Aquaponics Intensive

at Chicago Botanic Garden - North Lawndale

Course Details
$795 5 seats left
Start Date:

Fri, Aug 21, 9:00am - Aug 24, 4:00pm Central Time (4 sessions)

North Lawndale, West Side
3555 Ogden Ave
At S Drake Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60623
Purchase Options
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 12
Teacher: Andy McGhee

What you'll learn in this gardening class:

This course is for individuals seriously considering or already in the process of aquaponic food production on a commercial scale. This course is a comprehensive look at the design and build-out of a system, water quality, controlled-environment growing, daily operations, and growing techniques. Instruction will include hands-on work and lectures.

This is a certificate course.

Aquaponics Three-Day Intensive Course Sample Agenda

Day One

  • Meet and greet: Introductions and goals.
  • Aquaponics overview and history. (Discussion and Q&A)
  • Farm on Ogden aquaponics tour.
  • Aquaponics system design and construction; A review of common aquaponic designs, typical
    hardware and sub-systems with an emphasis on the systems and methods utilized at Farm on Ogden. (Discussion, hands-on lab time, Q&A)

Day Two

  • The biology and chemistry of aquaponics growing systems: A view of all aspects of the living system that powers an aquaponics system.
  • Discussion will emphasize the problem areas of running an aquaponics farm, including water testing, nutrient deficiencies, supplement management and assessment of general system health.
  • Detailed look at Integrated Pest Management (IPM). (Discussion and Q&A)
  • Comparison and critique of aquaponics vs. hydroponics vs. traditional soil-based growing
    methods. (Discussion and Q&A)
  • All things fish: Selection, nursery, feeding, health, harvesting and marketing. (Discussion and Q&A)
  • Commercial aquaponics production: Commercial feasibility, design considerations, business models, production system management, crop management, selection and planning, seed propagation, day-to-day growing procedures, harvest processing, work flows, and GAP/USDA/FDA rule compliance. (Discussion and Q&A)

Day Three

  • Running the system: A day in the life of Windy City Harvest aquaponics–We begin with a typical start-of-day system walk through, water testing and take any necessary actions. The fish are fed and daily system maintenance gets completed, including cycle system filters, sequester system, green produce harvest, and processing.
  • Daily nursery maintenance and regular processes: The group moves seedlings to production system and starts to production. They seed new starts, move starts to nursery, and manage nursery data logs.
  • Fish harvest and processing.
  • Discussion of operational procedures & methods. (Q&A)
  • Final seminar discussion and recap. (Q&A)

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy
Refund requests must be submitted to [email protected] prior to the program’s start date. The registration fee will be refunded less a 10 percent processing charge.

Fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable on and after the program’s start date. We cannot refund fees requested on or after the start date of a program or for sessions missed due to student illness or other personal situations.

Registration fees for courses grouped and priced as a series will be considered one program and subject to all of the above guidelines. A refund request must be received prior to the start date of the series' first class session and will subsequently cancel your registration in every session of the series. If you choose to re-register for other sessions in the series, the special discount does not apply.


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Start Dates (1)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
9:00am - 4:00pm Central Time Andy McGhee 4 $795
This course consists of multiple sessions, view schedule for sessions.
Sat, Aug 22 9:00am - 4:00pm Central Time Andy McGhee
Sun, Aug 23 9:00am - 4:00pm Central Time Andy McGhee
Mon, Aug 24 9:00am - 4:00pm Central Time Andy McGhee

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School: Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden opened a little more than 40 years ago as a beautiful place to visit, and it has matured into one of the world's great living museums and conservation science centers. In 2013, one million people visited the Garden's 26 gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on...

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