Corralitos man sees future of food in...

Corralitos man sees future of food in fish farming, starts aquaponi...

There are 20 comments on the Santa Cruz Sentinel story from Aug 20, 2010, titled Corralitos man sees future of food in fish farming, starts aquaponi.... In it, Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

Chris Newman remembers when greenhouses ruled the Pajaro Valley and California's cut-flower business flourished worldwide.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Santa Cruz Sentinel.

sourcing

Windsor, CA

#1 Aug 20, 2010
I'm reposting this from the earlier thread (I don't know why the Sentinel can't keep one stream of threads per story on Topix).

I commend Mr. Newman and wish him success.

Now for the provocative part of my post...

I don't smoke or in any way use marijuana, but I really think the time has come to convert these un-used greenhouses in the Pajaro Valley to marijuana production (if marijuana is made legal). As an environmentalist and a taxpayer, I'm really tired of hearing about illegal grows in our beautiful wildlands. These grows destroy streams and terrestrial habitat with their water diversion and fertilizers. Illegal campfires result in a huge outlay of resources when they spark wildfires.

I find it ironic that the very people who care so much about the sourcing of their food (fish, organic veggies, and water) will purchase marijuana and not care about the source.

So, Mr. Newman, you are one step ahead of many by re-purposing the greenhouse to this aquaponic method. If MJ is given the green light, perhaps the "vegetable" side of your scheme will be extremely profitable.
tilapia ban

Watsonville, CA

#2 Aug 20, 2010
You know if DFG is involved, nothing is going to happen for a very long time...but it's going to cost alot of $$...then whatever they come out with will be flawed and unenforced.
b-present

Friday Harbor, WA

#3 Aug 20, 2010
I couldn't understand the part where fish or veggies are growing two stories below gravel.

Will check back and see if someone can explain that for me. I'm all for it but realize that any non-native (plant, animal) allowed to escape is devastating to the environ.

Pull your pampass, ivy, vinca and cut your eucalyptus people!!!

Since: May 09

Aptos

#4 Aug 20, 2010
An entrepreneur fighting the state regulatory machine; now there's a story. I wish Mr. Neuman success, and hope that he has very deep pockets because you just know this is going to cost him big. How the DFG thinks fish in a greenhouse are going to escape into the wild is beyond me. I have non-native fish in my fish tank but I think they are pretty much staying put. This is just another case of how our state government, by being unthinking, destroys jobs, or in this case potential jobs. Nothing is harder on the environment than poverty. Rick Garrett/Aptos
Rocket J Squirrel

Soquel, CA

#5 Aug 20, 2010
b-present wrote:
I couldn't understand the part where fish or veggies are growing two stories below gravel.
Will check back and see if someone can explain that for me. I'm all for it but realize that any non-native (plant, animal) allowed to escape is devastating to the environ.
Pull your pampass, ivy, vinca and cut your eucalyptus people!!!
Aquaponics is a 100% closed loop system and there fore, nothing can escape unless intentionally transplanted. Fish and Game's irrational fear is these will be released from the operation, adapt and out complete native species. Tilapia require temperate water around 75F, are vegetarian and were introduced into Brazil to replaced native species during large hydro electric dam projects from both Africa and Egypt.
There are several promising species, giant fresh water prawns, native crayfish and Pacu.
I do wish these guys all the success but I hope they realize a careful energy audit is required before beginning this scale of operation and have surveyed the market. They may find some success due to the novelty but with fish, they either have to use wholesalers for the whole live market or have in place a distribution system. success with the fish depends on stocking density and maintaining the health of a mono culture, the cost of heating for tilapia which can be accomplished in part using solar and heat exchangers. What will allow them a niche market is the novelty and the desire to support a local industry. For cost, the bottom line is how much to get to market and how much lines the pocket. No one can sustain a business for long with out seeing a reasonable return.
Fish waste is typically collected into a channel designed into a raceway or tank, not in filter beds, then there is the process of converting nitrate to nitrogen. Fish require X amount of dissolved O2 and this can obtained more readily by techniques that put oxygen into a nearly 100% dissolved state not the course bubbles typically seen and waste energy.
and yep, yours truly is talking about aquaponics as part of a keynote talk on the future of sanitation in Sept where recycled water can be used for small scale and decentralized systems and reduce overall water usage.
Plant growth in aquaponics is typically floating raft system or flood and fill which can be an enormous energy user and many have learned to use gravity for this end.
Eric

Gilroy, CA

#6 Aug 20, 2010
Aquaponics is great for growing organic marijuana; no need to buy any fertilizers and those fish swimming by your plants are trippy man!
rotkins_bleeding heart

San Francisco, CA

#7 Aug 20, 2010
Ellen Pirie would be a great representative for the catfish, she too is a bottom fish with no taste whatsover

what other kind of fish can you raise on this property?
Guppies?
goldfish eating contests?
Reality Check

San Jose, CA

#8 Aug 20, 2010
b-present wrote:
I couldn't understand the part where fish or veggies are growing two stories below gravel.
Will check back and see if someone can explain that for me. I'm all for it but realize that any non-native (plant, animal) allowed to escape is devastating to the environ.
Pull your pampass, ivy, vinca and cut your eucalyptus people!!!
"fish will soon swim below two stories of gravel beds where vegetables will grow"

Veggies grow on/above the water in trays, fish swim below in the water.
fish face

Santa Cruz, CA

#9 Aug 20, 2010
Where is this place? I'd like to volunteer to help him! What a great idea! All the power to him!

