Welcome to Aquaponics
Will Aqua Farming be the Next Urban Farming Thing?
Urban Farming is really popular these days to establish organic food culture and sense of community in urban spaces. Each and every Western city has its own urban farm, but what will be next? Perhaps it will be urban aqua farming.
Aquaculture and Aquaponics
Plants are fertilized organically and the need for fish waste disposal is eliminated. Also, aquaponics reuses water very effectively, lowering its environmental footprint relative to other fish and plant growing operations. It is ideal for areas with water scarcity issues and concerns over pollutants andchemicals in plant production. The scale of systems can range from commercial to home use, which makes aquaponics a viable option for urban farmers. The growing aquaponics movement is seeing manifestations in unexpected places, from art to shipping containers!
New Zealand artists Ken Rinaldo and Amy Youngs created their first Farm Fountain, an aquaponics art installation, in 2009 for the Te Papa Museum. The artwork consisted of a beautiful hanging garden above a tank of ornamental fish. The plants were all edible, including lettuces, cilantro, mint, basil, tomatoes, chives, parsley, mizuna, watercress and tatsoi.
Micro Farm is the brainchild of French designer Damien Chivialle. The design places a greenhouse
Amsterdam-based cultural institution Mediamatic has started a collective for aquaponics. The group is rich with aquaponics information and resources. They run regular workshops with updates on their blog. Locals can take part in running the system on-site, or learn to build their own. Similar groups have sprung up like Growing Power in the US. These collectives help to increase public awareness and expand the knowledge base for aquaponics.
Photo 2 by Bob n Renee, flickr creative commons