Council Field-trip to Farm

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 20:15 -- Roger Dobronyi

Green Acre was the place to be....
   Folks, In our first ENR fieldtrip, we had over two dozen people sign up for the tour in Brooksville at the Aquaponic farm, Green Acre.  Because it was chilly that day, I guess some folks probably had second thoughts about being outdoors. The people who did attend were treated to a display of multiple ways to grow food without using soil, fertilizer chemicals or pesticides.

 

Tanks used to grow the fish to produce the fertizer for the plants

There is a difference between HYDROponics and  AQUAponics. Hydroponics uses chemical fertilizers and water, and aquaponics uses fish and their waste and no chemicals of any sort. The only thing that is added is Food for the fish. Therefore aquaponic produce is necessarily Organic.

   At the farm, there were several types of lettuce floating in rafts.

The tomatoes, eggplants, squash, etc. growing in gravel beds are larger plants with fruit and therefore require a gravel medium for stabilization.Herbs grew in vertical hanging beds to be taken to farmers markets and sold fresh to customers who wanted to use in the kitchen for flavorful dishes. If any were unsold, they were able to be brought back to continue growing at the farm.

  How does aquaponics work?  The water from the fish tank containing the fish waste is pumped into the gravel vegetable grow beds where the fish solids become food for the  thousands of worms. No problem with drowned worms, even though they aren’t provided with tiny personal floatation devices. The critters absolutely thrive in the flood and drain gravel used for the system. The worms transform the fish waste into worm casings which is the best organic fertilizer you can get. The water leaving the growbeds is now clean leaving the nutrients behind, and is then pumped back into the fish tank to complete the loop. This farm uses tilapia fish that are mainly vegetarians. They are also prolific and grow quickly. Only 5%-10% of water normally used in the traditional farming of these vegetables is required, as the water is continually reused.

   This aquaponics farm not only provides vegetables and fish for sale, but will gladly share their knowledge with the homeowner who wants to develop a personal sustainable food-source system. One-day classes are provided for a fee. The participant learns how to build and operate an efficient and successful sustainable system.
   If you care about the food put in your body and are tired of the tasteless factory vegetables raised for shipping, or if you are afraid of GMO produce infesting your digestive tract, then give aquaponics a try. If you’re concerned about water, aquaponics saves 95% used for a traditional garden. Clean vegetables eaten straight from the garden are an extra benefit. The produce grown in the system doesn’t get dirty. No weeds to pull. No crops to rotate to prevent soil-borne critters, and no worries about moles eating the roots of your zucchini plants.
   Aquaponics is 100% organic…and the food it produces is 100% delicious.

                                

For information on the class:
 http://www.greenacreaquaponics.com/

 Sylvia Berstein Says that on the same ground space that is required to raise 75 pounds of beef, 35,000 pounds of tilapia and many tons of vegetables can be raised. Looking for a business to start? For info on Aquaponics:

http://www.amazon.com/Aquaponic-Gardening-Step-By-Step-Vegetables-Together/dp/086571701X

 Check out what this high school junior is doing:

http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2013/02/ufifas-faculty-aid-fort-white-teens-in-building-aquaponics-system-to-raise-fish-vegetables/

 

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