Sunday, June 28, 2015

Off Grid Homestead Aquaponics

Zachary Bauer
Published on May 26, 2014
Here is our walk through of our homestead Aquaponics system. Its fully operational and this spring is getting off to a great start. We are using goldfish to jump start the system and will be switching them out with Bluegill coming up soon. Leave questions or comments below and I will "try" to answer them.

Please allow me to share a little history and some information about me and the path that has led to the My AquaFarm™ Aquaponics System.

This system is the first consumer grade system offered by Hughey Aquafarm and is backed by 10 years of experience actually doing Aquaponics.

 It’s the first of it’s kind that I know of that can be shipped flat and easily assembled on site. I built my first Aquaponics system in 2003 using blue plastic barrels cut lengthwise as grow-beds.

In an effort to reduce the technological complexity of current systems at the time and hope to make it possible to be done in developing countries I invented the Barrel-Ponics® Flood Valve system in 2004 using a manual flood and drain control system which spawned a whole generation of backyard Aquaponics enthusiasts in America and the world.


The Barrel-Ponics® system was the first to popularize using recycled plastic drums and was an attempt to educate as many people as possible to this amazing agricultural technique with an easy to build system for the “Do It Yourselfer’s” among us.

 After a year of use I released the Barrel-Ponics® Manual in 2005 as a free 101 pg., step by step, “How To” publication (the first I know of to do so) to help those who, otherwise, could not afford even the information on this amazing food production system.

 At that time Aquaponics systems were being produced, but geared toward the commercial market and priced very high and far outside the reach of common people who needed to just put food on the table.

Ten’s of thousands of Barrel-Ponics® manuals have been given away to date worldwide and it is still available from my website ( and other sites on the internet in an effort to change that.

My thanks to those who have helped in this endeavor.  I have  personally built systems in America, Kenya, The Philippines, Lebanon, China and Guatemala in an effort to alleviate hunger issues in the world.

This is one of the primary reasons I have not before released a consumer product.  I simply have been too busy traveling and sharing this amazing information to the less fortunate as well as my family and I hosting farm tours at our home and moderating the “Barrel-Ponics” yahoo group.

Some things have not changed in these past years though as most offerings of complete Aquaponics systems, even today for the home market, are priced way too high for the average family to afford, some ranging from $1200.00 and up for very small capacity (some less than 8 sq. ft. (the Barrel-Ponics® system has 10 sq. ft.)) albeit some, quality systems.


With so many Aquaponics kits and systems out there for sale you might ask why produce another?

There are two primary reasons.  First the price of these systems has to be reduced in order for the masses to enjoy this amazing technology.  Second, while, as I mentioned before, there are some good quality offerings in the market, there are those who hear of Aquaponics, see something someone else does, change it a bit and start selling with little or no experience whatsoever.

One would never know that since everything on the internet is true, right?  Yea right.  They make amazing claims and tell you what you want to hear to promote themselves and get you to buy what they’re selling.

Some even sell systems before they have actually grown anything!  They see aquaponics as some “get rich quick” scheme.  Personally I think this is basically fraud.  This will never be the case at Hughey Aquafarm!!

My promise to you is every system we produce has been, and will be, used to produce food for our family first before asking you to risk your hard earned finances for some poorly constructed and thought out scheme by some novice in this field.

When I say produce for our family, I’m not talking about simply a salad a month or something like that.  I talking about real food on a regular basis.  This first My AquaFarm™ Aquaponics System is, after all, 16 sq. ft.

I refuse to make claims on production levels simply because your experience with this system will grow as your capability to produce does.  So many take a snapshot of their best season and extrapolate that as a basis for production.  It’s just not real world!!
As with any form of agriculture, there is a learning curve here. I simply will not be pulled into the false hype thing. I will be honest and realistic.

I will say though, you will be amazed the first time you see plants springing up from gravel beds knowing the only nutrient they get is from the water in your fish tank.

You will also enjoy a deep level of  satisfaction that you are growing nutritious food for your family you’re proud to serve, knowing how it’s been grown.  That’s something you can’t get picking food from a grocery store shelf!

Source:   My

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