Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Phase I – Learning and Discovery

It isn’t often anymore that you come across an idea that’s simple, creative, and makes perfect sense, especially one that makes environmental sense. When I first read about aquaponics a couple of weeks ago, the brilliance of the concept took hold of me, and I daresay that it is now rooted with shocking permanence! For those that aren’t familiar with the term aquaponics, it’s a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. Essentially, you feed the fish, the fish poop in the water, the waste water is used to feed the plants, the plants use up the nutrients and return the water clean to the fish, and you make sure the chemistry of the water is good for both fish and plant. And after a few short months, you have fresh fish, veggies, and herbs ready for supper. As someone who enjoys fishing and tending a vegetable garden in the summer, I couldn’t think of a reason not to try my hand at aquaponics.
This was then the beginning of Phase I – Learning and Discovery. After reading all I could on the web, I purchased an e-subscription to the Aquaponics Journal, checked out Stickney’s Aquaculture: An Introductory Text from the library at UNC-Chapel Hill, and ordered the Book and DVD from Mr. Malcolm at Backyard Aquaponics, which should arrive this coming week from Australia. In addition, I’m reading Pearce’s When the Rivers Run Dry: Water – The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century, which is motivating me even further to get into aquaponics, purely from a water-use perspective. I plan on picking up some books on hydroponic gardening from the library or bookstore in the coming weeks.
I decided to keep this online journal of my trials and tribulations for anyone else who wanted to read about what it’s like for someone who knows absolutely nothing about aquaponics, and I thought it also prudent to keep a good, detailed record of my experiences for future reference. This may not be the most exciting blog in the world, but I hope that it at least will be informative.

3 comments:

Chris said...

How about some reviews of the various materials you've read?

Brian Naess said...

Well, I'm not a literary critic, so I'm not going to write a proper review! However, I definitely recommend the Aquaponics Journal. It's really informative and there are interesting articles in there about aquaponic applications all over the world. There's also a Q/A with Rakocy which is always informative. The Backyard Aquaponics manual/DVD is good, too, especially if you want a blueprint to follow for your setup. I ended up going a different route, 'cause I wanted the permanent pond. But, it's full of good ideas. When the River's Run Dry is definitely worth reading, as it will open your eyes to the developing water crisis that is EVERYWHERE. It's a little over the top in spots, but it's a pretty quick read. Hope that helps!

A Future Metaphysician said...

Brian, I'm starting right about where you did... and have decided to read through your two-year adventure in chronological order.

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