We are an organic food grower on Bonaire using smart technology and sustainable practices to provide fresh vegetables daily.
Our greenhouse is currently under construction as we continue to import, source, and find the necessary supplies, locally and abroad, to make our sustainable farm a reality.
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To start, you have to have baby fish, called fingerlings. We use Tilapia. Tilapia is a hardy, great tasting, fish just right for a good beer batter. The fingerlings (weighing 50 grams each) are introduced into the system. We only use male Tilapia. This removes the chance of fish eggs clogging up the system. The fish join our wonderful WEB tap water and start to create the environment necessary to cultivate plants.
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a sustainable ecosystem using fish, plants, and water to grow vegetables that can be harvested every day, 365 days a year. It does not use soil, pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. It uses a fraction of the water, energy, land, and labor to produce vegetables and fish of the highest quality. Let's explore each step of the process.
Moving the Water
The fish hang out in their spacious tanks, but the water they live in gets continuously pumped through the entire system and filtered. Those nets you see catch any small fish that decide they really must "get to the other side".
The fish are fed high quality food that is free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and pollutants. This turns into outstanding nutrients for our plants!
Once the water has the right balance of nutrients, we can start growing plants! Our plants start out in a nursery like this one. It's designed to grow the seedlings even faster than normal. Once they reach the right size, they are transplanted into the raft beds.
You can also grow the seedlings outside the system and transplant them, but we wanted our plants to be in the system from start to finish. This means we can be confident our products are 100% naturally grown (and they really do grow faster).
The Raft Beds
Our system has two long raft beds just like this one. Once the seedlings are big enough, they move into these super cool, food safe rafts. You can see the plants move down the line one raft at a time. Each day a raft is removed from the end of the line and harvested and a new raft with plants from the nursery is started at the beginning.
The rafts are cleaned after each harvest and reused until they breakdown completely.
The Finished Product
Here we have the plants about to be harvested. You can see the water they have been floating on up to this point. You take the whole raft out and all it takes is a single snip to cut the plant from its roots and it's immediately packed into crates and ready to be sold.
Fish are the Key
That's right, without our fish we would have to use chemicals to make our plants grow.
We want Bonarians to have a safe, sustainable food supply. Unlike hydroponics or traditional farming, we don't have to spray or add chemicals in order for our plants to be tasty and healthy.
Our fish provide those nutrients and get fed high grade fish food so nothing going into our growing process has added chemicals either.
Healthy living for our fish, healthy living for our community.
Done properly, Tilapia is a fantastic fish to batter fry or sauté. The secret is in both what you feed it and how it's purged.
Fish from nature are eating plastics and other pollutants that are put in our waters. Even the freshest fish could have bad flavor due to the pollutants in their water supply.
Fish grown in captivity can get a lot of fat on them and have the appearance of being slimy after just a few hours.
Our solution, feed them great food and use a special process right before they are purged to make them fat free and super tasty!
Come to a fish fry taste for yourself!
But how do they Taste?
How We Work
Currently, we are in the startup phase with DailyFresh.
We chose to begin with a small-scale greenhouse to experiment with what we can grow, and what people actually want to eat. During this phase we want to reach as many people as possible with our products and start building relationships with communities, businesses, and organizations.
How will we do this? A variety of ways:
From community fish fry events to neighborhood tastings, we want as many people as possible trying our products and coming back for more. Don't see your neighborhood? Know a great place for us to park or a great day to visit? Let us know!
Interested in something more private? We will also schedule private tastings for businesses and organizations, just get in touch.
While not every vegetable can grow in our system, we want to see what the possibilities are. Trying everything would overwhelm the system so we will be taking surveys to find the most desirable vegetables. If you’re interested in having a steady supply of sustainable locally sourced vegetables, schedule an appointment and we’ll discuss your needs and see what the possibilities are.
What could be more interesting than seeing an Aquaponics system working? Having a knowledgeable individual explaining each step! Once we get the system into full production, we will be offering tours of the greenhouse for our ecologically friendly tourists, DailyFresh customers, and schools and organizations full of curious learners. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to the greenhouse!