Catalina Margulis of the Harrowsmith, written for Canadians by Canadians, recently published an article on ‘The Future of Farming’, featuring Nelson and Pade, Inc. and one of our growers, AquaFarms at The Mississauga Food Bank in Canada.
What does every kid learn in school? That to grow anything, you need seed, soil, water and sun. But what if you removed soil from the equation? Wouldn’t the possibilities be almost endless?
And now that’s becoming a reality. A form of agriculture that combines aquaculture (fish farming) with hydroponics (growing plants in water), aquaponics is an interesting alternative for cold-weather nations like ours, as well as urban centres and community growers, as Ontario’s Mississauga Food Bank is showing.
“I read an article online about a year ago about aquaponics, and realized it had potential to help solve a challenge at the food bank,” says Christopher Hatch, executive director of The Mississauga Food Bank. After more research, Hatch hired Wisconsin-based aquaponics consulting firm Nelson and Pade, Inc. to help him set up a system at his facility. “I liked the idea of growing year-round in Canada, with our weather, and it being so cold in winter,” says Hatch. “This way, we can grow in the warehouse and control the environment.”
“The Mississauga Food Bank is a very innovative use of our technology because it’s using aquaponics to feed people who don’t have fresh food—it’s a great new direction for food banks,” says Rebecca Nelson, co-founder of Nelson and Pade. “We have the longest history and most experience in aquaponics. We provide growers with everything they need, including training, so they can be successful both short and long term.”