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Aquaponic farming is on the up swing
A cool example of just how simple it is.
Aquaponics ancient and New Age
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is an organic type of sustainable agriculture and fish farming combination. It is a synergistic approach to raising food. Aquaponics is a combination of Aquaculture (raising fish) and Hydroponics (water only plant farming) Aquaponics is a symbiotic relationship between plants and fish that creates a sustainable and speedy production of fish, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Water is rotated between where fish create a fertilized water and the plants use that water and create clarified water for the fish. There are some bacteria involved to remove ammonia but otherwise it is fully a closed loop system like a tiny ecosphere unto its own.
For clarification from, dictionary.reference.com:
[ak-wuh-kuhl-cher, ah-kwuh-] noun the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants, especially fish, shellfish, and seaweed, in natural or controlled marine or freshwater environments; underwater agriculture.
hy·dro·pon·ics [hahy-druh-pon-iks] noun ( used with a singular verb )the cultivation of plants by placing the roots in liquid nutrient solutions rather than in soil; soilless growth of plants. Compare aeroculture, geoponics.
And so Aquaponics is the combination of the two.
Rendering of how awesome the Aztec aquaponics were.
Not New but not old.
A little fun history to put it in perspective.
Think of a rice paddy, it is fully a “wet” environment and usually with constant water of depth. The smart farmer will also have fish in his rice paddy and raise them also. The fish help the plants by pooping and the plants help the fish by cleaning up the poop.
One of the favorites are the Aztecan floating islands from around Mexico City area. Legend has it some of the islands housed 100 and grew trees as tall as two story buildings, and just floated in the lake. “Chinampas” is a word associated with that concept.
Those to would be examples of Aquaponics in a large setting.
What is really cool to note here is that the aquaponic notion is really just doing it like nature does it anyway. Of course in nature there is water with aquatic life and next to or in the water grow plants of all the varities in the world.
From a distance needs to look the same as up close!
Just think of Nature and how perfect it is, we can mimic that!
Take it “Enaturally”, a look at nature.
There is a bare foot bare chested boy with a stick fishing pole and a shiny bucket by his side. He is in an arid land let us call it Arizona. But in the arid land is a creek that runs through a narrow canyon. That is where the boy sits with his pole but more interested in the dragonfly, butterflies and bees at the moment. The babbling brook has trout in it, rainbow trout and minnows and frogs and turtles and an invasive Crayfish. In the water, Watercress grows along with Horsetail grass and little lichens and algae. All of this edible in some fashion for the boy. Creeping down to the banks is wild grass and blackberry bushes and wonderful fresh dandelions with leaves the size of his hand. Along the bank are also trees growing tall and some new and young. There are wild sunflowers and all types of wildflowers nearby. Birds and insects flutter from one to another and over to the small orchard of a variety of fruit.
All these things work in a symbiotic synergistic relationship to create paradise as we would know it on earth. But if not dramatically abused or over harvested the serene landscape also provides for an abundance of food for man.
That my friends is aquaponics at it’s finest. Now let us put that to use to create a powerful or mild food producing system of our own.
How cool is this?
Let us get practical.
So you are going to start a farm.
You are going to need some stuff but first let us look at what you will do if you choose.
Promote healthy living and with it agro-tourism for your “garden” will be an attraction.
Sell produce to consumers, restaurants, farmers markets and produce markets and wholesale.
Promote sustainable farming and conservation and ecology – even a basic notion of recycling.
Create jobs, for machines can provide but people must take care of the crops.
Use up to 90% less water than conventional farming.
Create clear good oxygen to our world
Produce up to ten times more food per square feet than conventional farming.
Team with schools and teach about healthy food and alternative production.
Costs of start up.
How much you spend is up to you. A good 140 ft by 40 greenhouse with all the infrastructure is going to cost you about 200 thousand dollars. It should be paying for itself in six months. We have been doing startups for 3 decades now and this is the first we have seen that is actually realistic at that estimate. That is because you can actually grow a full crop of lettuce in one month and the idea for construction is more like Legos than a house or office building.
Now do not get me wrong. You can get “portable” green houses on a smaller scale and you can actually build all this stuff yourself. An associate is actually doing a fully operational one in TJ by hand – no problem and fun. A “portable greenhouse just means one without a foundation and throughout the lands very little permitting is required for such and they can actually just go in a back yard.
Or you can forget the green house all together, they even have some made on wheels. The concept is totally scalable as is obvious from the photo.
You could actually just dig a ditch with a shovel buy used pvc piping and a used pump and be well on your way to a profit center – (scalable albeit ;-)
Of course there are other materials and you have got to filter most water unless you have that babbling brook running through your land.
You do need some land but heck you can do this in a warehouse district or out in the boonies.
Will you please?
Do you support organic sustainable farming by buying the products?
California is suffering the worst drought in recorded history. And 80% of its’ water goes to agriculture.
Synthetic fertilizers and genetically altered stuff are yuckie.
21,000 people die each day because of “starvation and water” related issues, in this world.
We need you people to either do or support this type of farming. It can save lives and our planet in serious ways. Even just focusing on herbs and spices that can be curative and preventative of such things as cancer can make them more available and help many. The world needs less mechanization and more human hands on work with our foods, leading to human productivity and that is good for all. The world needs to use much less water and treat the water we do use with respect.
My vision and it is in the works are green houses surrounded by conventional organic farming outside and in open space, drought resistant horticulture. And all surrounded by fruit trees as wind breaks, aesthetics and production.
(a fun story to end with – I went to planning and zoning and told them what I was going to do, the lady looked at me and called in another planner and said “what the hell is he talking about?”. Well so much for breezing through the permit phase but now 5 hours of talking later and the whole department is a buzz and knows my name and asks questions – good things bring good things.)