The Mississauga Food Bank has combined hydroponics and aquaculture with AquaGrow Farms, a new method for delivering a sustainable food supply.
AquaGrow Farms is the first of its kind in Canada. By combining hydroponics (farming without soil) and aqua culture (fish farming) the farm has created an entirely self-sustained system wherein both the vegetables and fish being farmed provide for one another’s environment. As the fish dwell in their tank, they release waste into the water, creating nutrients for the plants, suspended above the water, to feed on. In turn, the plants’ roots clean the water, allowing for a continuous water cycle that doesn’t require constant replenishment.
In other words,
Named AquaGrow Farms, the project hopes to produce over 645 servings of fish and a whopping 10,000 servings of greens per year. The development couldn’t have come at a better time. As TreeHugger reports, demand at the Mississauga Food Bank is at an all-time high. With roughly 750,000 residents, over 180,000 in the suburban city live below the poverty line, many of whom rely on the food bank for sustenance. With the opening of AquaGrow Farms, the food bank will have fresh and nutritious food to supply their customers with year round.
The farm was created with the aide of the University of Wisconsin’s Aquaponics program. While it is the first of its kind in Canada, aquaponics farms can be found in many urban centres in the United States.
The Mississauga Food Bank has expressed their hope that the farm will inspire others to find creative solutions towards fighting hunger in their communities.
Hats off to that.