BTW, I thought you learn to put the who, what, where, when in a news article in journalism school. Why does the Sentinel always seem to be missing one or more of that info. I think I learned this in the seventh grade.
just sayin

San Jose, CA

#10 Aug 20, 2010
I will buy farmed fish from now on Thanks to BP! I used to be afraid of it but now that the gulf is contaminated who knows where your fish is coming from!
Dunno bout that

Alviso, CA

#11 Aug 20, 2010
It sounds so good in print, but in operation I think it would be extremely expensive, in manhours and power costs. I suppose the energy use could be offset by solar panels (expensive), but the maintenance is a problem for low-profit fish like catfish (or tilapia, for that matter). Add to that the fact that catfish has a very limited market, and the whole things starts to look precarious.
Dunno bout that

Alviso, CA

#12 Aug 20, 2010
Reality Check wrote:
<quoted text>
"fish will soon swim below two stories of gravel beds where vegetables will grow"
Veggies grow on/above the water in trays, fish swim below in the water.
That may be true in YOUR world...
Ex Liberal

Chicago, IL

#13 Aug 20, 2010
"With the cut-flower industry in the toilet and all those greenhouses sitting there, this is something I can do," said Newman, who spent his childhood acquiring a fondness for his grandfather's farm in the Pajaro Valley only to leave the area, after graduating from UC Santa Cruz, for a brief, but successful career writing mystery novels in New York. "I'm pushing the envelope here but I think this is something that's bound to take off."

Uh dude... you might want to reconsider your endeavor before investing much money. You see, the reason the cut flower industry died was their inability to compete with the very low costs for countries south of our nation’s borders to import and undercut the local growers. Even utilizing ILLEGASL immigrant labor here in the central coast they still couldn't compete!!

Most Americans love a cheaply priced product and they don’t give rats behind which Communist human rights violating country they purchase their cheap-as.. products from as long as it’s cheap!

Now, in case you weren't aware, the US imports millions of tons of sea food grown on farms in Asia and south of the border! Good luck but please don't ask for taxpayer money to subsidize your pipe dream!
Ex Liberal

Chicago, IL

#14 Aug 20, 2010
Dunno bout that wrote:
It sounds so good in print, but in operation I think it would be extremely expensive, in manhours and power costs. I suppose the energy use could be offset by solar panels (expensive), but the maintenance is a problem for low-profit fish like catfish (or tilapia, for that matter). Add to that the fact that catfish has a very limited market, and the whole things starts to look precarious.
Not to someone educated in our current dysfunctional Liberal Socialist controlled indoctrinated anti-Capitalist education system! Why they produce some of the most untallented, clueless, unqualifed business graduates ever who are unable to function in the real corporate world there is!
Naive Fool

San Jose, CA

#16 Aug 20, 2010
This will not work here with Tilipia or any other fish for that matter. You must be close to the equator to even dream of any profit.
Trust me this fool knows nothing real about this business. It will kick his butt!

Since: Mar 08

Location hidden

#17 Aug 20, 2010
Naive Fool wrote:
This will not work here with Tilipia or any other fish for that matter. You must be close to the equator to even dream of any profit.
Trust me this fool knows nothing real about this business. It will kick his butt!
Funny, but it seems to work for others.

The guy in this story learned the fish farming biz from his neighbor Ken Beer - looking up his place on Google earth it is evident Mr Beer is doing quite well:

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/06/16/2824620/rick...
Lindsay Gerard

United States

#18 Aug 20, 2010
I am certain you will get a monetary return in direct proportion to the energy, money and time that you have invested in this venture. At some point down the road, when you have reached a level of sustainability and a profit, I hope your facility will include
a hammock and a beer cooler.

Since: Mar 08

Location hidden

#19 Aug 20, 2010
Lindsay Gerard wrote:
...I hope your facility will include
a hammock and a beer cooler.
Agreed!

Best wishes in your endeavor.

Oh, and although I'm not sure about legalizing MJ for all, growing it in those greenhouses is better than booby traps on park land.
Well Duh

Alviso, CA

#20 Aug 20, 2010
Lindsay Gerard wrote:
I am certain you will get a monetary return in direct proportion to the energy, money and time that you have invested in this venture. At some point down the road, when you have reached a level of sustainability and a profit, I hope your facility will include
a hammock and a beer cooler.
That sentiment can be applied to any venture. Or any career.
trout

Santa Cruz, CA

#21 Aug 21, 2010
farmed fish tastes awful. eat wild fish. just not me.

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