With increasing fuel costs, concerns about climate change and a demand for fresher food, the notion of eating local – trying to buy and eat food grown nearby – is gaining in popularity each day. And recirculating farms are helping to push this movement forward!
While many families, schools and restaurants are turning to farmers markets to find fresh local produce, many people are also starting to grow their own food. Some people have their own home recirculating farms – so why not build one yourself and have fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs AND seafood? (Check out our do-it-yourself or see our list of classes to help you).
A recirculating farm can be an outdoor or indoor system. Because they can vary in size, shape and content, a recirculating farm can be in your apartment, on a porch or terrace, in the backyard of your home – almost anywhere. You can’t get food that’s more local than from your own home farm!
Some recirculating farms are built on unwanted or otherwise unusable property. Sahib Punjabi is a recirculating farmer that has embraced this idea. His farm – Florida Aquaponic Produce – is behind a strip mall in Winter Park, Florida. It helps to feed his family, neighbors and even some of the local homeless.
Choosing locally grown food and starting your own recirculating farm (or buying food from one nearby) could be beneficial in many ways. Local food means it traveled less distance to get to your plate. This can translate to use of less fuel for shipping – lowering transportation costs (often passed on to consumers by raising prices) and carbon emissions – which pollute the environment and contribute to assorted long-term problems – like global warming. Also, less time being shipped means food can be fresher when it gets to you, increasing quality and shelf life.
Recirculating farms can also recycle up to 99% of water in the system, repurpose waste, and rely largely on renewable energy, like solar power. Their eco-friendly nature makes them a perfect fit with the core principles of the local food movement – a way to get fresh, healthy food that’s good for us and our planet.