also be presenting on his aquaponic journey Friday at 3.

We hope you can join us for a fantastic weekend of fellowship and learning.  We had a preview tonight and there are definitely some amazing things happening this weekend.

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Aquaponics Institute Training Update

AI Ouroboros Announcement Poster

The Aquaponics Institute training at Stillheart Institute and Ouroboros Farms was such a wonderful event.  So many good people in attendance.

AI at Stillheart - Group Photo

Molly & I taught the sessions on Vegetative Plants, Fruiting & Flowering Plants, Horticultural Lighting, Fish, & Integrated Pest Management.

Induction Light Test 400w 2800K Day 39

Induction Light Test 400w 2800K Lettuce Roots Day 25

Tomato Trichomes Day 32 Tomatoes Day 82 Tomatoes

25 - IMG_7307

Murray Hallam taught AP Basics,  Water Chemistry, & presented on his new commercial system design.

Murray With Harvested AP Plants Murray Hallam Lecturing on His System

Aleece Landis gave hands on demonstrations onsite at Ouroboros Farms on Plumbing and Small System Design.

Aleece Teaching at Ouroboros

Ken Armstrong presented on the Financial Feasibility of Commercial Aquaponics.

Ken Armstrong at Pescadero Ouroboros

Jessica Patton and Rachael Van Liefde gave a presentation on how they deal with their vegetable crops from start to harvest to prepping for sale.

Kenji Snow presented on proper composting methods and use of compost tea.

Kenji Spraying Compost Tea

Mike Cosmo presented on his history with the Alchemy Institute, one of the early pioneers of modern aquaponics.

Pedro Casas presented on his amazing aquaponics farm in Puerto Rico.

Agriponicos Consechos 1

Agriponicos Consechos 5

Agriponicos Consechos 4

As a bonus, there were additional presentations from professionals in the hydroponic & organics industry during the evening hours.

Among the students enrolled were current AP professionals Jon Parr (Viridis Aquaponics/Fishnet Aquaponics), Adam Cohen (Green Phoenix Farms), and Steven Looi (Upstream Aquaponics).

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Quote

Happy 2013!

“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
– Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

I love Aldo Leopold. I was introduced to his work early in my life. My parents had an old battered paperback copy of A Sand County Almanac on their bookshelves nearly my whole childhood, and I remember the first time I read it finding it beautiful but not really accessible – I was probably 6 or 7. Later in school I rediscovered this masterpiece and my own personal copy is well worn and full of highlights, a good trusted friend with excellent advice.

The quote above used to make me feel so isolated. It still does, on the days when I see so many of my fellow humans act so wastefully and carelessly – fracking, strip mining, carelessly clearing forests and prairies for more development, even simply tossing recyclables into the trash. It’s hard not to see evidence of all of this and not feel pessimistic, like Leopold so eloquently expresses.

However, I have hope now. A large portion of that hope is due to the fact that I feel like I have some actions to take to make the situation better. I have discovered a ‘magic key’ – a way of farming food that doesn’t gobble up soil, slurp down water, and burp up greenhouse gasses and pollute our waterways with its waste – aquaponics.

More importantly, I’m not the only person to discover this amazing healing tool! We all have come to it from different paths but we’re here, and we’re in this thing together. Here’s to a wonderful 2013 filled with aquaponics knowledge, discovery and fellowship.

~Molly

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