A Sweet Water High School Creating Sweet Water Villages


The Students, Families, and Communities of Practice
Design and Build the Village and the School

An Earn While You Learn Increasingly
Self-Sustaining Academy Guild School

Green Enterprise Hybrid Experiments:

Farm—Growing Power Sweet Water Miniatures

Workshop—Community scale fabrications for farm and home

Academy—Integrating the Humanities and the Sciences, Theoretical
Learning with Applied Knowledge

Guild—Training in cooperative enterprise, food, and community projects

Community Center—place for socializing, conviviality, and community
celebration and problem solving

Neighborhood Co-op Start-ups—beginning with corner grocery store cafes

Net Enhanced Theory Practice Based
Integration of Science, Art, and Commerce

Students experience mentors in various

disciplines—biology, engineering, MBA for aquaponics

trades—weatherizers, roofers, carpenters, for starters

occupations and professions—as guest presenters, priority to be developed by the
design teams

Aiming for High Value Added Skill Sets

Aiming for Self Reliance Skills and More Earth Friendly Lives

  • growing family food

  • greening, upgrading, and stewarding

family habitats

  • small business start-up

skills and insights

Mentor Partners

  • MBAs

will focus students on the translation of their skill sets into goods and services for the money economy, e.g. arugula and mushrooms at farmers markets, construction of cold frames, worm bins, and hoop and green houses. Business plans will be developed for use in after school, week end, and summer “learn while you earn projects.”

  • Biologist, Horticulturalists, Artisans, and Engineers

will adopt various “organic engineering systems” experiments, providing
not just guidance, but also help raising money through grants to pay for the projects,

working with the MBA mentors, guidance in the process of sequential,
asset based development experiments in green city enterprise, including raised bed garden, green house, vermiculture, and aquaponics initiatives

  • Art, Wellness, and Communication

will harvest some of the information derived
assemble culture productions and life experiences,
especially food preparation, storing, and enjoying,

on-line and print bodies of information beautifully presented

Action Steps: Assemble Project Teams

  • “Framing the Partnership” Team

urban agriculture and aquaponics applied scientists, professionals, and “apprentices”
engineers, biologists, and architects
artists, chefs, communications, information technologies
wellness and healing fields, e.g. doctors, nurses, yoga dance, art therapy, nutrition and natural foods creatives

  • “Designing the Space” Team—urban agriculture architecture

  • Designing the Urban Agriculture Organic Engineering Systems

compost—off site
vermiculture—off site
Sweet Water Aquaponic systems—on site
projects exploring off-the grid energy systems

to be continued

Google Document Partners for the Democratization of Aquaponics

Anyone up for growing a google document re the democratization of aquaponics?

Here is a memo design for discusions with MPS Superintendent Thorton,

I would very much appreciate your thoughts. If you are up for joining in a google document
collaboration to move this concept forward, please let me know.

This memo focuses on Milwaukee, but it could just as well have been written for the UK,
Netherlands, Hawaii, New Orleans, and other places in need to visions of mighty collaborations around the aquaponics promise.

Sweet Water Miniatures for Milwaukee Public Schools

  • design and install as many Sweet Water Miniatures as possible

in MPS schools asap

  • develop cross campus competitions and collaborations

  • recruit and train “Aquaponics Olympic Teams” and Individuals

  • connect the Sweet Water Public School Miniatures Project with support


  • MSOE
  • UWM and Alverno Biology Departments
  • M.U. Center for Community Transformation
  • MATC Culinary School
  • Bradley Tech
  • Medical College of Milwaukee
  • Water Council

  • recruit retired engineers and sub-employed horticulturalists,

architects, and engineers to provide pro bono support, in return
for their becoming part of a list of possible Sweet Water Installation
teams for projects large and small, local and beyond our borders

Crafting the “Deal”

  • Sweet Water Organics is a consultant/installation enterprise to the project,
 with a focus on aquaponics engineering, fish, and plant art/science information

provision, through design of miniature models, installation of the models,
and technical support throughout their productive lives

  • Sweet Water Foundation is a grant partner with MPS and other partners to

this project and a popularizer/media packager of the technical information provided
under contract by Sweet Water Organics


  • impact the science, math, artisinal, and entreprenerual education of our youth
  • accelerate the localization of healthy food at lowest possible cost
  • Inspire heightened awareness of the promise of Sweet Water aquaponics
  • generate an income stream for SWO and SWF
  • accelerate the incorporation of highly skilled professionals into our network
  • recruit individuals with the greatest promise into SWO and SWF initiatives
  • equip SWO commercial aquaponic experiments with bench strength for our

Milwaukee, Chicago, and Philadelphia expansions

Why Not Female Aquaponic Creatives?

