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All About Aquaponics Workshop

November 15, 2015 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

$35 – $65

A DIY Sustainability Workshop with Michael J. Yablonski, Ph.D. and Rachel Tinker-Kulberg, Ph.D. 
Sunday, November 15, 2015 10am – 3pm

Located at the Plant at 220 Lorax Lane, Pittsboro, NC.
For directions, click here.

Register online:
Registration limited to 50 people – Pre-registration and pre-payment required.  Please bring a bag lunch.


An aquaponics setup in a greenhouse. You by no means need this much space to create your own aquaponics system.
An aquaponics setup in a greenhouse. You by no means need this much space to create your own aquaponics system.

The world’s population is continually growing by ~74 million people per year which will ultimately demand that we use more environmentally friendly farming technologies to protect the earth’s resources and ecosystems that we depend on for life. Aquaponics is gaining considerably attention lately as a serious sustainable farming practice with the potential of solving many of problems that we face in the future with respect to climate change, depleted soils, potable water and fossil fuel shortages. Join Dr. Mike Yablonski and Dr. Rachel Tinker-Kulberg for an introduction into the world of aquaponics.

During this hands-on workshop, Mike and Rachel will show you how to build your own backyard system. Just add plants, fish and water and you will be taking another step down the path to self reliance!


What is Aquaponics and why is it important?

In a nutshell, aquaponics is the practice of growing fish and plants symbiotically in a re-circulating, soil-less environment, without the need to add chemical fertilizers. Using natural bacterial cycles, fish waste is effectively converted to nutrients to feed the plants, filtered water is returned o the fish, and the re-circulation continues. Aquaponics is important because:
•It uses 90% less water than traditional gardening
•Requires less Pest and Weed management
•You will get healthy fish AND chemical free vegetables from your system
•Decreases food miles by supporting local food production in urban area food deserts.
•It’s Eco-friendly
•It’s interesting, fun and your friends will think you are super cool.

In this workshop we will explore the inter-connections between food, health, and environmental sustainability and why Aquaponic farming techniques can play a pivotal role in solving the challenges we face with respect to the global food crisis, rising diet-related human diseases, and current environmental concerns. We will dive into the biology of ecosystems using Aquaponics as a teaching model. This class will also provide detail instructions on how to balance both small indoor and large backyard Aquaponic eco-systems using sound scientific principles and techniques. A build of a small table-top Aquaponic learning system will be demonstrated, as well as hands-on participation in how to start and maintain the system.

In addition, we will teach you how to:
•Put a Plexi-glass window in your fish tank
•Build simpler aquaponic systems with no bulkhead fittings, and with removable pipe-fittings
•Supplement plant nutrients lacking in fish waste.
•Make better plant beds by considering media particle size and plant root structure.
•Save energy by using less water pumping.
•Use duckweed and other aquatic plants to control water quality.
•Obtain or grow local fish food.

Register online:
Registration limited to 50 people – Pre-registration and pre-payment required.


About the instructors:

Mike’s and Rachel’s combined backgrounds in biology coupled with their experience with Aquaponic Systems makes them the perfect pair to introduce you to the world of self contained food systems!

mikeMichael J. Yablonski, Ph.D. was educated as a biologist and a biochemist. He has worked in biochemical research, pharmaceuticals, plant biotechnology, wastewater remediation, and biofuels. In 2006, he began working with duckweed as a wastewater remediation system, and this lead to the use of duckweed for integrated and sustainable agriculture, where the duckweed is also used as food for most types of farm animals, including fish.

During the past 3 years, he has been designing, building and operating aquaponics systems, and a special type of aquaponics format which utilizes duckweed. His experience with aquaponics has included the building of medium-scale systems for home use, and, since 2011, the use of these systems to teach 6 DIY workshops through the Abundance Foundation at Piedmont Biofuels. He has also promoted aquaponics by teaching tutorials, giving lectures at community colleges, and consulting on the design of aquaponic systems in restaurants, schools, and other public service institutions. Mike is also building aquaponic systems which are focused on the development of cold water (energy-saving) systems, applications to garden ponds, and special types of systems that can be used for home aquariums.

His approach to aquaponics stresses experimentation to obtain truly innovative aquaponic methods, and a strict adherance to the use of naturally-occurring materials, to keep aquaponics a clean and reliable type of organic agriculture. Mike’s personal interests include ecology, landscape gardening, and the culture of unusual types of plants, such as aquatic, carnivorous, epiphytic, and xerophytic plants. You can reach him at mjyablonski@gmail.com.

rachelRachel Tinker-Kulberg, Ph.D. is founder of AquaponicFood4Thought, LLC and provides science or research support to teachers, organizations, and individuals trying to promote public awareness about healthy food choices and environmental sustainability by using Aquaponics as a project-based learning tool. She is currently engaged in several Aquaponic builds throughout the Triad area that will serve to increase access to healthy food to the surrounding community while educating the users in sustainable farming techniques or simply serve to provide an aesthetic addition to their landscape or business space To learn more or contact her, please visit her websites at: linkedin.com/in/aquaponicsfood4thought or www.aquaponicfood4thought.com


November 15, 2015
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
$35 – $65
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