Abe of VelaCreations.com sent us this tip about a super-efficient growing system. You might remember that we profiled his new sustainable gardening/homesteading book a few months back.
Abe: This is a low cost, low energy approach to aquaponics, some really interesting stuff here: Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System
I’ve talked with the guy that invented and then conducted numerous studies on this approach through the 80’s and 90’s. They really know their stuff.
It’s using sand beds for filtration, which eliminates a lot of issues with aquaponics, like nutrient deficiencies and high energy costs. They develop a healthy microorganism population in the sand which builds a nutrient cycle and micro ecosystem that is highly productive and very efficient on water.
This is one of the most efficient food production systems around. The fish are just the nutrients for the micro organisms and plants. The real savings here are on water and space, but water is a big one, with this system being several orders of magnitude more efficient than typical farming.
Forest Gardens are great for perennial setups and low maintenance, but for intensive food production in a small space (this can produce 1.5 tons of vegetables a year from a car parking space) with limited resources (or soil), this system is a clear winner.