Deep water raft culture

No Issue With Stand Alone Systems

It is not hard to understand the difference. The main difference being the fish or other aquatic organisms. But there are numerous other differences we can cover in the future.  There are numerous ways to produce food. Please note! I am not calling these things bunk, Both types: Stand alone Hyrdoponics has 50 plus years of research; Stand alone Aquaponics has 30 plus years of research.
“Aquaponics:  a system of growing plants in the water that has been used to cultivate aquatic organisms.” Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 9 May 2014. <;
“Hydroponics:  the growing of plants in nutrient solutions with or without an inert medium (as soil) to provide mechanical support.” Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 9 May 2014. <;.

Trans-Gardens and Hybrid-Systems

The question I want to address today arises from several new terms like Trans-Gardens and  Hybrid-Systems.   I want to introduce these terms and speak to why they exist.  This is a chance to begin to gain  a firm understanding on why we here at LilyPad Farms stay closely aligned with the UVI method outlined in SRAC#454.

Trans-Gardens & Hybrids are the  result of  people not sourcing the Proper equipment!

People adapting MIS-information results in this style of  growing.  We can show how this exact industry came to this curve. When a serious grower sets out to find Aquaponics on the shelf, instead –  they find a garden center selling Hybrids or Trans-Gardens. It’s a simple business opportunity. If you are buying, they are selling.

We must ensure that “Clean fish practices” become the path to superior grower experiences.

Trans-Gardens and Hybrid-Systems are only a  marginal portion of this exact discussion. Here, at Lilypad Farm, we have years of  Production-Production-Production while many of my fellow gardeners have lost their way. This amazing and repeatable production is due in large part to the relentless focus upon “Clean fish practices” established within the UVI model.

Please ask me questions!

Allow me the space to expose you, the  fellow grower, to balanced systems.  Here is a very important offering to you the grower. More producers, showing the Superior results from Deep-Water Raft Culture, follow the UVI St Croix offering. We do that here every day since june 6 th 2010!
Your Pal,
Adam Harwood – Lilypad Farm of San Marcos, TX.
LiliPad Raft (tm)

Switching deep water rafts from styrene foam to lifetime durable poly plastic

Here, at Lilypad farm, we have finally made the Cross over… from Dow blue board to LiliPad ™ raft.

In prior years, we planted in the “dow”- blue board, cleaning them every 30 days on average using a gentle water stream and a soft nylon brush. These new rafts details are below:

  • 2′ x 4′ x 1.3″ thick.
  • Have 12 tapered holes per raft which equals 48 holes per 4′ X 8′ area.
  • The geometry is identical spacing  to the UVI model with one exception.
  • We moved to a 3 inch cup, allowing The highest quality food possible. 
  • The output of a 2 inch net pot or cup is not equal to a 3 inch net pot.

With  3 inch pots, we have posted healthy plants for over 56 months.  When a seed pack reports 10 ounce average. The plants here post 14-16 oz.

By using a 3 inch pot or cup, it just works! 

When a plant needs the room to grow, it gets to fruition quicker -larger here, year round. When a plant is too small or too close together the plant matter displays DSCF8179numerous signs of weakness leading to insects and other problems directly placing the harvest at risk. Also consider that we use a high density(fish) stocking and(fish) feed rate. This makes for a higher free and available nutrients period. We are confident you too will get the same results if you follow the UVI method of stocking and plant spacing.  High-production is the result. We display and sell the largest or the large!!!! – week in, week out – making the profits we need to sustain Lilypad Farm.  Our move to the “poly raft” – LiliPad Raft ™ – strategy  last month was to an even better result than first thought. Each raft is 2’x4’x1.3″ making it fast and easier to harvest and load cutting down significantly on labor! This modified chore set makes for even higher profits here!

Buying lifetime rafts vs. buying “blue boards” every 24-30 months. 

These new poly LiliPad Rafts ™ come with a lifetime no question asked guarantee. It is the #1 raft of it’s kind. Yes, it is 3 inch holes and we have a 2 inch coupling that works also if you prefer. Please ask me any questions here about the change over. We’re convinced that this is a no brainer decision when considering lifetime costs and reduced labor costs.

Major PDSCF8133ROS for choosing LiliPad Raft ™

We are happy to tell you the reasons we choose LiliPad Raft ™ over Styrene. These rafts are the Best hands down.

  • Wholesome is the first answer. No fear or concern around chemicals leaching from the foam or pieces breaking apart and strying in system.
  • The second is lifetime replacement. They will replace the raft for free. They just want to know “HOW in the world did it break”.
  • Made in America pat pend

 Thank you, Adam, Susan, & Lily Harwood “Positive is how we live”  here at lilypad farm San Marcos Texas

With winter of 2012 in full swing, we’re feeding in 3 buildings and raising produce in 2 buildings. Even though the feeding rate has slowed down, the output is tremendous. What I’m showing you now is some Kale that is out-of-the-ordinary in size. Proof positive that deep water raft culture can do something that gravel beds cannot do. Even though this is just a couple of pieces, we’ve managed to install hundreds and hundreds of pounds. I let this go an extra ten days in the system, so roughly a month in the system. Started to show slight amounts of iron and magnesium deficiencies, but nothing objectionable.

One more time a new product has come out. I have two types of Kale, five types of lettuce and several types of herbs. Have elected not to do a fruit this winter. Just too busy (which is a very good problem to have during the winter). My germination rate is strong as ever and feeding rate is strong as ever. Here in Texas we’ve had extremes of very mild and deep cold weather. Weather is not affecting me. I have a single layer of film on top – not a double blanket. I’m burning 60,000 btu of propane every night. That rate is 8 hours keeping ambient temperatures in the mid-50’s Fahrenheit. And, the water temperature has yet to fall below 62. It’s dangerous for water temperature to dip below 68, so we cut back on feeding schedule. The enormous amount of conversion is still there. I’m well past solstice and headed into the new year.

One more time, thank you so much from Lilypad Farm.


PS: By the way, the Kale has been selling out at the market and tastes great!

We’ve had so much response to the massive cilantro pictures that we decided to post a video on youtube.


Growing in three inch net pots in an aquaponics system allows us to grow this amazing cilantro.

The root structure you’ll see in the video is a simple example of the reason why you need the twelve inches minimum of the deep water raft culture. A gravel bed can’t do this.

This plant is two months and a few days old. It weighs a minimum of five pounds.

This is cilantro. It has a ready market. We’re able to do this over and over again.

I can’t tell you how excited and happy we are that experimental crops do work. You can add cilantro to the list of seeds that work in a deep water raft culture aquaponics system. The video was from February 3, 2012. Keep up with the numbers.

Deep water raft aquaponics produces large root systemsThis is a 2 month old cilantro plant in our commercial aquaponics system. It weighs over 5lbs and has a giant root system that is the result of deep water raft culture. Gravel beds might not do this. Here we use a deep water raft system (uvi system), …one more time – production production, production, of the cleanest high quality foods. This food  just taste awesome. Food lovers will be amazed at the difference in taste, texture, and, of course, the freshest live foods around. Thank you from Lilypad Farms.