Monday, July 29, 2013

Aquaponics!

   The latest infatuation for me is aquaponics. If you are not familiar with it, aquaponics is the combination of hydroponics (raising plants without soil) and aquaculture (fish farming). The biggest benefit of aquaponics is the symbiotic relationship between the fish and plants. More specifically, fish poop is filled with nitrates (which in large enough concentraions is poisonous to fish) and plants thrive on nitrates. So, fish provide fertilizer for the plants and plants clean the water for the fish.

My first hands-on contact with aquaponics came in the form of a Kickstarter-based aquaponics setup Christmas present that arrived about a month ago.


Yes, I know that this three-gallon setup is not going to feed a family of four (or a single cottontail for that matter), but I am getting to see the process in action, and I see a great deal of promise in it: great potential source for organically grown food, low space and low water requirement, low maintenance, high possible yields, etc. It has appeal for locavores, for whole food enthusiasts, and for people like me who often forget to water their plants. And, it you do a little research, it's easy to see that building an aquaponics system can be accomplished with mostly recycled or upcycled resources.

If you would like to try a small system, check out the following products:
http://www.backtotheroots.com/
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/975759058/the-blue-green-box?ref=activity


Or, if you would like to try check out a South Plains business that has put a small commercial-scale aquaponics system into use, check out http://www.crazyhoefarms.com .

Will I get ambitious enough to build a larger system? (Stay tuned!)

Have a phenomenal day and leave a place better than you found it!