Aquaponic Gardening

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For those of you that know me, my goal with aquaponics as of right now is to learn by experience (my own personal system) in hopes that in the future, I will be able to operate a commercial farm of some kind. As I wait and learn, my mind is considering various aspects of one day owning/operating a business. One concern I thought up was the issue of neighboring commercial farms and the effect of their pesticides on my "organic" plants (whether they be certified or not). Does anybody have any thoughts on greenhouse location with surrounding commercial farms as a factor? Is it best just to avoid being by them altogether or can air filtration be an effective solution? Or is it even a concern?

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Alex, I think it's a great point you bring up. For me personally it's the number one reason to pursue Aquaponics. Greenhouses offer the ability for climate control, pest control, and propagation control if done correctly. There is always a threat of outside contamination. With what you were thinking regarding pesticides, there are other issues associated with that. These pesticides along with artificial fertilizers could also be contaminating local water sources. Water that you may use top off your system. If they're growing GMO products there GMO products when/if pollinating could cross with your crops. Any pests not immediately killed off by pesticides from other farmers could eventually carry that into your system. Granted these would be very small amounts, but this would mean additional air and water filtration would be needed before those elements entered your greenhouse. Which would cause the need for additional maintenance. Now of course this is all proportionate to your personal level of scrutiny towards outside contaminants. I think if locating your operation away from other farmers is an option, then do it.

Good point, it's improbable that you are going to be able to exclude every form of synthetic chemical and pesticide. It's going to come in from somewhere. I'm not really anal about the "purity" of my system as much as I would like to cut out as many harmful chemicals as is practical. Growing organic is a process/lifestyle, not a guarantee that there are no synthetic chemicals. It has to do with matching nature in the way it was designed to produce food by allowing life's processes to do their job and not messing with them in a way that would be harmful to get maximum production.

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