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Aquaponic Gardening A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together

June 6, 2013

This video is narrated by Sylvia Bernstein, the author of the Book “Aquaponic Gardening A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together.” It’s a quick, two minute summary of the book that I’ve been reading through for the last day. It’s an easy read, as Sylvia used to and may still write for the magazine “The Growing Edge.” She is also one of the founders of the ever popular Aero Garden, a table top aeroponic garden set up that conveniently fits in anyone’s kitchen to provide fresh herbs, etc. Her understanding of the need for this type of technology is spot on for the world that is to come. As I’ve stated in previous posts, if we all took to the land to begin farming and enjoy an agrarian lifestyle our earth would still be overtaxed and we’d be set on the same course for disaster. At least with Aquaponics, there is a true symbiosis that occurs, not to mention that it uses less than ten percent of the water that a traditional soil garden would use.

With a focus on systems for the home, these same principals apply to commercial set ups. I am inspired by this information and it really does seem like a smart, responsible way to produce food without really placing too deep of a foot print in our wake. One can even raise worms or grubs to complete a fully self contained loop where the worms feed on the waste in the grow beds preventing clogs and problems with circulation. From here, in a separate environment another colony can consume any produce you grew than might have gone to waste. They in turn digest the garbage, propagate, and produce more of themselves to ultimately feed the fish. The fish waste feeds ammonia to the the nitrogen fixing bacteria that ultimately feed the plants what they need. The plants than clean the water for the fish and so on.

It sounds difficult but really it is all about the set up in the beginning. As your system matures it will begin to stabilize and take care of itself. The bacteria that colonize the grow beds end up creating a homeostasis that really can be thought of as a self contained ecosystem. The PH stays relatively stable, and the nitrogen levels remain fairly constant as well. All the while long the same water remains in the tank and merely needs to be topped off from time to time when losses from the plants transpiring or evaporating the water out of their pores become noticeable. This is a farmer’s dream and I can’t wait to set up my first growing environment.

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