With reports like this hitting the newswires it’s no surprise more people than ever are downloading our practical aquaponics PDF.
Aquaponics farming was the goal for a farmer in San Marcos TX. By using a system where fish and plants, that are rooted in water, thrive together and are able to produce a cash crop. Austin restaurants have been the main beneficiaries so far but expansion looms. The basic plan is that the water from the fish tanks which contains ammonia (waste from fish) is converted into nitrate by by naturally occurring bacteria and used to feed the plants.
Adam Harwood looks out over his farm in San Marcos, gesturing to the long rows of greenhouses dotting his property.
“When I was looking for a place to start this operation, I approached my now-landlady carefully,” he says. “I didn’t know how she’d react when I told her my plans. But she said, ‘If you’re really going to put in one of those space age farms, I guess I’ll let you be my neighbor.’”
Harwood is the owner and operator of Lily Pad Farm, an aquaponics farm in San Marcos that uses a system of fish and beds of plants rooted in water to grow produce for Austin-area farmers’ markets and restaurants. He laughs at the “space age” moniker, but then again, maybe that landlady was onto something. Is aquaponics the farm of the future?
That’s the hope of several local farmers, anyway. In addition to Lily Pad, Ten Acre Organics and Agua Dulce have each staked a claim in the burgeoning practice of aquaponics, which may yield real environmental advantages for a dry climate like Austin’s. That’s because unlike conventional farming, plants aren’t rooted in soil, which dries out quickly. They’re planted in long, shallow pools of water, with fertilization coming not from soil nutrients, but fish waste.
“This is basically a really old practice of using fish in concert with plants,” says Jack Waite, owner/operator of Agua Dulce Farm, located in Dove Springs just across from a large apartment complex. Driving by, you can’t miss the colorful murals splashed across Waite’s food storage tanks: On one, a hand-painted sun spills forth a cornucopia of vegetables, which is, after all, the goal. To read the rest of Aquaponics farms awash in promise – and, farmers hope, profits click here.
Aquaponics could be the solution to hunger in the impoverished areas of the world. These areas suffer from not enough water to farm properly, and this new method uses 90 percent less water to produce the same yield as traditional farming.