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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 07:40 
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I'm still not convinced so much about the USDA standards, Im shall investigate! it sounds too easy to get past certification in US!
I'm happy to see more commercial aquaponic coming up and this looks way interesting, 200 employes, 6 level of DWC, still working to get more detail.....they have a FB page with a few pics.
The problem I see it's now the second commercial aquaponic operation in Chicago!

http://farmedhere.com/


I'm sure you guys already know about "THE PLANT" don't know how much they are really producing, it looks very experimental, and they love using PERILITE!


http://www.plantchicago.com/

PS; It might justify the use of an unoccupied buiolding, but so much artificial lighting? Not so sustainable I guess!


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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 07:44 
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video to watch!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/2 ... more287924


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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 09:14 
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Bloaquafarm - I have to agree with you, this doesn't fit the definition of sustainability and green. This seems like a mass way to produce both fish and plants. I am curious to know how "organic" the system really is. The USDA is no different than any other part of the government. You pay off a few people or offer a few favors and you can slap an USDA organic sticker on a car battery. Being an American citizen, I am very leery of any that comes out of Chicago.


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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 09:28 
Yeah, they're certainly not the first AP operation in Chicago... or even the second... and not even the first "vertical" farm either...

The "Plant" runs several small prototype systems... but not really as a commercial operation... they're more a sustainable industry startup business incubator...

There's ...

"312 Aquaponics"....

http://www.312ap.com/home/

http://seedstock.com/2012/06/27/chicago ... ood-needs/

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011 ... -aquaponic


Portland Purple Water...

http://www.pdxpurple.com/aquaponics

http://earthfix.kuow.org/communities/ar ... eenhouse-/


Skyygreen Aquaponics...

http://skyygreens.com/

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/skyygreen ... 49517.html


Greens & Gills...

http://greensandgills.com/tag/organic-farms-in-chicago/

http://greensandgills.com/tag/aquaponics-in-chicago/

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chi ... ?id=206506


They're certainly quite large though... and of the sort of scale that I've always said was probably necessary to even approach a sucessful commercial operation...

Like several of the others above.. they seem to be based on a Nelson & Pade model.... and, thankfully not a "flawedmedia" media grow bed model...

They only released their announcement a week ago... so it's far to early to quantify whether or not they'll survive.. and/or be succesful/profitable...

The owner/operator seems to have a disinterest in "fish farming"... and with the choice.. and price return from Tilapia.... it would suggest that the business is very "plant centric"...

Like yourself Bioaqua... and others, including people like Wilson Lennard.... I'm very dubious about both the sustainability.. and profitability.. of "tiered" indoor artificial lighting... plant production...

Similarly, from an ex-hydro perspective... they appear to be concentrating on limited species.. and specific marketing/packaging....

The video of the farm hands "clipping" the plant tips... to pack/sell their product... raises great concerns to me... in terms of labour intensity... time... plant useability/wastage... and ongoing viability....

(No wonder they're talking of hiring 200 people... :shock:)

Anyway... I wish them luck... and it's good to see people at least attempting true commercial scale AP...


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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 09:36 
RupertofOZ wrote:
Anyway... I wish them luck... and it's good to see people at least attempting true commercial scale AP...

On that note.... this story got posted on PAP the other day... http://www.aquaponics.net.au/forum/show ... #post64361

Along with a bit of a dig at myself... that suggested that I was negative towards the possibility of sucessful commercial aquaponics...

To clarify... I've never said that I didn't think that commercial scale aquaponics couldn't be succesful...

I've just consistantly argued that the hobby farm/farmers market 1000-200 sq ft low stocking density/farmers market sale models... being hawked as the model for "commercial aquaponics" training...

Just weren't really profitable... or commercial... and limited and not sustainable beyond, and by the amount of time that a 1-2 person operation could sustain...

And questioned the inital "friendlies" type training module... and more recent.. and IMO... no more commercially viable "flawedmedia" concept model...

(you'll notice in the operation in question in this thread... and most other commercial scale operations... that there's not a "flawedmedia" grow bed in sight... :wink: )

Yes I have in the past questioned as to the existance of "successful commercial aquaponics farms"... primarily because of the scale .. or experience, (or complete lack of)... of those who seemed to be pushing the "training"... and claiming "commercial success"...


Last edited by RupertofOZ on Mar 26th, '13, 10:00, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 09:43 
Likewise.. in the PAP post.. a member belatedly posted a link to Australia's... and probably the world's... biggest commercial scale "aquaponics" operation... UES in Cobbity....

