Great to see your interest in Transition! Welcome to the COLORADO TRANSITION NETWORK. You've been active on http://transitioninaction.com. I'm just checking here on the Colorado site.
Feel free to join in our activities. Click on a person's photo to make contact. Say Hello. Reinforce the good things they're talking about and doing. Bring up a discussion that particularly interests you. Pose a question. Announce an event. Be serious. Have fun!
In your local community, does Steamboat have a Transition-supporting website, or blog, or listserv, or Facebook, or Meetup where Transition subjects are dealt with? If so, it would be spot on for all our Colorado members if you would consider including Steamboat in our registry of organizations, localities, virtual topics, companies, products, services, Twitterers, Facebooks, Meetups, etc. that support Transition and sustainability. What an opportunity for you to contribute to your neighbors!
Here's the page to create your link -- http://transitioncolorado.ning.com/groups/group/new. Creating the group will give you a place to make your community visible throughout Colorado, to keep track of your local members, to use a handy mailing list to contact everybody, to announce and discuss. You can see what 70 of our members have already created at http://transitioncolorado.ning.com/groups What do you say... Interested? I'll be glad to help launch and build your group.
Sorry I didn't respond earlier - I've been thinking about whether I could do this or not. My situation is that we have a very new aquaponics business that is a 24/7 venture right now, and I'm pretty solidly booked until mid-October. To teach in Steamboat would be a 2-day commitment with the 3 1/2 hour travel time and 3 - 4 hours to teach the class. Besides expenses (car and hotel) I would probably want a pretty substantial speaking fee to make it worth my while. I'm sorry to get down to this - I truly love to teach - but I have to be practical about taking that kind of time away from my business.
You could try Tawnya and JD Sawyer at Colorado Aquaponics (I see below that someone has already pointed them out). Somewhat new to aquaponics (just got their first fish a couple months ago) but I hear they do a nice program and they are great people.
Good luck finding someone! I hope it works out for you, and I appreciate how hard you are working to bring aquaponics to Steamboat!
I love teaching aquaponics,especially when connected to permaculture, and can send you some good references about classes I've taught around here in the past 6 months, but I'm afraid Steamboat is probably a bit far from Boulder to make it practical. Sorry!
Compost brew tea is a very simple way of adding beneficial nutrients and organisms to any soil medium. You essentially take a blend of compost, worm castings, kelp, bat guano, and key micro nutrients like calcium and magnesium. you put all this in a "tea" bag(some sort of fitler screen, pantyhose works well), and soak it in a five gallon bucket filled with warm H2O for 24-36 hrs. Its best to put an air stone in the bucket to aid in brewing. You can control the solution levels by using less or more of the ingredients and H2O. IE a five gallon brew will have less overall ppm than a three gallon brew of the same starting matter. Usually this solutuion is extremely nutrient rich and alive, so you should dilute it with 5-8 times the amount of water before applying it to plants, also it must be used or stored within12 hrs of the brewing. You can usually store it in bottles in a referigerator for a couple of weeks, or you can freeze it and use it whenever. THe tea can be used as a supplement for the typical hydroponic growing system nutrient soultion. It doesnt work in all applications, unless you use back flow filters. In an Ebb and Flow system it work perfectly, but for drip or aeroponic sytems youll need back flow filters, because the tea is very sedimentary, without filters youll clog your emmitter or sprayers.
This is something that can be mass produced in a season and kept in storage for use elseware, and the idea of being able to make large batches of tea, means its defintely something to share with the community.
I recieved a message regarding Permaculture and Hydroponics, and was hoping to help you out. Im currently dealing with the same dillema here in denver, building greenhouses and using hydro/aquaponics seems like a great way to "green" up the food deserts, but obviously there are alot of considerations when tlaking about true sustainability. THe biggest thing is equipment, you will need a constant supply of misc. goods made from non renewable resources, ie trays, pots, timers, pumps, etc. All of these have large carbon footprints due mostly to shipping and packaging. Another consideration, is these are all going to be active sytems which require large amounts of electricity and water to operate. You can cut costs by using solar panels and rainwater harvesting. Finnally there is some hope!!! you dont have to buy tons of inorganic nutrients, most hydro stsyem work extremely well with a basic compost brew tea. There are a few systems that already exist specifically for hydro, but ive found nothing works better than a homemade tea. I hope this helps in you decision making, it would be great to finnally link the ancient knowledge of permaculture with the modern technologies we have available.