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AquaGrove Meeting Needs Beyond the Classroom

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AquaGrove Meeting Needs Beyond the Classroom

If you have ever experienced AquaGrove in the classroom, then you already know the amazing things that can happen when students are introduced to the world of AquaGrove and aquaponics – From the introduction of the fish to growing their first harvest, students become engaged and amazed by their own ability to farm without much space, soil and even sunshine.  It opens growing minds to the possibilities of sustainable gardening and connects them to the bigger picture of environmental issues and global food security.  With the students of today being the leaders of tomorrow, it is vital that they understand their responsibility and ability to make positive changes in the way we live to ensure a sustainable future that can meet the ever-changing and increasing global demands.

To better understand how aquaponics can and will have a positive impact on food security in the future, it is worth looking at some sobering facts on the state of our food demand and capacity to meet it. For starters, the human population has reached 7.6 billion, and in 2050, it is estimated there will be 9.7 billion people who will require about 70% more food available for human consumption than is consumed today. (source: Nature, “The Science of Food Security”) Put simply, the population is growing, food demands are increasing and natural resources have their limits.  Researchers say that in order to feed Earth’s expanding population in 2050, we need less production of meat protein and more consumption of fruits and vegetables. (source: Washington Post), and a recent report by “Nature” International Journal of Science reinforced that same point.

According to the report, “Options for Keeping the Food System Within Environmental Limits”, there needs to be a major shift in the way we produce, distribute and consume food as the current methods are not sustainable, and the damage being done will make conditions for human existence more difficult in the future.   The current food system is incredibly wasteful to say the least; from excessive use of water, energy and land space to one-third of food produced eventually being discarded, there is great room for improvement. 

In addition to changes within current methods, there is opportunity for adopting and integrating less harmful methods for food production; this is where AquaGrove and aquaponics come into the picture.  While aquaponics has been used for centuries (Aztecs, 1000 A.D.), as a modern agricultural technology it is still in its infancy, having only gained significant momentum over the past half century.  Over the last several years, aquaponics has been making its way into popular culture as the benefits are leaps and bounds ahead of conventional growing methods.  While there is plenty of buzz on sustainability in agriculture and gardening, aquaponics is one of the few alternative growing methods that is 100% organic and offers benefits including:

- Energy Efficiency – Aquaponic systems are built with energy efficiency in mind, offering up to 75%-80% more energy efficiency when compared to conventional farming practices.  Additionally, AquaGrove’s solar options enable the system to be run 100% off-grid, greatly reducing energy costs and environmental impact.

- Less Water – Aquaponics recirculates and reuses water, resulting in growers conserving up to 90% of water that would normally be used in conventional farming methods.  Beyond initially filling the tanks, the water that is added to the AquaGrove is only the minimal amount essential for replacing negligible water loss due to evaporation, absorption and transpiration by plants.

- Elimination of soil-borne diseases.

- No use of pesticides and herbicides.

- Effective plant spacing that allows a greater amount of growth in a given area.

- Increased speed of growth and development.

- Controlled environment offering year-round gardening in any climate and season.

The truth is that AquaGrove is a starting point for anyone, children and adults, to make a small step forward into sustainability.  From the Learn and Grow indoor/outdoor system to our full-scale commercial models, AquaGrove brings new excitement to the classroom and new hope for the future of food security.