Next Steps and Their Importance

The next steps for ArkFab

Design systems to passively or sustainably meet the aquaponic system’s energy needs for pumping, heating and cooling

By going off the grid with our power system we will demonstrate how techniques for energy resilience and sustainability while also reducing the costs of food production. These techniques will be taught to the staff and trainees at TLW, becoming part of the education offered to the community.

Develop techniques and systems for up-cycling organic food waste into fish food

Sustainable protein production is one of the most pressing problems facing Humanity. Fish is better at converting food into protein that cattle, pigs, chickens, or goats. However, while our wild fisheries are crashing from unsustainable harvesting, our farmed fish are still being fed food either mined from the ocean (fish meal) or from the land (corn and soy). Simultaneously, 40% of the world’s food is being wasted. Our main objective is to divert this enormous waste stream away from the landfill and up-cycle it back into fresh local produce and sustainable protein.

Expand on system sensing and monitoring to create broader research opportunities

By implementing more sophisticated monitoring systems, we will be better able to track our progress and quantify our results. This ability to more precisely quantify various elements of our research will let us ask more questions and broaden our ability to interact with different areas of academia.

Design sustainable systems for TLW’s wheat street gardens to allow for more efficient farm operation and productivity

  • Rain water harvesting
  • Automated greenhouse misting system
  • Rocket mass heating for greenhouse
  • Solar energy for refrigeration
  • Development of anaerobic biogas system for electricity generation

By implementing these systems we will be demonstrating “whole systems thinking”. Visitors to TLW will be able to see elements of sustainable design throughout the farm, instead of just at our facility. This will also be of great service to TLW economically as it will free up labor time and reduce their utilities costs, ideally to zero.