[permaculture] Is This Aquaponics Then?

Lawrence London lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Sun Jun 7 10:37:22 EDT 2015

On Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 10:18 AM, christopher nesbitt <
christopher.nesbitt at mmrfbz.org> wrote:

there is a place for aquaponics in a field as broad as permaculture.

My friend Mike sent me this today to x-post here:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael Elvin <marimike6 at yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, Jun 7, 2015 at 8:37 AM
Subject: aquaponics & hydroponics

I think 'Steve' is mistaken in his take on aquaponics and hydroponics.

Permaculture addresses the best ways of encouraging the world's bounty to
be maximally productive. That is, to devise systems where the various
energies combine so that all the elements sustain each other-- that is, so
that the inputs of one organism match the outputs of another. That's the
way I look at it-- and that's the way I think it works best. What it
describes is a community of living organisms, co-existing in a state of
mutual benefit. Such a state stimulates biodiversity.

So what's wrong with hydroponics? Here you have a prime medium in which to
grow various foods: sunlight, water and space to grow all coexist. The only
task is to figure out what nutrients are also required by your target crop.

It would seem an ideal approach to producing masses, for example, of
chlorella, spirulina and other nutritious blue-green algae species. These
in turn could serve as vital foods for humans and farm animals alike. They
test higher in basic nutrient content than most other foods known to us.
The only limit lies in developing methods to grow these substances in
massive quantity-- heretofore they have only been marketed as food
supplements, available only in tiny, expensive packets. You'd want to try
to bring the price down to two to three bucks a pound. It's a problem in
search of better solutions.

Spirulina is 65-71 percent complete protein compared to beef, which is only
22 percent, and lentils, which is only 26 percent.

Spirulina: The Amazing Super Food You've Never Heard of
Spirulina is a blue-green freshwater algae that is rich in protein and can
help boost your immune system and regulate cholesterol and blood pressure
View on articles.mercola.com

IMHO, a hydroponic system producing quantities of spirulina or chlorella
would be a natural base for, say, shrimp or fish ponds.  So you would have
a hydroponic system supporting an aquacultural system. The water-borne
wastes produced in the fish ponds could be filtered out by a solar-powered
pump. The solids could be mucked up from the floor by a hand-powered
rotating boom, easy to design if your pond was round and had a concrete
floor. (Mucking out standard poly-sheeted bottoms by hand is among life's
most tedious chores.) These solids, a nuisance in the fishpond and a
reservoir of pathogens, become gold when applied to vegetable patches.

What I'm describing is a newer iteration of the chinampa system, developed
by Middle Americans several thousand years ago. They began with fish ponds,
then mucked out the bottoms and threw the muck up on the banks, creating a
patch to grow veggies. After a few years you have a mature system,
producing profuse quantities of fish, shrimp and vegetables, and maintained
by just shoveling out the muck.

Sounds very permacultural to me. You have my permission to pass this
concept on to any who might use it.

Lawrence F. London
lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Ello: @ecoponderosa <https://ello.co/ecoponderosa>

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