Aquaponics for a disaster is becoming more and more a viable alternative when a catastrophe occurs. In Japan, a significant amount of growing farm area was devastated by the tsunami that inundated Japan a while back. The deadly mix of salt water, debris and even radioactive wastes from the crippled power plant had a crippling effect on the ability of the island to grow its on food and be self-sufficient. Although it was previously able to provide about 40% of the population’s needs, the tsunami. One person who is acting on the problem is Aragon St-Charles who lives in Tohoku. The eco + waza blog reports Mr. St-Charles saying:
Straightaway it came to me that this was something that could be used in Japan,” said St-Charles. As he draws diagram after diagram of fish tanks, alternative energy sources, of grow beds and their crop arrangements throughout our conversation, it’s easy to see that just under the tidy chinos and button-down shirt of the legal recruiter he is by day rests a farmer just waiting for his moment.
“This” is aquaponics, a system of growing plants and fish together in a re-circulating system. Fish in the tank are fed a high-protein diet of worms, insects or a high-protein fish food. Water from the tank, full of nitrogen and ammonia rich fish manure, drains into a grow bed filled with gravel or lava rock where the filtering process begins.
– See more at: http://greenjapan.com/growing-solutions-in-tohoku-with-aquaponics/#sthash.yRTuGqhC.dpuf
But the work has proceeded much farther than simple drawing, Mr. St-Charles took a sabbatical from work to develop his own company to make aquaponics for disaster and everyday living. There is an experimental system constructed from a variety of parts including an IKEA Wardrobe and a number of other easily obtainable parts. The system is a double grow bed with what appears to be flow through nutrient delivery since the reservoir does not appear to have a reservoir sump for overflow during a flood and drain. The unit can be seen in th article and appears quite compact and elegant.