Can You Feed Your Family With Aquaponics?

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  • Fri, Jul 30, 2010 - 09:50pm

    #11
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    Re: Can You Feed Your Family With Aquaponics?

 

Jeff,

It would seem as though an additional benefit would be conservation of water versus conventionally grown produce inasmuch that water consumption would be limited to loss through transpiration (vapor loss through leaf surfaces) as opposed to loss through  evaporation and percolation through the soil strata that is experienced through conventional agricultural means. This would provide a huge benefit in drier states like here in California. In your study thus far have you seen any indication that this is the case?

Thanks again for your effort on this thread.

  • Fri, Jul 30, 2010 - 11:19pm

    #12
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    Re: Can You Feed Your Family With Aquaponics?

The only thing that worries me about this stuff is that there’s too much technology…  what happens when a pump dies and you can’t get a replacement, or the grid becomes totally unreliable and you rely on backup batteries which will inevitably become impossible to replace? And of course the cost of initiating such a system on a scale large enough to feed a family must be pretty high…

At least with an in ground system, YOU can do all the work instead of relying on what are basically still FF slaves (electricity – whether renewables generated or not).  And that work, once your system is in place is minimal really.  Yesterday I mucked out the goat shed and got five wheelbarrow loads of geat compost/semi compost, and it took me all of an hour and a bit to do….

BTW, Omega 3 FA’s can be had from free ranging grass fed chickens…….  unlike the crap meat from supermarkets.

Mike

  • Fri, Jul 30, 2010 - 11:29pm

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    Re: Can You Feed Your Family With Aquaponics?

Earthwise,

Your absolutely correct about how water efficient the system is, as the only loses are via evaporation and plant transpiration like you stated. I really goofed by leaving this out of my original post, I’m a little ashamed to say that I overlooked this major advantage of aquaponics probably because where I live we get 50+ inches of rainfall a year and its not really an issue for me. 

If I live in a dry climate, I would think it would be nice to also have another 1000 gallons of water available just as a back-up in a crisis. A decent water filter should make the water very drinkable. Heck, the guy in this video just drinks it without a filter, lol. Notice how the cut-away shot hid the fact that he spit it outLaughing





What CD (or DVD) did you buy btw?

Jeff

  • Fri, Jul 30, 2010 - 11:42pm

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    Re: Can You Feed Your Family With Aquaponics?

Mike, 

I totally agree with your assessment within the context of the worst case scenario. But I don’t really share your worst case scenario, and  I’m comfortable with my assumption that mechanical technology (and electricity) will be around for the rest of my lifetime. I should be clear that I think aquaponics is at best just a component of a larger permaculture system, however. 

PS. I have to raise my beer to the brain trust “down under”. Us americans look like a bunch of dongos compared to your mates like Mollison and Steve Keen. Auquaponics seems to have quite the following down under as well.

Best….Jeff

  • Sat, Jul 31, 2010 - 12:01am

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    Re: Can You Feed Your Family With Aquaponics?

[quote=JAG]

Mike, 

I totally agree with your assessment within the context of the worst case scenario. But I don’t really share your worst case scenario, and  I’m comfortable with my assumption that mechanical technology (and electricity) will be around for the rest of my lifetime. I should be clear that I think aquaponics is at best just a component of a larger permaculture system, however. 

PS. I have to raise my beer to the brain trust “down under”. Us americans look like a bunch of dongos compared to your mates like Mollison and Steve Keen. Auquaponics seems to have quite the following down under as well.

Best….Jeff[/quote]

Thanks for the praise…..

Actually, this guy I know is building a new house within sight of where I’m typing, and he is planning a large aquaponics system, so I’ll be able to keep an eye on how it all pans out…  now this thread is started, I’ll even keep you posted, though I have no idea how long it will take him to get going.

Regarding the water efficiency issues discussed here, I can vouch to the fact Permaculture is probably as efficient as Aquaculture.  Loads of mulching and well fed organic soil doesn’t lose much water at all, and we only start watering if it hasn’t rained for a week or two, depending on temperature, and then we only water the plants individually.

Mike

  • Sat, Jul 31, 2010 - 12:29am

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    Re: Can You Feed Your Family With Aquaponics?

There are more microbes in a hand of fertile soil than people on Earth. The soil needs the moisture. All wealth derives from the Earth specifically healthy soil which requires moisture. The anthropogenic view of the world is what got us here. The beauty of permaculture is it is holistic , along the lines of what indigenous people did naturally. But if you wish to engage in that discussion you need to go to the basement.

As far as Americans being dongos I suggest you look at my previous post on this thread where you will find links to The New Alchemy Institute and will Allen’s growingpower.org . He took the NAI’s work and ran with it. I would also direct you to the Rocky Mountain Institute and Amory Lovins work.. Also Joel Salatin has done remarkable things at Polyface farm.

V

  • Sat, Jul 31, 2010 - 01:29am

    #17
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    Re: Can You Feed Your Family With Aquaponics?

[quote=JAG]

Us americans look like a bunch of dongos compared to your mates like Mollison and Steve Keen.

[/quote]

If I’m a dongo for being grateful that my ancestors chose not to emigrate to a country that was a former penal colony (for good reason) and chose not to live where a good percentage of everything that crawls or swims will kill you (and where even the freaking mammals can be venomous),

http://blog.hotelclub.com/the-10-most-dangerous-animals-in-australia/

call me Dr. Dongo.;-)

  • Sat, Jul 31, 2010 - 02:05am

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    Drongo, not Dongo

Oops, I see I misspelled the word drongo in my previous post.

It’s drongo, not dongo, which I guess proves my pointSurprised!!!

A patient of mine from Australia a few years back told me it basically meant “dumbass”. Mike must have got a good laugh from that one.

 

ao,

that Australian wildlife scares the crap out of me too, lol.

  • Sat, Jul 31, 2010 - 12:04pm

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    Re: Drongo, not Dongo

[quote=JAG]

Oops, I see I misspelled the word drongo in my previous post.

It’s drongo, not dongo, which I guess proves my pointSurprised!!!

ao,

that Australian wildlife scares the crap out of me too, lol.

[/quote]

Ah…beat me to it (re:  “drongo”)…I lived in NZ for a year and always loved that word — feels really chewy coming out of one’s mouth.  

As for the Australian wildlife, I lived in Sydney for ~ 3 months and I’ll say that the most dangerous wildlife are the 2-legged mammals down the pub ±10 minutes of last call.  I learned to be standing near an exit (or already gone) when that moment rolled around.  

Maybe I patronized the wrong sort of pub…

Will definitely keep an eye on this thread going forward.  As a landlocked New Englander, the idea of raising tilapia really appeals to the fish-lover in me regardless of whether or not supermarkets will become a thing of the past.

Viva — Sager

  • Sat, Jul 31, 2010 - 01:50pm

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    Re: Can You Feed Your Family With Aquaponics?

I find the whole aquaponics subject fascinating.  I wonder though if raising tilapia this way will produce lower omega-6 and 9 fatty acids levels  and higher omega-3 levels than farm raised tilapia?

My longtime dream has been a little closer to nature though.  Basically, take a natural ecosystem with forest, meadow, swamp, pond, stream or river, etc. and manage it and cultivate it to have nature grow most of my food for me and selectively harvest it, whether deer, bear, rabbit, squirrel, game birds, waterfowl, fish, snapping turtle, crawfish, maple syryp, etc.  Have been looking for the right property for a while now but have still not found it.

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