Aquaponics

Terry talks aquaponics in this edition of Going Green.

Michael Amadori is working on a project that involves fish, leftovers and several heads of lettuce. No, he's not preparing a meal. Using aquaponics, Amadori is testing the use of food waste to grow fish and food. He's using the leftovers to feed the fish. The leftovers are dried and molded into pellets. The idea is to utilize food scraps that would normally go to waste.


"We're going to look at supplementing the commercial fish feed with the food waste pellets. I will perform an economic analysis on it and we're going to compare the cost of making the fish feed and looking at the growth rates of the fish between the two different types of feed,"Amadori said.


Cost analysis isn't the only thing going on here. Aquaponics is a process that combines aquaculture, like fish, with the cultivation of plants in water. It's an ideal way to 'farm' produce in urban areas where it isn't otherwise accessible.


"You're able to produce a large amount of fruits and vegetables and a protein source in a small amount of area. So it's closer to the customers, so were going to be closer to the restaurants, to the residents that live there. You can have a farm stand right out in front in the middle of an urban area. And especially in lower income neighborhoods where a lot of times they don't have access to fresh vegetables," said Amadori.


"You're taking the fish waste that's produced in the aquaculture component and constantly pumping it up to your hydroponic grow bed and using the fish waste as a fertilizer to grow lettuce and other plants. By doing so, the fish will clean the water and the water can go back into the aquaculture fish tank," Amadori said.

Amadori is using aquaponics to grow Boston lettuce. Other produce like tomatoes and cucumbers can also be cultivated

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