Adopted Daughter from Haiti Inspired Charlie Bowen Aquaponic Farming

Charlie Bowen is a resident of Maryville. For the past three years, he has been raising his family using products from hydroponics. Hydroponics is a water-based method of producing some farm products. However, currently he is trying to get into aquaponics. Aquaponic is hydroponics combined with fish farming. It has a mutual benefit to both the fish and the farm products. They help each other while growing, since fish will provide the manure while the plants give fish food.


Lonia is an adopted daughter of Bowen, from Haiti. She comes from a family of four in Haiti, and she is the inspiration for Bowen to start aquaponics. Bowen and his wife Teresa adopted Lonia when she was 11 months old when a medical condition that she had meant that she couldn't live with her family. Therefore, Bowen adopted her so that she could receive medical treatment in Maryville.

Bowen is planning to go back to Haiti and teach people there how to carry out aquaponics, including Lonia's family. According to Bowen, aquaponics can feed a whole family if adopted and practiced. Also, this type of simple farming can produce surplus products that can be sold on a local market. Therefore, Haiti being a low-income country, people can benefit from this method. Lonia often helps Bowen in feeding the fish. She will be 7 years old by the end of July 2014. It is Bowen's hope to return to Haiti soon and help Lonia's family to start hydroponic and aquaponic farming methods.

In aquaponics, Bowen is raising about 100 tilapias in a fish tank. Next to the tank, there is a tomato bed, and green beans, watermelons and cucumber, which are inside a small greenhouse in his backyard.

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