Will Allen more than once remarked that women
Seem more inclined toward urban agriculture innovations.

I think that is true as far as composting, vermiculture,
and raised bed gardening.

But not in regard to aquaponics.

Retired Engineers and Fish Farming

A large number of engineers are looking into Sweet Water.

Janine Benyus’ Ted Lecture on Biomimicry called for the
marriage of engineers and biologists.

Please help awaken your biology teachers to aquaponics
and Sweet Water Wed.6 p.m. Sunday noon tours.

And consider suggesting to your daughters that they
could become the family, community, and metropolitan

Fish Mon!

Olde Mon

Aquaponics “Olympians” to Advance New Milwaukee Export Industry

I would like to start a conversation with about the need to
develop projects for aquaponics “bench strength,” starting with our young.

We are being asked to help people replicate Sweet Water in a number of
American cities, as well as accelerate the provision of contextually appropriate
Sweet Water miniatures in rain forest and desert areas of the “Third World.”

A key obstacle to the diffusion of our innovation is the scarce “human capital”
available to thoughtfully duplicate a very complex enterprise or handle the
intricacies of Sweet Water miniatures appropriate to challenging contexts.

Aquaponics Know How as Milwaukee Export

With Growing Power, the Great Lakes Water Institute, Sweet Water,
a growing number of educators exploring aquaponics, and the
Milwaukee Water Council, Milwaukee has the assets to fix our eyes
on the prize of training our youth to handle the replication of

 Sweet Waters well beyond our borders.

Every City Deserves Sweet Water!

I am soon to be in conversation with Superintendent Thornton about

 teaming up with H.S. biology teachers in Milwaukee, Chicago,

Philadelphia to develop a project to cultivate…

“Aquaponic Olympians”

Sweet Water’s Josh Fraundorf and Sweet Water Foundation’s
Emmanuel Pratt have had extensive conversations with Dr.
Thornton regarding school curricula organized around the
science, math, artisanal, and entrepreneurial lessons afforded
by aquaponics.

Just as there are coaches and countries that watch little league
baseball, soccer, gymnastics, and other sport events with an eye
toward introducing the most promising young people to higher
levels of training, so to I am hoping to work with SW, the SWF
and partners to develop a project, to connect with

High School Biology Teachers

and enlist their support in accelerating our

Net Enhanced Aquaponics Training Initiative

to discover which students are most inspired by aquapoincs
and cognitively and spiritually equipped to acquire some of
the key skills required to become an important member of an
aquaponics team for a career calling.

For the locals, a visit to Sweet Water and then some on-line
brainstorming to develop curricula from already existing
you tube, Ted lectures, and pdf offerings.

But also some Sweet Water specific curricula, involving on
line and in the real experiences.

School of Fresh Water Sciences and Aquaponics Olympian Scholarships

An intermediate aim of this project would be to cultivate
a cohort of MPS students who would win scholarship support
for careers in aquaponics, with formal training in the

Urban Aquaponics Department in the new School of Fresh
Water Sciences.

What say?

Why not?


Seek Biologists, Engineers, H.S. Science Teachers for D.C. Sweet Water Miniature Initiative

There are some people with considerable resources exploring visions
of supporting a project, eye on the prize of…

Aquaponics Miniatures in D.C. Area Schools

This would be a step toward capacity building for

  • sustainable family business fish vegetable farms

  • commercial scale aquaponic systems…

that some say may be a most efficient way to
provide protein and healthy, tasty greens for humans.

High School biology teachers are central to this vision.

What say?

Why not?

