A short while ago, I started a contest on new ideas for sustainable entrepreneurship with the award of a book, ECOpreneuring. I received a great reply from Stephanie at You Grow Food Aquaponics (www.yougrowfood.ca). So, she has won a copy of John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist’s book, ECOpreneuring – Putting Purpose and the Planet before Profit. (It’s one of my favorites.) Congratulations!
Here’s what she said:
We are just in the construction phase of our new aquaponics business: You Grow Food Aquaponics (www.yougrowfood.ca). We are four professional people who are living in the rural community of Hope BC Canada. Hope produces no food commercially for local markets, creating a food desert. We love where we live and we want to eat where we live too! Aquaponics is the `How` of what we do, and food security and community development form the `Why`of what we do. Through tours and education we will connect kids and the community with their food sources. We aim to be open-sourced and support and encourage others in aquaponic startups. Most importantly, we want to provide local restaurants and local families with year round, nutritious, locally produced food!
Rudy and Stephanie in front of one of the greenhouses.
So, of course, I had to go see what their aquaponics farm was all about. (Any excuse for a roadtrip…)
Stephanie Hooker and Rudy Kehler took time from their busy schedules to show me how their process worked and what they wanted to accomplish as farmers. Their operation is small but is quickly growing as their proof-of-concept is realized.
They started with a small greenhouse and a 4 by 4 foot tank, topped with a bed of basil. That worked great. Then came two larger greenhouses with fish tanks, one large pump, and trays and trays of little plants. There are a few more tanks to add, but it’s looking extremely promising that soon there will be greens and fish year-round in the town of Hope. Their goal is to provide fresh, local food in a place where food is brought in from other places.
To see how You Grow Food Aquaponics is growing, go to their Facebook Page and Like them, or visit their web page. Oh, and Stephanie, your book is on it’s way.