Aquaponics: The Answer to Sustainable Farming

Written by on June 3, 2009 in Featured, Green, Tech - 26 Comments

aquaponics

The practice of Aquaponic farming is not a new technology, it dates back to the Aztecs, but recently it has has been re-discovered. Aquaponic farming combines the techniques of Aquaculture (fish farming) and Hydroponics (plants grown in water) to create the most sustainable food production system on earth. The system works by using a type of fresh water fish (usually Tilapia or Trout) that multiply in a water tank, then plants are grown on the water’s surface. The relationship works perfectly between the fish and the plants. The fish produce waste in the water, and through natural bacterial processes, fertilize the plants, which in turn clean the water for the fish. The process is completely organic and sustainable for both parties. And the best part is that this system can be used on a small scale in your backyard, or for commercial production on large farms.

Future Farm Food and Fuel (FFF&F) in Baldwin Wisconsin, a sister company of Baldwin Dairy, is revolutionizing the farming industry. They are, as their name suggests, ahead of their time, yet are utilizing technology that was developed thousands of years ago.  The 100 year old family owned farm’s motto is ‘green and growing’ and that is exactly what they mean. The farm is building a 27,000 sq ft. Aquaponic system (which will be the largest in North America) for growing Tilapia and lettuce along with various herbs. The greenhouse will produce 500,000 heads of lettuce and 30,000 pounds of Tilapia, both crops being organic and carbon neutral.

cows

But what also makes this farm revolutionary is its integrated use of the farm’s 1,100 dairy cows. FFF&F recently installed a manure processing system that manages the methane created by the cows. That methane is used as fuel to heat the greenhouse and future Aquaponic fish tanks. The farm also has a new 600 gallon algae tank for producing biofuel to fuel the farm’s machinery.

By using the most sustainable farming techniques known, with some modern renewable technology, Future Farm Food and Fuel is raising the bar for farming. While reducing their carbon footprint and creating food and fuel for future generations.

Future Farm Food and Fuel

Future Farm Food and Fuel, LLC uses the waste streams of farms and other operations in order to create food, fuel, revenue, and to reduce our impact on the environment.

  • Organization Type: Profit
  • Website: afuturefarm.com
  • Founded: 2007
  • Location:Baldwin, WI


Source: afuturefarm.com

Justine

Justine is passionate about curing social injustice and global environmental issues. She has traveled extensively in Central America and the Caribbean, and is especially interested in the emergence of the Ecotourism industry.

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  • http://www.deskaway.com Priyanka D

    intersting idea.

  • peterkelly

    Hello, thanks for the fantastic info, I am after a little advice really, I am building a backyard aquaponic system, I was thinking of growing tilapia fish and a vegetable crop of lettice or tomato or something similar, could you kindly tell me if I could just as easily produce fish and Algae as the vegetable? much thanks in advance

  • peterkelly

    Hello, thanks for the fantastic info, I am after a little advice really, I am building a backyard aquaponic system, I was thinking of growing tilapia fish and a vegetable crop of lettice or tomato or something similar, could you kindly tell me if I could just as easily produce fish and Algae as the vegetable? much thanks in advance

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  • http://www.injuriesboardadvice.com/injury-board/ Injury Board 

    Interesting idea! but hope it is safe and there are no chances of having any farm accidents.

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  • Patti_131

    Work in a green house where the Tilapia and Tropical fish are raised. Want to learn more on aquaponics. I beleive we have the perfect set up for this…

  • http://towlestainlessflatware.net Support

    Wow Nice idea

  • http://towlestainlessflatware.net/sterling-silver-flatware-values/ sterling

    I like this idea, Wonderful.

  • http://keltsui07.cbpirateblog.com/ Kelvintsui11

    Great Idea, I have bought some books on Aquaponics recently, and will implement one after finished reading. Here attached the ebooks for your reference :
    Aquaponics4you http://e557fen60o98es315oge38yzyy.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=CBPBLOGJAN2011
    Shrimp Farming http://c28975rf4i3da5ap5hsg3bexaq.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=CBPBLOGJAN2011

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  • Thlundgren

    Huh? On any farm there can be accidents…

  • Mark

    I want to setup a small aquaponics farm at my house with my fishtanks. I wonder if if i can use my salt water coral reef tank?

  • Anonymous

    Well, this one is really mind blowing post about Aquaponics. And I am really highly impressed by the existing content and features of this post. And Aquaponics is really looking one of the promising way of sustainable farming. I am also one of the big follower of the this type of gardening. Thanks for sharing some best information about it. This one is really magnificent.

  • Beena Mahalwal

    Thanx for this info. I am a MBA and i want to opt aquaponics as a business @ large scale. Can you plzzz tell me the how much funds would be reqrd for this (plzz in INR).

    Rgds Beena.

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  • Johnsmith2279

    Most plants don’t grow in high salinity….at least not many that you would eat

  • Energyandorganics

    There are aquaponic worshops held all over the country, many as an introduction to aquaponics…..

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  • Ryan Rosemond

    My name is Ryan Rosemond, I’m earning my teaching license in middle school science and am compiling supporting image sources for a curriculum on sustainable agriculture. I wanted to include the image included in your article/web-journal/website and would like to ask for your permission to use it in a presentation. Thank you for your time.