Yes, you could have your very own organic backyard veggie and fish farm at home. A veggie fish farm is built on an aquaponic system that you could use to grow vegetables and raise fish at the same time in the same space.
The thing I like about fish is that it’s a delicious and healthy food, all at the same time. It’s one of those rare things that taste good and is also actually good for you. You know how hard it is to find a food like that right? Just think about it. Skimmed milk doesn’t taste that good, you cannot eat too much sugar or too much red meat, without gaining weight or having health issues, but fish is different.
It gets even better. You could easily raise fish at home with an integrated aquaponic system, and eat fresh fish whenever you want at home. It’s just like growing plants in your backyard or indoors. Using aquaponic system has many advantages. For one, you are getting two types of crops at the same time, and the other advantage is being able to use waste from one system to feed the next.
A simple aquaponic system
For a simple aquaponic system, you would need a container for your fish. It could be a fish tank, aquarium, a barrel, a tub or anything that can hold water safely. You will also need some trays to grow your plants in a soil less system, some tubing and pumps to get a flow of water, and some initial inputs, such as juvenile fish, starter plants, and some food for your fish, to start your system.
Consider how much fish you want to produce in your system, because the size of your farm and aquaponic system will depend on your goals. If you find it profitable, you could even expand and buy more property to start a full size farm.
But there are people who do it just to grow some additional food or as a hobby, so if you are going to try it for the first time, just start with a small system to gain experience with it.
Building a barrel based aquaponic fish veggie garden
The idea of the aquaponic farming system is to keep fish in a container and circulate the water throughout the system. A tubing system is used so that the plants can draw nutrients from it, and then completing the circulation. This way, the waste from the tank can be used as input for the plants, and water is filtered by plants. Your plants would sit on top of the fish barrels, in little cups. Water containing nutrients flows through their roots for certain amounts of time depending on the plant and stage of growth.
You will need two 50 gallon drums. You could fill the bottom of the barrel with some gravel if you would like, and fill it up with water. And then add some juvenile fish. (Details about building this system are given here: How You can Build an Integrated Aquaponic System | WorldWide Aquaculture).
The reason it’s so important to start raising fish and veggies yourself is that this is the best way we can get the freshest, organically grown fish and veggies at home. And since the weather is getting warmer, it makes it a lot easier to work in outdoor gardens.
Turn this system into your mini-farm
Once you get your integrated system going, you will be able to determine at what scale you would be able to turn your project into a profitable business. The idea of urban farming for profit is catching on. There are more families today getting involved in urban farming than ever before.
A family in Southern California has made headlines recently by running a home based farm right in the middle of the city. They have many types of animals like sheep, goats, ducks and chicken, and grow a number of vegetables and fruits in their backyard garden for profit.
Once you integrate your fish farm with your backyard garden, you could be looking at a mini-farm that grows a wide variety of food. You could not only support yourself, but make a little bit of extra money for you and your family.
Growing your own food is more important than you think; just think…you could produce more food for your community, ensure organically grown fresh food for you and your family and also make some extra cash. It would also help the environment and help relieve pressure on wild fisheries.
Aquaponic systems need very little input once you get your system going. It has very little waste and limited environmental impacts, when done organically. It can be done at any scale, can be used for residential or commercial purposes, and it’s becoming a very profitable industry for the future.