Monday, April 29, 2013

Aquaponics abound: Help fund another farmer

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Are we seeing proof of the hive mind? Or just two entrepreneur types who have the same idea about how best to approach growing produce during drought times?

Abundant Harvest

Last week I told you about the Ivywild Farm's Kickstarter campaign to raise $9,650 for a 40-tower aquaponic system.

And today I received info on a Fountain Valley area farmer, Charles Hendrix, from Abundant Harvest, who is hoping to generate $17,500 for a 30-by-100-foot aquaponic hoop-house to house two 1,000-gallon fish tanks.

Check out his touching pitch video, in which he lays out his desire to help feed more of El Paso County's food-insecure population:

A side note to Hendrix's crowdfunding campaign: He has opted to use Fort Collins-based Community Funded as his platform, where online benefactors actually purchase a product — called a "giftback" — as part of their donation.

Examples of what you can get include a bag of coffee blended especially for Abundant Harvest for $25; an Abundant Harvest logo t-shirt, also for $25; art prints in the $50 range and Broncos jerseys in the $150 range.

From Abundant Harvest's page, here's the details on the project, including the breakout costs for materials, etc.

Abundant Harvest is currently raising funds to build an Aquaponics system, a sustainable food production technique that combines aquaculture, the raising of fish, with hydroponics. The vegetables and fish work together in a sustainable cycle. The fish waste provides fertilizer to the plants and the plants keep the water clean. The system also uses only a fraction of the water, energy and labor of other farming practices. Because Aquaponics is a closed-loop system, it offers communities the independence to grow their own food.

The new Aquaponics facility will provide a sustainable revenue stream for Abundant Harvest by selling both the produce grown and the fish raised to local restaurants that desire a consistent source of local produce. The food grown beyond the needs of the restaurants will be donated to those in need of wholesome food.

This new source of income will help fund expanded social programs, such as a Scholarship Program and Temporary Housing for needy families that are experiencing “Situational Crisis”. The Aquaponics Grow Center will allow Abundant Harvest to make major strides in our growth and productivity and the new improved more efficient growing methods we are implementing will enable us, to produce 50,000 — 75,000 lbs. of produce, which will allow us to feed an additional 30% that cannot afford healthy nutritious food and add 3 — 4 more Food Pantries to our distribution.

The funds will be used to purchase the following equipment for the Aquaponics System:

2 — 8’ diameter x 50” tall 1,200 gallon poly tanks — $1350.00 ea. =$2,700.00
2 — 275 Gallon Totes with 24 cu.ft Bio-Filter Ribbon with air stones — $1,300.00 ea. = $2,600.00
1 - 275 Gallon Tote for pump sump — $500.00
3 - 275 Gallon Tote for Digesters — $250.00 ea. = $750.00
1 — Burdette Industries-rotating drum filter with 24” drum. 55 micron stainless steel screen. — $5,400.00
2 — 8” high pressure treated wood stands for tanks. Pre-cut wood with hangers -$550.00 ea. = $1,100.00
1000 - Tilapia — $0.21 ea. = $210.00
Gift Fulfillment/Campaign cost = $4,240.00

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