It seems the Germans are well ahead of the curve in ecological matters, having a much greater percentage of their power generated by green methods than anywhere I know of in North America. Now they are getting ahead as well with aquaponics for Berlin where a project by Efficient City Farming has built an experimental single family aquaponics unit at the end of a brewery to show that sustainability for a couple of families can be produced with aquaponics for Berlin. Smart Planet’s article “Can Aquaponics feed the German Capital”
Here in the middle of Berlin, the single container farm functions as a prototype for Christian Echternacht and Nicolas Leschke, founders of the social business Efficient City Farming (ECF). Together, the two are looking to bring large-scale aquaponic farming to cities by making it profitable.
“The idea is to give every city access to sustainably grown produce,” Echternacht said. “In the U.S., transport costs are often the biggest unnecessary overhead on food prices — but here in Berlin, we’re also looking to minimize water consumption.”
A single container farm can feed two or three families for a year. But at a cost of 32,000 euros, plus some additional overhead for electricity and water, the project makes little business sense on a small scale.
The partners have created an ambitious plan to make an actual farm instead of trying to sell the aquaponics gardens individually. They are trading on the concept of mass production and cutting costs with magnitude. It makes a lot of sense since trying to find enough different places for aquaponics in Berlin would be quite difficult.
Aquaponics for Berlin is Seasonal
The set up is outside and is designed to work from April through September. The unit described in the article was sponsored and the people who did were treated to a feast from the results of the growing season. This aquaponics for Berlin installation can feed up to two families, so the promoters are looking to create a farm that will feed 350 by moving up to greater scale. By using many more units they expect their customers will be paying about the same as they would for organic foods.
As mentioned in a previous post, Organic Certification for Aquaponic Foods they cannot claim their foods are organic since they are not grown in soil. Although this seems to me to be a problem for aquaponics for Berlin, the promoters do note that aquaponic gardens are truly transparent in their growing methods, if they use toxins to promote growth, the fish will die and the system will collapse.