Aquaponic Gardening

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In an effort to produce as much food as possible from my land, I have planted a tropical mini-orchard that I hope will be the basis of a food forest. Some of the plants occur naturally here in the Florida Keys but I had to buy some others. More traditional fruit trees (apple, pear, peach, etc) wont grow here, so I had to get creative.  I have papaya, mango, avocado, and sugar apple or sweetsop.  I also have some cuban oregano ad I plan to get some moringa and chaya as well. 

The plants get watered with aquaponic water that is enhanced with black soldier fly effluent.  So far the trees are doing really well.  I just need to stay on top of pruning them to keep them at a manageable size.

Has anyone tried anything like this?

Here's a short video of my set up.

Tropical Mini-Orchard

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Replies to This Discussion

Great idea Josh. I just planted a lemon tree and have a banana going. I'm being careful, however, to not let the trees shade the vegetable garden. I wonder if there are any nut trees that grow down here. 

My old house was beginning to have the start of a food forest going, not quite so tropical up here in Central FL but take your time and be creative and I'm sure you will discover some wonderful things (along with some other thing you will vow to never do again probably.)

Here we have the drawback of hard freezes so the true tropicals are hard to keep going long term and yet not enough chill hours to make most of the northern fruits very viable.  However, there are still options.  We managed to produce bananas in aquaponics in far shorter time than I thought was needed (hard winters for a few years running there.)  Loquats have grown well and I've been trying out new things like Jujubee and gumi as well as planting mulberry and moringa.  Biggest challenge may be keeping from shading things out too much with your tropical jungle.

good Luck.


Michael, the banana looks good in your yard.  Depending on the variety of plant, you may have shade issues as the plant grows, but the system looks good too me!

TC, hows the moringa been going for you?  Im really excited to try it.

Also, Im not really a fan of wiki, but here's an interesting link on the subject of food forests or forest gardening.

Wanted to post a few pics of my moringa seedlings which will be a part of my mini orchard. I started their germination process about 2 weeks ago with 100% germination rate.

After about 2 days...

From Mini-Orchard

About 3 days later...

From Mini-Orchard

Now a few seedlings about 1 week old...

From Mini-Orchard

From Mini-Orchard

Im thinking of adding one to my AP system just to see what happens.  I keep yall updated.

Is this what your moringa will look like? I had never heard of it and had to look it up on Wikipedia.

That doesn't look like moringa to me.

this is more like it


There are several species of moringa, but I think your pic is more of a baobab tree.  TC's pic is the one, tho I will be keeping mine well pruned so that it's more bush shaped than tree.  These things grow really tall really fast.  

The species name is moringa oleifera.  The african variety is moringa stenopetala.


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