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 Post subject: Howling Moose Gardens
PostPosted: Oct 8th, '10, 22:57 
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Well, I did it. I gave notice at my day job{1}. Time to become an urban aquaponics farmer for real.

http://www.howlingmoose.com/{2} will be based in the Twin Cities area (Minneapolis/St. Paul) of Minnesota.

It'll largely be a raft system, a la http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/, but supplemented by towers, gravel growbeds, and maybe triple-decker systems a la http://www.growingpower.org/, all (eventually) in a super-efficient super-insulated 4-season greenhouse {3}.

Anyway, more details to follow.
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5689: That greenhouse never got built, so I'm jumping from my garden/basement systems to full scale. :shock:

I can't wait to see what I've missed here at the BYAP over the last year-ish I've been gone. Lots of new great stuff already! (N8's towers, woohoo!)


{1} Last day is in January, because I work on-call, and holiday coverage is a nightmare. Leaving my co-workers with that would be very uncool.
{2} Don't mind the awful design. Simply a placeholder site for now.
{3} I hope to rent commercial GH space first, to prove the concept before going for the big loan. :)

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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '10, 00:01 
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How do they put it on this site? G'Day!

Glad to see another Minnesotan. I'm about 40 minutes (I think) from your house. Would like to visit and bring some pens and lots of note paper :D

Starting on a GH myself. Could use some pointers.


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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '10, 03:00 
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Hi Bob!
Also glad to see another Cold Climate APer! There are a few of us in Minnesota doing AP now. We have a google groups e-mail list: http://groups.google.com/group/tcaquaponics I moderate, so feel free to join.

I'm going to be tearing down my personal systems this weekend to move inside for the winter, and the inside systems really aren't worth seeing.

However, I'm told there is a working system at Local D'Lish in the warehouse district of downtown Mpls. I haven't seen it yet, I hope too very soon.

I'm more than happy to share what I've learned. Do you have a topic here for your system?

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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '10, 03:52 
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Good luck on your venture Karen!

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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '10, 06:21 
Good to hear from you again Karen.... and best of luck for the new venture... keep us posted...


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PostPosted: Jan 25th, '11, 18:23 
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I'm now officially 'self-employed' and working on setting up the AP business here in Minnesota. Doing the basics right now, like finishing my business plan and looking for greenhouse space to rent. Woohoo!

I've been tweeting a bit:
http://twitter.com/#!/HowlingMoose

and I've yet to post to the blog:
http://howlingmoosegardens.dreamwidth.org/

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PostPosted: Jan 25th, '11, 23:21 
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I hope that is "self employed" by choice and not related to the resession. Good luck, can't wait to see pictures!

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PostPosted: Jan 26th, '11, 08:29 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Well, I did it. I gave notice at my day job{1}.


I think it was choice :laughing3:

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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '11, 19:24 
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Good luck with the greenhouse space, there's plenty around here, some areas are filled with unused greenhouses..

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '11, 00:13 
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Gee, thanks. ;-)

Actually, this isn't the first time I've thought about moving to .au.

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '11, 10:36 
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We have our fair share of problems here as well though...

So if you're doing your business plan, what crops are you planning to grow and what type of markets are you looking at using... Local restaurants, shops, direct to public? Any value adding in the plans?

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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '11, 03:10 
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I went to visit S.C.O.R.E., which is a small business counseling place. They loved the idea of my aquaponics business, but they HATED the potential name, Howling Moose Gardens. They think it sounds like a snowshoe making business. =) They recommended I change it.

There is a strong argument for names that are accurate descriptions of their business, or close to. Frex, Growing Power is a great name, but on the other hand Amazon has nothing to do with books, Nike has nothing to do with shoes, and Electric Fetus has nothing to do with music. (The E.F. is the "pre-eminent indie record store in Minnesota.")

So, should I keep my fun and edgy (heh) name, or switch it to something more on-the-nose? :dontknow: Technically, switching won't be hard. I haven't filed any paperwork, just made a twitter account and webpage.

S.C.O.R.E tends to be pretty traditional, and my customer will tend to be folks who attend farmers markets, and shop at food co-ops, so probably younger and more hip than your average Minnesotan (oh, that statement's not going to get me in trouble!)

(The text for this post came first from a site that is familiar with the fact that Minnesota has a *very* short growing season, so greens available in winter are a big selling point to this business.)

I won't start by selling aquaponics supplies. That may come later.

Some possible names:
Howling Moose (currently)
Swanberg Aquaponics
Northern State Aquaponics
North Urban (or Urban North) Aquaponics
Northern Tier Aquaponics
Fruits and Fins
Urban Fish and Fruit
Fruits of the City (may be taken)
Fish of the City (may be taken)
Green Winter Gardens (farms/aquaponics)
Veggies Sustain the Sole
Living Harvest (zombies?)
Greens & Fishes (are they verbs or nouns?)

Other ideas?

There are a couple of other discussions on this on my Livejournal page, and on my facebook page, if you're interested in seeing it.

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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '11, 03:46 
There's already an UrbanAquaponics.. in Utah...

Might have trouble with anything urban+aquaponics... well you would here in OZ anyway...


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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '11, 05:17 
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I think Howling Moose is a great name. Sticks in the memory better than your other examples. You could have a lot more fun with a loggo with Howling Moose than with Northern State Aquaponics or similar.


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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '11, 05:35 
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I love the name Howling Moose Gardens. I wouldn't worry about not having the description in the title... If you are worried about it just add a catchphrase/blurb (whatever you call it) under your title. Perhaps....

HOWLING MOOSE GARDENS
Where Veggies Sustain The Sole

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