blog Post The next frontier dell'acquaponica: urban agriculture is aquaponics




The next frontier dell'acquaponica: urban agriculture is aquaponics

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"Of methods beyond’ Acquaponica, there can be in the millions and even more, but the principles, those are just a few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring the principles, for sure you will have problems "

Traveling from Phoenix to Las Vegas for "Aquaculture America" ​​a couple of months ago I had a pleasant surprise. The newspaper on the flight had an article about a trendy restaurant that served fresh tilapia grown in the local. Although the word was not mentioned, the IBC tank pictures spoke for itself. They use the aquaponics.

Anecdotes like these are not uncommon and are becoming more common. Spurred on by the period following the Great Recession, the green and the one on the sustainability movement, It arose a need and a growing desire to sustainable local sources of healthy food. Because of this, urban agriculture is becoming mainstream, trendy. In altre parole, most of the people are recognizing as a viable means to achieve important results. A great example of this is in my hometown: Phoenix Arizona.

For Arizona law, every 10 years all cities must develop a new General Plan to be approved by residents. The General Plan is essentially the dream of what the residents want to be done in their cities. Civic design and area are the processes used to draw the dream, to which follows the development to make it real. In the past two years I have had the honor of being one of the people chosen by the mayor to write this document and ended up among the vice presidents and supporters of sustainability.

Believe it or not, Phoenix has a problem with food. Most of our food comes from hundreds if not thousands of kilometers away, creating potential big issues on sustainability and food security. According to local newspapers, we waste almost 40% of almost 2 billion pounds of food that we carry each year, costing the city millions of dollars for disposal. Compounding the situation, It must be said that Phoenix is ​​huge. IS 6 times more extensive in the city area of ​​Los Angeles with just 1/3 of its population. In this context, who does not own a car, especially lords, They have great difficulty in having healthy food. Imagine you wait half an hour for a bus when there are 40 degrees in summer and with distances that often exceed 2 km to reach the supermarket, a distance to go too high for most people..

To further complicate access to food, almost 18% the population of the metropolitan area of ​​Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale live in poverty […] So the increase in food prices is an important issue that has to do, as well as with the economy, with health and well-being and academic achievement of children. simply, if a child can not eat, can not study.

Red fishes

that said, the people and leadership of Phoenix are now reflecting. Based on the principles of sustainability, the new General Plan poses a direct focus on creating healthy food systems so that all residents have access to “healthy food, convenient, safe and sustainable”. This includes things such as reducing food waste, improved recycling, water conservation, the improvement of the transit (more buses and light rail lines), but also more food sources, including the 'urban agriculture. The plan was presented to voters in August 2015 and it is passed to 76% against the 24%. The city is starting the challenge of regulation, where the details will be worked out, but so far so good.

The interesting thing is that Phoenix is ​​not alone. Cities across the nation, from Tucson to Atlanta they are doing the same thing. They are creating circular economies where local food production is an important component. The question is: “the aquaponics is ready to join the party?”

As well as the production of solar energy that is located on the roof of the house is able to provide low-cost power such as to respond to the needs, the backyard aquaponics has the potential to provide food in a similar way. The market for this type of food is the family, competitors at cost / price level for the call it "solar panel of food" is not the traditional farmhouse, but the supermarket down the road. If the family can grow food in aquaponics with less money and headaches than the store, the aquaponics wins. This is especially important if small units aquaponiche, as well as the solar panels, demonstrate to produce an economically important percentage of a family's needs. […]



L 'aquaponics is an innovation and innovations evolve to solve problems. One of the biggest challenges for any technology to get to the massive success is to understand what the majority wants. Too often the needs of innovators and pioneers of a technology are quite different or just a fraction of the mass needs. […] in my opinion innovation it is poised to become mainstream when it is mature enough to handle the big issues. Things like electric cars and adequate space plane are important issues, but so they are sustainable urban agriculture, practical and healthy. Fortunately thanks to cities such as Phoenix and many others in the world, innovators acquaponici are giving starting orders on what to treat, and therefore do not have to guess. If local entrepreneurs can meet the expressed wishes of cities like Phoenix, technical and business model innovations will push the aquaponics towards the mainstream.

George Brooks, He has one Ph.D.. of Science in Wildlife and Fish University of Arizona in Tucson and has served the institution as the first Specialist Aquaculture. Principle is currently at the Consulting Group to NxT Horizon and teaches aquaponics at Mesa Community College. it Dr. Brooks will chair the next Aquaponics Association conference in Austin, Texas.


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