Previously we shared the big benefits of permaculture principles and organic regenerative agriculture. Today we dive into the amazing benefits of aquaponics a part of permauclture principles in order to grow a wide spectrum of foods in water rather than soil. Many farming and fishing methods are causing serious destruction to our environment which offers strong incentive and motivation for finding more sustainable solutions. As a follow up to our organic regenerative agriculture post it seemed appropriate to write about aquaponics to help educate and inspire more people to adopt this food growing system to feed us while also protecting our environment. As a long term environmentalist and enthusiastic eco developer, designing an eco friendly and green community based on renewable resources and sustainable system has become a big part of my obsessive compulsive passion project. It is imperative to research various materials, methods, mindsets and models to find those that will best serve our project. We are determined to create an appealing, eco friendly, financially solid and super sustainable Belize Eco Village on 149+ acres of land in Belize and aquaponics will play a important role in our success.
What is aquaponics? “Aquaponics” refers to an ingenious and integrated method for growing a variety of fish and plants for food in a symbiotic support system. Some big benefits include: growing more food in less space, growing nutrient dense organic foods, maintaining biodiversity, reducing food waste, replicating a healthy and holistic natural method, producing clean organic foods and using less water to grow more food than in soil. These happen largely because of higher yields in less space, improved energy efficiency, improving water retention and usage, local consumption with local production and symbiotic food production year round. As mentioned in previous blogs we are losing vast amounts of biodiversity at an alarming rate in addition to losing terrain, trees and topsoil. This is leading to a catastrophic crisis in our technology driven toxic world. We desperately need improved methods to produce even more locally sourced food and renewable resources for humans. Most commercial food production is damaging and destructive whereas a amazing aquaponics system can be a regenerative and renewable resource. Aquaponics could replace many destructive methods with a more progressive permanent practice. Our ecosystems and environment are being destroyed by clearing rainforests, cattle feedlots, GMO crops, herbicides and pesticides and trawling for sea foods. We also waste a lot of fossil fuels, money and time for food distribution, storage, transit and waste whereas permaculture and aquaponics could help prevent much of this inefficiency.
My research for the Belize Eco Village leads me to great ideas, insights and inspiration for food independence and self sufficiency while reversing damage and destruction of our environment. Finding great resources and role models to improve our community attracts my full attention. Our goal for the greater good is to find brilliant ideas to design, build and live using more effective, efficient and ecologically sound strategies and systems. My recent meeting with Chris at Deep South Farm in southern Belize introduced me to a great method and role model with innovative approaches for: agroforestry, animal husbandry, aquaponics, food production, healthy lifestyle, low till farming, pasture cropping, rotational grazing and soil building. He has a permaculture process that is proven and profitable to produce a wide variety of organic foods with minimal damage to the environment. When it comes to permaculture principles he walks the talk.
Their aquaponics operation impressed, influenced and inspired me to utilize some of their sustainable systems in our project. They have 16 ponds so fish are continually growing in stages. They only harvest fish when they have an order placed so they avoid long term storage and waste. The fish are cleaned and frozen then delivered in batches. They can also clean out a pond and use the water on their gardens which provides local food for the other animals. The fish ponds produce more income per acre than destructive farming and also reduces fishing pressure on river and salt water species in the area. They batch their delivery of fish and other foods directly to the hotel and restaurant end users reducing transportation and storage costs. Their successful system supports our values and visions for creating a successful and sustainable community with organic foods. By wisely investing our energy, money and time up front designing for habitat preservation with permaculture principles, regenerative agriculture and aquaponics will benefit and reward us with massive dividends for our community members and future generations.
As more eco minded and passionate people put their heads together it becomes self evident that one of the most environmentally friendly and financially feasible long term solutions to feed families is to use local aquaponics systems. A key permaculture principle is to stop harming the land and start improving it. Aquaponic techniques and technologies are used to easily grow large quantities of edible foods, fruits, herbs and vegetables in small amounts of water that also provides fish and other aquatic foods. The fish waste provides the nutrients for the plants and the plants help the fish by providing nutrition, oxygen and removing waste products. The fish create nutrient filled water that produces high quality nutrient dense organic whole foods. Indigenous people have been effectively using aquaponics for centuries. Other examples include farmers in Asia growing fish and in the US growing crayfish in rice fields.
Creating a dynamic, healthy and holistic blend of aquaponics and hydroponic farming based on permaculture principles will lead to productive and profitable communities, economies and farms. You can learn more great information about aquaponics systems free from Murray Hallam. He also teaches an aquaponics design course for those ready to learn and implement this innovative self contained food production system.
Aquaponic Code of Conduct
Aquaponics offers a creative blend of: beauty, energy conservation, farming, fish, food, herbs, medicine, organic nutrient dense whole foods, plants and water conservation. This will lead to increased income and yields with less effort because of better efficiency, diverse crop productivity, enhanced food production, healthier food and lifestyle, improved nutrition, less destructive practices, less fossil fuel use and increasing productivity over time. The ideas, intentions and inspiration of permaculture principles and aquaponics will be listed in our guidelines and home owners manual for safety, self sufficiency and sustainability. It supports our decision to avoid spraying toxic chemical compounds like fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides on our property. Those chemical compounds are toxic to people, plants and planet. It is obvious the long and short tern consequences are too risky to all babies, bats, bees, birds, butterflies and beautiful beings living in our community to allow the use of toxic products. We will maintain very high standards for living in a chemical and toxin free environment to protect the air, food, homes, soil and water. Our community Declaration of Protective and Restrictive Covenants and Design Standards will outline our best practices for Aquaponics, permaculture principles and regenerative agriculture.
Healthy Habits & Habitats
In 2017 Morningstar NEWS will continue our 50% focus on Healthy Habits and 50% on Healthy Habitats and Sustainability Strategies. As we design our new Belize Eco Village we will research and role model proven permaculture projects. Our vision is to attract a wide variety of eco-conscious and passionate people to help design, build and live in our eco friendly, healthy and sustainable community. Imagine the advantages of aquaponics helping us eat, live, retire, visit and work while enjoying an even more happy, healthy and holistic lifestyle. We will focus on those ideas, insights and inspiration as we provide more progress pictures and vivid videos. Stay tuned for progress posts with steps, strategies, suggestions and systems to develop the 149 acres of pristine Caribbean pine ridge and broadleaf forest.
Where is Your Gap?
What behaviors, beliefs and decisions regarding your habits and habitats are harming your happiness, health and home? What will it take for you to protect your family and self from the damage, degradation and destruction occurring right now? What destructive food production practice are you willing to stop being a part of the problem and start being a part of the solution instead? Could aquaponics help feed your family better food for less money?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
It is well documented that our daily habits and habitats greatly impact our happiness and health. There is a wealth of wisdom regarding a wide variety of healthy habitats to start and health hazards to stop. What are you willing to do differently to protect your self and Mother Nature with better choices? Creating a healthy habits and habitat code of conduct and mastery action plan will enhance our quality of life for everyone now and in the future. We cannot sustain our happiness and health with continued destruction of our planet for factory farms and feedlots to feed more people. Are you ready to be the change that you wish to see in the world and learn some amazing aquaponics applications for powerful positive progress?
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding healthy habits and habitats? Are you ready to learn more and join our terrific team?
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Chickens, Ducks, Geese and Guinea In Belize