New upgrades and new project

We did some upgrades to our site and now have a members area, where you can sign up and interact with other like minded people. There is also a forum. I have started populating it with topics I get asked most. Most people want to know where to get stuff, from education, to plants, to materials. While I could populate it with some, I would leave it up to you to ask. All completely free. So “stuff” is the first topics I listed. If you want some other topics I would be glad to hear and possibly list them. We added the forum because not everyone has a Facebook nor do they want one. Facebook seems to be where a lot of dialogue comes in about different topics. This option can allow people to interact, ask questions, get questions answered outside facebook.  The link to the forum is here.

While we were doing the upgrades to our site we started investigating work for an exciting new project. We feel this project would serve many people, and something that is definitely needed. While still in development it MAY be out by this fall/winter. It would make getting food from the producer to the consumer much, much, much easier.  Alas it is it outside our current skill sets to develop the idea. We know how we want it to work, how it would be super awesome. We are looking for someone who has mobile App development skills to incorporate. Too early in the game to bring the developer in, the back end and infrastructure needs to be developed first. But if you know someone who is a mobile app developer please let them know and direct them to our opportunities page.

Ponds, Pools, and Aquaponics

Other than water what do these things have in common? They are all now products and services offered by Aquatic Designs

Last week I had the opportunity to visit with Dan, Scott, and Jessica at the store. My behind the scenes tour as always. I talked with Dan (the owner) about offering classes out at the shop, upcoming events like the garage sale (getting rid of used, and older parts and supplies). I suggested he start offering natural pools to customers. He had indicated that this is something they have done, and will be doing more of int he future. Up until recently this wasn’t something that many people knew about, nor wanted. But more and more people want to get away from the harsh chemicals and have a more natural lifestyle. If you don’t know what a natural pool is think if a conventional swimming pool and a pond had a lovechild. It is clear water, has a pump, no chemicals, and uses nature and plants to keep the water clean. I know what you are thinking, stagnant, smelly pond with cloudy water. If installed properly this will not be the case. Dan and team already have the plants, equipment and know how to install these types of systems. Here are some examples of what natural ponds can look like.

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Now, who wouldn’t one of these? The bonus, no chemical checks, not testing, no adding of chemicals. Nature does it for you.

If this isn’t your style, they have the traditional ponds as well. But people typically stock ponds with Koi and other fish to look at, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But think about stocking with catfish, hybrid bluegill or yellow perch, all are cold hard, all will be equally happy to see you when you feed them. The only difference is, you can eat them when they get larger. You can eat koi, it is just a carp, but some varieties of koi especially the larger ones can go for big bucks. Aquatic Designs are working on programs to stock yellow perch and tilapia, and can get you a wide range of fish.

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Speaking of tilapia, because they are a warm water fish they will not survive here in Indiana over the winter and are better suited for aquaponics indoors. I have been very impressed with the speed and designs Aquatic Designs have developed their aquaponics programs and systems. They have everything you need from lighting, to pumps, to media, to fish. Not a DIY type of person, they have turnkey configurations or something custom to fit just your right spot. If you are having troubles with your system, they can help with that too. 5 years ago they were not offering such systems and I am glad I cam across them and opened up the dialogue. Now I have a local store to get parts. Before, I was having to order online and hope it would fit, or was what i needed. I am a hands on and visual builder. I usually go in with fitting and part asking “Do you have a fitting that works on this…?”. What I really like is they are hoarders like me and don’t throw anything away. I manage to find a part  I needed from a salvage they did on a customers in ground pond for my aquaponics.  Here are a few systems they have up and running. I need to do better about taking my own pictures when there. I am always so busy talking and checking all the new stuff out I forget. The last time I looked I think they have 12 or so DIFFERENT configurations. Scott is somewhat an experimenter like myself and always trying new configurations, designs, products. So they don’t just sell them, they test them and can give you great advice on what will work best for you. These are from their Facebook page.

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Here I am after a class I gave with the Indiana Koi group at Aquatic Designs this summer.




They are located in Monrovia and is a pretty quick drive down 39 from 74 or 70 on the west side of town.

445 N Chestnut
Monrovia Indiana 46157


Before you drive out, you may want to give them a call. During winter months they keep different operating hours than spring, summer and fall. They can be open by appointment and are usually on site, but in one of the back barns and operations center getting ready for spring or tending to the greenhouse so the main office isn’t open

They do have some opportunities available and check out the Projects and Opportunities page for details. We also will be having a tour date once winter is over, and a garage sale event.

