Why farmers need a vision for their website
Or why I am making a website for Aquaponics enthusiast — a new breed of farmers
First of all, Aquaponics is a new kind of farming, which has only been around for more or less 10–15 years. I don’t expect everyone to have heard of it, so let me take the liberty of enlightening you.
Whereas usual farming and urban farming includes plants only, Aquaponics includes plants and fish. The plants usually needs fertilizers to make it grow, and (urban) farmers buy such fertilizers. In aquaculture, fishes excrete waste (aka poop), and as such their owners need to clean the fish tank every now and then, or else the fish will die from unclean and yucky water.
The solution? Have water circulate from a fish tank with fish to a grow bed that uses this water. Yes, the roots of the plants are submerged to water. They’re living things — they like water!
To make it easy, watch this YouTube video of a 13 year old girl building her own Aquaponics business. It’s what inspired me to dig deep on this subject.
New things have their own barriers to conquer
With usually new things, they have their own problems.
- Not enough resources to help newbie gardener-farmers make their own low cost and easy urban garden.
- Resources, if any, are made by people who sell stuff, but doesn’t practice what they preach. In the end, their “solutions” don’t really work and in the end costs more.
- Usual websites on Aquaponics are made by people from outside the Philippines. Different plants grow with different climates, weather, etc. So there would be cases where solutions, plants, etc work for other places but not here in a tropical country like the Ph.
- Forums are dead. The thing with usual websites is that they make use of traditional forums. This is good for an open discussion, but it is very hard to enter the discussion when you’re just a newbie, and you want answers to your questions. Websites like Quora makes it easier to create discussions that helps everyone n the long run by making the posts easy to find (tags), easy to evaluate (upvote, downvote), and easy to sort (comments vs answers). This makes for a more enriching experience.
The Aquaponics website I want to create
Taking note of all these factors, I want to create a website for Aquaponic gardeners, especially ones based in the Philippines, where they can discuss, ask, share and participate with a tight-knit community.
People can share books, blogs they like so others can find them easily. Users can also ask specific questions and have them answered by people who already have a farm. And users who are experienced or in the process of building their farms can write about their experience to share it to others.
I see it as a combination of Quora, Facebook and Medium. I want everything, from design to functionality, push the ordinary interested reader to make and build their own garden.