Fifth World aquaponics system up and running

The aquaponics system I at least in part funded with a Fifth World microloan at the end of June is finished and running!

The water is circulating, and Spence has added ammonia and is letting the biofilter develop before adding the fish.

All of this means that after the planning and building phases, Spence and his friends at Green-Trust have now actually embarked on the new indoor/outdoor solar-powered aquaponics self-sufficiency survival food project.

The project includes a fish and vegetable production system, but also an optional solar power system, LED grow lights, possibly a do-it-yourself (DIY) greenhouse, and a methane digestion system for hot water and winter heating of the greenhouse. The fish will be fed by a grub composter. Spence is ordering the fish tomorrow.

The fish will be bluegill and catfish, as well as other varieties which are being investigated. The vegetables that will be planted have been picked for nutrition, hardiness, and ease of growing, mostly water plants in addition to traditional plants.

Green-Trust’s first kit is now available. It is a 2.5′ siphon, ready for installation in a 55-gallon plastic drum. It consists of a bulkhead fitting, a 30″ x 2″ vertical standpipe, a 30″ x 4″ vertical bell pipe with drilled cap, and a 28″ x 1/2″ snorkel pipe with fittings, all drilled and cut. Simple assembly is required. The cost is $60 plus shipping & handling, and includes complete system documentation on CD. The documentation CD without the siphon is $40.

You can order the kit, or get more information at


A poverty-driven Sukkot

Like many cities, Lakewood, New Jersey, about 60 miles south of New York City, lacks an adequate social service network, and has no homeless shelter.

In its woods, six dozen homeless people have set up a camp in tents, teepees, and huts, residents of what they call Tent City. It’s a place where those out of work and out of luck can drop out of society while living as cheaply as possible.

In the Fall of 2010, the township filed a lawsuit against the residents on the grounds of trespassing. As a result of the media attention, a high profile law firm is now representing Tent City pro-bono, and countersuing Ocean County, New Jersey. The case is currently with the New Jersey Superior Court, and the outcome will determine the fate of Tent City. It may also begin to clarify the government’s constitutional role in providing adequate shelter for the homeless.

Rev. Steven Brigham, who founded Tent City in 2006 as part of his Lakewood Outreach Ministry Church, says the people living there are a community, and have a sense of belonging. He receives donations from individuals, churches and synagogues that he says allow him to operate Tent City for about $1,000-a-month.

The jobless in New Jersey find refuge in Tent City

In the Woods – a documentary about life in Tent City

In the Woods Blog

You can help Rev. Steve Brigham of Lakewood Outreach Ministry Church with a donation by check (in US funds only). Make check out to “Lakewood Outreach Ministry Church” and send it to:

Lakewood Outreach Ministry Church
PO Box 326
Lakewood, NJ 08701-0326

Other Links;

Tent City – Wikipedia

Tent – Wikipedia

Feast of Shelters/Booths/Ingathering/Sukkot
Cesidian Feast of Shelters: 14 October every year

Callahan v. Carey and the Legal Right to Shelter