The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) has teamed up Aquaponics UK and a farm project owned by BBC presenter Kate Humble to launch Wales’s first ever Aquaponics educational resource centre in Monmouthshire.
The project will explore whether Aquaponics could be a viable option for future community food production, with the system in development aiming to produce around 250 kgs of fish a year and 30 kgs of vegetables a week.
Aquaponics is a marriage between aquaculture (the cultivation of fish and other aquatic organisms) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil in nutrient-rich water.) The efficient system means nutrient-rich fish waste feed the plants, which in turn purify the water ready to pump back into the fish tanks.
The innovative system at the centre of the project is being developed by scientists Charlie Price and Becky Bainbridge of social enterprise Aquaponics UK. Their key innovation is the development of a special solar greenhouse that will allow an extended growing season without the need for any additional heating.
The greenhouse and resource centre will be based at Humble by Nature, TV presenter Kate Humble’s working farm in Penalt, near Monmouth, where Tyfu Pobl (the Welsh arm of FCFCG) will help deliver a range of knowledge sharing, training and events.
Katie Jones, FCFCG’s Wales Development Manager said: “We have seen a growing interest in Aquaponics over the last few years. This is a great opportunity to share expertise and knowledge on Aquaponics with communities in Wales and explore whether it can provide a genuine solution to food security in Wales.”
If you are interested in or currently involved with Aquaponics, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to Katie Jones on 02920 225942.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
FCFCG Wales: Tyfu Pobl
Tyfu Pobl (Growing People) is a three year programme being delivered by the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens. It is funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales, which is itself funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the EU. www.tyfupobl.org.uk/
Humble by Nature
Humble by Nature is a rural skills education centre based on Kate Humble’s working farm on the Welsh borders in Monmouthshire. As well as reconnecting people with the land, nature, farming and food production through courses in subjects such as smallholding, hedge-laying, charcuterie and bush crafts, Humble by Nature showcases different ways to achieve a more sustainable way of living. www.humblebynature.com/
Aquaponics UK is a social enterprise company providing support for the growing aquaponics industry. Established on a shoestring in 2008, Aquaponics UK has grown to be one of the industry leaders and has designed, built and supported aquaponics projects on almost every continent.