The Greenhouse Model of Aquaponics

Posted on 13. Sep, 2011 by in Business & Policy

In the pursuit of higher crop yields to satisfy the world’s appetite, there is a promising new source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals: aquaponics. According to Will Allen, Farmer in Chief of the Milwaulkee, Wisconsin farm and community food center Growing Power, aquaponics is the “combination of hydroponics and aquaculture. It produces food in an efficient manner using smaller footprints – ecological, economical and so forth – than traditional farming.”

 Allen spent years developing the method of symbiotic cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a re-circulating system. His goal was to bring agriculture to urbanites; providing fresh, safe, and nutritious food that is secure and free from prevailing political and economic barriers to such food. His method is not only sustainable; it is yielding large quantities of harvestable food and attracting a large following.

Here’s how it works. As salad greens and tomatoes grow vertically on raised beds, the popular and relatively easy to raise Tilapia and Yellow Perch live below in large water tanks. Water drains via gravity from the tanks into watercress-seeded gravel-beds where it is met by bacteria ready to ready down toxic ammonia in fish waste into beneficial nitrogen. This fertilized water is pumped back up to the soil where it is naturally filtered and returned to the pools.

If it sounds brilliantly simple, it is. Allen says, “Anyone can do Aquaponics – it’s easy and fun. Our closed loop systems use a minimum of water resources. Aquaponics systems are inexpensive to build and maintain. Our largest systems cost less than $4,000.00.”

The economic potential of Allen’s vision hasn’t escaped the notice of Wall Street and Washington. Readers likewise interested in learning more can do so first hand by attending Growing Power workshops from January to June.

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Photo Credits: Growing Power




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One Response to “The Greenhouse Model of Aquaponics”

  1. [...] build and maintain. Our largest systems cost less than $4000.00 … … Excerpt from: The Greenhouse Model of Aquaponics ← Backyard Aquaponics and Homemade Hydroponics « Marijuana [...]

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