Urban Catch is an urban aquaponics social enterprise, focusing on sustainable agriculture education and aquaponics system building. If you’re new to the idea of aquaponics, feast your eyes on the Q&A section below!
What is aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (fish farming) with hydroponics (growing produce in water instead of soil). In its simplest form, an aquaponics system has three main elements: the fish, the bacteria, and the plants. The fish produce, well, poo…the bacteria convert the poo from poo to nutrients, and the plants absorb the nutrients from the water, cleaning it in the process. This means happy fish in clean water, and happy plants with natural fertiliser.
Here’s a short video that explains aquaponics, courtesy of Aquaponics Australia:
OK, so why aquaponics?
Glad you asked. Aquaponics is a really exciting alternative to mainstream food production for several reasons:
1. Water-efficient: Aquaponics uses about 90% less water than most commercial forms of agriculture. Because the water is cycled from plants to fishtank and back again, the only water lost is through evaporation.
2. No chemicals: Because the same water used by the plants is also used by the fish, aquaponics can’t use pesticides. And, because the plants get their nutrients from the water, there’s no need to use artificial fertilisers and risk unbalancing the nitrogen cycle. This means natural, wholesome food without chemicals used in most commercial forms of farming.
3. Integrated: Aquaponics is perfect for urban agriculture endeavours, as it requires less space than soil agriculture. It can be combined with vertical growing to produce a large amount of food in small spaces: roof-tops, office buildings, and homes!
So what’s my plan?
I want to build aquaponics systems into the urban environment to raise awareness about food production issues, contribute an alternative to the current commercial agriculture options, and promote food security. Now is the time to relearn how to grow our own food, and aquaponics is an exciting, engaging, and promising way to do so!
At the moment, Urban Catch is just getting started – forming links with other urban agriculture and community organisations and making connections with other aquaponics projects. But in the coming months, we hope to establish our own base and open for education and produce sales. In the mean time, we’ll be keeping you up to date with our various aquaponics experiences and sharing any interesting resources/news that we come across. Welcome to Urban Catch!