Here at P5 Preparedness, we’re firm believers in storing freeze dried foods, MRE’s, and nice big buckets of rice, beans, pasta and other staples. Being prepared includes buying bulk and putting food up for long term storage. However, we also realize that food will eventually be eaten or hit its expiration date, and when it’s gone there will be no stores to buy more. Simply put, storing food is critical, but not sustainable. You need a means of producing food during a long term event, and that means growing a majority of the meals. This is why P5 Preparedness has partnered with HATponics, installed an aquaponics system at the store, and sell both completed systems as well as DIY parts kits. We also hold Introduction to Aquaponics classes with the founder and CEO of HATponics.

IMG 0401 300x225Dr. Ryan Cox (he prefers to be called Ryan), begins the class by explaining that everything involving aquaponics revolves around the K.I.S.S. principle – “Keep It Simple, Stupid”. He warns not to complicate things, but always look for the simplest answer. After all, aquaponics is just fish, plants, rocks and water with a little plumbing – right? He then goes on to explain that fish secrete  an Ammonium Nitrite – NH3, but plants need Nitrate – NO3, so we need to create a bacteriological zone to “wash” the water so plants could utilize it properly. Now, it’s been a few minutes since I last took chemistry, so during the first class I was beginning to wonder if this Marine was a touch out of his element – water or not.

IMG 0298 225x300Over the course of the next two and half hours, Ryan breaks down the chemistry, physics, agriculture, Ichthyology, and even a touch of the animal husbandry behind aquaponics. And all that is before he delves into the Socio-Geo Political ramifications of feeding people. Suffice it to say the man is smart. But despite the complexities behind the system, HATponics insists their systems be able to be set up and maintained by anyone with as little as a fourth grade education. After all, their goal is to feed 20 million people by 2020, and many of the countries they work in lack a proper education system. And let’s not discuss the state of education here at home in the States.

While the science can seem daunting on the front end, once we get you up and running these systems will continuously feed a family of four with little upkeep. Everyone leaves the class with their questions answered, excited about taking the next class – AND the next steps in starting their own aquaponics system! Like everything else in prepping, talk is cheap, but getting your feet wet is the most important step – sometimes literally!

Come by P5 Preparedness at 1309 Panorama Drive. Suite 115 – just off East Brainerd Rd. near I-75 –  take a look at our system, and find out how you can begin providing your family with sustainable food through aquaponics!