Aquaponics is a system of sustainable food production that uses traditional aquaculture and newage hydroponic techniques to raise fish and other aquatic animals in a “closed-loop” system that allows for plant growth and natural water filtration. In recent years, a handful of farmers and entrepreneurs alike have taken an interest in aquaponics systems. It is increasingly becoming commercialized, with urban-based farms and restaurants (particularly those located in the midwest and land-locked areas) turning towards aquaponic systems to provide fresh, local, and sustainably raised fish, herbs, and vegetables. As the world’s population increases and natural resources diminish or become more expensive (particularly fish populations in the ocean), aquaponic means of production may prove essential to our local and global food supply. Plus, there a quite fun to build, as Kenyon senior Adrian Galbraith-Paul would tell you.
Last Fall, the Rural Life Center co-sponsored a student project (run by Adrian Galbraith-Paul ’12) with Kenyon’s Environmental Studies Department and Innovation Greenhouse to build a working aquaponic system in Kenyon’s greenhouse. So far, this project has been a big success, with an array of herbs, tomatoes, and other plants towering over three tanks of water where several dozen Talapia fish are being raised and conveinently fertilizing these plants. Further information about this project will appear in future blog posts.
A recent article published in “The RFD News” reported on a man from Ashville, Ohio who has started a successful aquaponics business. Click here to read more.