Which seemed to have previously gone unreported... or un-noticed by the "oracle" of the "farming revolution".. and was basically dismissed... when raised.. with a generic... "good to see such projects on the go for sure"...

Perhaps the "oracle" wasn't/isn't aware of what's happening in his own backyard... would seem to perhaps be the case...

As a recent post in a NSW trout thread on PAP... seemed to infer that trout were in short supply....

To clarify.. for PAP members... while there were stock losses due to summer heat in WA.. as posted here on the forum by Troutman.. and stocks are somewhat limited in WA...

There is no problem with trout supplies in NSW.... at least not that I'm aware of.... :wink:


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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 10:29 
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Basil must be the "in thing", a lot of these farms in the US a basil factories. Im assuming they have a better end value?

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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 10:35 
Yep... Basil, and/or coriander (cilantro)... are proven good return crops.. and the basis for many high volume hydro operations...

Then there's the "argugula".. "baby spinach"... and loose leaf micro-greens stuff... that's currently trendy... and market demanded...

UES (BlueFarms) at Cobbity... is primarily coriander production...


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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 10:47 
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It is also quick growing which is an attractive thing.

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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 13:55 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
On that note.... this story got posted on PAP the other day... http://www.aquaponics.net.au/forum/show ... #post64361

Along with a bit of a dig at myself... that suggested that I was negative towards the possibility of sucessful commercial aquaponics...

.



You are under-estimating your importance.

The Guru claims " (thinking of good old Rup, forum land's most negative guy)"

That wasn't a bit of a dig "the most negative guy"

The fact he is still trying to discredit you means he still fears your experience and knowledge


As for the FarmedHere venture I would question their Environmentally sustainable, economically viable claims.

Just their growlights:

Assuming 400watts/sq metre

http://www.greenshorticulture.co.uk/cat ... row-Light/

Chicago electricity prices $0.152 (per Kwh

ref: http://www.bls.gov/ro5/aepchi.htm


Lights on 12hrs/day = 12 x 0.4KW x 0.152 x 365 days = $266/sqm per year.

we need to add to this labour costs/ water heating costs for Tilapia,/equipment replacement costs

return for initial capital and the list goes on.

How much money can a crop make per sq metre per year?


Every time I look at the figures it comes down to " I can grow the same crop for cheaper " using

a different farming method.


The Maths don't add up.

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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 18:14 
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other high runnning/operation cost to include in the P&L ;

Luxury packaging
Dispatch and delivery
More elecrtic equipment to run (walk-in fridge, forklift, areators etc..)
Rooting sponges (one per each basil stem...even at wholesale price those are the most expensive seeding system)
Controlled environment (perfect humidity,perfect temperature) considered the scale of the building...ummm!
Water buffering compounds (they say no chemical, I wonder what they use to control certain parameter)


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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 19:02 
bioaquafarm wrote:
other high runnning/operation cost to include in the P&L ;

Luxury packaging
...
Rooting sponges (one per each basil stem...even at wholesale price those are the most expensive seeding system)
...
Controlled environment (perfect humidity,perfect temperature) considered the scale of the building...ummm!

And the cost of the lighting....

Good to see other people thinking things through... and coming to conclusions....

I'm kind of sick of the stupid "Rupe is just negative" campaign run by a few vested interests... and over-inflated egos...


Yeah Bioaqua... the one Basil seedling per rockwool cube had me incredulous right from the start...

Seeing them clipping the leaf tips... just convinced me that they had no idea of efficiencies, standard practices... and/or probably even of the market...

Value adding... and niche packaging is fine... as long as it adds value.... :lol:


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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 19:14 
They received a $100,000 startup grant....

A $100,000 would have got them a pretty good glasshouse... on a vacant piece of city land... or even on the rooftop... :wink:


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PostPosted: Mar 28th, '13, 16:35 
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Hi Rupe,

I wasn't having a go at you mate on the PAP site...Just directing the thread to a IMHO really good setup right here in Australia...I know it's new ....It looks sustainable to me...I think people underestimate what we can do...

I know what you were saying and are indeed still saying...

I'd be interested what others have to say about the UES setup.

Cheers.


Last edited by bigdaddy123 on Mar 28th, '13, 16:38, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mar 28th, '13, 16:38 
Didn't think you were having a go at me for a moment BigDaddy... :wink:


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