Recently Sylvia Bernstein announced an Aquaponics Conference in Orlando, Florida, during mid-September. Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics will be there, and Sylvia will be launching her new book, Aquaponic Gardening.
I volunteered to build an aquaponics system in an hour, and explain the improvements I've made to make the system quieter and more robust. I suggested we could do a silent auction for the system during the conference, since I already have a system.
This weekend Sylvia contacted me about the idea of using the proceeds from the auction as a fundraiser for the Aquaponics Association. The Association will promote the benefits of aquaponics, create educational materials, and, eventually, advocate for legal and business standing for those wishing to grow using aquaponics.
Why is an association needed?
Because aquaponics growers currently run afoul of laws and regulations that were written for livestock. Food poisoning can result when E. Coli bacteria from the feces of warm-blooded animals gets into the food supply. So the standard for Food Safety Certification reads: "The presence of animals in the growing area is an automatic (complete) failure of the food safety audit."
Because fish are not warm-blooded they do not carry E. coli internally. But it was easier to write the standard using the term "the presence of animals" than type "the presence of feces from warm-blooded animals and/or humans."
Aquaponics, the most elegant, ecologically responsible form of agriculture, is currently damned by the laziness of legislators. [Damn as in the Latin damnum, meaning damage, fine, or harm.] For more, check out Sylvia's recent blog talking about aquaponics, safe food, and public perception.
Anyway, I am completely in favor of this Aquaponics Association. I'm pleased that proceeds from auction of this system can help further the aims of the group.
On a separate note, Sylvia suggested that instead of a silent auction, we have Murray Hallam auction the system off during dinner on Saturday night (September 17th). I adore Murray Hallam, and the room will be full of Murray Hallam groupies. Need I say I'm geeking out at the idea of Murray auctioning off my system?
By the way, Sylvia was highlighted as a "Hero Entrepreneur" on blogtalk radio on 16 June. You can pre-order Sylvia's book and save 30%.