©2018 by Urban Ark Conservation.

AQUAPONICS

GREENHOUSE

PERMACULTURE

LANDSCAPE

OUR TAKE ON SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

In simplest terms, sustainable agriculture is the production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare.

AQUAPONICS

Farming Technique

  1. Aquaponics grows six times more per square foot than traditional farming.

  2. Aquaponics uses 90% less water than traditional farming.

  3. With an aquaponics system, we can grow any time of year, in any weather, anywhere on the planet.

  4. Because aquaponics recycles the water in the system, we can grow in droughts and areas with little water.

  5. Less pests to deal with since we are growing indoors.

  6. There’s no weeding!

  7. Plants Grows Twice As Fast! Due to the naturally fortified water from the fish.

  8. For the commercial farmer, aquaponics produces two streams of income, fish and veggies, rather than just one.

  9. Our aquaponics farm does NOT require farmland with fertile soil, or even land with soil; aquaponics can be done just as  successfully on sand, gravel, or rocky surfaces, which could never be used as conventional farmland. Which allows the farmlands to be reclaimed as natural habitat inviting native species back to the land.

 

Environmental

  1. Water Conservation: Aquaponics uses 90% less water than traditional farming. Water and nutrients are recycled in a closed-loop fashion which conserves water.

  2. Aquaponics Protects Our Rivers & Lakes:  No harmful fertilizer run off into the water shed. In efforts to maintain nutrient rich soil, farms have to use a lot of fertilizers, those excess fertilizers eventually make it the rivers, where there are countless harmful side effects.

  3. Gas Conservation:  “Food Miles” are greatly reduced. Our produce only travels less than five miles from farm to consumer. Only serving the local community reduces harmful gas emissions.

  4. Energy Conservation: Even with grow lights, we use  less energy than conventional commercial farming! All energy used in aquaponics is electrical, so alternate energy systems such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric can be used to power our farm.

  5. Land Conservation: Our system grows six times more per square foot than traditional farming.

  6. Aquaponics can be done indoors, in buildings, which are structures that already exist, saving money, energy and other valuable resources.

 

Health & Nutrition

  1. Our fertilizer is from cold blooded fish which do not carry the E. coli or Salmonella, unlike fertilizers from warm blooded animals.

  2. Fish are the fastest converter of plant protein to animal protein.

  3. Fish have no growth hormones, no mercury, no antibiotics, No P.C.B.s.

  4. Our Plants have no antibiotics.

  5. Produce tastes better than that purchased at the grocery store (because it is not shipped and stored for extended periods of time).

 
PERMACULTURE
 

Permaculture gardens use techniques and practices that combine the best of wildlife gardening, edible landscaping, and native-plant cultivation into one low-maintenance, self-contained and productive ecosystem. Let’s learn more about the essence of permaculture gardening. Permaculture gardens are self-sustaining. Some of the gardening and recycling methods that are common to permaculture include:

Edible gardening & companion planting – Edible gardening practices are commonplace. Vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, small fruit-bearing trees, and companion plantings are commonly grown together. The closest plants are those that get used on a regular basis or those requiring higher maintenance. Greenhouses can be used year round for growing a variety of plants as well.

 

Raised beds & Vertical gardening techniques – Permaculture gardens are usually quite small in size; however, every piece of available space is used. Raised beds are a commonplace with a permaculture garden, filled with an assortment of plants. Raised beds take up little room, are more easily accessible, drain easily and are attractive. Vertical gardening practices are often used. These include growing plants on trellises and in hanging baskets.

 

Keyhole gardening – Creative patterns in the permaculture garden define edges and increase productivity. One of these designs includes the keyhole garden. Not only is it beautiful, but it is extremely productive. It can easily be adapted to the specific needs of the gardener. The beds in this garden are normally horseshoe shaped and are sized so that it is easily accessible in all areas. The beds can be situated near the home for quick access or along a well-traversed path. There are different ways to construct a keyhole garden. Generally, raised beds are preferred and well-suited for perennial plants, which are also commonly favored. Because of the fact that most perennials have deeper root systems and can, therefore, tap into the moisture and minerals needed from deep beneath the ground, these plants do not require as much water or fertilizer as other plants, such as annuals. Also, perennials are usually around throughout the year, offering shelter to wildlife. Keyhole gardens can also be designed in a circle, with the center housing a variety of herbs and perennials. The center can also include a small tree or shrub, and if space permits, a small pond or other water feature may be added.

 

Sheet mulching –  Sheet mulching (such as lasagna gardening)  is another alternative, especially for annual plantings. Rather than tilling up the soil, a weed barrier such as wet newspaper or cardboard is applied to the area. These will eventually breakdown over time, allowing both water and plant roots to enter the soil. It also helps to enrich the soil. Another layer of straw, or other suitable organic mulch, is then put down to define the keyhole’s path. Around its outer edges, a layer of compost and soil is applied for plantings. This will then be covered with additional straw to help retain moisture.

 

Soil & Composting – Soil is always important and great care is given to this in a permaculture garden. Worms are essential in permaculture gardens. They help keep soil loose and healthy. A good soil structure consists of a large population of earthworms and a natural balance of beneficial insects. Compost piles are another important element in permaculture gardens. All materials for fertilizing and mulching are produced within the permaculture garden.

Read more at Gardening Know How: What Is A Permaculture Garden: The Essence Of Permaculture Gardening https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/organic/the-essence-of-permaculture-gardening.htm

HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY WITH NO WASTE

Everything MUST be organic, and everything MUST be used! To secure our food future, we must learn to adapt to the land we own.  Use the terrain, grow using sustainable methods, and most of all invite nature back.  Creating an entire ecosystem is possible whether you live in a large city, or have many acres of land.