This might be part of the problem. The "green revolution" of the 1970 came around and many places got converted to the chemical farming methods that brought and saddly those methods may have caused a bit of a population explosion followed by reduced yields the need for more and more costly chemicals to continue to get those same yields and the degradation of the soil and droughts causing extreme hardship. The with the basic strip mining of the soil by the chemical farming techniques leaving the people with less and less nutritious foods, well many of those areas have an extreme challenge to figure out how to grow nutrition on their degraded soils. I don't think aquaponics will do it. They will need something more along the lines of soil building organic and permaculture type practices and perhaps those won't be able to support huge populations but they are probably the best bet for some places.
And yep... we don't need to grow more grains... in the Western world.... but a lot of the rest of the world survives on grains.. and principally grow grains or cereals...
Reality check! What a great thread this has turned to. I do not like to be negative, believe however people need to stay in tune with reality. Thank You to those not afraid to speak the truth. In reference to third world I have seen much progress in Nicaragua. Since installation of wind turbines in the last several years. Five or 6 years ago there were power outages almost daily. Last few trips no outages. Think wind could be used in some limited windy areas to pump water in grow beds, supplemented by electricity. If people in 3rd world can produce food and sustain themselves they could learn how to operate a system. If it cannot prove economically viable it would be just another joke to them.
Me all I'm saying is that 80% of the western world is working to make wind that wouldn't shake a windmill (paperwork), or lying for a living (advertisement, propaganda, insurances etc), making destructive stuff (pharmaceutical and agricultural poisons, weapons, fake food etc) and totally useless gadgets (fashion statements, funky packagings, feel good beauty products, upgrading the last worthless product, etc) and behaving irresponsibly in it's free time (driving half a gallon worth of petrol to buy a liter of milk etc) while consuming 80% of what the planet has to offer... Usually the solution is facing right opposite to the problem... The planet has been going on for 4.5 billions years and has "invented" us in what is in fact the perfect AP/permaculture system... So don't tell me that this couldn't go on forever... the only reason it can't go on is that WE are somehow not willing to read the "user's manual" and think we can rewrite the rules ... Actually I think we can improve on the rules, thx to the intelligence that the perma-planet-ponics has given us... But go against it no way :)
Interconnected-ness or not btw...
Simply put, if it doesn't work or can't be sustainable and even create more than it uses, then we're wrong ... we're dumbler than the piece of rock we sit on :) There is no problem but us ... You can't be more optimistic than that :)
(Disclaimer: that's how I feel at the moment, I might change my mind)
Without sounding overtly negative, (which I usually try to relegate to one of my musical recording projects :), how would you go about solving the problem (as it does seem to be a problem) of those "80%"? It seems that a good many people have a 'deeply' vested interest in "... lying for a living (advertisement, propaganda, insurances etc), making destructive stuff (pharmaceutical and agricultural poisons, weapons, fake food etc) and totally useless gadgets (fashion statements, funky packagings, feel good beauty products, upgrading the last worthless product, etc) and behaving irresponsibly in it's free time (driving half a gallon worth of petrol to buy a liter of milk etc")...and keeping it that way for as long as possible, or at least 'til 'they' are alive...Those are all human en devours, and we are all after-all only human.
Does this "4.5 billion year old AP/Permaculture" project need a gardener? Some brutal gardener to thin out the grow bed?
"Re-writing the rules" and deluding ourselves to think that we are "intelligent" enough to do so is partly what has got us in this mess to begin with. (As some have already alluded to, TC's previous post for example, and you yourself have stated)...What do we do, now that we're in the sauce so to speak? Is there "in reality" anything to be done, other than on an individual level? Is this enough? Or will the "perma-planet-ponics-system" take care of us like a mild case of powdery mildew all by its/her self...
Alexandre Letellier said:
Me all I'm saying is that 80% of the western world is working to make wind that wouldn't shake a windmill (paperwork), or lying for a living (advertisement, propaganda, insurances etc), making destructive stuff (pharmaceutical and agricultural poisons, weapons, fake food etc) and totally useless gadgets (fashion statements, funky packagings, feel good beauty products, upgrading the last worthless product, etc) and behaving irresponsibly in it's free time (driving half a gallon worth of petrol to buy a liter of milk etc) while consuming 80% of what the planet has to offer... Usually the solution is facing right opposite to the problem... The planet has been going on for 4.5 billions years and has "invented" us in what is in fact the perfect AP/permaculture system... So don't tell me that this couldn't go on forever... the only reason it can't go on is that WE are somehow not willing to read the "user's manual" and think we can rewrite the rules ... Actually I think we can improve on the rules, thx to the intelligence that the perma-planet-ponics has given us... But go against it no way
Interconnected-ness or not btw...
