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Pierre Beauchamp in his element. Source: Auburn Journal.

In this week’s episode of Food Makers on Nov. 28 at 2pm PST/ 5pm EST, I’ll be talking to Pierre Beauchamp, a young entrepreneur who is making a name for himself in aquaponics. Watch the episode here on Google+.

I met Pierre two years ago when he was 15 years old. He had created an impressive aquaponics operation in a greenhouse on his family’s rural property in Auburn, Calif. Aquaponics is a closed loop system that joins plant production with fresh water fish production. It’s a great method for bringing fresh food production into urban environments. I knew Pierre was going to go on to do great things and he has.

Young strawberry plants grows in an aquaponic greenhouse designed by Pierre Beauchamp.

This past summer, Pierre was awarded the 2012 Sea World / Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award in the “educator” division,  the first time in the 13 year history of the award that a “student” was awarded the “educators” award. Shortly after that, Pierre won second place in the Global Green International-Citizen Entrepreneur Award.  As a result, Pierre went to the International Eco-Summit Conference in Rio De Janeiro Brazil as a U.S. student delegate.

Pierre continues to pursue aquaponics and has designed and constructed a “micro-commercial” aquaponics system in Auburn’s Del Oro High School greenhouse that can produce 100 heads of lettuce and several pounds of herbs each week that will be offered in the school cafeteria salad bar.

Now he’s working to manufacture “portable teaching units” for use in school classrooms worldwide that can be used to teach urban commercial and residential growing. Pierre believes that food production is a critical issue and intends to develop and teach economical methods for people to grow their own food and for urban areas to benefit from local, high volume food production.

Tune in Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 2pm PST/ 5pm EST right here to learn more about what Pierre is up to. I’ll also be joined by Del Oro High School principal Dan Gayaldo and agriculture science teacher Regina Dvorak.

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.


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