Introduction to Aquaponics workshop set for Oct. 18 in Auburn

Published: October 02, 2014
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University will hold an introduction to aquaponics workshop Saturday, Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon at the E.W. Shell Fisheries Research Center on North College St. in Auburn. The workshop is hosted by the Auburn University School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences in the College of Agriculture and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Participants will receive detailed instruction on the basics of aquaponics, a tour of the school's fish and plant greenhouses and guidance on designing and constructing aquaponics systems. No prior skills or training are required.

A combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponics combines the practice of raising aquatic animals in tanks with the cultivation of plants in water. An aquaponics system utilizes the animals' waste to nourish the plants, while the plants, in turn, help clean the water.

Mollie Smith, outreach programs coordinator for the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences who will serve as one of two instructors for the course, describes the workshop as a response to the community's overwhelming interest in aquaponics.

"We wanted to share our expertise with the public and provide them with the tools and information to be successful using aquaponics," Smith said. "Backyard gardeners and individuals interested in sustainability, local food production and small-scale aquaponic production are the people we are hoping to reach with the course."

The cost of the workshop is $60 per person with pre-registration ending Thursday, Oct. 16. To register, go to www.bit.ly/auburnaquaponics. For more information, contact Smith at mrs0018@auburn.edu or (334) 844-9301.

(Written by Mary Catherine Gaston.)

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