Aquaponics Project

Ma Ka Hana Ka ‘Ike Aquaponics Project
Coordinated by God’s Country Waimānalo

Aquaponics effectively combines hydroponics (raising plants in water) and aquaculture (raising fish in tanks) to make a contained, sustainable, food production system. The vegetables grown this way mature in a shorter time span and may have higher nutrient content because the plants are exposed to nearly constant fertilizer. In this project, 20 families are being taught how to build a system for their own backyard. It is a year-long collective learning opportunity in which families will learn together and help each other to build backyard aquaponics systems.

Kick Off Event (58 minute video)

Instructional Elements of the Aquaponics Project:

  • Workshops – hands-on demonstration workshops will provide immediate, useable skills
    • Introduction to Aquaponics and Build Bell Siphon
    • Water Quality
    • Dry Box
    • Introduction to Biopod
  • Ongoing technical support – families will schedule appointments for technical assistance and site visits
  • Interactive blog for sharing question and comments
  • Families will be supported in preparing healthy meals with the foods they grow
  • Healthy eating options will be taught through caring for the ‘aina

 Families who take part in the Aquaponics Project:

  • Must live in Waimānalo
  • Agree to kōkua at least one other Waimānalo family
  • Will be dedicated to the responsibilities of maintenance, upkeep, replanting
  • Will do regular documentation with journals and photos
  • Multi-generational households with children under the age of 18 are given priority in the selection process

Other Important Aspects of the Aquaponics Project:

  • Hawaiian cultural values are incorporated and honored
  • Food production and consumption (as defined by the San Francisco Food Alliance Food Assessment Model) are addressed
  • Fruits and vegetables will be grown that are low-maintenance, short time to harvest, and high nutritional value

This aquaponics project will enhance local food production; strengthen families and community while significantly improving the nutritional status of participating family members. Opportunities also exist to sell food in excess of the family’s needs at farmers markets, at a local cooperative market, or to other food vendors on the island to enhance family and community economic development.


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