Nothing fishy about this grow-your-own system
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is pioneering another new food innovation.
After vertical farming comes aquaponics – a self-contained unit combining fish and vegetables that can be installed at home.
The compact design features a fish tank with a growing bed filled with clay pebbles on top. Curator of Plants and Gardens Kevin Frediani said: “Put simply, you feed the fish and you get vegetables – and fish!”
The aquaponics kit is being produced by HydroGarden Ltd. of Coventry. Stephen Fry, Senior Business Development Executive, said: “The FishPlant living food ecosystem combines aquaculture and hydroponics. You raise fish and grow plants in an enclosed system with beneficial microbes converting the fish waste to usable plant nutrients.”
BRAND NEW FORD B-MAX ZETEC 1.0 ECOBOOST FOR ONLY £7685*View details
DRIVE AWAY A BRAND NEW FORD B-MAX ZETEC FOR ONLY £7685.
1.0 100PS Manual
Electric Windows & Mirrors
Quickclear Heated Windscreen
15" Alloy Wheels
Bluetooth with Ford Sync
*Drive away from only £7685 and then pay nothing for 24 months!
Contact: 01626 240583
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
The FishPlant Family Unit can provide a small family with fresh salad and fish but will fit into a compact garden, greenhouse or conservatory.
The unit requires 300 litres of water and 86 kilos of clay pebbles. The partnership between the Zoo – a registered charity – and HydroGarden came about after Stephen heard about Paignton Zoo’s VertiCrop system.
Kevin: “As an environmental park we are keen to test new ideas that have the potential to help reduce pressure on habitats and species. I think this could be the way forward for families, schools and colleges to grow food for themselves.”
Aquaponics has ancient roots. The idea borrows from systems developed by the Aztecs and Imperial China thousands of years ago.
Stephen: “This is the first affordable family-sized aquaponics unit available in the UK. It has only come onto the market in the last year and is really still in the development stage. The amount you can produce depends on the variety of fish and crops, the stocking density, feeding regime and so on - but it is looking very promising.”
Paignton Zoo is selling the kit, which retails for around £500, in its shop. Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a registered charity. For more information go to www.paigntonzoo.org.uk or ring 0844 474 2222.