Simply put, if it doesn't work or can't be sustainable and even create more than it uses, then we're wrong ... we're dumbler than the piece of rock we sit on There is no problem but us ... You can't be more optimistic than that
(Disclaimer: that's how I feel at the moment, I might change my mind)
i think one of the biggest problems with aquaponics and it's advancement is the amount of people actually looking at the problems. throughout the history of science it has taken hundreds of brains focusing on one problem to make a single advancement... hundreds of minds gathering data and recording observations, and then one person comes along and connects those individual thoughts into one sound idea. think solar system and the evolution from the earth being the center of the universe, and then through the combined, but not corroborated, efforts of hundreds of people keeping track of what they see the idea of the sun being the center of the solar system was born...
i was once told that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome... when it comes to the realm of aquaponics i see many people doing the same thing, with very little variably change... and most of the people trying to make changes are aimed in the same direction of those that have failed before them... my examples are more or less pointed in the fish production use of aquaponics just not being efficient enough to ever work on its own... well... unless you're looking to make mountains of compost... there are only a few plant species that grow fast enough to consume the amount of wastes in the water on a commercial fish farm scale... watercress being the most edible of the bunch, still wouldnt provide much in the fact of nutrients to the human diet....
what im trying to figure out is why ha so much time and energy been spent and seemingly wasted on fish production, but little time has been invested in how to best, and most efficiently, produce vegetables... no one knows the bottom line of fish needed to support an established system with a microorganism biomass... why keep adding fish when we arent exactly sure hoe many are completely necessary? less fish means less input in the realms of cost... mother nature has ben growing things for millions of years on the banks of streams and no one has been hand feeding the fish...
all AP needs is a group of people, and a large one at that, asking the right questions and providing the right data so the evolution of science can take its course and one day someone will come along and connect the dots like hundreds of scientists have done before them.
nothing is impossible, just very very improbably. given enough time, anything can happen. this is a paraphrased law of probability. example : take a deck of cards and sort them out buy suit and increasing numeric value... now start shuffling. now through shuffling one day the cards will fall into the same order that they started. if you shuffle long enough it will happen... is it very likely to happen quickly? well that all depends on how fast you can shuffle, but sooner or later all of the cards will fall back into order.. so just because AP doesnt seem viable right now on large scales, that doesnt mean one day some one wont come along and connect all of the fragmented data together and create a system that will work.
200 years ago it was impossible to go to the moon. 500 years ago it was impossible to sail in a straight line too long because you'd fall off the flat earth. 10,000 years ago it was impossible to to live in one place for too long because your food sources would run out.
we as humans have done a lot of impossible things.
Damon- dead on. You're right, the fish are a waste of money- breakeven at best. If you try to make money on fish in AP you'll just lose your shirt. Plant$ on the other hand. . .
The problem with integrating plant production into established aquaculture has traditionally been exactly as you described- too much greenhouse space necessary to get the necessary level of filtration. If you care less about the fish though, and increase the production per square meter of GH space, then you're onto something. I think a lot of current aquaculture operations are a potential goldmine. But not for the reasons they think.
PS- I'm running between 3 and 5 times the standard hydro industry production in my greenhouse now. . We're building a new greenhouse to expand and our margins are very very fat. The funny thing is that when I first went vertical it was called crazy, redundant research by a few people, but by your definition it was very sane.
Vlad, to answer your question about what to do about the "good many people who have a 'deeply' vested interest in" keeping on our current collision course, I'd say that (1) I don't know and (2) I don't care about them (3) as long as they don't make it utterly impossible for people to find and implement alternative solutions if they want to.
I mean I'm all for finding smart and enjoyable ways of life and sharing them among like-minded people but I'm really not interested in converting/fighting anyone... If one day some law is passed that forbids me to grow my own food, build my house or choose nature as my main-frame rather than the pile of paper work and stale philosophy that is currently paraded as civilization I will gladly resort to peaceful disobedience...
And yes I think that if we don't find a way to fit in the system we will be simply dealt with by the ecosystem's homeostasis. Which is another way to say that in a battle between us and a planet that copes with constant meteoric bombardments, massive extinctions, cosmic rays, solar flares, for billions of years, we don't stand a chance no matter how much plastic bags and diapers we throw at it ...
