Who Are We
Backyard Aquaponics Pty Ltd, is a leading edge aquaponics company based in Western Australia. Originally started by Joel Malcolm as a means to provide information packages to people, who were interested in learning more about the subject, the company has now grown and changed quite a bit since those early days. The company has now become an amalgamation of many different people, who are passionate about aquaponics, about furthering the spreading of information, and about helping people with their own aquaponics systems.
Backyard Aquaponics has featured in a number of articles, radio interviews and television programs, over the years. To find out more about our press releases please click here.
The team at Backyard Aqauponics are here for one reason, because they are passionate about aquaponics. The team really stretches further than the information I can post here, as so many different people have helped the company advance to where it is now, over the years.
|Joel Malcolm is the company director and started the business many years ago, you can read more about his history below.||Faye Arcaro is part owner of the company.|
|Jade was our first school based trainee.||Carl is an aquaculturalist and highly valuable team member.||Mitch is our current trainee, his knowledge belies his age.|
What We Do
We do it all, thats the aim, to be the one stop aquaponics shop. We sell the widest range of informational products available anywhere. We produce the BYAP magazine, which is the first aquaponics magazine in the world. We run monthly educational workshops, to assist people with designing, setting up and maintaining their aquaponics system and we sell aquaponic components and complete systems. We offer services to help people with their aquaponic systems, we install aquaponic systems, we offer consultation services to all areas of the industry. We run educational visits at our display centre for schools and universities. We are constantly researching and developing better ways to practice aquaponics, and above all we DO aquaponics, every day of the week.
I first came across the concept of aquaponics while surfing the web looking for information on organic growing back in early 2000. The idea of being able to grow fish in my backyard captivated me. I already had chooks and veggie gardens as well as numerous fruit and nut trees, but I could see that aquaponics would help close the circle, and provide a wider variety of food. My passionate love of permaculture, and trade certificate in horticulture were a stable launching pad to understand that aquaponics was an invaluable growing method.
That started me on a quest for information about aquaponics, but back in those days there wasn’t a great deal around.
I bought the Speraneos manual and joined their forum, then scoured the internet for anything I could find. Most information was relative to the United States, there was nothing much about Australia or other countries available. So I decided it was time to start experimenting myself.
I began with a very humble system but it was a start, and little did I realise, at the time, that it would be the start of an obsession. Fairly early on I realised that I wanted to try and help others with information about aquaponics, I spent about five years playing around with systems and ideas, and yet no one to really discuss it with, and with no real information to read. I figured the best way to get others interested and involved in aquaponics was to try and make information more accessible, so very early on I began writing about what I was doing, taking lots of pictures, and documenting it on film.
As my systems advanced and I began working with larger systems, the information I had been writing down was growing as well. But still aquaponics was a real fringe hobby, there were very few people involved in building systems around the world, and few people to discuss it with. I first started this website in about 2003, then in 2005 I joined an online permaculture discussion group, and posted some links on there to pictures of my systems. People on the permaculture group were extremely interested in aquaponics and some very lengthy online discussions were had. It was about this time that I decided to wrap up my writings and form them into a book, the contract work I had been doing came to an end, so I decided it was time to try and sell the information packages I had been putting together.
In early 2006 I thought it was time to start my own online discussion forum for aquaponics, and members started joining in droves. One friend from the permaculture group wrote to me one day saying that she was determined to get me onto Gardening Australia (TV show), because she thought everyone should hear about aquaponics. Well, she wrote to them a number of times, and eventually they took notice and contacted me. At about this time I wrote some articles for magazines and other websites and they were greeted with great interest.
Interest at this stage was growing at a fairly steady rate, until August 2006 when a segment filmed in my backyard about my systems went to air on national television around Australia. Well it all just went a little crazy after that. A string of articles for magazines and papers as well as a repeat of the Gardening Australia segment going to air in February 2007, continued the growing interest.
The next logical step was to start producing systems, people wanted to have their own aquaponic systems but materials were sometimes difficult to get a hold of, especially grow beds, there was nothing really suitable for aquaponics available off the shelf. I began working with a plastics molder to design the ideal grow bed, and these went into production. So I began installing systems for people in May 2007 and the interest is continuing to grow. The first system that I installed for Faye Arcaro has received a great deal of interest, she had the Garden Gurus (TV show) come and film her system, and this went to air on the first of September 2007.
Interest grew and in October 2007 a shop and display centre became available for rent nearby, as a disused nursery it was ideal for setting up demonstration aquaponic systems, this was the beginnings of a real turn around. Faye came on board full time and we began setting up display systems for people to view. Having a keen media savy sense Faye makes an extremely valuable contribution to the BYAP team, so much so that she is also part owner of the business. Once the shop and display centre was open and word began to spread things really started to get busy. Carl then joined the crew, he’s an aquaculturalist with a keen interest in aquaponics and he wanted to set up some trial aquaponic systems, so what better place than down here at the shop. What started out as helping us now and then soon became a full time job and Carl now runs most of the system installations and consultations as well as playing a leading part in our workshops every month.
Jade was our first horticultural trainee and she was passionate about aquaponics, but after about a year she left to study full time. Fairly soon after Mitch came down to see us, he was still in school but had already build two aquaponics systems at his house and was keen to learn more. Mitch has now become an integral part of the BYAP team, still in school, he is giving regular public talks about aquaponics and helps present our monthly workshops
|Peter and John|
Peter and John are our installation team, and more, they have installed dozens of aquaponic systems and also set up many displays at shows and fairs as well as helping out in the shop when required. There are many more people that deserve a mention here, people who have been part of establishing Backyard Aquaponics and bringing it to the stage it’s at now. Probably most notable is Dave in South Africa, Dave is THE graphics man, an extremely talented graphics artist who’s responsible for the BYAP magazine layouts as well as most of our fliers, pricelist, brochures, signs etc.