Thursday, January 05, 2006

Using Aquaponics to Grow Food Naturally

Aquaponics is the growing of plants and fish together in a polyculture farming system, where each crop complements and maintains the other. Aquaphonic systems are intended to consistently supply fresh herbs, vegetables and fish without the use of chemicals or man made fertilizers. This zero waste food farming method is suitable for small scale home use or larger commercial farms.

Aquaponics is different from traditional types of systems in that it allows producers to breed fish and grow vegtables and herbs in the same water. The waste from the fish is pumped into a holding area where it is usually treated with natural bacterial agents that help break it down. Then the treated waste is pumped in the plant area to be used as fertilizer for growing, and the used water is pumped from the plant area back to the fish. Artificial chemicals or fertilizers are normally not used in this type of farm system. The goal is to create mini self contained eco-system.

While aquaponics has been increasing in popularity for decades, in depth research began only recently here in Canada. Large scale commercial operations are slowly being implemented as more and more farmers realize the system's potential for profit as well as its potential to improve waste management problems in the fish farming industry. Read full article here.

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