I like the fact that it is both a place for the DIY and the installations spot. You can DIY and get your parts, then ask for help if you run into problems. At least for me, I can’t get everything i need in one spot, or it is a installation only company. I can get some parts here, some parts or supplies there, but not everything together so I can see how it fits. I love the DIY aspects of many of my projects. But for something like the natural pond, I think I will leave it to them, but help and assist as much as I can.

Disclaimer: I am not getting paid or advertising on Aquatic Designs behalf. I am recommending a business and staff I have repeatedly done business with over the years. I feel that not many people know about them in Monrovia, and many in my circle could benefit from their offerings.

Bring new education to your church or organization and build community

I had a meeting yesterday with a good friend who is part of a church with an aging congregation and some have never gardened before. They have a large meeting room they barely ever use. We talked about having a class in the meeting room and have a class about organic gardening now that spring is around the corner to get people something to look forward to and start planning. The more I thought about it the more I thought this was a great idea so I have come up with a solution to both help not only church groups but other organizations as well. Both options are a way to get your organization more exposure, and possibly a way to generate additional income, and help get more people involved.

Option 1

Book 3 hrs of classes and get 1 hr FREE. This could be 1 hr free consulting for the church or other group on how to build a community garden on the property. It could be 1 hr of time given, raffled, or auctioned with the proceeds to benefit the church or other organization. It could be added with the classes for a total of 4 hrs of instruction. We have lots of great classes to choose from such as aquaponics, beginning gardening, container gardening, permaculture, practicing permaculture, back yard chicken, and more. For more detailed list check out the Classes page. This could be closed to only members of your organization, or open to the public. I can advertise to bring more people in to become familiar with your organization. We have a direct reach of about 6500, and then organic reach of significantly more through shares, likes and other social media sharing. We also have options to charge for each person attending if so desired. Need flyers to tell your organization about the event, we can do that too.

Option 2

Open up your facilities to classes. We will charge per person in attendance with either select number of free tickets for your organization based on size of space, classes being taught, and length of time on site, or a percentage of ticket sales to go to your event or organization. Lots of different options available to suit your needs.

Be Prepared Series

The Be Prepared Series is a group of classes to help organizations and groups come together as a community and in the event they need them, have skills to rely upon during an emergency. For more information on the Be Prepared Series click on the link.


We can schedule the classes, accept payments online, in person, or over the phone. We can produce flyers, or other promotional materials to announce your event. All materials are provided for you.

If you are interested in booking some classes or want to learn more please use the Contact Us page we would be happy to help.

002 Chickens vs Rabbits for meat source on homestead

1st podcast in a long time and today we are talking about chickens vs rabbits for meat source on homestead.

One thing after listening to the show I never mentioned about what to do with animals in heat of summer and cold of winter. The rabbits have been fine over winter down to -10 here in Indiana, and they are under cover, and only covered with tarps over the whole cage area. No issues. The Chickens are in an enclosed coop and only a heat lamp, this is ONLY to keep egg production up. If we wanted to not get eggs over winter this wouldn’t be necessary. Summer, we add frozen 2L bottles of water to the rabbit cages only on really hot days. The chicken coop we take a pannel off and only have chicken wire to allow more air to circulate. So no real big issues.


Side note, ADD makes me all over the place, so be warned. I try to go by an outline and notes…ADD usually takes over. I will get better, I hope.


Links mentioned in the show

2 Midwest Guys

Rabbit waterer

How to build a community through gardening Feb 28th

Details here $20 and lunch is included

Indiana Small Farm Conference March 5th-7th

Details here. $ to enter but varies depending on day(s) and age/situation (adult, student, under 12 etc)

Tree Grafting Workshop March 21

Brambleberry Farms is teaching how to graft. $90 for 4 hrs of instruction all materials provided, and you take home 4 custom grafted trees.

Register and details here only 5 spots left.

March 23 7-9pm Rush Co Fairgrounds

Free class on Aquaponics, Hydroponics, organic Gardening

details will be here


Not only do we put out content on our blog, but we also share, post, and write information on our social media sites.

Facebook – Wolf-Beach Farms

Twitter  @WolfBeachFarms

YouTube – Content is thin at the moment, but we hope to change that this year.

For classes in and around Indianapolis we share them on our Meetup site.

New podcasts will be coming soon as well.

Rick also has a LinkedIn Profile.