Aquaponics Survival Communities Newsletter

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You may not copy or use any of the articles in this newsletter without express permission from the Aquaponics Survival Communities. The writers in our newsletter are members of the community or experts in their field. They are teaching and instructing other people about aquaponics, organic gardening, CoOperatives and other things they feel are beneficial to the world wide effort of healthier and nutritious foods. Our writers have volunteered their articles in order to help the communities’ success. All Rights Reserved © Venus Rizing, Inc Contact: venusrizing@gmail.com

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Free Newsletter Edition 4| June 2013

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ASC Free Newsletter| Edition 4| June 2013|

5 The APDuino
Project 15 Raised beds

16 pH in Ponds and
Aquaponics

17 Why We Went To
A Paid Subscription

19 Top ten reasons
why you should subscribe

22 Tamara Driggers Say

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"Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature. Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually into sustainable patterns of living." - Zenobia Barlow
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Written By

András Schreiber

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Fortunately there are new growing techniques (some may be ancient or rediscovered), hydro-cultures, such as Aquaponics that are pointing towards a possible solution for several problems and beyond...
Greenhouses and urban growing conditions (window farms, growing cabinets, etc) are getting more and more spotlight and gaining popularity across the globe, especially as there is an exponentially increasing awareness of global problems. Hydro-culture could also answer challenges of places where water is the most precious resource of all. In closed systems, however, specifically, it is possible to have a tight control on the environment. Theoretically it is possible to maintain an ideal environment for the exact flora and fauna hosted in the closed environment. Maintenance of an optimal environment takes effort, tedious execution of checks and prompt actions is needed to balance out changes in the external and or internal conditions and ensure avoidance of stressful imbalances.

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Project Goal
The APDuino Project aims to provide aid in automation for the pioneering aquaponics and hydroponics farmers, enthusiasts, researchers in a way that even less technical knowledge is required to build a microcontroller-based automation system than before, whereas unlimited complex computing power is fitted to it through the ubiquitous computing already present: the Internet.

Project output, high-level technical overview
The project produces free, open-source binaries for the popular Arduino Mega 2560 + W5100 EtherShield (or equivalent clones) hardware combo, as a basis for any Node.

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Nodes

Besides the official Arduino site and forum, there are tons of blogs, howto’s, forums and companies providing excellent, reliable documentation on how to wire up the hardware components. Again, the key difference with APDuino Project is that those programming parts can be skipped; supported hardware can be configured using APDuino Online. Nodes provide a web-based graphical user interface with charts and interaction with the device; switch between open and closedloop control, change actuator states, etc.

Nodes can host many kinds of sensors and actuators, making it possible to monitor environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, light, conductivity, pressure, water quality, etc. and to interact with the environment by controlling appliances like lights, pumps, heaters, coolers, etc. Nodes can be wired and configured according to the individual needs and specifications, within the constraints of hardware datasheets and software support. The reference hardware is low cost and widely available and known to aquaponics + arduino enthusiasts. Already several systems have been created based on them prior to APDuino Project, but in a less flexible (if open at all), less adaptable design and implementation.

Key Features:
• No-coding needed to fit supported sensors, actuators • Closed-loop control (automation) based on custom, user provided logic • Offline and online data logging • HTTP API for LAN applications • Free, open-source

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APDuino Online

Project History

Nodes also communicate with a central server – APDuino Online – and can be accessed by their respective owners for configuration, management, supervision. This central server facilitates such things as configuration, remote supervision and control, data forwarding and integration with custom applications implementing additional features, pointing towards building the collective growing intelligence. For the moment, several online data logging services are supported, such as Xively. Multi-node sites with any custom logic can be designed and implemented using the APDuino node's and the server's HTTP API's.

