Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilizing them with the waste water from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponic gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic vegetables, greens, herbs, and fruits, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. On a larger scale, it is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution, and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans.
Aquaponic Gardening is the definitive do-it-yourself home manual, focused on giving you all the tools you need to create your own aquaponic system and enjoy healthy, safe, fresh, and delicious food all year round. Starting with an overview of the theory, benefits, and potential of aquaponics, the book goes on to explain:
System location considerations and hardware components
The living elements–fish, plants, bacteria, and worms
Putting it all together–starting and maintaining a healthy system
Shelfponics is a combination of vertical farming and hydroponics. The idea comes from the GardenPool project in Arizona, but Shelfponics does not need a warm climate. Trays and racks could be set-up anywhere inside where sunlight reaches.
So I was looking at an unused corner of the Garden Pool when I had an idea: vertical growing. It was a small area with about 78″ of vertical height, perfect for vertical growing. We generally used the corner to store unused buckets, aquariums, or small starter plants in soil.
The next task was to find a simple solution for vertical growing. What was found was a bookshelf that was used to store tools and miscellaneous GP stuff. I took down the bookshelf and installed a simple plywood shelf elsewhere to take its place. While examining the bookshelf I noticed that the shelves could be snapped-in upside down. This would make a perfect tray Ebb & Flow system. Over the next 9 months we would experiment with and perfect what we have coined shelfponics.
BOOK LAUNCH: Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A do-it-ourselves Guide by Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew (South End Press, 2008).
Join author Scott Kellogg in a discussion on urban ecological survival skills. Explore the cross-section of permaculture and social activism including the design of tools and techniques used to secure people’s access to life’s basic necessities: food, water security, shelter, waste management and energy production.
These systems are simple, affordable and are built from salvaged, waste and recycled materials.
Soil building and asphalt removal
Bioremediation (cleaning contaminated soils using plants, fungi and biological processes)
Aquaculture (ponds, plants, fish and algae)
Passive solar and bicycle windmills
Biogas and veggie oil biofuels
Natural construction methods (straw bale, clay woodchip)
Do-It-Yourself air purification
Scott Kellogg is a co-founder of the Rhizome Collective (Austin, Texas), and the director of its sustainability program. A teacher, activist, ecological designer and father, he divides his time between Texas, and the Albany Free School Community in Albany, New York. Scott is currently earning a Masters in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University.