Growing food in an increasingly dry Western climate

Photo credit: SUNSET

Swiss chard roots (Image courtesy of Ouroboros Farms)

Can we grow crops using 90% less water?


High-end chefs love it.  Enthusiasts are calling it the future of agriculture.  Environmentalists tout it’ssustainability.  Aquaponics—the practice of using fish to fertilize crops grown in water—may provide a solution for growing food in an increasingly dry Western climate.

What is aquaponics?

While it might seem like something out of Interstellar, the practice of using fish to fertilize crops grown in water has been around for centuries. The materials have gotten far more high-tech, but the concept behind the system is largely unchanged.

Plants are cultivated in grow mats above water, while fish are farmed either below or in connected tanks. The fish are given organic feed and then leave nutrient-rich waste which becomes fertilizer for the plants. The plant roots, in turn, filter the water to keep a healthy living environment for the fish.

Read the full article: SUNSET


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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