James J. Godsil, President
Sweet Water Foundation

Sweet Water Miniatures for the High Schools of America

We are actually in the process of consulting with an ever-growing network of teachers and students across Milwaukee and Chicago, advising how best to approach the construction, development, and maintenance of small scale aquaponic and hydroponic systems as inspired by the evolution of Sweet Water Organics.

The best first step would be for you and one of the key faculty who might be involved in the project fill out the following :

School Name:
School Address:
Name of Contact Person/People:
Email of Contact Person/People:
Phone # of Contact Person/People:

  1. of Students involved to be involved:

Age/Class of Students to be involved:
Demographic Range of students involved:

Proposed daily/weekly/monthly schedule for partnership with Sweet Water:

Existing Departments of interest (ie: science, art, biology, etc):

Existing Infrastructure (ie: facilities, computer lab, digital equipment):

Existing Projects at your school (ie: raised bed garden, greenhouse, etc)

Basic Description of Proposed/Potential Projects:

Partners for the project (ie: other schools, neighborhood associations, community groups):

Budget Available for projects:

All the best,

Executive Director
Sweet Water Foundation
tel: 347–880–0305

Whitney Young H.S. of Chicago Launches Aquaponic Experimental Project


Sweet Water: An Experiment in Solidarity Economics and Urban Agriculture/Aquaponics

Solidarity Economics:Integration of theory and practice, ethics and commerce

Theory and Practice

Science and Art

  • biological engineering systems and urban agriculture architecture
  • social science married to the humanities
  • harnessing of the power of the internet for information exchange,

storage, retrieval, and dissemination

  • information architecture and transformational rhetoric

Ethics and Commerce

  • advance social, emotional, and ecological intelligence
  • eye on the prize of equality of opportunity for the cultivation of

finance capital, social capital, cultural capital, and spiritual capital

Visions of 21st Century World Historic Collaborations

Food Security T.V.: Sweet Water & Partners Democratizing Aquaponics

Emmanuel Pratt, a Columbia U. doctoral candidate in architecture and urban planning, whose dissertation on Growing Power, Walnut Way, and Sweet Water stands a chance of becoming some kind of best seller, has just equipped Henry Hebert, facilities manager of Sweet Water and recent aquaponics systems panelist at the Growing Power International Conference, with skype powers.

Josh Fraundorf, president of Sweet Water Organics, has just approved of our rolling out “Sweet Water Miniatures,” i.e. small scale, state of the art aquaponic systems start-up kit for $1,500, including a $100 Sweet Water Miniature day long workshop we’ll soon schedule, and distant learning/technical support per a contract to be individually and contextually configured.

  • Food Security T.V. and the Democratization of Aquaponics, i.e. Sweet Water Miniatures $1,500 and up

The miracle of the internet now affords us to begin setting up Food Security T.V. channels. The recently formed International and Urban Aquaponics Network, would be one logical group to launch as much. Its members include the Sweet Water teams and some of the world’s leading aquaponics applied scientists, e.g. Charlie Price of Aquaponics UK and Stirling University(soon to be featured in a Jamie Oliver show), Glen Martinez of Olomana Gardens, who recently installed small aquaponic and vermiculture systems on U.S. navy ships(!), Tom Knoll, with projects in India through his Pathways to Empowerment project, Bas de Groot, developing an aquaponic system in a Rotterdam factory building and founder of Agro-Polis linked in group. All have signed on to support the Sweet Water Democratization of Aquaponics Initiative. Let me know if you would like to become a founding member of this promising network.

  • First Sweet Water Miniature Workshop Ready for Aquaponics Apprentices, Journeymon, and Masters

Send an e-mail to [email protected] if you would like to learn more about this project. If enough people sign on to a $100 workshop at Sweet Water, or perhaps participation in skype conversations for less than that, we’re ready to do our best to demcratize aquaponics.

  • International Network of Applied Aquaponics Scientists and the Marriage of Biologists, Engineers, Educators, Artisans, Social Enterprisers, and Artists:

Sweet Water has just signed on to host a senior project of 24 Milwaukee School of Engineering students interested in the marriage of engineering with biology to advance urban agriculture and aquaponics, and possibly to set the stage for the development of a 6.5 acre Sweet Water Village, that could include live work wholesale retail facilities and studios, dormitories, hostels, co-op and family business incubators, cafes, and restaurants.

