the community that grows together

What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponcis is an integrated aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponic (growing plants in water/soilless) system that mutually benefits both environments. Aquaponics uses no chemicals, requires one tenth or 10% of the water needed for field plant production and only a fraction of the water that is used for fish culture.
Aquaponics works like nature does. Plants, fish, and micro-organisms equally benefit one another to complete the system. Water containing fish waste is broken down with help from micro-organisms. This water is used as fertilizer to feed the plants and the plants return filtered water to the fish.


The Aquaponics Project:

Our largest greenhouse at Galego Court contains a media bed style and a raft style aquaponics system, both of which are growing food and raising Tilapia fish. We have found that the ability to grow vegetables, greens, and herbs together in a system with fish (Tilapia) creates an excellent source of food production that is also an exciting educational tool. The system is quite sustainable, using far less water than traditional farming and aquaculture applications. Produce from our aquaponics systems is being sold at local markets to help fuel our garden programs. To see where and when our greens are sold, please check our market page here.


Our Systems

Our media bed style system arose from collaboration with the Rhode Island School of Design Architecture program in Spring 2011. Plants in this system grow in media made of pea gravel. Our raft style system is a collaboration with a video professor at UMASS Boston, Ann Torke in Summer 2011. Plants in this system are supported by a raft (foam board insulation) and their roots grow in water. Both systems were up and running by August 2011. The two systems provide a unique compare and contrast on aquaponic grow techniques. We are very thankful for our collaborators that helped make our aquaponics project a reality.