Aquaponics and Sustainability
Aquaponic systems are not only easy to maintain, they also have many environmental benefits. This is why more people are turning to this form of farming in both large and small scale markets. Even in non-environmental aspects, the systems are proven to be highly sustainable in terms of time and cost.
Aquaponics in the news:
Due to the design of aquaponics systems, they can be utilized almost anywhere to generate a sustainable food source. Earlier this month, a village in Michigan successfully produced their first aquaponics harvest. The fish used in the system was tilapia, and it produced a harvest of lettuce. The local farm in Caledonia, called Revolution Farming, is currently providing lettuce to 16 stores and restaurants in the area. Using locally grown, sustainable food sources limits the need for trucks to transport produce to the small village, reducing the carbon footprint. The aquaponic system does not require fertilizers either, making the lettuce healthier and the village environment safer!
Aquaponics provides safe, smart solutions for many areas of the world. It is also super eco-friendly! These systems require less water than traditional farming, as none is wasted due to the presence of the tank. It also does not require fertilizer, because the fish waste provides the same benefits. The crops and herbs produced by aquaponics systems taste fresh and do not contain harmful chemicals.
In addition to all these great perks, towns using aquaponics to locally provide food see other positive environmental impacts. Limited transportation correlates to less energy consumption and air pollution. Less fertilizers means lakes and rivers are safer for fish and wildlife. In essence, switching to aquaponics effects all the links in the agriculture chain. The system is easy to use and maintain, and is much more sustainable in practice.
Other forms of sustainability:
Aquaponics systems produce no waste. Extra fish waste can be used as fertilizer, unharvested plant material can be composted, and water from the fish tank can be used in other aquaponics systems. The entire cycle is waste-free, and resembles natural growing processes.
No soil for roots to overcome result in quicker yield times. Plants grow much quicker when they can reach nutrients and water immediately, and don’t need to push through dense or difficult soil to expand root systems. Smaller yield times mean more crops can be produced!
While upfront costs for aquaponics systems are high, they quickly make that money back in the amount and quality of the crops produced. It is estimated that home-scale aquaponics systems pay for themselves in food and fish in 1-2 years. Depending on the type of food grown and how often it is used, some systems are well worth the initial cost. In the agricultural industry, as large farms struggle to keep up with rising population numbers, food prices are expected to continue to increase and quality will likely decrease. Aquaponics provides better food with an overall cheaper price tag – what’s not to love?
By providing so many ecological and financial gains, sustainable farming is quickly becoming a practical method for generating food locally. Other villages are turning to aquaponics as a way to save money, produce quality crops, and protect the local environment. You too can reap the benefits of aquaponics and enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs grown right in your own home! Be sure to visit our aquaponics page for additional information on how it works and how to get started with a system of your own.