Charlie Price of Aquaponics UK has access to the research efforts of 95 doctoral candidates at Stirling University. Glen Martinez works closely with the U. of Hawii.

We are working with college presidents, urban school system superintendents, the kitchen cabinets of more than one major city mayor and Congressional rep, and many good food movement leaders to harvest what we are learning in the commercial Sweet Water experiment…for educational and smaller scale purposes.

The skype empowerment of Sweet Water facilities manager, lead hortoculturalist, mushroom and vermiculture organizer, artists, and internet support folks affords great connectivity between our efforts and yours!

  • Paris Is Paying Attention to Our Good Food ®Evolution, Connecting London, Paris, and Milwaukee


With the Francophone and the Anglophone world paying attention, and with our collaborative possibilities vastly augmented through the miracle of the internet and cell phones, we can easily imagine aquaponics systems of great sophistication and productivity, that cost no more than a good computer.

What say?

Why not?

James J. Godsil, co-founder
Sweet Water Organics

International and Urban Aquaponics Network Reports

Glen Martinez of Hawaii’s Olomana Gardens will be working with Sweet Water Organics and other members of the newly formed International and Urban Aquaponics Network to democratize aquaponics for schools and families “on the mainland.” Other reports will highlight the work of Charlie Price of Aquaponics UK, Bas de Groot of Walden 21 in the Netherlands, Tom Knoll of Pathway to Empowerment projects in India, and the team of Milwaukee’s Sweet Water Organics, which will be coordinating the North American project eye on the prize of an aquaponic system in every school and growing numbers of family businesses, in addition to developing a proof of concept for commercial scale aquaponics as an integral business for the transformation of our industrial cities into “cities of culture,” including agriculture!

Olomana Aquaponics on a Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA)Ship

Aquaponics headed into uncharted waters when a NOAA Ship left the port of Honolulu Wednesday, September 1, 2010, carrying an experimental portable system on deck. The research vessel Kaimimoana will attempt to grow food, and
handle some of its organic waste with the system, called an Aquaport.

The idea to use aquaponics at sea came from the ships Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Helen Ballantyne.

The mini aquaponics system was custom designed and built, for NOAA, by Glenn Martinez, at Olomana Gardens. What he and his team designed for the Kaimimoana, and her 27 member crew, includes a small system for gardening dozens of different plants, raising Tilapia, and worms, and it all fits in a 24 square foot space.


This may be the first time that aquaponics has gone aboard a ship that goes out to sea for 65, sometimes even 90 days at a time. Thats a long stretch, with nothing green in sight. The excited crew watched the system being
installed. Olomana Gardens had to work feverishly, on short notice to custom design a system, build the system, and get the ship fitted out with it before she set out. Now the Aquaport is on its maiden voyage. Getting its first real ocean shake down. And there have already been things to address, such as sloshing water.

The 224 foot ship is the only National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel dedicated to climate research http://www.moc.noaa.gov/ka/ . Dr. Ballantyne along with Chief Steward Rainier Capati wanted an aquaponic garden on board, to address multiple issues, such as the environmental sustainability of the way the research itself is conducted, and boosting crew morale on long trips.

Morale can slump during a long stay at sea. If the Aquaport succeeds - on deck the crew get a visually satisfying bed of living greenery (not only to eat, but to tend), plus a hobby caring for the Tilapia.

Glenn built a four tray system pre-planted, at Olomana Gardens, with 36 assorted plants, including lettuces, tomatoes, mint, chive, hot peppers, strawberries and eggplant. Plus he sent the crew off with 12 additional packs of seeds. Also aboard is a tank stocked with 15 Tilapia, a worm farm holding 5 pounds of worms, and a worm tea factory.

If this voyage proves the Aquaport is feasible technology, next time the ship docks, theyll get a bigger system. Right now, that small amount of worms will only eat about 2.5 pounds of waste, a fraction of the 50 pounds of organic garbage the ships crew currently generates per day. That would take 100 pounds of worms, Glenn said,
which hell give them in the next system.

