Aquaponics Conference in Florida

Crikey! He’s larger than life and into growing fish and vegetables – together!

Now he’s jetting off overseas! Australia’s Aquaponics Guru Murray Hallam will be winging his way over to Orlando Florida in September as a special guest speaker at the Aquaponics Association Conference to be held in the US.

Murray is a popular speaker in his regular workshops as well as appearing on TV around Australia who just loves talking about fish and plants and so do his fans!  They can’t get enough of him.

“Its crazy really!” says Murray working in his warehouse and taking a break before packaging off another Aquaponics kit for an overseas destination, “We have all sorts of people from the government visit us, overseas delegations from Africa and Asia regularly come to see us.”

“ Government people watch our DVDs and then they send a delegation here to look and see if this Aquaponics thing really works.”

“They run their fingers over the lettuce and ask me if it’s real – can you believe it?”

“Of course its real.” I tell  them “Its just because Aquaponics grows vegetables without stress and with a full complement of nutrients – everything grows so well.”

“ I always tell them its 100% Organic because it is!” He grins.

Working with pumps and plumbing and watching water swirl around in a recirculating series of tanks is something Murray delights in.

“I love watching how water flows and interacts with the fish. I take great delight in small things like that.” He says laughing.

That’s the thing you notice about Murray is his great sense of humor. What you see on his videos is what you get in real life. So where is he off to next?

“I’ve been asked to speak in Finland and South Korea on Aquaponics.” Says Murray. “I had to look on a map to see where some of these Arab places are!”

Murray laughs at the way interest has skyrocketed in aquaponics. “I love talking Aquaponics. I think it’s a wonderful solution to feed the planet. I really do. There are so many innovations and ways we can build Aquaponics designs in third world countries – that’s where we want to go next. We just need to shore up the power systems to work off the grid and go totally on solar. But its still far from perfect.” He says.

Murray has an array of different solar panels stacked on the shelves with various batteries and wire hanging in his warehouse. You instantly know he’s onto something big. It’s an important feature that he’s developing.

“Sustainable solutions like this is what we’re planning for the future.” he says pointing out a Murray Hallam prototype that is under wraps in the corner of his greenhouse, “we are looking at small systems like this that can feed families anywhere in the world. Isn’t it fantastic?”

Murray’s enthusiasm in infectious. He shows us various designs and different 12 volt pumps that he’s trialing.

“We need to test for a long time before we’re confident enough to release our systems. I’ll have more to say about this at the Conference.” He says.

Murray’s systems produce so much lettuce greens and salads that he constantly gives them away to visitors.

He is never happy resting on his laurels, redesigning and improving his systems, running trials and altering the plumbing to refine his sturdy designs.

“We’re working on some secret things I can’t disclose.” He adds, “ and we’re always discovering new ways of improving things. Murray’s designs and improvements filter down to his aquaponic systems, considered by many in Australia to be the gold standard in system design.

Murray Hallam in one of his greenhouses standing on a step ladder next to his papaya or pawpaw grown in Aquaponics.

“Nothing’s bulletproof,” says Murray “Pumps fail and electricity can be cut off. Human error is a big factor in systems failure.”

“We try and make our systems work for everyone so they can successfully grow fish and vegetables together without any problems.”

“People want easy solutions, so we simplify the fail points and make them work day in and out for years.”

We ask Murray to tell us about the Orlando Aquaponics Conference. What tidbits will he be sharing?

“Some of our recent discoveries and Aquaponics innovations I’ll be revealing at Sylvia’s Conference.” He says.

Sylvia is the US Aquaponics evangelist, Sylvia Bernstein who has created one of the best Aquaponics forums and websites in the US and Murray and Sylvia have forged a deep friendship over the years. Murray will be a guest speaker at the conference and will reveal a few new things not mentioned in his DVDs.

“The thing is people think I’m some kind of guru in Aquaponics.” Says Murray, “But I just test and refine things that were created by others. Along the way, occasionally we discover new things and include them in our designs. Its not rocket science.” he says.

“Some of the best ideas were given to me by others who share their discoveries.”

“That’s all I’m doing – just passing the torch to others.” Says Murray.

Murray is very interested in looking at US Aquaponics systems and how people have built their designs.

“The US have a totally different climate to ours, I want to look at indoor systems and the way they light their greenhouses in Winter.”

“We have such mild winter in where I live in Queensland. In many ways we Australians are spoilt when it comes to Aquaponics. We have a great climate and great variety of native fish suitable for Aquaponics. When I’m in America I want to look at as many systems as possible and learn from the Americans. I get so inspired meeting people over there. I think I have more fun than the audience do. That’s why we do it.”

Its humility like this that leads Murray Hallam to be such a well-respected leader in Aquaponics around the world.

Ecofilms will be over at Orlando Florida with Murray. We hope to bring you some great interviews and inspiring video clips with some amazing people sharing what they’re doing in Aquaponics today.