The project officially has begun back in 2012 spring, when the George Schreiber, APDuino project founder has decided to write his own piece of software for Arduino-based monitoring and automation for his new passion, Aquaponics. He started playing with AP earlier that year, when this topic became hot in Hungary and he found himself obsessed by the beauty concept of aquaponics and home-grown healthy food for his family (he attempted to produce in their garden before learning about aquaponics). In the quest for sustainability, he was looking for a low-cost, low-energy consumption solution and as many; he has found the popular open-source Arduino hardware platform suitable for the purpose. Hence the name of the project comes from Aquaponics (commonly referred as AP) and Arduino.

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At first glance making an automation system with Arduino seemed like childs-play, probably for many others likewise. It did not take long for him to find out in forums, that people without a good level of programming skills often get lost in the coding mayhem, attempting to somehow “glue together” otherwise well written, or less well written code parts copy-pasted from websites or provided by voluntary helpers. But as all AP setups are different, so were the needs and the problems. Therefore, given his software engineering skills, internet and telecommunications background, he decided to take a slightly different angle on things and create a system that needs no coding therefore much less difficult to implement for non-IT users yet flexible and scalable enough to cover the most commonly needed functionality and is extensible if it would not. The first prototype started working as early as May 2012, the first device in production (supervising his aquaponics greenhouse) is online since July 2012 and the system is publicly available since August 2012.

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Not all people can build their systems themselves; some need help with wiring or configuration.
There has been an increasing load on George, so he has teamed up with his experienced micro-electronics, telecommunication and software engineering friends to address such demands. This also includes any commercial and consulting requests, while still keep improving the solution and to take the project to the next level. George is now working full time on APDuino Project and related issues. “The potential impact is just too great to walk away pretending I saw nothing,” he says. “There always have been a great demand for sustainable food production systems and I see a lot of people contributing their skills and knowledge for a better tomorrow, so I just give a bit of mine.” Besides coordination and development, he also gives presentations on the next generation automation systems and their extreme potential benefits in various high education institutes in Hungary. “We would love to open-source the entire project at some stage,” he continues when asked about the future of the solution.

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“We need to see a devoted crowd of backers or build a solid base of commercial customers and a technically skilled audience first in line. So we try to go with the flow both of these ways, joining and developing communities.”

“I realized its relevance to emerging issues and that it has real potential to change the global food 'game'...” he adds, certainly with a thought of Africa, continent of dreams, from where he returned recently after having led the successful implementation of a nationwide mobile telecommunications network in Ghana.

“After spending half a day surfing aquaponics pages and watching related vides, I started to feel the power of aquaponics” - says Norbert Pozsonyi, Technical Project Manager of the project, who has been working with György shoulder-to-shoulder on several large-scale telecommunications and info-communications projects throughout the last decade.

In their times off, they both guys like music and a great BBQ with family and friends. They are hoping to soon grill AP-grown fishes around the world. 

András Schreiber

APDuino Project http://apduino.org

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Approximately only 10% of our community will see the ASC Facebook Posts now because of the algorithm changes. We thought we would add some of OUR Facebook posts into our magazine, so other people can benefit from the free sourcing too. There are all kinds of ways you can build raised beds. Not all of them need to be constructed with wood, brick, rock or other materials either. Some beds can be created with earth mounds. We have a few useful PDF's to help with creating raised garden beds. PDF 1: http://tinyurl.com/mkyu6sl PDF 3: http://tinyurl.com/muasfpu PDF 2: http://tinyurl.com/l8uef8w PDF 4: http://tinyurl.com/k3jmr4y

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We have a few PDF's people may find interesting about pH. These free sources can be applied to your aquaponics systems too. Most of these PDF's are about Ponds but you take can what you need from the sources and use the knowledge supplied. There are lots of people who have taken an interest in raising fish in a more natural pond setting too. These PDF’s will help. Nitrite in Fish Ponds: http://tinyurl.com/qa6rvry Ammonia in Fish Ponds: http://tinyurl.com/oobntsl Managing Ammonia in Fish Ponds: http://tinyurl.com/omslhyf Managing High pH in Freshwater Ponds: http://tinyurl.com/nf549au

