Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Integrated Garden

A recent NY Times article on aquaponics highlighted the practice of integrating gardening with fish culture. Such an approach can provide a family with a well rounded diet of an nutrient rich vegetables and low fat fish protein.

Although this approach to growing and raising food is just beginning to attract attention in the United States, it has been practiced for more than a century by Asian rice farmers. However, as the Green Revolution swept Asia, mechanized production, pesticides and fertilizers made rice fields increasingly inhospitable for raising fish. The practice has the potential to more efficiently produce food, during a time when resources (including water) are increasingly sparse.

With a resurgent interest in vegetable gardening, edible landscaping, urban/suburban chickens, permaculture, urban homesteads - aquaponics is another example of how we can re-envision gardening practices to more holistically include family- and community-centered goals. Growing and eating nutritious and locally-produced foods are practices that I hope transition from trends to tradition.