Farm basicsGreen jobs

Recirculating Farms Can Create Green Jobs

On the radio, in written news, and during friendly conversations, – the main word on the street is “jobs”. Our unemployment rate continues to be a familiar and upsetting headline, though politicians have put job creation at the top of their agendas. Rather than wait for Washington DC to come up with a fix – why not consider a recirculating farm as part of your own solution? There are many reasons why starting a farm could be a great idea:

Recirculating farms use clean, continually recycled water in place of soil to grow food. There are various types of recirculating farms, including those that use hydroponics (growing plants in water), on-land aquaculture (growing fish in tanks) and aquaponics (growing plants and fish together in one system). Recirculating farms can grow a variety of fish, fruits, flowers, herbs, vegetables and more all in the same space.  Want to see these farms in action? Check out our photo gallery and video.

Well built recirculating farms can be very space efficient and a variety of sizes. A farmer could start by using a space as small as their garage, and scale up (or not) as appropriate. As an example, an article in wnewsj.com this week features a high school student who uses an aquaponic system to grow catfish and leafy greens together in one tank. Another example is Sahib Punjabi’s aquaponic farm behind a strip mall in Winter Park, Florida. Here he grows ornamental Koi and a wide range of fruits, vegetables and herbs to feed his family and neighbors. Recirculating farms can grow of a variety of products in a compact, or even otherwise unusable space. These farms are popping up all around the U.S.

Social responsibility is part of the Recirculating Farms Coalition philosophy. Recirculating farms can recycle 99% of the water put into the system, and operate without use of dangerous fertilizers or pesticides, because they mostly employ a closed loop system; it’s more difficult for contaminants to get in.  Also, many of these farms can rely on renewable energy – some run on solar or wind – and others have found innovative energy solutions, like partnering with other nearby facilities or using recycled products, such as restaurant fryer oil, to power heaters or generators.

Recirculating farms can be indoors or outdoors, dependent on climate.  So no matter where you live, if you want one – you can build your own recirculating farm.

Another reason to consider starting your own recirculating farm is that it can have an affordable start-up cost. Some personal aquaponic units can be purchased for under $1000. The price varies based on size, but you can start small, and then grow.

If you are one of the many people looking for eco-friendly work options, or maybe you know friends or family that might be interested in farming – why not look into starting a recirculating farm? Join us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to get connected; check out our list of classes and information that can help you, and then maybe try your hand at starting your own recirculating farm!

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