Thursday, November 19, 2015

December Meeting

The December meeting of Bessemer Aquaponics will be held on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 6:00 PM at Bessemer United Methodist Church 3015 East Bessemer Avenue, across the street from Erwin School.

All interested parties are invited to attend.

You can actually see our chosen site on the map above as it is to the right of the church bordering road 2770 (Huffine Mill Road) East Bessemer Ave and US 70 (East Wendover)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

November Meeting And Food Safety

From Ann-Michelle Van Eepoel of the Piedmont Center for Sustainability: 

"Hi folks!
Thanks so much to everyone who came out last Tuesday for the Steering Committee meeting at Bessemer United Methodist Church! At the meeting, we went over our proposal for the sub-committees, including each one's scope and goals.

 Please mark your calendars! Our next meeting will be at 6PM on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at Bessemer United Methodist Church. Be sure to invite anyone you know who may be interested in working with this project!

Here is our proposal for sub-committees:

*Project Oversight Committee:  This committee will oversee the work of other committees and will contain members from each committee.  They will be responsible for completing a proposal for use of the land to be submitted to the appropriate government offices. This committee will make the final decisions on all aspects of the project.

*Research Committee: This committee will be responsible for researching and compiling information related to the needs of the project.They will research data related to existing aquaponics businesses and organizations, different methods of implementation of aquaponics, costs and income models for aquaponics systems and centers, and the cost and timeline of building the Center.  They will generate reports as requested by the Project Oversight committee, and other committees, as needed. 

*Funding Committee: This committee will be responsible for researching and connecting with funding sources within and outside the Bessemer community.  They will seek out funding sources such as grants, donations, fundraising methods, and other opportunities as they are discovered and apply for funding from relevant sources. They will report to the Project Oversight Committee and other committees as needed and make all funding related decisions.

*Community Engagement Committee: This committee will be responsible for creating exciting about the project within the Bessemer community and beyond.  They will also help make positive connections with city and county governments. This committee will create and implement a plan for publication relations, research the impact of similar programs, connect with community leaders and groups, and develop the volunteer base.

*Timeline: With this proposal, we would carry out the responsibilities outlined above for a period of 3 months, then do a progress check together to determine our next steps as a group.

If you have feedback on these committee descriptions, we want to hear it! Please send your comments to

If you need let us know whether or not you'll be at a meeting, RSVPs should always go directly to

We love getting your feedback, we appreciate your participation and we're so excited about all we're going to accomplish together!"

Google map to Bessemer United Methodist Church 3015 East Bessemer Ave, Greensboro, 27405.

And now, for something really different...

How Safe Is Our Food And How We Can Make It Safer

Perhaps you saw or read reports that human DNA has been found in hot dogs including vegetarian hot dogs. Cornell University professor and expert on food safety, Martin Wiedmann tried to play the study down but admitted:

"This is telling us nothing new about hot dogs," he said"

It other words, some folks have known about this for quite some time but haven't bothered to tell us.

Even if eating other humans is safe I doubt most reading want to make it a habit. And while the articles tell us of some of the companies whose products were considered safe they don't tell us who the bad guys are.

Then there's the removal of country of origin labeling requirements required on meat passed by the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. In other words, the old phrase voting with your pocket book is no longer possible. Especially when even North Carolina companies like Smithfield Foods are now owned by the Chinese:

"One year ago this month, a Chinese company bought America’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods.  The $4.7 billion deal is the biggest Chinese acquisition of a U.S. company to date."

Ever heard of feeding manure to fish?  It's even been the subject of scientific study.

"As excessive use of raw CM may present a risk related to increased supply of nutrients, decay of organic matter and the presence of enteric pathogens."

CM stands for Chicken Manure. How much you want to bet that most of the workers on Chinese fish farms have no idea how much is too much chicken manure?

And it's not just fish. Seems manure is fed to cows, pigs and chickens as well. 

From Feedipedia:

"Coprophagy, or feeding on manure, is not new in animal nutrition. For example, livestock feeding on a farm has frequently involved a system of beef cattle followed by hogs and subsequently chickens. Under such a programme the nutrition of the hogs and chickens is based on manure. The current interest in manure as a feedstuff is mostly due to the problem of waste disposal from intensive livestock and poultry operations. Apart from this problem it has been recognized that large amounts of nutrients are wasted. The re-use of manure is one way of creating edible protein from waste material which is often disposed of uneconomically and also creates a nuisance. The amount of excreta produced is considerable: a 2-kg hen produces 0.8 kg a week, a 650-kg cow 150 kg, an 80 kg pig 40 kg and a 45 kg pig 22 kg.

Manure has served as a substrate for both yeast and algae used as feedstuffs, and it has been tried as a substrate for maggots used as a poultry feed; however, the simplest way to use it is as a direct feed. With the intensification of poultry keeping, not every poultry farm has enough land on which to spread manure. The results of many experiments indicate that dried poultry manure can be successfully included in the feeds of both ruminants and nonruminants."

Now how do you reckon that human DNA got into those hot dogs? Could it be from human manure being fed to animals? Is human manure being spread on vegetable crops causing them to take on traces of human DNA as well? And what about all the antibiotics and other drug residues that are found in human manure?

"For thousands of years, China's farmers have used human manure, or "nightsoil", as fertilizer (King, 1911). In this example from the Tai Lake Region, nightsoil is collected and stored in large ceramic tanks or water-tight slate-lined or concrete pits. Manure and urine are collected in buckets within the household, or deposited directly in the storage tanks, which are usually located in the animal stall and toilet area of the household."

