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Aquaponics - A Viable Home Business or Just a Money Saving Hobby?
Portable Aquaponics System at Growing Power
Can Commercial Aquaponics be Home Based?
Aquaponics is simplistic in its meaning: Aquaculture (Raising Fish) combined with Hydroponics (Growing Plants with Enhanced Water). Okay, I'll admit it, I am obsessed with Aquaponics! I can't stop reading about it on the internet. I can't stop watching youtube videos about it. I can't stop dreaming that one day, I can own an Aquaponics farm. I even wish I lived in Australia so I could help Murray Hallam build home and professional Aquaponics systems. All I want for Christmas or birthday is videos or books about, you guessed it, Aquaponics! Okay, if you are already tired of reading the term, Aquaponics, as I am writing it, we can agree to just call it AP for the rest of this article.
Here in Florida, we do have some commercial AP farms. Some are as small as 5 acres. But, is it possible to have a commercial AP farm on a much smaller 1-acre tract of land? Some AP grown fruits and vegetables allow for vertical growth: beans, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, and more. Yes, I mentioned potatoes because you can stack the containers that they grow in. There is lots of experimentation going on in our good ole USA. You should see Disney's Epcot AP display in "Living With the Land". They grow all kinds of fruits and veggies different ways using AP. So, the technology does exist. The question is, can a desperate layman from Florida or anywhere build such an exquisite AP system on a tiny tract of land on the cheap?
I have visited forums, researched URL's upon URL's, and I am still short on the information that I need. I would love to use recycled materials, as I live paycheck to paycheck. When I think I find some great info, I find that the materials the person is using is just not available in my area. Maybe I should hit up our local Habitat-for-Humanity recycled materials store for a looks-ey. I should be able to find used bathtubs and all sorts of plumbing parts that nobody else wants. I am not certain of all the AP answers, but I know one thing. I am tired of just reading/writing on the subject. "More Do-ey, Less Talk-ey", says the ultra-motivated, excited-like-a-kid AP researcher!
I know, I know, "I don't know what I'm getting into", say some doubters. Well, I say, neither did Christopher Columbus. I can do anything I put my mind to. I have the passion to see this through. There is so much good information scattered all over the internet. Putting it all together will be like one giant puzzle. I remember the old saying, "There are twenty ways to skin a cat". Well, there could be twenty or more ways to do AP.
There are many reasons for starting an AP system:
- All fruit and veggies grown are organic. No pesticides on any of it or the fish die!
- Economics: Have you priced fresh fish and organic produce at the supermarket?
- Convenience: Just pick it in the backyard when it's grown.
- Aid local food banks.
Did you see the last reason, aid local food banks.This reason can extend to helping third world countries' food shortages and hunger issues. Most of the water in AP is recycled. Only about 5% of the water is lost through evaporation. Third world countries with water issues wouldn't have to stress at all due to the recycling factor. In fact, a company in Ocala, Florida (Morningstar Fisherman) is already training people from third world countries to build their own systems to help feed their villages.
Here is some amazing irony. Tilapia by far is the most used fish in AP systems due to their hardiness. Tilapia may have been the fish Jesus used to help feed the 5,000 in Galillee back in the Bible days. I just think it's amazing that a fish from thousands of years ago which helped cure hunger on a small scale, could help cure world hunger Today!
Here are some resources to get you started.
I will be writing more on this subject as there is so much more information to share!