Nina has been pushing the edge of the envelope since 1976 at Rhode Island School of Design, when she designed an "Underground" Children's Museum with a green roof and was told, "That's not architecture!" Nina went on to graduate in Interior Architecture (designing buildings from the inside out) and a "Masters in Historic Preservation" from Columbia University, as building re-use was a more sustainable approach than tearing buildings down to make way for new development. Coming full circle, she got her architectural license and became AIA. She worked in the San Francisco Bay area for 20 years renovating and re-modeling older buildings. Moving to San Juan Island in 2002 to start "Island Architecture," she designed many water front houses using "Green Building" techniques.
Sustainable design in architecture is again pushing the envelope. The use of sustainably harvested wood, using local materials when possible, uses non off-gassing materials like low VOC Paints (that do not have solvents in them) are becoming popular in the media and the profession.
Economic times have changed and with it, the even greater need to become sustainable. What better way to become truly sustainable then to be able to grow your own fish and vegetables? This reduces the need for produce to be shipped from halfway across the world, reducing the use of transportation fuel and refrigerated storage fuel. Our fish supply in the wild is becoming polluted and our farmed fish contain hormones and antibiotics. Our vegetables are picked unripe so that they do not damage in shipping, and never attain that vine-ripened taste that our grandparents took for granted. Vegetables and fruits are sprayed with pesticides/herbicides that only GMO crops will not be affected by and no one has done studies on what eating GMO crops side effects will be (we promote using only non GMO seeds). Our food costs keep going up and we seem to be getting less quality. Sure it is expensive to grow your own food, but the start-up costs of a "Portable Farms System" will pay for itself over time. You just have to ask yourself "Is my health and the health of those I care for worth it?"
This is why Nina started "Fish House Gardens" in July 2009. She feels strongly about providing a needed service that helps people to be sustainable. Whether living on an island or on the mainland in Washington State, Nina can help you figure out what size system is right for your needs and has the installers that will guarantee your system is free of defects for one year. These are "Turn-key" systems that have a patent pending combination of closed loop systems that make it easy to maintain with as little as 5 minutes a day for a small system and 20 minutes a day for large systems. Commercial or residential units are available. With her background in Architecture, you will get a free consultation on selecting the right greenhouse for your site, and free siting of the greenhouse. She can help you decide where to put your system and how to house it: in a sunroom attached to your house to take advantage of solar gain on the South side, or a free-standing green house or even in a basement with grow lights. A system can also be installed in any size existing greenhouse or hoop house. She can help you apply for permits for structures that are over 120 feet in square footage. She will be installing a system in fall of 2009 and will be giving tours.