Glenn Martinez thanked Tetsuzan (Benny) Ron, PhD, Aquaculture Program Coordinator at the Vice Chancelors Office for Research and Graduate Education, University of Hawaii for getting the Aquaport started. Benny Ron helped Olomana Gardens obtain a grant toward the development of the first Aquaport. That got the whole idea
rolling about a year ago. And this is probably only one of many possible applications.

Source of this article: http://www.aquaculturehub.org/profiles/blogs/aquaport-aboard-noaa-ship?xg_source=activity

The Crossroads Nation

Published: November 8, 2010 in the New York Times

Bill Clinton used to talk about building a bridge to the 21st century. President Obama talks about laying down a new foundation. But Clinton was always vague about what the land on the other side of that bridge was going to look like, and Obama is vague about what edifice is going to go on top of that foundation.

They are vague because nobody is clear about what sort of country America is going to be in 2030 or 2050. Nobody has quite defined Americas coming economic identity.

In thinking about this question, it probably helps to start at the beginning. Five hundred years ago, agriculture was the major economic activity. One hundred years ago, it was industrial production. Now, of course, were living in an information age. Innovation and creativity are the engines of economic growth.

Howard Gardner of Harvard once put together a composite picture of the extraordinarily creative person: She comes from a little place somewhat removed from the center of power and influence. As an adolescent, she feels herself outgrowing her own small circle. She moves to a metropolis and finds a group of people who share her passions and interests. She gets involved with a team to create something amazing.

Then, at some point, she finds her own problem, which is related to and yet different from the problems that concern others in her group. She breaks off and struggles and finally emerges with some new thing. She brings it back to her circle. It is tested, refined and improved.

The main point in this composite story is that creativity is not a solitary process. It happens within networks. It happens when talented people get together, when idea systems and mentalities merge.

Now imagine you are this creative person in the year 2010, 2025 or 2050. You are living in some small town in Ukraine or Kenya or some other place, foreign or domestic. You long to break out and go to a place where people are gathering to think about the things you are thinking about, creating the things you want to create.

If you are passionate about fashion, maybe you will go to Paris. If its engineering, maybe itll be Germany. But if you are passionate about many other spheres, I suspect youll want to be in America.

Youll want to be in the U.S. because English has become the global language. Youll want to come because American universities lead the world in research and draw many of the best minds from all corners of the earth.

Youll want to be there because American institutions are relatively free from corruption. Intellectual property is protected. Huge venture capital funds already exist.

Moreover, the United States is a universal nation. There are already people there with connections all over the world. A nation of immigrants is more permeable than say, Chinese society.

You also observe that America hosts the right kind of networks ones that are flexible and intense. Study after study suggests that America is one of those societies with high social trust. Americans build large, efficient organizations that are not bound by the circles of kinship and clan. Study after study finds that Americans are not hierarchical. American children are raised to challenge their parents. American underlings are relatively free to challenge their bosses. In this country youre less likely to have to submit to authority.

From this story you can see that economic power in the 21st century is not going to look like economic power in the 20th century. The crucial fact about the new epoch is that creativity needs hubs. Information networks need junction points. The nation that can make itself the crossroads to the world will have tremendous economic and political power.

In 2009, Anne-Marie Slaughter, now director of policy planning at the State Department, wrote an essay for Foreign Affairs in which she laid out the logic of this new situation: In a networked world, the issue is no longer relative power, but centrality in an increasingly dense global web.

Slaughters essay was titled Americas Edge. That is apt. Americans are now in a depressed state of mind. As China and India rise, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe their nation is in decline.

In fact, the U.S. is well situated to be the crossroads nation. It is well situated to be the center of global networks and to nurture the right kinds of networks. Building that America means doing everything possible to thicken connections: finance research to attract scientists; improve infrastructure to ease travel; fix immigration to funnel talent; reform taxes to attract superstars; make study abroad a rite of passage for college students; take advantage of the millions of veterans who have served overseas.

The nation with the thickest and most expansive networks will define the age. Theres no reason to be pessimistic about that.
Read article and more at the New York Times.
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Last edited by Godsil. Based on work by Tyler Schuster.  Page last modified on November 19, 2010

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