Holidays, Recipes and Recirculating Farms

Holidays often evoke images of gathering with family and friends, and cooking and eating fun, delicious food.

Two weeks back, we discussed the incredible variety of food and plants that come from recirculating farms.  So why not include them in your holiday plans? These farms produce some of our favorite vegetables – like peppers and salad greens; also, legumes, fruits and a huge assortment of herbs. Aquaponic and aquaculture farms can grow a variety of fish too. Recirculating farms even grow flowers and decorative “trees” (see our Facebook post on this here) – so they can help you decorate your table and home!

Recently, we caught up with one of our chef friends, Elliott Prag, from the Natural Gourmet Institute, a culinary school in Manhattan, New York that focuses on health supportive cooking. He gave us recipes for amazing dishes to use this holiday season and beyond, that feature some of our favorite recirculating farm items.

Recirculating farms can help you make the holidays special with fresh local ingredients for your meals and decorations! Please support your local farmers!

Giving THANKS to all of you!

The Recirculating Farms Coalition is very thankful for all the support, enthusiasm and input from all our friends and partners working toward a healthier future for ourselves and our planet. Thank YOU for everything you do!

Thanksgiving is a traditional holiday that reminds us to be thankful for everything we enjoy in our lives. Historically, the first stories of Thanksgiving date back to 1621, when Pilgrims arrived in the United States. The story goes that upon coming to this new world, the Pilgrims had limited resources and knowledge on farming here, and lacked the necessary skills to feed themselves. The Wampanoag Native Americans taught them how to farm and catch fish. The result was a celebration of the last harvest of the year, Thanksgiving.

Why not pass on our long tradition of farming to your family? Start a recirculating farm at your home and grow healthy fresh food for your future meals. We encourage you to bring sustainable recirculating farmed foods to your table this holiday season and beyond.


A Farm In The City?

Ever see a farm in the middle of New York City? You can, right now, on fire escapes, balconies, rooftops and in community gardens. Recirculating farms are popping up everywhere in urban environments!

We know farming in the city sounds contradictory, but with people becoming more aware of a connection between good food and good health, new ways to grow fresh food are becoming very popular. And recirculating farms – hydroponics (growing plants in water), aquaculture (growing fish in tanks) and aquaponics (growing both plants and fish together in the same system) are a big part of the new urban farming movement.

Boswyck Farms, (see pix of the farm here) headed by Lee Mandell, is helping with building recirculating farms around New York City. This Brooklyn-based organization is focused on providing affordable, healthy food for food pantries and local markets. Listen to a podcast featuring Lee, where he discusses literally growing the urban food movement.

In NYC, chic restaurants are using recirculating farms to supply their menus. Check out photos from Bell, Book and Candle where Chef John Mooney tends a rooftop garden in Manhattan’s West Village.

At Brooklyn College, one of our Board Members, Dr. Martin Schreibman, has been a champion of urban farming for many years. His pioneering work with recirculating aquaculture is especially interesting. In 1998, he worked with Dr. Volker Bluem of Germany to develop a small system for the space shuttle Endeavor to test whether growing fresh food in space could be an option for lengthy trips. Watch a short video about recirculating aquaculture and aquaponics, starring Dr. Schreibman.

So come on U.S. cities! Jump on the sustainable, eco-friendly recirculating farm bandwagon. Join the many New Yorkers who are providing food for themselves and others with recirculating farms!

A Fish (well, actually many) Grows in Brooklyn?

Recirculating farms are popping up all over the U.S. Do you know about any in your community? If so, please tell us! We are putting together a map of recirculating farms so people can find them and be able to get their products more easily.

Some colleges are now teaching recirculating farming.  At CUNY’s Brooklyn College (in Brooklyn, NY), Dr. Martin Schreibman, Professor and Director Emeritus, founded the Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center lab. There they grow thousands of tilapia, in tanks — right inside an on-campus college building. Students of Brooklyn College can take an urban farming class that teaches how to raise and breed fish in an indoor farm that uses continuously cleaned and recycled water.

Dr Schreibman also has smaller aquaponic systems set up in an office and classrooms that grow plants and fish together.

Experimenting with recirculating farming for more than 15 years, Dr Schreibman has even had some of his fish go to outer space. In 1998, he worked with Dr. Volker Bluem of Germany to develop a small system for the space shuttle Endeavor, to help test whether growing fresh seafood in space could be an option for long trips.

Here, he talks about aquaponics and his work at Brooklyn College


Dr. Schreibman also helps new farmers set up their own recirculating aquaculture and aquaponic systems. He can be reached at:

Martin P. Schreibman, Ph.D.

M.P.S. Consulting Associates, LLC


(Office) 718 951 5110

(Cell)    917 364 6725

(FAX)   718 951 4768

Tomatoes and Strawberries and Trout – Oh My! Recirculating Farms Bring Variety to Local Food Movement

Variety!  As the saying goes – it’s the spice of life – and it’s also a path to healthy eating. If you eat a variety of good-for-you foods, you are helping your body to get the many nutrients it needs. One way to get more variety in your diet is to build your own recirculating farm. These amazing eco-friendly do-it-yourself systems can grow a wide range of vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and fish year-round. Including recirculating farming in your life can provide a healthy variety of foods, grown as local as possible – at your own home!

Recirculating farms are popping up all around the country – in backyards, on rooftops and as community gardens. They have successfully grown a number of fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers fish and more.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular plants that have been growing successfully in recirculating farms: basil, bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, butter beans, cabbage, chilies, chives, coriander cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes, lemongrass, lettuce, oregano, rainbow chard, Swiss chard, rosemary, sage, snow peas, spinach, strawberries, thyme, watercress and beautiful flowers like lilies, orchids, and roses.

Similarly, popular fish for recirculating farms include: barramundi, carp, catfish, Koi, murray cod, rainbow trout, shrimp, silver perch, and tilapia.

To see some recirculating farms in action, visit our photo gallery here or check out our video of Cabbage Hill Farm Foundation in NY.

With all these great food options at your fingertips – why not start your own recirculating farm? It can be fun, affordable and a unique way to join in the local food movement – grow your own favorite items at home!