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Over the last four weeks we have transitioned the magazine from being free to a monthly subscription of $2.97. We expected some disappointments from people who were previously on the mailing list. However we have very good reasons why we decided to do this. Our subscription payment is actually less than one cup of coffee at Starbucks each month. The magazine takes up a lot of time putting everything together month and bringing it to the community. Most of the time it has been a one man job…mainly me. While I haven’t minded doing this, there are only so many hours in a day. The subscription monies DO NOT go to me, but rather they go into helping build communities. We are trying to build small Co-Ops and greenhouses in areas where Americans genuinely need help growing food and supporting their children. This means funding. Your subscriptions are helping to make this become a reality with the Fort Garland initiative.

Why We Went To A Paid Subscription
The Editor’s Say

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Many of you are already aware that we have been building this Co-Op for quite some time now. We regularly update the website with pictures and things going on, to show you where the funds are being spent. Building a community greenhouse is also on the agenda, as is the restoration of the historical Little House on the same land, where the Co-Op is housed. We have plans to build an aquaponics center for people too. None of this work is cheap. http://fortgarlandco-op.com/

There are lots of things we are learning along the way but the best thing is that this little community is excited and looking forward to seeing it become a reality for them. Another thing that happens when you offer these services to communities that have very little is you build HOPE. Sometimes that’s all someone needs to change everything in their reality. The cold, hard facts are: American children now go to bed hungry every day. Many children are not getting enough nutrition in their diet due to GMO and poor food sources. The FREE school lunch program is NOT enough to feed growing bodies either. Building Co-Ops, greenhouses and education into growing good healthy foods can make a huge difference. Your subscription will help to make that happen. "Co-operative enterprises provide the organizational means whereby a significant proportion of humanity is able to take into its own hands the tasks of creating productive employment, overcoming poverty and achieving social integration." -Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Co-Ops Are Great Sources For Any Community!
They ensure local tradesmen; farmers and growers can sell their goods at a fair market price. This keeps the community coming back and buying locally. The money, growth and continued support come from the locals. Co-Ops ensure fresher produce and encourage more free and open sources for other people to learn from. Community greenhouses take care of fresh food initiatives to local people who are living on subsistence and cannot always give their children better foods to eat.

Warmest Regards

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1. The ability to create multiple food sources, for pennies on the dollar by utilizing medium and small sized aquaponic set-ups. (When food keeps increasing in price and decreasing in food value your system is keeping the family healthy.) 2. Every economist agrees that a major financial collapse is imminent. (Even the top guru's are now saying that Aquaponics can be the answer to this problem. Quite simply, you should be prepared and that means having different set-ups and systems.) 3. There is no guarantee that the Internet and Facebook will allow content sharing on aquaponics forever. (Governments are now cracking down on organic growers, dairy producers, fisheries and small farmers. Information sharing sources like Facebook are being regulated more. Page posts are being limited; algorithms are being monitored as paid adverts are being pushed into people’s profiles. There is no getting around it, if you don’t pay for advertising only about 10% of people will get the information in their newsfeeds.) BUT if you are on a personal mailing list for a magazine, you will still have access to top notch information. 4. You can regularly contribute your articles to thousands of people just like you. (Teach, learn and share. Become a writer, teacher and subscriber. Benefit yourself, your business and other people.) 5. Stay informed with what the top minds in aquaponics are doing. We have some great articles provided to the community by some of the best known names in the Aquaponics field.
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6. Be part of the larger savvy community that shares insider information only in the ASC magazine. (Many of our community writers will only share their top projects in the magazine to other serious aquaponics enthusiasts.) 7. Prove you are not just a hobbyist but serious about learning all you can about aquaponics and organic growing. (Although there are many free sources available online, this is more for hobbyists and people who can devote 20 plus hours a week doing research. Subscribing to the magazine is a vote of confidence for your community and proves you are a serious aquaponics enthusiast.) 8. Learn from one of the best, up and coming monthly source guides. (We plan on expanding the magazine in the future to include distributors, parts and best buys in aquaponics systems, great videos and DIY.) Actually just about anything that involves aquaponics or organic growing will be made available to you. 9. Become a real expert in sustainability and community food production. (The end goal of our magazine is for YOU to take a lead role in safe food production for your local communities.) See what other people are doing to build upon their communities and involve everyone. 10. Small businesses are welcome to write articles that reach thousands of subscribers. With the high cost of advertising isn't it refreshing to know that you can reach people by simply writing an interesting article related to your business? Your cost will be your time and a monthly subscription.

