About Aquaponics Three-Day Intensive Courses
Who should take this course?
If you are serious about growing food through your own aquaponics system and want the opportunity to participate in hands-on, in-depth professional training, this course is for you. When you complete this training, you will be able to design, build, and operate an aquaponics system for personal, education, or commercial use.
Why should I study aquaponics through Windy City Harvest?
Windy City Harvest runs 13 urban farms in the Chicago area and is a leading voice on sustainable urban agriculture and local food systems. At the Farm on Ogden, the 52,000-gallon aquaponics system is designed to produce lettuce, leafy greens, and herbs, plus 10,000 pounds of tilapia a year when operating at full capacity. Across our programs, we encourage open discussion and collaboration, so bring your stories, questions, and cameras to help document and share your experience.
What will I learn?
- Take a practical look at what works and does not work in aquaponics.
- The importance and requirements of filtration/waste processing sub-system maintenance.
- General system maintenance, including water testing, water supplementation, daily crop inspection, and IPM (Integrated Pest Management) tasks, and fish feeding.
- Procedures for standard data collection and logging.
- Aquaponics system design, including design features unique to our system.
What are the hands-on parts of the course?
A full day is devoted to a behind-the-scenes look at how Windy City Harvest’s production system operates, as well as the system's aquaponics nursery and the management involved in the integration of these two systems. Students will work hands on, experiencing all major operational tasks involved in running a production-scale system:
- Plant propagation
- Nursery management
- Transfer to the production system
- Produce harvest and post-harvest handling, focusing on USDA/GAP best practices
- Tilapia management and harvest
- Opportunity to fabricate some of the custom components employed in the Windy City Harvest production system.
Regular system-wide maintenance:
- System mechanical considerations
- Filtration management
- Water quality testing and management
- Integrated Pest Management routines, following organic growing guidelines