About GrowOn at AGFarm & Aquaponics
Our first greenhouse was started in August 2013 with over 18,000 gallons of water and 1560 square feet of growing space. We grow a variety of produce...leeks, green onions, chard, kale, celery, various herbs, and a few tomato plants in this greenhouse. Our second, similar system, was started in May 2014 and houses a wide variety of lettuces.
With all of the water in our systems we were confident that every female mosquito within several miles would target our farm for reproducing (laying eggs). Therefore, we also introduced mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) into our system. As the mosquito eggs hatch into larva, they are promptly consumed by one of the mosquito fish before they can develop or hatch into adult mosquitoes. So, we have not noticed any mosquito problems on our farm.
Our third above ground greenhouse was started in April 2014. This greenhouse was specifically designed to house our fruiting plants that need trellising. Various varieties of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and squashes are planted in a medium of compost. These plants are then watered with natural nutrients using a drip irrigation system.
Intrigued? Look through our links at the top of the page for more information about aquaponics and our organic produce.....and/or call to schedule a tour!!
Aquaponics.... a relatively new, completely soil-free, sustainable
method of farming....
a dynamic natural ecosystem in a man-made container!
We are a local farm in Bryan, Texas that is committed to producing fresh, organically grown produce for local residents and businesses who are interested in an all-natural, non-GMO (genetically modified) source for produce. We were certified organic by CCOF in March 2014. Due to costs, we dropped our certification in 2017 but continue to grow using organic specifications.
Our first aquaponic system started with a fish tank filled with several hundred pounds of tilapia from Larry's Fish Farm in Giddings, Texas.
The fish are fed a high-quality fish food along with healthy roots harvested from the system. The fish excrete waste into the water (as well as excrete ammonia through their gills). This waste decays into ammonia which is the basis of everything that happens in the rest of the system. A bacteria in the system metabolizes (eats) ammonia and turns it into nitrite, a nitrogen compound. A different bacteria then metabolizes the nitrite and turns it into nitrate, a different nitrogen compound. Both ammonia and nitrite are very toxic to the fish, but the nitrate is NOT. All three of these act as fertilizer to the plants that are floating on rafts in troughs (the second phase of our system).
The plants mature quickly and are then harvested, taking the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate out of the system. New seedlings/plants are quickly introduced to replace the ones that were harvested and the system continues indefinitely. The plants clean the water for the fish, and the fish provide fertilizer for the plants. It is a self-balancing recirculating system which only requires fish food, aeration and pumping to keep the cycle going. And, since the plants in our system are housed in greenhouses, we are able to provide year-round harvests.
Intrigued ? Look through our menu links for more information about our organic produce and commercial kitchens.....and/or call to schedule a tour!!