Sure, it worked fine for centuries but China now has a population of  1,404.722,428 and counting. 
That's a lot of crap. "China's population is equivalent to 19.24% of the total world population." The population density in China is 145 people per Km2.

For comparison: The population density in the U.S.A. is 34 people per Km2.

With that many people in China they might need to get rid of a few and like they say, "Parts is parts."

Could it be we're eating the Chinese people too? But really I'm just speculating... Or am I?

Anyway, there is something you folks in Greensboro and Guilford County can do to help protect our food safety. For months now myself and others have been working on a project called Bessemer Aquaponics-- the first accredited aquaponics school and production facility in the United States.

For those who might not know, Aquaponics is a recently modernized 5,000 year old agricultural technology that produces 6 times as much food per acre using as little as 2% of the water of traditional agriculture. It's a speeded up natural process that combines fish and plants into one growing system to produce 100% safe, organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, fish and seafood anywhere you want to grow it. It's really as simple as this just on a much larger scale:

 Eventually most farming will convert to aquaponics-- the question is how long will it take?

We are working in conjunction with residents of my own East Greensboro community, the Piedmont Center for Sustainability, the USDA, NC State University and NC A&T University as well as the Guilford County Agricultural Extension Service. And we need your help.

Soon we are going to ask the Guiford County Commissioners not for money but for a piece of land that has been owned by the county since 1859 at a cost of less that $25.00 and has been abandoned for over 40 years-- land that is sitting right in the middle of one of Greensboro's poorest neighborhoods, most in need of jobs and education, right in the middle of a food desert. And we want you to tell the Guilford County Commissioners to give us that land so that East Greensboro can become the central hub of the emerging Aquaponics industry and all the safe food and jobs that will come with it.

Please contact the Guilford County Commissioners and ask them to support Bessemer Aquaponics. And please share as they need to see thousands of e-mails and phone calls to make this happen. Better yet, e-mail them the link to this post and let them get a taste.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Community Advisory Board Meeting

The next meeting of Bessemer Aquaponics will be at Bessemer United Methodist Church 3015 E Bessemer Ave, Greensboro, NC 27405 October 20, 2015 from 6:00 until 8:00 PM. Google Map:,-79.7471477,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x88531f547d5b894b:0x403a22455ddb8ee8

If you're not there you're a fish out of water.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Community Advisory Board Meeting

The first meeting of the Bessemer Aquaponics Community Advisory Board will be on September 23, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Guilford County Agricultural Center on Burlington Road.

Board members from the Piedmont Center for Sustainability and representatives from the Agricultural Center will be on hand as well.

In the interest of open meetings and transparency the public is invited to attend.

Those wishing to Donate... Well that was the link, click it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


If you'd like to support Bessemer Aquaponics you can mail a check in any amount to the:

Piedmont Center for Sustainability

619 Candlewood Drive

Greensboro, NC  27403


Make your checks payable to the Piedmont Center for Sustainability but in the for line be sure to write Bessemer Aquaponics so they will know which account to put the money in. Otherwise your donation will go towards the PCS general fund.

We'll start building the nation's first accredited Aquaponics school in association with NC State University, NC A&T University and the Guilford County Agricultural Service as soon as the money starts rolling in.

Thank you. 

If your company would like to sponsor Bessemer Aquaponics simply send an e-mail to and I will be more than happy to do whatever is needed.

Thanks -Billy Jones

Friday, September 4, 2015

Bessemer Aquaponics Has 501 (c) 3 Non Profit Status

Well it's official now, the Piedmont Center for Sustainability is the 501 (c) 3 that will be managing Bessemer Aquaponics. As soon as I find out I'll tell you how you can join and donate to the cause of building a sustainable community through Aquaponics.

After looking at several area non profits I settled on PCS because they are young, educated and excited about the cause. It also helped that they already understood what Aquaponics is, how it works and were already looking to get involved in Aquaponics.

Another reason that sold me on PCS is that they are not and never have been funded by the City of Greensboro or Guilford County. As this is a grassroots project we don't need outside influences taking control for motives that might not align themselves with those of the East Greensboro community.

The PCS board tells me they look forward to working closely with our community advisory board, the Guilford County Agricultural Extension Service, A&T State and NC State University as we work to bring the first fully accredited Aquaponics school in the United States to Northeast Greensboro.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Community Forum: How Can Aquaponics Change Our Community

From a flyer produced by the Guilford County Agricultural Center:

"Who: Open to the Public

When: August 12, 2015 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Where: The Guilford County Agricultural Center3309 Burlington Road, Greensboro, NC. 27405 (See map below.)

"North Carolina Cooperative Extension, along with some county and community partners would like to hear what the community thinks about opening up a teaching/research Aquaponics Facility in the vacant adjacent lot to the Guilford County Agricultural Building. The goal of this forum is to introduce this idea to the community and receive feedback from the presentations.

We will be discussing the concept of aquaculture; how can this system become an economically viable option for producing food, jobs and income. Dr. Harry Daniels, North Carolina State University's Aquaculture Specialist, and Paul Begue, Aquaponics Research Specialists, will be giving short informative educational presentations to discuss the benefits of aquaculture.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Cooperative Extension Office at (336) 641-2400. We hope to see you there!"

Remember friends and supporters, this is the big one. We need a big turn out, lots of community support and all of you telling everyone you know to be there to learn about and support this effort. Assume nothing except that you have to tell everyone.

And if you'd like to distribute fliers I still have a few. Send me an e-mail at