According to Google, roughly 50,000 searches are conducted per month for the term “aquaponics.” Despite all of these searches, there are still millions of people who have never heard of it or, even if they have, could not tell you what it involves. Aquanponics is a fairly new and quickly growing form of sustainable gardening. The more people learn about the ins and outs of it, the more likely they are to want to get involved.
“Most people that we introduce to the concept of aquaponics are intrigued, and many want to get started with their own garden,” explains Sylvia Bernstein, president of The Aquaponic Source, and author of the book “Aquaponics Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together” (New Society Publishers, October 2011). “This is a form of gardening that is going to continue to grow in popularity because it simply makes sense.”
While there is a lot that can be learned about aquaponics, there are some basic facts that help it all to quickly make sense. Here are 5 things to know about aquaponics:
1. It’s green. Aquaponics is a green form of gardening. In other words, it is environmentally friendly. While many people are familiar with hydroponics, this form of gardening differs in that it introduces fish into the equation. Aquaponics is a form of gardening that mixes the growing of fish with the growing of vegetables. The waste from the fish organically fertilizes the plants, while the plants and beneficial bacteria naturally bio-filter the water to keep it clean for the fish.
2. It’s flexible. This type of garden can be set up just about anywhere. Many people have active aquaponic gardens at schools, in homes, and even on balconies. The nature of this type of garden makes it suitable to be set up in a wide variety of places.
3. It’s different. Aquaponics is different from other forms of gardening. It doesn’t involve any soil, but it isn’t hydroponic in nature, either. It is a newer type of gardening that provides a sustainable alternative.
4. It’s easy. One of the great things about aquaponics is that, once people learn the basics of how it works, it is a simple process. This goes for the set-up of the aquaponic system, as well as the maintenance. The process is so simple that parents and children can enjoy doing it together.
5. It’s learnable. People often fear what they don’t already know. Aquaponics is easy to comprehend, and there are a variety of ways to gain more information about it, so there is something in it for every learning style. There are aquaponics books, classes, and even conferences.
“We are always thrilled to help people get their system set up, and we love all the feedback we get from people about how much they are enjoying it,” added Bernstein. “The best way to get into aquaponics is to just go for it. Learn all you can and then put it into action.” In addition to Bernstein’s book, she is owner of the soon-to-open The Aquaponic Source center, located in Longmont, Colo., 15 minutes NE of Boulder, which will be hosting their grand opening event on October 5, 2013. The center focuses on all things Aquaponics, featuring a retail store, education center, and reserch and development lab. The classes will teach people how to be successful with aquaponics, while the retail store will sell all of the necessary supplies, including aquaponics systems and aquaponics plumbing kits. For more information, visit the site at: www.theaquaponicsource.com.