As a teenager I was able to visit DisneyWorld, and among the time I spent there I remember passing through the Epcot center and seeing their hydroponic gardens. They were amazing systems that displayed the potential for growing food without dirt. As a kid of course I thought this was something designed simply for use in spaceships, why else would you not have *dirt*? I learned how the workers needed to make sure the water had the correct nutrients for the plants, all that good soil would normally provide.
Fast forward several years and now we seen that there are great advancements in a highly sustainable micro-farming style called Aquaponics. Aquaponics is a merger of aquaculture and hydroponic systems to create a closed-loop environment for food growth. Starting with aquaculture itself, people have long proven that it is possible to farm fish. Given a tank and food you can raise large amounts of fish as a protein source very quickly. Of course you have to figure out how to feed these fish well, and then the waste created is toxic to the fish, so in a closed environment you have too cycle out large amounts of water to keep it clean, and oxygenated. While it does allow growing fish quickly and in high concentrations, it’s a lot of work keeping things balanced at healthy levels. What is amazing though is that very same waste contains exactly what plants need to grow. With only some small bacterial work it is exactly what those hydroponics workers were trying to feed to their plants.
So, people figured out that you could easily combine the two systems to create an extremely efficient method of gardening, even in areas that wouldn’t normally provide proper soil for gardening. And while you may see a bunch of water in a storage container, constantly cycled for the fish, it actually uses approximately 10% of the water necessary for normal in-soil gardening.
So what does this let you do? I think this video from Kijani Grows sums it up far better than anything else:
For more informaion about Aquaponics:
- Wiki it : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics
- Get a book on Aquaponics
- Check out more aquaponics videos on YouTube
- Get some Aquaponics parts online
- You can even buy an overpriced Premade Aquaponics system (Ok really, get the parts you need and build the rest, don’t buy the whole thing at that price!)
So if you’re a prepper and you’re trying to figure out how you can grow some fresh, organic food despite living in an urban area you should really take note. As in the video, with a few LED grow lights you can even grow year-round inside.
4 Replies to “Aquaponic Gardening”
Too bad in Utah raising non-decorative fish is ridiculously overlegislated.
No kidding, we need to get this changed in Utah.
Good FREE resource here on aquaponics and IBCs The IBC of Aquaponics http://ibcofaquaponics.com/files/IBCofAquaponics.pdf
Yes aquaponics is the wave of the future I think but its not as easy as getting some fish and plants. A major issue in these farms is “cycling” which is basically turning the fish waste into usable nutients for the plants. Here is a article on cycling that might be helpful http://gardening-x.blogspot.com/2013/02/reasons-your-aquaponics-system-may-not.html