Monday 16 July 2012

Gardening Fish

In my search for new and better ways to do things,
I often find that complexity is favoured over simplicity.
Every so often though, I find something inspiring.

Aquaponics is quite a bit more than simply inspiring.
It is smart, simple, effective, and efficient.
Now, I haven't started into this method yet, but having mulled it over for a few years now,
I am ready to believe in it.

Aquaponics is a marriage of aquaculture and hydroponics.
Both aquaculture and hydroponics consume a great deal of water which ends up being toxic waste when it leaves the operations.
Combining the two farming methods creates a complimentary cycle that negates the production of harmful waste while also reducing water consumption

Simply put, you can grow fruit and vegetables using the advantages of hydroponic growing,
while at the same time, raise fish in an unbelievably efficient manner.
I am not sure why this idea has not taken off,
but I suspect that the initial set-up is daunting and may require someone with experience to start the system up properly.

The predominent fish grown this way is Tilapia.
They lend themselves very well to domestic production,
and can be fed with food grown within the aquaponic garden itself.
Otherwise, any fish will do; each having specific requirements.

The reason I am bringing this up, is because I have started to think about it again.
Ours gardens are doing very well, but there is always time to look into improvement.
Aquaponic gardens, once running properly, are easy to maintain and offer
high production rates.
There are none of the concerns associated with providing the right soil and keeping the soil healthy.
Weeding is virtually unnecessary, and pests are deterred from the unusual environment.
Of course, the aesthetic has great potential.

My big plan is to build a year-round aquaponic facility.
That's pretty far off at the moment, but it is time to start putting the pieces together so that we are ready when the time is right.
I feel strongly that this growing method will be more attractive if there are beautiful examples for people to see first-hand.
The 'look' of aquaponic gardens should be as compelling as their practical value.

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