Follow me to Aquaponics

Am I an Aquapon? ~ The Permaculture Gardener

Winter Aquaponics ConstructionThis post begins a new series called “Am I an Aquapon?”*

The idea for this series has been percolating to the surface over the past six months, through dozens of conversations with those at varying stages of looking into, considering, installing, and sometimes removing aquaponics systems.  It’s grown as I’ve reflected on my own journey toward aquaponics and attempted to put that into words.

What I now realize is that aquaponics isn’t like other hobbies that you pick up and put down.  It isn’t a product that you buy from the store.  It isn’t a status symbol or an experience to put on your resume.

Failed Aquaponics Beds

These Beds Didn’t Work

Those who choose aquaponics and stick with it are choosing a lifestyle, and a way of thinking. It’s not something we come to lightly, or quickly. By the time we’ve built our first aquaponics system, made our first major blunder and decided to fix it rather than throwing in the towel, we find that it’s not just a hobby anymore.

It’s in our bones.

We joke about aquaponics being an addictive hobby. When newbies ask us questions, we jokingly warn them, “Be careful what you start – aquaponics will suck you in and you won’t be able to get out!”

We know that 90% of people who start aquaponics systems never finish them.

What makes those of us who do so different?

That’s what this series attempts to explore. How does aquaponics suck us in?  Who are we?

My Garden

Maple Bottom PermacultureFor many of us, the journey toward aquaponics has taken us through a variety of attempts to grow our own food. Some of us came out of farming families, feeding the chickens and hogs before we would spell. Others came to value the soil as adults through the permaculture movement.

The following video brings you on a tour through my garden and around Maple Bottom. You’ll see some of the other food-growing experiments I’ve begun in as well as some that I still hope to try.

I’ll talk more about my garden as we explore more deeply into what it means to “be an aquapon.”  But for now enjoy the tour.


* As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’ll be alternating these kinds of posts with more technical, instructional posts.