Aquaponics is an old system with a new name. The ages old system of growing fish and plants together for their mutual benefit was first documented among the ancient Egyptians who used it to grow crops in that arid land. Using 90 percent less water than other farming methods made it a natural for the environment along the Nile River. Cape Fear Hydrogardens in South Carolina is one user of this ancient farming method that proclaims the virtues of aquaponics.
One day, gardener Robert Mainville saw a show about hydroponics on PBS, and it fascinated him. Soon he had set up a hydroponic garden in his own yard — forsaking his old soil plots — and within months was harvesting tomatoes, cabbage, kale, and turnips.
A Vertical Hydroponic System From EzGro Garden
“It works fantastically,” Mainville, the owner of Cape Fear Hydrogardens in Wilmington, N.C., told TechNewsWorld. “The production you can get is amazing. All winter long I eat from my garden.”
The Benefits of Water
Mainville, who also installs hydrogardens for others, has a vertical hydroponic system designed by EzGro Garden, with room for more than 600 plants in a 20-by-40-foot area — far more plants than a traditional garden could support. The plants grow above ground in pots filled with a watery growing medium, and they’re fed regularly with fertilizer.
Hydroponics has many benefits for gardeners, including a high yield, small space requirements, few weeds, and less water usage.
“My wife calls it the Mainville produce aisle,” he said. “You can’t do that with a regular garden.”
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The “farming method of the future”, as it has been tagged, is able to produce nearly twice as much as other farming operations because of the immersion of the roots of the plants directly into a nutrient rich bath of water. These nutrients are from fish waste that are a byproduct of the other half of the equation of raising fish in the same water.