Guest Author - Jacqueline Rosenbalm
The Aquaponic Gardening book is written by Sylvia Bernstein. She is currently the president and founder of the Aquaponic Source and writes the Aquaponic Gardening Blog. She writes about aquaponics for the Urban Garden and the Growing Edge which are online magazines.
To those of you who are new to aquaponics, itís the cultivation of fish and plants together in a recirculating system that utilizes natural bacterial cycles to convert fish waste to plant nutrients. It is an integrated ecosystem that depends on balance. Itís a gardening method that uses grow beds instead of soil, fish waste instead of fertilizers and plants instead of filters. The water is recycled continuously and is more efficient and productive than any agriculture method to date. It truly is the future of farming.
The present system of agriculture uses petroleum-based fertilizers, petroleumĖbased pesticides, herbicides and fungicides as well as massive amounts of petroleum to get the food out of the field, to storage and then again as itís trucked to processing plants and stores. As our fossil fuel supply dwindles this becomes a huge obstacle in food production. We need a better way to produce our food in the future.
There are many arguments for a better way to produce food among them are water pollution and deforestation caused by present day agriculture. Over fishing of the oceans are making fish prices soar as we push species of fish into extinction. There are already 2,048 species we have lost to over fishing.
Itís time to take responsibility for our own food supply and start producing our own food for our families. Drought and famines are becoming more common throughout the world today and the US is not exempt from its effects.
Aquaponics can change our future and provide food more effectively and efficiently. The Aquaponic Gardening book can show you how you can produce large amounts of organic produce in your own backyard.
This book covers the basics of aquaponics including ratios, system design, hardware and plumbing, growing media, plants and system maintenance. Most of the science included in this book comes from Dr. Wilson Lennard who runs the Aquaponics Solutions in Australia and Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics.
Balance is the most integral part of aquaponics, without balance there is chaos. There are rules that apply to aquaponics and if one adheres to these basic rules anyone can be successful. The book is presented and arranged in logical order for building a system. It gives complete information that can accommodate anyone from any economic background and make it possible to build a system with very little money.
The author gives examples of the different types of grow beds and which beds can be used to accommodate any space constrictions you have to deal with. This book is an excellent place to start if you are seriously considering installing an aquaponics system in your backyard.
Although the information in the book is excellent, it is somewhat biased against deep water culture or raft beds which I find puzzling. Raft beds are a good choice for growing greens and herbs, but are somewhat limited in what other plant varieties can be grown. They do offer advantages to the commercial grower like they are easier and less labor intensive to plant and harvest. Deep water culture has a definite place in any commercial venture although it may not appeal to the backyard grower it can be a cheaper alternative than an ebb and flow system in a large commercial scale operation.
I purchased Aquaponic Gardening with my own funds and reviewed this book without any compensation of any kind from any other party.
If you would like additional information on aquaponics and alternative gardening methods the Natural Living site will give you the information you are looking for. Check back with us often to read the newest articles about the subjects that interest you the most. If you have questions or comments we would love to hear from you!
Aquaponic Gardening : A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together.