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Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together

Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilizing them with the waste water from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponic gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic vegetables, greens, herbs, and fruits, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. On a larger scale, it is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution, and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans.
Aquaponic Gardening is the definitive do-it-yourself home manual, focused on giving you all the tools you need to create your own aquaponic system and enjoy healthy, safe, fresh, and delicious food all year round. Starting with an overview of the theory, benefits, and potential of aquaponics, the book goes on to explain:

  • System location considerations and hardware components
  • The living elements–fish, plants, bacteria, and worms
  • Putting it all together–starting and maintaining a healthy system

Aquaponics systems are completely organic. They are four to six times more productive and use ninety percent less water than conventional gardens. Other advantages include no weeds, fewer pests, and no watering, fertilizing, bending, digging, or heavy lifting–in fact, there really is no downside! Anyone interested in taking the next step towards self-sufficiency will be fascinated by this practical, accessible, and well-illustrated guide.
Sylvia Bernstein is the president and founder of The Aquaponic Source and the Vice Chairman of the Aquaponics Association. She also manages AquaponicsCommunity.com, the largest US-based online community site dedicated to aquaponic gardening. An experienced speaker and internationally recognized expert on aquaponic gardening, Sylvia writes and blogs on the subject for the Aquaponic Gardening Blog, Growing Edge and more. Her inspiration is a large, thriving aquaponic setup in her backyard greenhouse in Boulder, CO powered by tilapia, catfish, and other creatures-that-swim.

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2 Comments

  1. S. C. Johnson "AZ Soccer Mom" says:

    I just finished this amazing book!! I just finished this amazing book. I already knew a good deal about aquaponics – at least I thought I did – when I decided I had to read this book to see what the buzz was all about. What a great decision and what a great read. Here’s why.My first impression when I opened up the box I received from Amazon was this is a beautiful cover. I also noticed from the logo on the cover, that the book is a Mother Earth News book selection. Then I flipped it over and immediately spotted that two experts with whom I am personally aware, loved and endorsed the book. This caused me to immediately flip to the Table of Contents.I found that the list of topics with lots of promised detail was all that I was hoping for. Because the Table of Contents is not visible from within Amazon (publisher and author, I suggest you fix this), I provide some detail here. The book is organized into five main Sections each with two or more chapters (there are 15 chapters in all) plus seven appendices intended as reference resources and a full index.Section One introduces Aquaponics and puts it into perspective not only relative to other growing methods, but also with regard to the ever increasing issues and challenges that our global population is encountering with food supplies, food safety, food cost, and the impact of agriculture on the planet. This section closes with several pages on the idea of producing food right at your home. Some may think they want to skip the introduction. I think doing so would be a lost opportunity to see just how important aquaponics may prove to be to all of us in the years to come.Section Two is called The Plan. Ultimately, this book is about how you can become an aquaponics gardener at home. This section paints the broad picture you will need to get your own aquaponics garden right on the first try. It engagingly lays out the main elements of an aquaponics system, describes the factors that should drive your design and tells you what your options are.Sections Three and Four are cleverly called the Hardware and the Software. The hardware is about the components you will you use to construct your system. It tells you what you will need and also gives you the detail you will want to go ahead and design and build your own system (or to know what to look for if you want to buy one from someone else).The software is about the four kinds of creatures that will inhabit your system, namely the fish, the plants, the bacteria, and likely the composting worms (optional, but highly recommended). Just as with the hardware, this section paints a broad picture but also gives you lots of detail so you will know what you need to know. As I said above, I already knew lots about aquaponics but I found these two sections to be completely comprehensive with several nuggets that I had not known before I started reading.Section Five resets your thinking away from all the bits and pieces to the integrated system that aquaponics truly is. It explains how to get your system up and running, and how to keep it up and running through the next days, weeks, months, and hopefully years of productive use.The Appendices cover troubleshooting, a priceless compendium of Rules of Thumb, a list of (very funny) dumb things the author has done in her journey with aquaponics, some thoughts on starting a commercial aquaponics operation, some useful checklists for running a system, and a list of recommended references.Wow, what a great book! It was a great read and now it is a great reference for me. I have already found myself wanting to double check something and using the index to find what I wanted. The last part of this book is the only one I have not yet explored. The author sites three plus pages of references she used when writing the book. I think I will check out at least a few of these.

  2. Bob Jordan says:

    If you could buy only one Aquaponics book I’ve built and operated two large hobby system this last year and this is THE book I was looking for when I started.Everyone seems to make Aquaponics (AP) a DIY project. Although its not hard to build, operate and grow your own produce, there are a lot of places where you can make it challenging if you don’t have access to good info. Learning AP from the Internet is a mixed blessing. Too much conflicting and misleading and even mis-applied info for a beginner.Sylvia’s book takes the guess work out of building your first or 50th system and rapidly makes it a success. It will be an invaluable resource for you, whether you are the novice, the follow-the-instruction type, the impatient ADHD prone, or the Do It Yourselfer.All the info is in the book, well categorized, and easy to understand so you can be eating back yard grown, natural, organic, and delicious produce ASAP!This book will help you create your own customized AP system, that will work and work well.BobAquaponicfun dot com

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