Aquaponics… is the agricultural science that brings fish farming and vegetable growing into the same culture. Plants around the edge of a pond are noticeably green and healthy … those plants are getting all they need to thrive: water rich in nutrients from the fish waste, producing high levels of nitrogen which is a necessary element for plants to grow. Aquaponics is just that, but in a controlled greenhouse environment. Water from large fish ponds is pumped into grow beds giving vegetable plants nutrient-rich water, This gives farmers a boost in producing completely organic vegetables that grow rapidly, with the added benefit of fish that are growing right along with these plants that will ultimately provide a rich, low-fat source of protein when harvested.
Fish Farming…Presently Tilapia are being raised in three large 30×50 foot ponds in an outlying area of Nairobi, Kenya. Today thousands of fingerlings fill these ponds that in just a few short months will become a major food source for the children that have come from the slums of Kenya and are now living at the Joska boarding schools. This lean high-in-protein fish are an ideal food source, as it supplements the mostly starch diets these children receive. An added benefit to fish in the diet is Omega-3 fatty acids that help in the development of their minds, giving them an extra edge as they study to become the leaders of tomorrow.
As Others Now further understands the technique of Aqua-farming we hope to duplicate this in the other areas we work in as well. With continued support, we hope to see these Aqua-farming models move from a learning environment, to employment opportunities as well, incorporating the many different skill sets needed for the food industry.
How can you partner?…. Solar powered aeration equipment is needed in our ponds in Africa to secure proper oxygen levels for the health of the fish crop, in both Aquaponic and open pond fish farming. There is also the desire to begin an Aquaponic farm in conjunction with Tijuana Christian Mission in Baja, California, next spring. This project would benefit the 75 children that live at the orphanage there supplementing their mostly starch based diets. This would require building form the ground up ponds; grow beds, green house, and solar powered pumps for water circulation.