One might call this square foot farming, as it allows you to raise both meat and veg in one small footprint. No bacon or hamburger mind you, but you could definitely smoke the fish and enjoy a delightful feast.
Rather than applying fish emulsion to your plants, this symbiotic new growing technology pairs these seemingly foreign life types into one highly productive system simultaneously. Better still it’s totally natural and organic. Basically, if you’re doing aquaponic growing, you’re managing your own little biological eco system where your herd and crop supply needs for each other.
Fish farming isn’t anything new, nor is hydroponic growing. They both require water, air and nutrition. Blending these into one cohesive unit allows for exciting possibilities. Great success has been found in growing crops this way. To name a few you can consider, we have lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and cabbage.
In aquaponics, you have a tank for your fish and growing beds. The water from the fish tank is pumped and distributed to the growing space via pipes. Irrigating and nutrition for your plants comes directly from this water, which is then recycled back to the fish tank after being filtered through the grow bed’s rocks and sand. This is mimicking water filtration systems found in natural bogs and water bodies, much like the new natural swimming pool functions.
You could grow ornamental fish versus meat fish, so if you’ve got an interest in raising Koi for the backyard pond and waterfalls market, this may be of huge interest to you. Or you could simply raise fish and veggies for personal household use.
With wild fish species such as trout or salmon, it is important to remember that you must give them a water climate that provides them with the perfect environment to thrive. Just like any other species, water temperatures must be maintained.
In cold climate areas, like British Columbia and the Northwestern Plain States of the USA, raising salmon has been hugely successful in aquaponic farming. In a greenhouse situation, your basement or in warmer areas of the country, you could also pair up freshwater prawns with your catfish or tilapia. This is a big bonus for both profit or harvest yield without increasing system space.
Could you handle super healthy food from an environmentally friendly new method of growing totally organically? The whole thing is really quite amazing, and both the vegetables and the fish thrive beautifully together, as nature intended things to be. Fresh Coconut Prawns, anyone?
Stay tuned for more on the wonders of aquaponics from Garden Culture.
If you don't find her at the desk - check the gardens. When not writing and weeding, she enjoys a good book, painting junk furniture, and blending the harvest of heirloom tomatoes and chiles into salsas.