Help restore the carbon cycle and reduce global temperatures, while contributing to your own health and food security by learning how to garden Aquaponically!  We offer beginner and advance Aquaponic workshops that will teach the scientific & technical knowledge required to master one of the most sustainable gardening techniques to date!

Come Join us for one  of our  current workshops (check out our facebook site for upcoming events and dates :

"Aquaponics for Beginners" workshop-
This 3 hour workshop will introduce students to the basic concepts behind Aquaponics and various system design considerations. Each student will participate in the build of a small hands-on table-top unit that can be used for Microgreen production.

Symposium and Workshop On Integrative and Restorative Agriculture Including: Aquaculture, Aquaponics, Hydroponics, Restorative & Closed Environment Agriculture-
This 1 to 3 day workshop will cover all aspects of Aquaponics and other cutting-edge and integrated farming strategies are designed specifically for those that are more seriously committed to small-scale food production. 

Past Workshops:

Workshop 1 @ Abundance Foundation, Pittsboro- March 21, 2015 10-3 pm

Rachel Tinker-Kulberg, PhD & Mike Yablonksi, PhD

  • Aquaponic systems & components overview (Closed- loop and Decoupled Systems)
  • Water Chemistry Overview
  • Plant, Fish, and Media selection overview
  • Commercial Systems Overview (UVI, Will Allen, Nelson/Pade, Friendly Aquaponics, Urban Organics)
  • Other Design and marketing considerations
  • Tour of Pittsboro system  and 1-on-1 Q & A session

Workshop 2 @ Healing with CAARE, Durham - May 2, 2015

Rachel Tinker-Kulberg, PhD

Ecosystem balancing:

  • Sizing system (Feeding Rate ratios, Bio-filtration calculations, fish stocking and plant densities etc)
  • Staggered fish and plant production schedule  

Water Chemistry:

  • Start-up/Cycling procedures and water quality testing
  • Identifying and correcting nutrient deficiencies

Food-safety issues:

  • GAP and Organic certifications

Economic analysis of small scale production

System design (and hands-on instruction):

  • Construction of raft and flood and drain systems
  • Clarifying and Bio-filtration tanks

Tour of System @ Durham and 1-on-1 Q & A session

Workshop 3 @ Healing with CAARE- May 9, 2015 

Rachel Tinker-Kulberg, PhD, Mike Yablonski, PhD & Aaron Harris​

Fish production:

  • Feeding, disease and treatment, harvesting and processing 

Plant Production:

  • Seed germination, disease, and pest management 
  • Indoor considerations -Artificial lighting
  • Planning, harvesting, and season extension scheduling
  • Companion planting and other permaculture concepts like seed saving 

Fish Feeds:

  • Overview of Natural Feeds
  • Duckweed propagation 
  • Worm Propagation -hands-on construction of worm composting bins


Past Workshops:

Abundance Foundation, Pittsboro Nc

Oct 18th, 2014  10-3pm  

Speaker- Introduction to Aquaponics,
• Saint Anne's Chapel and Event Center
November 15th, 2013

• Edgecombe County Charter School System
6th-8th Grade- North East Carolina Prep School
Dept, of Technology and Agriculture November 15th, 2013

• Abundance Foundation, Pittsboro Nc
May 4, 2013 , March 24, 2013, and October 24, 2013

• Orange County Public School System-
5th Grade Grady A Brown, September 9 &10, 2013

6th Grade ALStanback, October 10, 2013

•, NC AT&T university, Scotland County
June 26, 2013

Basic Class- Introduction to Aquaponic Gardening (1 hour)

This class 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. A basic overview of Aquaponic gardening will also be discussed.

Intermediate Class- How to Correctly Balance Fish and Plant production in an Aquaponic Eco-system (3-4 hour)

This class will 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.

Advanced Topics Classes (Teachers)

Using Aquaponics as a hands-on project learning tool for STEM / CORE classroom use with the following open-source curricula:

Interdependent relationships in Ecosystems
Decomposition & Biomes
Water and Nitrogen Cycle (water chemistry explained)
Sustainable Agriculture concepts (composting, crop rotation, integrated agriculture, etc)
Health and Science of Food ( with or out without Social Justice issues presented)

Coming soon- Special Topics:

Comparison and Analysis of commercial systems, Design examples for Backyard Systems, Community gardens, Aquaponic-linked Waterscapes, and Incorporating Solar Power & Fish-Feed production to close the Aquaponic loop.

Want to host a workshop- Please contact me !   To give you can idea of What I teach at my workshops:

In the more 'Technical  Aquaponic Workshops'  I begin with a simple overview of Aquaponics and the design layout and operational features of the most common Aquaponic systems used worldwide.  The majority of the workshop involves an in-depth analysis that demystifies the rules of how to balance an Aquaponic eco-system. I teach the participants how to properly manage an Aquaponic system with respect to fish and plant stocking densities, mechanical component ratios, feeding and solid waste removal (i.e. how to determine the bio-filtration capacity of media), start-up and cycling of the system, plant and fish selection, followed by food safety issues.  Participants will also take part in a hands-on workshop to learn how to assemble a small indoor table-top aquarium unit that they can experiment with which will help them gain confidence in the basics of running an aquaponic system on a small-scale before they invest in a larger more expensive backyard system.

Please consider booking at a Field Trip and Tour at the CAARE facility in Durham as well! 


Other specialty workshops on various topics are outlined below and new ones are always in the pipeline! Please participate in my online survey to help me design the next aquaponic workshop based on your interests! Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in hosting an Aquaponic Workshop in your area!

Excellent workshop, thank you for sharing your gifts. You should have offered the entire day or perhaps you could offer a short course/ intensive @ NCState. Bringing this concept and your small units to elementary and high schools is an excellent idea. As a biochemist I enjoyed learning and exploring the scientific aspects of aquaponics. The material information was well organized and well presented. As an artist I would be interested in creating systems that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are practically sustainable.   From an end of workshop feedback form

Short Survey-

Future workshops & customer feedback

 Please Vote or tell me what you want!

company now called: Aquaponic Food 4 Thought


Intro to Aquaponics 

(AF set up a second class this spring because the last one was so popular- 38 attendees!)

Saturday, May 4th, 10am – 2:30pm, in Pittsboro

PAST Workshop Feedback: