In our previous blog post, we discussed how building recirculating farms can create green jobs. If we didn’t give you enough reasons for why recirculating farms are a good idea there – here is one more notable one – many long-time traditional farmers are getting on board with this alternate style of farming.
More and more, traditional farmers are joining our Coalition and farming network, combining soil-based agriculture with recirculating farming methods. The versatile design of recirculating farms makes them space, energy and water efficient. They serve as a great alternative to soil-based farming, in places where land is limited, soil is contaminated, or water is scarce. And you can combine both techniques for a unique and resilient farm.
Many growers are starting to incorporate recirculating farming methods into their traditional farms, because of their many benefits. Recirculating farms can grow food in small spaces, reuse up to 99% of water, and are often closed – loop. These characteristics result in an eco-friendly farm that provides fresh, local food, and can do so without using harmful pesticides, antibiotics or other drugs and chemicals.
Aquaponic farming is especially efficient because fish and plants grow in the same space, forming a mutually beneficial relationship. This allows for better use of resources: plants “filter” the water by absorbing necessary nutrients created by the fish, and the “cleaned” water is recycled back to the fish tanks for reuse. See recirculating farms at work here!
On our Facebook page, one of our fans, Boudhira Abdellah, is a Morrocan former soil-based grower turned recirculating farmer. Boudhira’s grandfather owned 16 acres of land and taught him traditional farming methods for many years. After his grandfather passed, and the land was divided among relatives, Boudhira received four acres. To continue his grandfather’s work in growing food, he turned to recirculating farming.
Similarly, one of our Board members, Susan Bedwell is a 4th generation farmer. About six years ago, she swapped her soil for water and opened Premier Organic – an aquaponic farm. She is now building a new aquaponic farm in Texas.
At Growing Power in Milwaukee, WI, Will Allen and his farmers combine aquaponics with traditional soil growing methods and incorporate vermiculture and composting – using worms to help make rich soil.
The Recirculating Farms Coalition works with farmers, organizations and farms, soil and water-based, in cooperation with others to promote growing local, fresh food in diverse communities nationwide.