I also agree with Damon on how progress... well, progresses ...
you cant have correct answers of people aren't asking the correct questions...
my father is a root cause analyst... he doesn't fix problems, he fixes why they happen in the first place... i've been raised in the state of mind that if your "fox" is still having issues, you either need to find a new fix, or what you're trying to fix isn't really the cause of the problem.
rearranging the scale of proportions hasnt yielded anything useful when it comes to the fish production... bigger doesnt always mean better when your initial size didnt produce what you were looking for... but, it's a matter of pride that takes over... you cant simply spend your whole life going in one direction to simply give it up... people will fight to their last breath to try and force something to work that just simply wont happen... i've never understood people and the flaws of human nature... i mean... what's the harm of admitting that you could possibly be wrong? what's the worst that can happen? you just shrug your shoulders, start over, and hopefully the next time around you fix the issues.
not to sound big headed, but i dont make it a habit to be wrong, but when i am, there's no harm in admitting it. you just go back to the point to where everything went wrong, then try something new.
thomas edison tried over 1000 different ways to make a light bulb... when he succeeded a news reporter asked him how he felt about having to go through over 1000 failed attempts before his greatest success. edison simply replied, "i didn't fail over 1000 times, i've just found over 1000 ways not to make a light bulb." we should all try to fail with such grace.
as for the liers and scammers in this industry... i think all of us here know how i feel about them... the best we can do is warn others that they do exist, and try to point all of the new comers in the right directions.
Wow! What a brilliant thread :-)
I opted to stay on the side lines trying to digest it all...it will take numerous re reads and then some. Thank you everyone...even though it was rather "X" rated re language at times.
As regards "Aquaponics" being THE SOLUTION...No!
I regard it as being one of the main solutions in the overall Agronomics of any area, India being no different.
Dear Alexandre, you are totally correct that in the present form, the way most people practice Aquaponics, it will be really a "want" situation for the upper middle class in India and not for the remainder of the population in rural areas...here a "need" situation. We have to address Aquaponics for both sectors as both have different requirements.
India is rapidly changing both in terms of population and it's location but also in its economic power. The rapid continued move to the Urban areas as well as the tremendous increase in economic ability has resulted in the large affluent middle class demanding better quality and a wider variety of food. Following the Dot Com burst in 2000 and the return migration of a lot of NRI's to India, this demand for "Western style" foods has grown rapidly. There is huge demand from the growing hospitality industry for the "designer" lettuce and other such leafy greens. this is constantly spurred on by the endless popularity of the various cooking shows being aired on "Bollywood" TV channels...India has it's own "Master Chef" franchise and participants have traveled many nations as well as cooked international cuisine (some received Culinary Awards from US President Obama). For such demand in these urban areas, there are all the necessary tools and facilities present for Aquaponics systems to be built and operated as they are in most parts of the world today...yes you will have to use inverters for the power shortages that exist as well as lots of water storage containers given that water too is usually only available for certain periods of the day. That being said, just imagine the thousands of empty apartment rooftops crying out for Aquaponics Systems!! Estimate of population that exists in such areas...300 million plus...!!
Yes there are lots of slums and such areas in Urban India that also need to be addressed, but here there is access to power and water to some extent so they too do not need a drastic re-configuring of the Aquaponics systems / operation.
Now we know that India's population has grown significantly since Independence in 1947. Estimates today are over 1 billion. At the time of Independence, almost 85% of the population was rural based. The little research done in this field that I am aware of suggests that in the 60 years or so since Independence, this has decreased to 70% or so...700 million mouths to feed!
It is here where the smart brains of many (yourself included), need to start to collaborate and experiment how to incorporate Aquaponics into the Agronomic of the area. Aquaponics is the ABC in the growing alphabet...we need to see how to incorporate this into the "Bharatponics" solution. I am really pleased to learn that you are working with Neolithic building designs. I do believe that there is huge potential of creating large man made Ecosystem by using such designs even though one is faced with extreme limitation of resources. Gravity is "FREE" and all design should be incorporated to take this into account. Here Aquaponics does not have to be "Soil less" provided adequate filtration systems are incorporated into the designs. How do many of the rural farmers move water today in theses locations? Is it not with mules or other animals going around the circle of the well opening. With proper design and implementation, Aquaponics can help create sustainable ecosystems that are living food jungles in such areas.
Why am I so positive about this...just see what one man could do in one village
Looking forward to working with you...let's see what we can contribute. Yes it is highly likely that we will not be able to solve all the problem of growing enough food or significantly reduce hunger...Yet could you really be able to sleep at night if you never even tried...especially when you know that you have that valuable education and can share such...is this not what the Upanishds and Vedas teach us? Is Anna Daan not the highest charity per Indian culture?
Let's work to make a difference...