Aquaponic Gardening

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What good is aquaponics?

Greetings. I would like to engage you in a question that I think you may find interesting. We know that aquaponics allows us to grow a lot of food. But what else is aquaponics good for? To answer this question, just flip the script. Instead of focusing on the food, focus on what problems do the food we produce or the method we use to produce the food solve or address? Here are a few examples we all know well:

Big Picture:

STEM education
    Mitigating poverty/Food deserts
    Urban infill
    Sustainability

Family
    Nutrition/Food quality
    Reducing Water use/utility costs

So through this different lens, what do you see? What problems do we solve on all or any level? I look forward to your response.

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Replies to This Discussion

Personally I like Aquaponics because it is easier than regular gardening.  I have rheumatoid arthritis and the ease of gardening is priceless.  No more spending time on the ground pulling weeds or planting, carrying large bags of soil, manure or fertilizer.  Once set up the work is so minimal anyone can do the maintenance.  I wish I could quantify the labor compared to a conventional garden.  All I know is for me, a life long gardener if I could have only one I would choose aquaponics.  I plan to continue expanding until all of my produce is grown this way.  Systems can be set up for handicapped access making it easier to grow a garden where it wasn't possible before.

I have had the same experience. 

I started my AP Grow Bed to filter/clean the water in my fish pond.  It has worked wonderfully well and has eliminated almost all pond maintenance and the weekly 300 gallon water changes over the last 4 years.

Jim

Hi Jim. Could you connect the dots for me between your response and this posts subject? I don't understand.

What good is aquaponics...I started my AP Grow Bed to filter/clean the water in my fish pond.  It has worked wonderfully well and has eliminated almost all pond maintenance and the weekly 300 gallon water changes over the last 4 years significantly reducing water waste.

Ok I understand now. Reduced labor, reduced costs, reduced water use. Excellent.  Thank you ;-)

I can go right down your list Dr Brooks and agree that aquaponics can and will solve the problems on your big picture list there. I haven't shown my setup to anyone who said that's stupid, why are you doing that. All have been very surprised on how well everything grows and how clean it is. So through people like all of us here in this forum the word will spread and people will begin to utilize aquaponics in their daily lives. The two largest hobbies in the world are #1 gardening and #2 aquarium or fish keeping. How much better is than that we do both. As people learn how to grow in aquaponics like you stated it is a skill that requires refinement, local growers will pop up and start solving urban infill, food deserts, food quality and water use issues. Look at Arizona , we don't have an abundance of water, and traditional farming techniques aren't efficient enough to sustain the expanding needs of our population. I haven't bought any tires, batteries, diesel fuel, pesticides or fertilizers to grow my food. These are common day items on a traditional farm. Therefore the waste or carbon foot print is minimized by not having to create these products to be used by food producers. That alone makes aquaponics a worthwhile venture.  

I have these great big tanks of drinking water around the property that like to grow algae.  So I was told to put fish in the water tanks to control the algae.  Then I figured I would have a problem with the quality of the water due to the fish, so I did some research and found the AP systems.  By adding the plants to the water it would clean the water.  So I would say that my benefit is to reduce maintenance and improve water quality.

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