The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Aquaponic Gardening

Aquaponic gardeningIn the interest of full disclosure, I'm not really a believer in aquaponics.  My gut reaction is that it's not sustainable in most situations, so it annoys me that it's being marketed as a green agriculture solution.  Part of this may be a blind spot because I don't like seafood (although I do love fish ponds), but mostly it's just a knee-jerk reaction not to use electricity to grow things if you don't need to.

On the other hand, Mark has been intrigued by hydroponics ever since he was a kid, imagining austronauts growing their food in water, and he loves the idea of a more sustainable form of hydroponics.  So I decided to hunt down a book and read more about it.

Aquaponic Gardening by Sylvia Bernstein is a good beginners' guide to the subject.  Even though her arguments for sustainability didn't win me over, she did present a very good explanation of how to set up an aquaponics system, including a fascinating look at the ecology involved in growing fish and plants together.  The book has some flaws, but as best I can tell it's the main contender in a very new genre.  I'll write about some of the top points in this week's lunchtime series, but I recommend checking out Bernstein's book to learn more if you actually want to set up an aquaponics system.

Just about any soil can grow good food if you improve it with cover crops.

This post is part of our Aquaponic Gardening lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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The Urban Farm Guys show how to make an IBC solar powered aquaponics setup in their video It might be a bit more sustainable- and you can use your solar panels too.

Comment by Eric in Japan Mon Mar 4 16:27:48 2013

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