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About hygicell

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  • Birthday 08/17/51
  1. thanks, Murray frank
  2. thank you for your support, Murray do you have any European members? if so, could you address them directly about my initiative? I am well aware that I will need all the support I can get frank
  3. I'm thinking of organizing a European Aquaponics Society all you Europeans can either comment here or send me a PM Frank
  4. recipe, recipe !!! (or else an invitation to come taste) please ??? frank
  5. quite a sophisticated harvesting rig! could it be possible to have a ramp right out of the composting bin and straight up to the fish tank? would avoid all manipulation and do BSF and worms live together in peace? can they be combined? Frank
  6. I would suggest anybody who wishes to go for certification not to wait, but to literally take over the recommendations as standards right now (while established standards are inexistent) and apply for certification. I would be very surprised if this would be refused as all aspects of certified organics are treated. it is what I intend to do. frank
  7. your "pointing out the apparent inconsistency" is exactly my point, Gary taking the effort of reading the main document relevant to this discussion would have shown you that these rules are anything but inconsistent. I am interested in how to grow fly larvae frank
  8. sorry to sound a little annoyed, Gary, but I really think people should do a little research themselves instead of systematically relying on others to do it for them. I am glad to contribute what I know and what I find, but I seem to be one of the few that does do some research. I feel like I am doing most of the homework. Most people only half read what I post, let alone the documents I refer to, so I often have to repeat. It would be nicer if the balance would be more equal. Take the word "soil": there is, as far as I have found (and posted), no concrete definition of it. As I distill all the information I have read, it is any combination of natural substances with nutrients which makes it possible for plants to find support in and to grow on. So, mixtures as used in aquaponics with gravel, sand (and perlite and vermiculite, as these are literally accepted by certification rules) etc..., as long as they contain no substances considered as "synthetic" (rock wool, glass wool, plastics), inoculated with the nutrients of fish excretions (which are literally not considered as animal manure, see the final USDA recommendations, please carefully read this document) and leftover food, fall within the existing (vague) definition of "soil". Under these conditions, "media-based aquaponics systems" as you call them are not and should not be considered as "soil-less" systems. Off the shelve organic fish food is a problem for the moment, but that will be resolved in time as the demand rises. In the meantime, I am under the impression that organic standards and rules are less strict than often thought and temporarily accept this fact and allow for exceptional measures. I seem to have read that somewhere too. Excuse me for not knowing exactly where and not taking the time to find out. But what is undoubtedly and explicitly promoted by organic standards is to raise and make your own animal (fish) feeds: one principle is that each organic farm should be as self sufficient as possible. I find that a very reasonable viewpoint. frank
  9. no need for too much details, Duncan that is only restraining take grow bed depth for instance: that is irrelevant, as is in fact fish density: lots of fish in nature live in schools and are almost permanently packed in high density what is important is water quality and the buildup of toxic waste that aquaponics eliminates this buildup AND by doing so creates no effluent are the most valuable arguments for being organic. I'm afraid we will have to accept that NFT and raft techniques will as such not be accepted, unless combined with some kind of "soil" for the plants to grow and support themselves in. There are solutions for this, like Jiffy pots or bags. In fact I am quite happy with the final USDA recommendations: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nosb/FinalRecommendations/Mar07/NOSB%20Final%20Aquaculture%203-29-07.pdf The whole document is well worth the read, as it shows how every issue is carefully examined before being either rejected or accepted. Everything makes a lot of sense. It shows great future for aquaponics as certifiable organic. but if you are only interested in the conclusions, read from page 51 to the end. You will be pleasantly surprised, I hope. I was. I still am. In the definitions section, on page 54, aquaponics is literally described : "Aquaculture production system. A process for growing aquatic animals and plants in an aquaculture facility." greetings Frank
  10. thank you but the mere fact that there are no established "rules" for aquaponics eliminates it from being automatically considered as "certifieable" organic. frank
  11. "not yet", I hope you mean, Duncan aquaponics is "not yet" certifiable in Belgium either as in most other countries surely these precedents will be a serious argument in obtaining certification elsewhere for at least some form of aquaponics we should encourage and support everybody who wants to give it a try rather than just establishing and confirming the impossibility of certification Frank
  12. (not!) sorry to contradict you, Duncan, times are (luckily) rapidly "a-changin'": http://www.deluzfarms.com/Aquaponics.html "...In Ohio, the state certification official states that the plant crop could be certified as Organic,...": http://aquanic.org/newsltrs/assoc/ohio/oh_jan00.pdf greets frank
  13. all is perception. And all too frequently perception is based on incorrect information. I guess that is the fate of any organization: if you are careful in allowing deviations from carefully prepared, studied, agreed and installed recommendations and rules you are called dogmatic. If you (even after careful consideration) accept modifications to those rules it is said that you too easily flinch for lobbying. Sad, one way thinking in both cases, if you ask me. I guess we have to thank the acceptance of hydroponics and (as a result of that) aquaponics in organic certification to one (or a small group of) person(s) who decided that maybe certified organics rule makers were less dogmatic than it seemed and made the effort of explaining carefully, patiently and persistently that the word "hydroponics" must not necessarily be connected (as it rightfully was) to synthetic substrates and chemical fertilizers and that, with the necessary restrictions, the technique could very well be accepted as certifiable organic. Proof of this all is in the fact that this request finally was accepted. And I have no idea of when that happened for the first time. My guess is the oldest accepted hydroponics facility is already quite some years ago. But legends have a tendency to stay accepted as established truths. Once a belief is established, it is very difficult to adjust it. I myself have wrongly assumed for years that perlite and vermiculite were the results of a chemical process (they look like they are) and thus were automatically excluded form certification. Those little white specs in plant pot soil surely don't look natural to me, not even now, when I know better. Only when carefully reading the rules (which almost no one does), did I find out I was wrong. And it is reading these final recommendations and how they came about that convinced me that organic certification rule makers on one hand are strict and responsible and take their job very seriously, but on the other hand are anything but dogmatic: every amendment is carefully examined, discussed, judged and finally accepted or refused. With elaborate motivations. Frank
  14. don't know why you feel te need to point this out. Fringe lunatics are everywhere. anyway, don't throw away the baby with the bath water frank
  15. so are sand, gravel, ... and even both perlite and vermiculite (as they are expanded clay). All are accepted in certified organics. Here in Belgium, some hydroponic herb growers are certified organic and I believe also in the US. Frank