Funding-video-thumnailWhat is Grow Dinner Aquaponics?


Grow Dinner Aquaponics (GDA) is an urban farm located in Statesville, NC. We thrive to help the Aquaponics community as much as possible through YouTube help videos, our website, Facebook and more. After years of  offering Hands-on Aquaponics Workshops at our farm, we are proud to announce that we are making it more convenient by adding Online Workshops. 

In addition to teaching, we hold a North Carolina Aquaculture Aquaponics-indoor-grow-bedsPropagation and Production Facilities License for Freshwater Malaysian Prawns, Tilapia, Crayfish, Catfish, Koi and trout just to name a few solely focused on the Aquaponics industry. We maintain a backyard Aquaponics greenhouse year around, a few seasonal outdoor Aquaponics ponds, a large number of indoor units and more.

As we continue to grow, we are very thankful for all the support and growth we have had over the years. We look forward to the upcoming online workshops and serving the Aquaponics community.

How did we get here?

My name is Chris Anthony aka the Straw Hat Farmer and the founder of Grow Dinner Aquaponics. I was grew up on a farm in western North Carolina. Our lifestyle was very different than what most people live today. The day to day activity was taking care of the farm raising our own food. We preserved a large portion of our on food with a smokehouse, freezer and lots of canning. All the animals we consumed was raised on our farm or hunted in the wild. I was exposed to farm raised fish and even turtles for consumption.

As most people was I happy to get off the farm and go out into the world in search of my dreams. Over time I soon realized the sustainable life on the farm became more important to me than ever. I found a growing concern of two things. The first being what would happen if I went to the supermarket one day and they had food on the shelf? The second concern was what am I eating from the commercial food system? The life I had left behind on the farm was becoming priceless at this point in my life having the sustainability and fresh food. I had played with Aquaponics over the years but never had taken it seriously for growing food and had used it more to clean the water for fish tanks.

With a farming background and the fact that fish had always been a part of my live including fish in outdoor ponds and aquariums including salt and freshwater Aquaponics had come easy to me. I made it my goal to build my family a food system that would produce more food than one could even imagine. With numerous hours and money invested I started to see a change, we had built many systems some worked and some didn't. With years behind me in Aquaponics and a garden of fresh vegetables and fish producing more than my family could eat, people started to hear about my little backyard garden and started showing up at my door asking if they could see what we had accomplished. Over time I found myself on the web sharing with others. Soon after we had the inspiration to make the move for a new greenhouse and a new Aquaponics system that would be the best system we had ever built. To our surprise we had about 500,000 views on YouTube in one year that changed everything for me. With emails flooding in asking for help and the phone ringing every day I soon realized I could really make a difference in so many people’s life with a little more effort. Today Grow Dinner Aquaponics is a hobby farm and I am have no income from the farm just the satisfaction of helping others in so many ways. It has become so rewarding for my family to share a part of our life with others.

In 2013 we started holding a training class at our farm to help raise money for nonprofit we wanted to start to help others called Fish and Veggies Feeding the Community. With only a few classes in 2013 we didn't raise much capital to help the nonprofit but by 2014 things started to change we had reached a point that we could start helping others. To date we have been able to help so many schools and others get involved in Aquaponics. Thank you to all the people that have supported our hands on workshops. In 2014 we started construction on a new large commercial greenhouse to help the community. While we have ran into some zoning issues, we didn't let that get us down. We are moving towards filming classes for on Online Workshop. It looks like 2016 will be the year we will be able to harvest the seeds we have sown and our dreams are coming true. I have also found myself traveling and speaking to so many people about changing their way of life my dreams are coming true. It has never been about the money for me. I am doing something that is priceless. Thank you for all of your support.

With such limited time on our hands, we are having difficulty finding time for drop-in visitors

We offer an open house a few times per year for people who just want to visit. Please keep in mind this is a hobby for us. We would love to accommodate all visitors just wanting to visit and look around however we are not a retail location. We will be offering Online Workshops so you can learn all about Aquaponics. We appreciate you understanding. Thank you from the Strawhat Farmer & his family.

We welcome school field trips!

It's always fun and educating to go to a farm. Especially when there is so much to learn and see. We are not your typical farm. We do invite schools free of charge! Please send us an email to schedule your class.