We'd like to give you an idea of what Aquaponics is and how it works. We hope you find it exciting and educational.
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a sustainable ecosystem using fish, plants, and water to grow vegetables that can be harvested every day, 365 days a year. It does not use soil, pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. It uses a fraction of the water, energy, land, and labor to produce vegetables and fish of the highest quality.
Let's explore each step of the process:
To start, you have to have baby fish, called fingerlings. We use Tilapia. Tilapia is a hardy, great tasting, fish. They grow quickly and love the climate here. The fingerlings are introduced into the system into their spacious tanks full of WEB drinking water and start to create the environment necessary to cultivate plants.
Moving the Water
The fish hang out in their spacious tanks, but the water they live in gets continuously pumped through the entire system and filtered. Those nets you see catch any small fish that decide they really must "get to the other side".
The fish are fed high quality food that is free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and pollutants. This turns into outstanding nutrients for our plants!
Once the water has the right balance of nutrients, we can start growing plants! Our plants start out in a nursery like this one. It's designed to grow the seedlings even faster than normal. Once they reach the right size, they are transplanted into the raft beds.
You can also grow the seedlings outside the system and transplant them, but we wanted our plants to be in the system from start to finish. This means we can be confident our products are 100% naturally grown (and they really do grow faster).
The Raft Beds
Our system has two long raft beds just like this one. Once the seedlings are big enough, they move into these super cool, food safe rafts. You can see the plants move down the line one raft at a time. Each day a raft is removed from the end of the line and harvested and a new raft with plants from the nursery is started at the beginning.
The rafts are cleaned after each harvest and reused until they breakdown completely.
The Finished Product
Here we have the plants about to be harvested. You can see the water they have been floating on up to this point. You take the whole raft out and all it takes is a single snip to cut the plant from its roots and it's immediately packed into crates and ready to be sold.
What to see Aquaponics in action? Sign up for one of our greenhouse tours!