Dr. Pat Duncan, director of the Georgia Center for Aquaculture Development, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA, will explain aquaculture.
Safe local food movements are no longer a passing fad as consumers avoid the dangers and fears associated with processed industrialized food. Any number of associated causes drives concerns about GMO plants, pesticides, and other chemicals. With many options and systems designs available for cost effective ways of safe food production, one system with unique opportunities is aquaponics.
As with most food production systems, there are twists and turns on systems and designs to approach the development and management of an aquaponics system. Ranging from small do-it-yourself systems to elaborate automated commercial designs, each of these systems requires certain management principles and system components for success. Water management, fish feed, filtration, temperature, and adequate aeration are some of the topics to explore as well as sir-lift pumps and bell siphons, more creative components. Fish are the protein production component of an aquaponics system, and vegetable production in floating rafts or grow beds are an option.
One fascinating means of complimenting a homestead is with growing aquatic plants. Duckweed and azolla are two easily grown plants that have dry matter protein content of around thirty-five percent. These are great feed compliment sources for chickens and ducks at a fraction of the cost of store-bought poultry feed.
Aquaponics systems can be designed around simple basic principles or developed into complex automated systems. A system can be a grand addition to the small farm homestead or developed into a commercial operation. We look forward to sharing ideas, techniques, and experiences to enable your successful journey into aquaponics.
Come hear Dr. Pat Duncan at South Georgia Growing Local 2015, January 24th 2015, Pine Grove Middle School, near Valdosta, in Lowndes County Georgia.