- Fruits: berries (strawberries)
- Animals: fish
- Animal Production: feed/forage
This project developed and evaluated sustainable practices to provide mealworms as a feed replacement or supplement to increase productivity and/or profitability of the bluegills and produce in the plant growing beds.
Key challenges investigated by this research project were:
- Can we grow sufficient quantities of mealworms using organic certified grains or grain waste products in a high tunnel environment for use as a fish feed integrated with an aquaponics cropping system?
- Can this be done in a cost effective manner that will provide much needed income for a small farmer operation and provide fresh fish and produce to meet with the increasing demand for locally grown food?
For summary of results, see Learning Outcomes, Lessons Learned.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
- Develop growing practices for mealworm production in a small scale farm high tunnel.
- Positively impact the environment by producing a local alternative to mercury- and PCB-contaminated commercial fish feed.
- Improve profitability for growers by evaluating cost effectiveness of mealworm production in a small scale farm high tunnel for fish feed in an aquaponic system.
- Benefit the community by increasing access to local fish and potentially creating new jobs in this market.
- Share results of project to the benefit of growers and community through open greenhouse tours and documentation on social media.