- January 27, 2013
Over the last few months , I have the fortune of operating a home-based aqua ponics system. This was a result of stumbling upon the technology on the internet, where many successful operators had been showcasing their systems.
From the initial interest it has been a long road of study, trial and error but finally after many months and a series non-functioning bell syphons later, I now have a fully funtional system that I am quite proud of.
I must be honest, that once the system was up and running, the operation labour is minimal and the results suprising. Every time somebody comes to my home they are quite amazed at the ability to grow abundantly, in December with no more input than filtered water and fish pellets.
Unfortunately this interest is trivial, as the admirers are simply interested in the results, not the initial set up, or waiting 12 - 16 week to grow vegetables to fruition.
Also this difficult set up and long term growth cycle conflicts with the key research fining of: The goal of this project must be to make synthetic growing environment fit in to the modern lifestyle better. This confliction has had me scratching my head since the operations begining.
Then one evening, I came home from the local grocer and was putting away the fresh vegetables I had just bought when I picked up a package of spring onions, with the root attached, when the big idea came to me: Why not place any vegetavbes that ship with the root attached, into the aquaponics system... After all why wouldn't it work?
So I decided to test the theory with two spring onions and two Italian basil stalks, with great success! Not only do the vegetables come back to life, but they all begin to grow again within 1 to 2 days. Furthermore some plants display growth rates up to 300% increase in volume within 2-3 weeks.
Also I should point out that since the initial experimant, I have had similar success with parsley, kale, thyme oregano, & boston lettuce, aspider plant and a rubber plant and plan to contue with other vegetation.
After trying this process a few times it dawned on me that perhaps the solution to increasing the adoption of agriculture in densley populated environments, isn't to have people grow their own food from seed, but instead, either finish the end of the growth cycle at home, or conitue the the life cycle of the plant when in the home. To do this would be to turn the current western method of vegetable consumption on it's head. To be more specific, rather than buying dead vegetation and attempt to preserve the decompostiotion via refrigeration and other technologies, why not keep the food alive as much as possibe in order to reduce waste from decoposition as the freshest possible foods.
So it would not be the case that the aquaponic system can't grow food froms seedlings, rather the project would be a refocusing of the growth process to 'eating live food'. This way the final project output can more easily embrace the current consumerist nature of food buying which comes back to the original intent of the research direction:The goal of this project must be to make synthetic growing environment fit in to the modern lifestyle better