Educational urban aquaponics workshop and demonstration – 5/2/2012

Save Maumee logo.

News release from Save Maumee:

Educational urban aquaponics workshop and demonstration
Find out about growing fish & plants, for food: We will teach HOW-TO do-it-yourself in a closed circuit system in your yard.

Lake Erie Waterkeeper, Save Maumee will be hosting an educational urban aquaponics workshop and demonstration of working aquaponics system. Ernest Rando, Aquaponics Expert and Community Gardener, will be teaching the class. Rando started Fresh Taste Aquaponics, a Central Illinois Local Food Producer growing contaminant free fish (fish you can eat every day) and fresh produce without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Aquaponics is the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, re-circulating ecosystem utilizing natural bacterial cycles to convert fish wastes to plant nutrients. This is an environmentally-friendly, natural food growing method that harnesses the best attributes of aquaculture and hydroponics without the need to discard any water or filtrate or add chemical fertilizers. Aquaponics is done in a home or community environment where the produce is to be consumed by local people or the gardeners themselves.

WHAT: Aquaponics Workshop
WHEN: Wed. May 2nd, 2012 – 7pm-9pm
LOCATION: Allen County Downtown Public Library – 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN 46802 – ROOM: C
COST: $15/person at door for fundraising and paying for Ernest Rando to bring his portable, urban gardening, aquaponics demonstration from Gary, IN.


General Information about Lake Erie Waterkeeper, Save Maumee:
7th Annual Save Maumee Earth Day was a grand success, collecting over 4,000 lbs of trash from four local stream locations with over 400 volunteers help. Some of the river trash will be sculpted into artwork and displayed at IPFW’s RiverFest.

This weekend Abigail King will be representing the The Lake Erie Watershed in Portland, Oregon for the National River Rally through a grant from River Network. The National River Rally is sold out, with 800 water activists registered.


General Information about Fresh Taste Aquaponics
It all started with a love of fish, a love for plants, and definitely a love for food. The following is a brief story of how three guys and a gal began growing contaminant free fish (fish you can eat everyday) and fresh produce without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

In 2005, Earl Ward started engineering aquaponic systems in his backyard. In 2011, he moved his backyard system into a greenhouse, creating Gary Indiana’s first Urban Farm. Dale Porter is a fish breeder and mechanic. Dale and Earl have been associates for years, exchanging ideas left and right. Realizing the great needs that the Midwest region has for earth friendly and local food sources, they set out to find a way to increase the size of the fish tank and the plant beds.

As Dale and Earl set out in 2010 on their new adventure, Megan Krintz, and Ernest Rando, two Northwest Indiana local food activists, began volunteering at Earl’s aquaponic farm in Gary. A realization of the opportunities within the Midwest within the local food system was quickly shared between Dale, Earl, Megan, and Ernest, and a friendship and business partnership was created as each individual brought their unique talents to tackling the problem of creating more local food for our communities.

In late 2011, Dale, Earl, Megan, and Ernest met in Chenoa, Illinois, a community with a long history of citizens that still remember victory gardens and weekend picnics. Chenoa is a community that has the agricultural land and that can benefit greatly from new ideas, new skills, and new businesses. We are also working with members of the Pontiac, Illinois community. Located on the Route 66 Corridor we not only bring food to our communities, but we believe in reaching out to our communities, providing education to each other and the public.

These conditions have all come together to create a new victory garden. Not a war victory, but a local victory; a local victory because it is a form of agriculture that can regenerate the earth and community resources. Our hope is that Fresh Taste Aquaponics, through educational outreach, community involvement, and food production, will become a model that other communities want to follow in order to produce more local food, reduce their ecological footprint, and create more resources for future generations. (Visit our website to learn more about Aquaponics)

With this focus in mind, we make it a priority to follow the best agricultural practices for business, the community, and the food


Lake Erie Waterkeeper Inc., Save Maumee Program:
To preserve, protect and improve the watersheds, waters, and fish of the Maumee River,-which empties into Lake Erie—increasing public awareness through collaboration, education, hands-on projects and advocacy.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here