Aquaponics at the Center, a wave of the future and Garden of the Month

Ouroboros Farms is a leader in aquaponics and we were so fortunate to get a behind-the-scenes tour in fall.

Ken Armstrong operates Ouroboros, one of the most successful aquaponics farms in Northern California. He produces about 13,000 head of lettuce each month under a third of an acre of glass houses in Half Moon Bay.

He and his partner are the only employees of this fantastic company. After three years of operation, his business, which generates over $250k, is profitable in 2017.

He sells to restaurants, online grocery stores and walk-in retail. He grows 11 types of lettuce, which sell for $1.75-4.00 each.

He is beginning to host fundraising dinners featuring his aquaponics-grown trout. He also has a thriving business of micro greens that take 15 days to grow from seed and produce $20/ tray.

His farm is also an Education Center. The raft system he uses requires a nursery operation to produce healthy seedlings for transplant.

He has designed and built a state of the art grow room for seed germination to supply his nursery seedling operation. This means there is no disruption in supplying abundant new seedlings as plants are harvested from the system each day.

This year we are fortunate to be partnering with The SJSU Engineers without Borders Club. They are redesigning and rebuilding our aquaponics farm at our Race Street location as well as our Hester Street gardens.

If you’d like to learn aquaponics farming, please come down to Race Street and work with our student engineer partners to help interpret their design for students and families who will be learning how to grow food that only uses 10 percent of the water of conventional agriculture, while growing 40 percent more food in the same square footage of space. Fish waste provides the fertilizer!

Aquaponics is a classification of regenerative farming. We are teaching our nature campers and students who visit for class field trips how to design, build and maintain aquaponics farms. We even have a nature badge for aquaponics!

As a Sustainable Urban Land Use Consultant, we are recommending that an aquaponics Farm be included in the Agrihood Project in Santa Clara. One acre of a roof top aquaponics farm can feed 500 people for a year.

Here are a few photos of Ouroboros Farms operation.

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