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Yep, being an apartment dweller has its advantages- like when something breaks, I just call the manager and it gets fixed. That's pretty cool. But, no equity, no back yard. If I did have a back yard (and maybe someday I will), I'd set up an aquaponics system. Its a really cool idea that is actually starting to really take off in Australia. If you don't know about it, here's an Aussie trying to explain:

I'll try to break it down after the orange hoopdy-do of awesome, self-sustaining organic agriculture!

You get a big-ass fish tank. You put fish in there that are good to eat, like talapia or trout (though I'd take talapia any day over trout). You feed the fish. The fish produce nitrate-heavy fish-dookie. This is rather toxic for the fish, however, it is also an excellent natural fertilizer. So you pump the fish dookie-water into planting beds.

In those planting beds, plant stuff that you like to eat (tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, beats, etc.). The plants filter out the nitrates from the water and grow like crazy, giving you 100% organic vegetables and fruit. The now-filtered water is cycled back into the fish tank and the cycle begins anew.

What's even better is that you can set the whole system up using power from solar panels and a few car batteries- it doesn't take a lot of power to juice a water pump. So you've essentially got a completely self-sustaining food system. Fishing isn't that hard when all the fish are trapped inside a large tank.

But this is a cool idea! Especially in areas that don't receive a lot of water. With aquaponics, the water just cycles over and over, so you're not really wasting anything. This guy was able to do it on a massive, commercial scale. I'd like to see more of this in the future- it just seems like the smartest way to farm right now:

Originally posted to Blogo de Harhead on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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