Aquaponics - recycling

One of my favourite things about aquaponics is that it's a relatively new field, and as such there are stacks of things that need testing and inventing. This leads to a lot of people making fresh fish and vegetables out of junk and scraps.

Another of my vavorite things to do with scraps is recycling them by planting them again. I get a lot of kitchen scraps, and no longer have things like chickens, goats, sheep and a pig, to eat them all. It seems like an insane waste to throw them out. So I compost them in the hope of one day growing some worms or black solder fly to feed my fish, and at least recycle the nutrient involved.

But aquaponics has something else going for it. It strikes roots from cuttings amazingly well. A friend bought some lemon grass from a super market. He put a couple of stalks in water, and one in the ground. after a few weeks of nothing happening, I took one of the ones from the water and put it into my system. Two weeks later, I took it back to his him with roots on it. none of his had sprouted roots at all. And I took the saddest looking one.

I suspect hormones or something from the fish waste have something to do with it.

But for whatever reason it is that it works, I'm pretty sure it does work and I'm not just imagining it.

Because of this whenever I buy anything from the super market (shame) if it has roots, or not, or looks like it still has the bit attached that roots might grow out of, I put it into the growbed. (Rince it really well to get rid of whatever poison is on it)

A lot of stuff will either keep growing (herbs etc that still have roots attached), or start growing again from scratch (striking roots on rosemary sprigs etc) or in the case of things like bok choy or celery, just stick what's left of the base into the grow bed, and a week or so later, you have an entire new plant.

The base of celery I bought looks like this.

There are no signs of roots but you can already see tiny green shoots appearing.

This one was put in two or three days ago

The shoots are already there, but the farmer harvests way before the plant reaches it's full maturity, so there are still many more stalks waiting in the wings.

Here's one that I think is between 6 and 8 weeks since I put the bare base in the grow bed. IT now has a substantial root system, and is making lots of celery stalks.

Its still only small, but hopefully I can just take a stalk or three at a time as required and have it last a while before it goes to seed.

last week I put in a bok choy base (no roots) and I think I'm only three weeks away from harvesting a few leaves.

I planted some bok choy seeds at the same time, and they still haven't sprouted. They should within the next 2 or 3 days, but this one is already well ahead of them.

Repeat harvest food like cos lettuce, baby spinach, silverbeet, rocket etc are all grate is a small garden because you don't waste space with waiting for seeds to germinate.

Not just Aquaponics - recycling  - 120 Things in 20 years

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