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Aquaponics Training reaches remote QLD schools

Travelling from Cairns to assist the Queensland Northern Gulf schools, The Aquaponic Gardener took his aquaponics education and travelling displays into remote QLD towns last week. Both public and private local schools of Croydon, Georgetown, Forsayth and Normandy were engaged learning freshwater ecology, organic vegetable farming using aquaponics, water bug identification, soil science and even fresh water fishing techniques, skills and knowledge. The days were highly interactive and practical.

The Aquaponic Gardener showcased his fish tank mini aquaponics system display using yabbies’ and demonstrated how it’s possible to make a simple aquaponics organic vegetable garden very cheaply in this manner. “It can be as simple as floating a Styrofoam box lid with some holes cut into it where you place vegetable seedlings on top of the fish tank and add goldfish below the vegetables or herbs”, Aquaponics doesn’t have to be complicated. If you can dream it, find containers that hold water and you can build a system to produce fresh vegetables and fish from home or school” said the Aquaponic Gardener.

The school children learnt the importance of water quality and only after just a few minutes were able to test pH, ammonia, dissolved oxygen and identify environmental indicators of good water quality.

During the two days intense freshwater environmental education the children were engaged in practical well thought activities.

During the Aquaponics classes we discussed the benefits of aquaponics which is suited to the poor soils and harsh hot environments of central Queensland and the Gulf regions.

The teachers and children alike were engaged and by the end of each session were wanting to return to school to make either the small fish tank herb aquaponics system or larger systems using IBC tote tanks and vertical gardens.

Teachers and students left each days events learning all the essentials of organic aquaponics in the backyard or school, were provided a USB or CD with information, fact sheets and handouts on DIY system designs.

Many different examples of aquaponics systems were discussed including global examples using swimming pools, spas, recycled materials, IBC, timber grow beds and others.

School participants had a great time learning about freshwater environment and growing fresh organic aquaponics vegetables at home or school. It was a real privilege to share aquaponics information with the school children in this manner at last week’s event.

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