Aquaponics as a component of Permaculture

A while ago I conducted a survey on this blog to determine what my readers wanted me to write about.  Predictably, Aquaponics (AP) won hands-down and I attract a regular 200-400 hits a day reading mainly my older AP articles.  This blog has attracted well over a 1/4 of a million hits since its inception and has readers from all corners of the globe, but I mention specifically the USA, Australia and the UK as my most ardent followers.

I am humbled and also slightly intimidated by the 60+ subscribers to this blog who keenly await my next submission, so before I begin this missive let me lay a brief foundation.

I started as a backyard AP fan and rose rapidly through the ranks and found myself eventually designing and physically building backyard as well as commercial AP systems.  I also wrote an eBook on the subject (still available on this site) which still ranks up there with the best available for newcomers to this subject.

What really worried me, however, was the sustainability of AP and where exactly it fitted into the bigger picture.  My research eventually took me into the concept of Survivalism and from there it was relatively easy to work out that AP was actually a key element of Permaculture.

Two factors reinforced this realisation. Firstly, although the income from consulting, designing and building AP systems was good, it wasn’t sufficient to match the income I could earn in my primary profession, which was IT systems design, consulting and programming.  Secondly, despite what was claimed on numerous AP sites, we still had a long way to go insofar as yields and particularly financial viability of AP.

This gave me pause for thought and what I eventually did was to join the “Dark Side”, take a well-paying programming job in a distant town (Paarl) and leave the Child Bride and Brat Deluxe to manage my AP system in my hometown of Knysna, South Africa.  The objective here was to consolidate (which we all need to do at some stage in our lives), accumulate some capital and plan our next step.

My ultimate objective in life is to design, plan, implement, build and eventually live out my last days in an Eco Village.  I dealt with this extensively in my series entitled, Newtopia and only now this whole concept all seems to be taking shape.  So please excuse me while I deviate somewhat from AP for the next month or two and plunge into the subject of Permaculture.

In my next posts I will deal extensively with Permaculture and why we as aspiring AP experts should be embracing the concept.  My next subject is sheet mulching and if you have ever been frustrated by the limitations of AP or the fact that you don’t have “green fingers” read carefully. 

I’d like to end this post by wishing my wife, the world famous Child Bride all the very best for her birthday.

My Wife, my Life, my sole reason for Living.

Cheers for now

Synaptoman

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3 Responses

  1. You are about 2 years ahead of me on everything! I eagerly wait for ‘what’s next’ on your blog! (and I’m already signed up to take a permaculture design course)

    I have a few things growing in my first AP setup, about to add fish this week.

    -Brian

  2. Hi,

    As a fan from the USA (Potsdam, NY), I’m beginning to think that warm water species AP isn’t going to be very sustainable for me given the energy inputs required during the cold months.

    I don’t think I could get a hot-pack manure pile large enough to provide heat energy through the winter, even w/o grow beds in the system. Solar heat doesn’t work very well in January and February, so I’d be forced to burn a fair bit of wood for heat.

    I trust having sufficient heat input is not a problem for you.. 😉

    You are not the only programmer/consultant staying on the ‘dark side’ while working towards a more resilient future. Over the past few years I have expanded from chickens on 3 acres to (currently) 2 cows on 100 acres, targeting aged raw milk cheese as a tangible sellable/barterable product down the road.

    (Assuming the NYS Ag and Markets or FDA don’t shutdown raw milk cheese any day now).

    I can’t, after all, eat a REST web service to a NOSQL backend.. 😉

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