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Tamara’s Say
I was so proud to see all the photos and videos of the marches around the world today. Those of you who know me know that it takes a lot to make me angry. Monsanto and their GMO seeds are one thing that truly make me angry. You know, I may smoke a cigarette and damage my lungs, or have a drink that affects my liver, but that hurts me. It's my choice. On the other hand, mass consumption of corn, wheat, and soy, (which is in everything) is leading to autism, cancer, degenerative diseases, and super viruses in future generations. Not to mention Monsanto's killing the bees and destroying worldwide farmlands and rural cities. It's coming to one day we will all have to get our 'shots' to be able to ingest the food we're being fed. We will be GMOs. I'm all for freedom, and doing what you want as long as you're not hurting anyone else, but this is real and it is going to affect the future generations of this planet. This is not like some global warming myth or hippie B.S like 'don't eat meat because it hurts the animals'. No, you shouldn't eat the meat from grocery stores because they force feed the animals GMOs and hormones in an unnatural environment. We have to wake up and realize what we are doing to our children and grandchildren for the sake of convenience. I know it's hard, especially when you've worked all day, to make a homemade meal with real ingredients. But if you have children, or family, or friends, or anything that you care about, you should be able to find time to make small changes in your life. Cut out the fast food and processed food, sodas, grow your own food (which will save you money in the long run), buy from local farms and farmers markets, and just know what you’re eating. And also, learn about Monsanto and what they are up to. It will make your skin crawl. End of rant -Tamara M Driggers

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“I am inviting you to attend the most fabulous Aquaponics event of 2013 that I will be holding in drop-dead-gorgeous Puerto Rico November 1 – 3, 2013” Can’t wait to meet you all there” -Murray Hallam. Commencing with a Friday evening poolside meet and greet, followed by two days of Industry leading keynote speakers; twenty four breakout sessions by various industry professionals covering every aspect of home Aquaponics and the emerging commercial Aquaponics industry. This event is bracketed by two four day “Living the Dream” Commercial and Small Aquaponics Farm trainings and two one day “Discover Aquaponics” trainings. Everything is covered to make this event. Go to the Aquaponics Institute website www.aquaponicsinstitute.com or the event website http://www.aquaponicsconnect.com/finalweb/index.htm for details. Mark your calendar right now…get on line and reserve your places!

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Thank You From The Community
You are doing something that goes against big business and you are a much needed forum for the masses. Thank you for your time and energy to maintain your page. - Charlotte Newcomb. Information is the key to survival; I thank you for being on my news feed. The things I have seen just in the past two days will change my life. Tiffany Pope You are SUCH a blessing! I am an amateur trying to coordinate a school for uneducated people while inviting people from around the world. There will be amazing things happening here in time to write about, but for now I am blessing the info you are providing me. -Kevin Lock The choice to purchase a subscription was one of the best I've made in quite some time! Keith Smith I’ve been very impressed with the first few issues of the magazine. The articles are concise and well written and provide good useful information. - Frank Morgan I can't wait to see the Magazine! I would like to submit an article, but I'm deploying again in a few. I'll make sure to keep up with my project when I get back though, in the mean time, can't wait to read up on what others have done. Thanks to everyone for being part of this community, thanks to this community. I feel we are all achieving our goals or dreams in one way or another, please continue to stay in contact and grow as a community, see everyone next year!

Brandon Long Nguyen

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The Articles In The June 2013 Magazine
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