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About the Author

IMG_1438Tamra Fakhoorian’s laser focus on duckweed cultivation solves many of today’s current issues with sustainable protein and fresh water reuse for our seven billion neighbors. In the spring of 2013, she began commercial duckweed production through GreenSun Products, LLC, a Kentucky-based farm for pet foods and human nutrition. Additionally, she consults on commercial duckweed production as part of integrated farming systems in the US and abroad.

In an effort to become more energy independent, Tamra single-handedly retrofitted an older country home to become near-zero energy. She cooks with solar ovens on a routine basis and has incorporated several large-scale solar dryers in her duckweed production systems.

Tamra serves as co-founder and Executive Director of  International Lemna Association. The ILA is a nonprofit dedicated to global education and commercial production of duckweed. She is founding board member of  International Steer Committee on Duckweed Research and Applications (ISCDRA) and contributes regularly to the quarterly publication The Duckweed Forum.  She also currently serves as Toastmasters International District 11 Division F Director.

Tamra is available for speaking engagements and consulting on commercial duckweed production. Connect with her at 270-356-0208

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth Anne Pettibone permalink
    July 1, 2020 7:36 pm

    I recently discover my passion for duckweed and introduced it into a wetland in my neighborhood because it controls blanket weed and preserves moisture during a dry spell. Thank you for your work for this misunderstood and beautiful plant!


  2. June 6, 2016 12:19 pm

    Hello! I am beginning a toxicology study using duckweed. I have not cultured this organism before and am wondering if you know of places offering training in the aseptic culture of duckweed? Thanks!


  3. May 8, 2016 7:43 pm

    Could I email you a photo of what I think is duckweed? It’s very small but that maybe because it’s in early spring and it’s been cold. I saw your video on bio prospecting and found 2 water treatment plants with duckweed. Today drove by a pond and found what I think is duckweed.


  4. April 1, 2015 7:49 pm

    Thank you for your service and for taking the time to inform others about duckweed and its uses.


  5. Jamie permalink
    August 14, 2014 10:12 am

    I was googling Duckweed and came upon your page…. I was actually looking to see if there was a natural planet friendly way of getting rid of it….but now I am excited to learn that their is an actual use for this green carpet that covers our pond/dam. I to wonder if my barn animals could eat it…I also am wondering what else could be done with it besides composting….Glad I found you..Now to do some research..TY Jamie Lynn


    • September 4, 2014 7:52 am

      As long as the duckweed has not been subject to run off from industry wastewater, you should be ok to feed it to farm animals as a supplement. Due to the water content, some animals process it better than others. Fish do great with it. Chickens 15% as fresh feed, hogs 10%. Once you dry it, you can include a higher percentage as feed but that depends on the animal.


  6. Abe Pages permalink
    January 21, 2014 11:37 am

    I’m planning of growing Duckweed in the Philippines. Where do I start & how?


    • February 1, 2014 8:30 pm

      glad to read your interest in growing duckweed.I’d start by sources some from your area and growing it in a bucket. After you get the hang of growing it then you can expand out to a small kiddie pool or larger.


  7. Michael Smith permalink
    July 12, 2013 4:21 pm

    Never would have known duckweed existed until I saw you today and looked up your site.


    • July 12, 2013 5:00 pm

      Glad to run into you and visit a bit today, Mike. Duckweed is an amazingly versatile plant and I love growing and using it.


  8. Mart Hale permalink
    May 11, 2013 12:14 pm

    Hi, I am just starting to get duckweed growing here in Summerfield, Florida. I am very impressed with your site, and hope to work up to max production in my small ponds.

    I am now trying comfrey tea to feed the duckweed, along with my aquaponic water. I have found a slight amount of aeration helps but it seems to be a trick to find just the right amount.

    There seems to be an ideal temp range for these plants as they are growing faster in 1 inch verses 4 inches,

    Thank you for you awesome blog,


    marthale7 ( youtube )


    • May 11, 2013 9:47 pm

      Mart, thank you for such a nice complement. I haven’t thought of using comfrey tea for my duckweed, although I do use compost tea as a “foliar” feed occasionally. A neat idea if you’ve got lots of comfrey handy. If your duckweed is growing faster in 1 inch of water vs 4, I agree, it’s a temperature difference. Warmer water temps speed up growth until it gets in the high 80’s. Then it peaks and starts declining as temps get into the 90’s. Shallow trays work quite well indoors. I’ve had good luck growing duckweed on plain soil as long as it stays consistently moist. I sometimes use a bit of duckweed on my shallow potted plant soil to get a feel for how dry my pots are from a glance. (primarily cactus)
      Are you aerating your compost tea or your duckweed? Can you tell me more about that?



      • Mart Hale permalink
        May 12, 2013 5:42 am

        I have just made this video, should help to answer some of your questions.

        Yes I am aerating the duckweed with fish pumps. I am also have a bilge pump to stir up the water a bit.

        Going on our idea that it is a temp difference, I believe that I will use a meat thermometer to test the difference between the duckweed that is growing better than the other, and see if I can come up with a method to even out the temperature I do have a couple solar heater panels for pools, may try using them with the bilge pump to raise the temp in the deeper areas.

        I might try your compost idea, I have found from other videos that you can grow plants in wallmart bags, perhaps one could grow plants in them and also increase the nutrients in the water by the compost leaching out nutrients in the water.

        I think you would also be interested in a video:

        This guy uses duckweed to feed to his chickens, horses, and ducks.



  9. December 5, 2012 12:58 pm

    Hi I’ve just found your site via science on the land and I’m quite excited by your love of duckweed and it’s potential – we have plenty on our pond! The nutrients all run off the farmland above us and arrive in our pond. It’s like a mini landscape with mountains and plains. Anyway, I was wondering, do you think my cows would eat it?


    • December 5, 2012 1:24 pm

      Hi Thinking Cowgirl, glad to meet you! I’ve seen pics of cows eating it. (I don’t have cows, so live vicariously through others on that score.) As cows are ruminants with four stomachs, there is debate about how much actual protein gets assimilated into their system due to bacteria converting it to nitrogen. Studies have shown it as going both ways. It won’t hurt the cows as long as it’s part of a balanced feed ration. Consider the percentage of water- 94-95% in your calculations. If the roots are 1/4″ or so, it’s got plenty of nitrogen and therefore protein probably in the 28-38% range. If roots are longer, then the protein lowers in favor of starch production and ash accumulation. The micro nutrients will be a bonus. As long as your uphill nutrient source isn’t a manufacturing plant, you should have pretty healthy duckweed. Thanks for your interest. Send me a picture!
      I love your description of what it looks like on your pond. Am into the beauty of duckweed as well. Am just not as good at capturing it on camera as I’d like to be.


    • February 2, 2013 1:20 pm

      What a beautiful sight. The brcnahes look like they are dancing. Today we passed a cow pond covered in green algae, but it certainly did not look anything like this. It was yucky…this is gorgeous. genie


  10. September 27, 2012 8:29 am

    Thanks for visiting my blog and providing some great advice on duckweed. I will be reading up on its many uses on your site.



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