Friday, November 8, 2013

Aquaponics project at YWAM Chico is ready to break ground

by Dan & Robin Oosterhouse

In 2010 we saw a video promoting an aquaponics system that grows fish and vegetables called the Food Machine. Immediately we felt a rush of adrenaline and excitement for such an ingenious design. Then we got busy and distracted with our various responsibilities here and put this dream on the back burner...until now!
Our leadership team would like to start aquaponics here on base and we jumped at the chance to tackle this project!
We are excited to put some of our farming, gardening and greenhouse experience to use again and can’t wait to build this thing! Our goal in doing this project is not just to grow fish and food for our staff but to learn how it works and then take teams to areas of the world that desperately need fresh produce and protein and build sustainable systems for their use.

So, we are putting a call out to all. We want to get our aquaponics area prepared for construction. We need a bulldozer (and operator) to flatten the area, a whole lot of fencing (at least 8 feet high) with a few gates installed to keep our "lovely" wildlife out, a 3000 gallon (yes 3000 gallon) water storage tank (black or dark green), a lot of pvc pipe (not sure what size yet, will update when the size we need is determined), and there will be more things as we work with a couple from southern California to develop a design that will work for us and our property. This system will become a learning tool for us to teach others about aquaponics and also a way for us to be able to spread this technology to others around the world who need sources of food that can be easily maintained.
We would love to have partners in this endeavor. If you would like to donate funds to cover the costs of the materials, please donate from our website, or send a check made out to YWAM to:

YWAM Chico Aquaponics
15850 Richardson Springs Rd.
Chico, CA 95973


  1. This is the coolest thing ever! I have been wanting to do something like that at our house (obviously smaller scale though). I have such a heart for renewable farming and missions. What an exciting plan! Love it!

  2. There are a few of us here in Chico that have been growing with aquaponics & are currently experimenting with alternative food production methods. Is this project open to all or just members of YWAM/Bethel?