[permaculture] Is This Aquaponics Then?

Steve Hart stevenlawrencehart at gmail.com
Mon Jun 8 18:46:41 EDT 2015

Thanks Toby for the retort and subtle sarcasm and discrimination. Which I
will attempt to refrain from sparring but hope to stimulate the debate
rather than the personality attacks. I mention that our planet earth has no
nature left anymore even though we are part of it. A complex debate in
itself. What I assert is that the planet has landscapes totally managed or
mismanaged by species man. We have spread our pollution to all corners.
There is enough evidence on that from any nature/conservation channel you
would like to watch or any research project you would like to wade through.

My argument is as stated very early in this debate "The Bruce Effect" to
coin Mollison, "The further you move away from nature the further you move
away from nature"

We are all or should be aware that when we rely on artificial foods we
suffer. When we consume more natural foods the better we will be.  So if
that can be realised and taken on board then why dont we not move further
to the natural end of the continuum. As Permaculture invites us to. Through
the research, experimentation, the work and the associations I have been
involved with I have found  this to be true.

So evolving H&A systems we are attempting to imitate natural systems, but
they will always be imitations. They will never replace the natural

What is nature Toby ? you know this as well as I do. I do not think it is a
fine line or a line that is confused or muddled it is very clear and

Perhaps this ongoing debate is getting a little irritating for some. I
guess you all have the delete button. Feel free to use it. However I feel
such debate is very valuable for all of us to learn from all the view
points expressed. For we all have much to learn, continuously, myself
included of course...Steve Hart

On 9 June 2015 at 03:06, Toby Hemenway <toby at patternliteracy.com> wrote:

> > On Jun 7, 2015, at 3:28 PM, Steve Hart <stevenlawrencehart at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > We know that composts of all nature of
> > recipes assist in stimulating natures dynamics and it is in my opinion
> that
> > this is where we need to travel in designing and building better
> solutions.
> Aquaponics involves microbe-driven nutrient conversion of manures to live
> fertilizers very similar to those that go on in soil. Why isn’t that
> natural? Because it’s in water? Soil fertility is in water too (nutrients
> are water suspended or dissolved, else the roots couldn’t take them up).
> Steve, could you describe what you mean by “natural?” It’s a slippery word
> that means very different things to different people.
> As I’ve said before, nuclear fission is natural, arsenic is natural,
> botulism is natural, polio is natural. Those are not healthy to have near
> human systems. Burning of some landscapes by indigenous people is
> artificial, yet extremely healthy for biodiversity and human welfare. The
> natural/artificial distinction is not a valid criterion to judge
> appropriateness of a system.  Natural does not equal healthy, artificial
> does not equal unhealthy. Any permaculturist should know that our criteria
> are function and ecosystem health, not some slippery and arbitrary set of
> boxes created by subjective prejudice as to whether something is
> “artificial”  or not. We’ve gone round this one several times, and you keep
> returning to “aquaponics produces artificial food” as the basis for your
> argument. Can you cite evidence for your claim that aquaponic food is no
> healthier than soda pop?
> This is why I don’t think you know what aquaponics is (and posting the
> link to wikipedia doesn’t persuade me).
> Organic farms grow plants in water-suspended fertilizers that are produced
> by a mix of microbes that convert manures, and the plant roots are held in
> a mineral matrix.
> Aquaponics grows plants in water-suspended fertilizers that are produced
> by a mix of microbes that convert manures, and the plant roots are held in
> a mineral matrix.
> The principal difference is that the manure conversion in soil is done in
> much drier conditions (compost) rather than in a liquid microbial slurry.
> But the biochemistry—the microbial population—is very similar (more
> bacteria and protozoa in aquaponic systems, fewer fungi)
> We need to be looking at the effects of these process on human and
> ecological health, not making a “this isn’t natural therefore it’s bad”
> arbitrary judgement based on whether we like the technology or processes
> involved, or whether we things there is some esoteric life force present or
> not.
> Toby
> http://patternliteracy.com
> Coming in July: my new book on urban permaculture, The Permaculture City.
> Pre-order it at on-line booksellers or at
> http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_permaculture_city/
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Kia ora

[image: Picture]
*Steve Hart*
*Ecology Architect*
*Designer, Teacher, Builder of Ecologically Sustainable Resilient
Environments, through Urban Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture
and Systems Ecology.​*
Skype: tipenemanawa
Phone: +64 220 75 62 11

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