Agriculture in the modern era is targeted towards maximizing our production. It utilizes every available source from the five natural kingdoms of the ecological system: animals, plants, fungi, algae, and bacteria. As we are approaching the new age of farming and agriculture, we are learning to use our resources more efficiently in a systematic, full-circle, integrated system, where waste of one system becomes input for the next. As a result, biodiverse foods, nutrients and energy are produced.
In this process, farmers can maximize profit while there is no wastage, and the entire cycle is targeted toward environmental conservation, through recycling, reusing, and reducing. It recycles inputs, reuses energy, and reduces wastage.
Designing your sustainable farm
To design your sustainable farm, you need to undertake certain measures and techniques in order to move toward your zero-waste full-circle farm. An example of this type of sustainable farm could be an indoor fish farm, where fish are raised in tanks. The waste from fish tanks can be used as fertilizer for vegetable gardens. Water from fish tanks is pumped into large produce fields, providing nutrients for the plants and increasing the yield and harvest of crops.
This process can be made efficient through the addition of special lighting systems that are more efficient than conventional greenhouse lighting systems. As plants grow, they consume CO2 and release oxygen, which becomes an added bonus for the system, as it produces fresh, more oxygen rich air than the regular air outdoors. The cycle is completed when oxygenated water returns to the fish tanks.
The process can be made completely self-sufficient, without having to use any additional external energy sources. For energy needs, 10k solar panels can be used to generate electricity, in a sustainable manner.
Raising fish in indoor fish farms does not pollute the environment or ground water as opposed to outdoor fish farming methods, where the wastage from the fish farms can pollute rivers, lakes and ground water. Therefore, this process is an ideal sustainable fish farming method.
In this process, no energy or resources are wasted. The water which is consumed by plants and loses minerals is run through rocks where deposits restore lost minerals, similar to a stream. Plants use these minerals to produce naturally healthy food for you.
To make this process a fully circular agricultural method, waste plants are used to feed other fish, such as tilapia and such. The solid matter from water can be filtered out and used as organic fertilizer, or sold for additional profit. Worms are also used for feeding fish as an additional source of food.
Organic and full circle agriculture
Full-circle agricultural methods use all organic inputs, which mean there are no synthetic fertilizers or chemicals being used in this process. The basic difference between sustainable and organic farming methods is that organic farming, when done on a large scale, can still be harmful for the environment. However, a full-circle agricultural system utilizes more ecologically sensible practices, and poses no harm to the environment. It’s a fully sustainable method of farming.
Please watch the replay of our huddle webinar with Dave Roeser held on the 17th of September. Dave Roeser as our guest, the founder and President of a sustainable agriculture business at Garden Fresh Farms in Maplewood, Minnesota.
We got to hear about his life experiences and also learned how he built Garden Fresh Farms. He started the farm in 2010, together with DJ Roeser and son Bryan, in a 20,000 square foot warehouse. It’s also the first urban farm to win Family Farm of the Year in Minnesota. Click here to view the replay of the live weekly huddle webinar.
Source: Nourish the Planet