Keep it clean.  This is a simple maxim.  It is one easy to ignore or forget outright.  Many of us are aware of the studies showing how a preponderance of men who use public rest room facilities leave without washing their hands.  The germs these men carry with them from the rest rooms back into the world, often straight back to the dining area of a restaurant, are immediate sources of sickness.  But we men are ignorant and lazy as a gender, bullish in our beliefs that our manliness is a powerful force against bacteria and disease.  Women seem to know better.  As He/She did with Mary when conceiving the Christ child, God has whispered into their ears and they have taken the message to heart and flesh.

As a famer it is essential that you take the message of cleanliness to heart and to flesh.  As an aquaculturalist it is even more important.  Wash your hands.  Wash your tools.  Wash your holding tanks.  Wash your shoes.  Wash the very tires of the vehicles that enter and leave your property.  All are potential transporters of disease.  Control this potential.

Dr. Adam set up his shrimp farm in this way.  The guest or worker drove his or her vehicle through a mild chlorine bath upon entering the gates of the farm.  This helped eliminate the world’s diseases that had hitched a ride upon the tires of the truck or car.  Before entering the farm the person would have to walk through a shallow bath of similar chlorine water to eliminate the threat that shoes pose from their continuous contact with the earth and floors of the world.  Then hands would have to be washed twice, once with an antibacterial soap and then again before drying with a clean paper towel.  Washing of the feet and hands goes back to biblical times.  It was a reverenced ritual performed for Jesus wherever He was a guest.  It serves the purpose of separating the person, that organism inspired by the divine, from the filth of the mundane physical world.

Cleanliness also separates the farm from the world’s threatening diseases.  A farm that is not infected by outside sources will almost inevitably maintain its own health.  A closed water system if healthy from the start will remain healthy with maintenance and a barrier from the external forces of corruption.  The waters of the world are bacterial soup from which all life draws sustenance in one way or another. But there is a difference between healthy bacterial soup and dirty, contaminated water. Keep your water healthy and your fish will be clean and healthy.  Keep your fish clean and healthy and your irrigation water will be nutritive and a source of healthy growth for your crops.  Keep your fish and crops clean and your customers will grow and thrive and be happy.  The system needs to start clean to stay clean.  It is a habit that must be initiated consciously but will be internalized through habit and design and will serve the farmer well throughout the life of the farm.

Just as it was one of the basic social acts offered up to Jesus and other wanderers as they trod the roads of Jerusalem to wash their feet and hands of the dust of the world,  a holy act, like all holy acts of the bible, is centered in common good sense.  Stay clean and stay healthy.  Likewise, keep the farm clean and the farm, with the exception of an ever-present threat of unseen catastrophe, will stay healthy.