How environmentally friendly are our farms?
We love this question. The answer is that they are very good for our environment. The following is a more detailed explanation of how:
SOIL – The produce in our aquaponic farms grows in water thereby allowing the soil to rest. Much of Central Florida’s soil has been heavily farmed with citrus and other crops. Much of the chemicals used in years past need time to break down and dissipate. Additionally, as tree, plant and animal materials decompose and enter the soil, we will be ever so slowly rebuilding our soil quality for future responsible use. We are very happy to be growing quality local produce while allowing our soil to rest.
Additionally, since our farms primarily use land that is otherwise maintained with traditional lawn services, we are little by little reducing the amount of carbon emissions and chemicals added to our soil.
WATER – There are experts that claim we may only have about 20 years of ground water that can be used for irrigation. We hope that they are wrong, however we are excited to be extremely water conservation minded. Our aquaponic farms recirculate the same water continuously, being very responsible with our limited ground water. They use a small fraction of water compared to traditional farming. Our farms use only about 5 gallons of water to grow 55 pounds of fresh produce.
AIR – Our farms don’t use tractors or machinery that produce emissions. As we convert more of our farms to solar we will be using even less coal generated electricity. We continue to focus on more and more efficient practices that can improve our environmental impact.
FOOD PRODUCTION – We are pleased with how complete our food production is with zero waste. The produce is grown specifically for local restaurants and residents and delivered promptly without long holding or transportation periods. Plant scraps are fed to local animals and the rockwool the plants are seeded in is repurposed into landscaping. As the fish density in a tank surpasses the ideal level, we harvest and eat them as they are an amazing quality fresh, clean, flaky white fish. The fish carcasses are fed to insect farms or used in compost. We like that nothing goes to waste. Even the solid waste from the fish is processed into an organic soil fertilizer.
WASTE – We have a zero waste policy that we are proud to maintain as we grow. Our water recirculates, our solid waste from the fish is converted into organic soil fertilizer, the produce is consumed, plant trimmings are fed to chickens, goats and pigs, the rockwool cubes are used in landscaping, and the fish carcasses are composted or fed to soldier flies for animal feed.