Combustion-Free Hot Water at the Whole Systems Research Farm

Making Soil and Hot Water at the Same Time:
Testing the first generation of Jean Pain woody-compost water-heating mound at Whole Systems Design’s Vermont hill farm. We are now 2 months into testing our first mound and the results are astounding with hot water able to be harvested from the mound at a rate of about 1 gallon/minute at 120 F continuously, or cycles of 145F water harvested in 30 gallon amounts. We will be using this mound to make soil for the gardens and fruiting perennials on the farm and for in-soil bed heating of our greenhouse for season extension. Details on how to make these and other resiliency systems are in our workshops and in forthcoming videos released on our website,, these video channels, and announced on the Whole Systems Design and Bright Blue Facebook pages:….

Topfarmers - Business in a box system

Topfarmers – Business in a box system

Topfarmers – an new Business in a box system located. 
1314022286 Topfarmers - Business in a box system We Blue

After two months of research, prototype design, and installation, the rooftop  system located on the balcony of the Konvergenta office in Berlin is up and running.  The system installed is a modified version of the John Todd’s Four Cell Theory, with advice and participation of both national and international aquaculturalists.  The system utilizes a combination of a ‘flood and drain’ (also referred to in hydroponics literature as ‘ebb and flow’) and a ‘Nutrient Film Technique’ (commonly referred to as ‘NFT’) system for plant cultivation.

The system currently supports one species of fish, Clarias gariepinus, and a variety of plants including tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, melons, and herbs.  The eventual goal is to construct a system that mirrors a natural freshwater ecosystem with a polyculture of both fish and plants, where all needs for all species are met from within the system itself.  In the coming days we will be constructing a vermiculture bin to provide worms for supplemental fish feed.

Once the best practices for this system are determined, it can be replicated and scaled to suit any site.  Stay tuned for further developments!

Click on the following link to view photos of the greenhouse construction and aquaponics system installation: