AquaFarma in Wroclaw. Poland’s first urban aquaponic farm

AquaFarma we Wrocławiu

What is aquaponics?

Aquaponics is a system of producing aquatic animals (e.g. fish, crayfish, snails) and plants in water. The fauna and flora form the so-called. A symbiotic environment. Plants use the waste produced by animals. This allows fish or crayfish to live in a cleaned, healthy environment. The operation of this system is to mimic the processes occurring in natural bodies of water.

Aquaponics – the living elements of the system

The aquaponic system requires three main living elements, viz. aquatic animals, bacteria and plants. Sometimes worms are also introduced into the system.

What plants and animals feel comfortable in such a system?

The use of aquaponics for crop and livestock production is extensive. Organisms should correlate with each other, i.e. plants should have enough nutrients from the waste that animals produce. Green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, chives, cress, peas, radishes, parsley and many varieties of herbs yield well under these conditions. In large aquaponic systems, mainly fish are raised. Among the most popular are trout, perch, carp, catfish and tilapia.

Is aquaponics in cities needed?

It is assumed that by 2050 roughly two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. As a result, the challenge of producing food in urban areas is increasingly being addressed. Something that may become a necessity in the future, for now is a kind of novelty. Climate change is likely to threaten the food security of the population, especially as its numbers continue to grow. Aquaponics could prove to be a great solution that will be implemented on a large scale in the future. Even more so, by locating farms in cities, the supply chain is shortened and the carbon footprint of the production process is consequently smaller.

AquaFarma in Wroclaw
AquaFarma in Wroclaw. Poland's first urban aquaponic farm 1

Poland’s first urban aquaponic farm

On March 21 this year. Poland’s first urban aquaponic farm was opened in Wroclaw. As the project’s website reads, the main role of the AquaFarm, located in the city center, is to provide local residents with fresh food. Growing and cultivating near the recipient is a result of environmental and human safety concerns.

AquaFarma is also a place for education. There are periodic family workshops where you can learn how to make a home hydroponic system and what soilless plant cultivation is all about.

Advantages of aquaponic system on AquaFarm

The benefits of a water and food farm include:

  1. Production of clean, nutrient-rich food;
  2. cultivation that lasts all year round, regardless of weather conditions;
  3. Water savings (up to 90%) compared to crops grown in traditional agriculture;
  4. the need for smaller areas to grow crops than in traditional agriculture;
  5. reduction of waste going into the environment, as most of the components are used in a closed system;
  6. Retention and management of rainwater from the green roof.

The soilless form of farming, which is used on aquaponic farms, seeks to minimize water use by up to 90%. With this state-of-the-art technological solution, the restoration of endangered ecosystems is promoted and biodiversity is protected.

To learn more about AquaFarm, please visit the project website. We will certainly continue this topic in future issues of “Water Issues.”

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