What is Your Reason for Aquaponics?
One time I asked a group of family members where meat comes from. Their joyful and dead serious response was “Wal-Mart”. Without humor I say that the most people do not make the association between our food and how it is produced. Many people are happy to eat meat, but don’t want to know where it actually comes from. I love an occasional bacon cheeseburger. Every time I eat meat I pause and have gratitude that I’m able to eat meat, and also that this animal gave it’s life for me. Aquaponics helps me (and hopefully others), to make the association with meat I eat and respect for the life that was given for me to enjoy it.
I feel that it is our responsibility as a society to encourage self-sustaining technologies in all aspects of our life, as much as possible.
Aside from the actual responsibility as a human to conserve and be self-sufficient, aquaponics has become an almost spiritual experience for me. It is saddening to think that only 1 in the 3 families in the world have at least 1 meal per day. Can you imagine that kind of poverty? We would easily be there if the “Wal-Marts” could not keep up with our demands, or if climate changed just a few degrees cooler or warmer. We take for granted the abundance that most of us have known our entire lives. The more people that know about aquaponics and self-sufficiency, the better we are insulated from global collapse.
Aquaponics Works! It’s Easy!
Only a few years ago I had black thumbs and couldn’t grow dirt. Now, I feel like anything is possible, and I look forward to seeing the progress and learning about how the natural systems operate more than I look forward to most other things. I cannot express the joy it gives to suddenly be able to grow things. Mark Twain said, “When a man carries a cat by the tail, he learns something he can learn no other way” – you have to build an AP system to truly experience it!
Overfishing and Ecological Awareness
Last week I read another article about jelly fish taking over the oceans because of overfishing. A few weeks earlier I read that we currently have the ability to completely overfish the oceans by as much as nine times more than it can reproduce.
Doesn’t anyone else see the danger here? We cannot go on forever without technologies like aquaponics as alternatives. We are requiring more food than we can produce.
I do not want to actually research in detail (because of how depressing it is), the facts about overfishing and the global ecological impact of an ocean without a balance. However, I can put a positive spin on what I feel is soon to be at least a change in global ecosystems by learning and teaching everything I can about aquaponics.
The amazing part about aquaponics is how crystal clear the actual problem of an out of balance ecosystem becomes. If you have more plants than fish, the plants have insufficient nutrition and die. If you have more fish than plants, the waste can’t be processed and the fish choke and die.
The final reason (that I have not accomplished yet), is to actually be self-sufficient and have a lower food bill. I believe that in my lifetime, we will witness the quality and cost of food change drastically. I see food production as a barter tool, insurance against the changes that are coming (climate changes, food prices), and freedom of choice in what I eat (GMO, food selection, nutrition).
There is a great joy in knowing that you can provide at least some of your own income, food, and resources and have something of value to trade to others. Pre-WW II, homesteading and providing for yourself was a way of life and common place. It seems we have forgotten many basic skills in the hopes that the industrial age and government will always provide.
Every fiber of my being tells me this is not safe to trust the government to provide! It’s easy to see that the government will simply keep feeding itself and raising taxes until society collapses or people decide to make drastic change.
Who is paying for cell phones for welfare victims? Why are we destroying healthy crops simply for government incentives? Who pays for the free education, etc. Eventually the people who work and pay the majority of the tax burden will not be willing to keep paying for those who do not work. My Grandfather says, “if everyone is riding on the wagon, who will push it?” I think it’s a great analogy and a clear insight to where we are headed.
Perhaps also, it’s convenient to buy a dozen eggs at Wal-Mart as needed, I agree. But if they cut off the beaks of the chickens, fed them unhealthy doses of chemicals to fight off infections from unsanitary conditions, and forced them to live in a cage barely as large as themselves – does this make the eggs guilt free? I can’t eat eggs now or other animal products without at least considering how the product was made. I know many people don’t care, and I’m not a vegetarian either. I simply am more aware now of these types of issues than I’ve ever been in my life and this is one of the ways I can make a difference on a budget regardless of political plays and regulations.
Even when I am grateful for my food, I add that I am grateful for the life that was given for me to enjoy the meal. It’s a simple, but significant shift in world view.
All of this assumes that Wal-Marts will actually have food. Where does that food come from? We currently do not produce enough food to feed ourselves as a country (in the USA). What happens as this problem becomes worse as population continue to grow and agriculture land decreases?
Aquaponics Creates Family Memories
I’ve had many opportunities to connect with my son and daughter as we build projects, learn things, solve problems, and discuss biology, chemistry, botany, electricity, solar power, energy conservation, natural systems, toxins, ecosystems, nutrition and more. Every day is like science class with the best lab and students I could possibly imagine. It is my sincere hope that the memories and knowledge we are sharing last a lifetime for them. I personally find great joy in sharing this with my son, his friends, family members, and anyone that has a remote interest.