Above is one half of an aquaponics system deployed at a farmer’s home. VEGGI Farmers Cooperative uses aquaponics to grow vegetables in a recirculating system. Aquaponics consists of aquaculture and hydroponics, combining the two techniques to form a synergistic system that conserves water, allows for cleaner harvests, eliminates the threat of soil contamination, increases nutrient intake in plants, and speeds up the growth of those plants and vegetables.
In an aquaponics system, water from a fish ecosystem, which becomes enriched with nitrates, flows through troughs that have vegetables and plants that are placed on floating foam rafts. The roots of these vegetables come in contact with the water from the fish tanks and they soak up the nitrate enriched water, which lead to faster growth. This water is then recirculated back into the fish tanks and the process starts all over again.