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Sustainable Agriculture Via Aquaponic Technologies

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Looks like we're entering a new era of people starting to sincerely seek for alternative ways of better living.


Sustainable Agriculture Via

Aquaponic Technologies

By Gerald Goldberg, MD

posted 19 March 2008


One functional definition of slavery, serfdom or economic domination could be the ability to so utterly dominate and control an individuals or groups choice so that they would ultimately act irresponsibly against their own self interests and those around them. Ultimately life is defined on the ability of an individual to derive basic support from their local environments. The bedrock of freedom rests on the ability to act responsibly and in accordance with the laws of nature. The fundamentals required for survival depend on the necessities of having access to shelter, food and water. A social group so organized would have little incentive to participate in their own self destruction. Historically most wars and population disruptions have been based on displacing individuals from the land. The undercurrents as discussed in the numerous articles posted on this website, basically talk about so economically dominating a population as to deny them any choices at all. In essence, to control their lives is tantamount to denying them freedom and to ultimately to undermine their fundamental right to life.



The drive towards globalization and the centralization of responsibility for the welfare of citizens on the beneficence of government, may put communities at peril. I have worked in disaster preparedness programs and apart from the platitudes passed around, there is little effort to provide for the basic needs of any small communities. There is no attention paid to the stockpiling of basic fundamentals such as water or food, let alone shelter, as was readily witnessed in the Katrina tragedy. Money is received into taxes, civil servants are paid, but there is little concern or awareness for long term planning to sustain a community in times of crisis. Communities are seldom engaged in developing their own preparedness strategies. How democratic is that? What if there were a referendum to allocate an underground storage facility of between 5000 to 10000 gallons for every 500 citizens in a community? This could be in the form of an underground cistern or storage tank, which are readily available for storing gasoline. This could be one possibility for a community to focus on if they saw it as an issue.


Another aspect is the ability for a community to have enough food on hand to feed its own population. Currently the methodologies of stock piling depend on using produce from other area which in and of itself may not be fresh. Also in times of emergencies or disruptions, it might be difficult to deliver goods to a particular region. What is a community to do in that particular set of circumstances? The current models of agricultural development and production are dependent on the decentralization of community control. Also the ability of particular regions to grow crops is heavily dependent on surface agriculture methods, which are weather dependent; utilize inordinate amounts of energy, land and pesticides. The current trend in agriculture is to produce genetic variation in the plants so that production can proceed against adverse environmental influences. This whole scenario depends on surface agriculture controlling vast expanses of land and resources that is heavily dependent on keeping farmers and communities in debt in order to survive and to be productive. The selective utilization of government subsidies also heavily biases' crop production in a given region.


What if a small to medium sized community could be self sufficient and produce its own types of crops and vegetation, enough to provide for a local community in areas of the country that would normally be considered to be unsuited for agricultural production at any time of year. What if a community could enter into a cooperative effort that could provide for continuous production of organic foods all year round. What sort of community would that be?

Aguaponic production provides for the possibility of crop production that can be maintained indefinitely with a minimal overutilization of the environment and resources. Presently the current methodologies require a large investiture in resources and land to sustain such a venture. In northern climates green house environments are maintained but these are not necessarily energy efficient and practical for small communities.


In the west there is much no arable land that is deemed too cold to be of any benefit in crop production. What if the approach was the problem? The western part of the US has access to geothermal sources of heat and energy that is not available to other parts of the country. Additionally utilizing a subterrian approach, one can instantly glean many benefits and advantages which would not be available utilizing a surface approach to crop production. Amongst these are the fact that underground structures tend to maintain a stable temperature if they are situated from 3-5 feet below the surface. Being in ground such a structure would be well insulated and would require a minimal amount of energy to keep the structure heated. Currently there are heat exchange apparatus which use reverse refrigeration technologies which do not depend on fossil fuels to generate heat which could be readily adapted to a local situation. Another consideration is that such a facility could be structured vertically to compensate for an expenditure of surface area and be as productive. An Aguaponic production facility would not be dependent on the variables of weather, so that one could ideally grow lettuce in Montana in the winter. There would be a minimal problem with pests and the use of pesticides. A subterrian approach would also spare the surface environment from continuous overutilization and pollution and allow it to regenerate and provide for the support of other life forms. Aguaponic approaches utilize less fertilizer to maintain the growth of plants given this unique approach to growing them. Aguaponics could be utilized to grow most small fruits, i.e. berries of various types. Additionally Aguaponic approaches are suitable for most vegetable production including tuberous vegetables, including carrots, beets, onions, potatoes etc. Aguaponic approaches can be utilized for many herbs and indeed plankton and other single cell phytorganisms which incidentally are the main food source for whales.

Another benefit that such a facility could produce employment for its citizens, dedicated to the welfare and sustainability of the whole community.


Communities so dedicated to the responsible care of their citizens and the environment would be espousing the highest principles of freedom and Christian charity, that of providing for each other and the creation.


Awareness of the times also offers individuals the opportunity to act responsibly and from a place of charity and in support of communities and the environment which provides the bedrock upon which life is framed. One can always be a witness but the deeper yearnings of the soul should be to give his brother a cup of water. Indifference only breeds indifference. One reaps what they sow! A nation so dedicated in the times of crisis will only reap the benefit of indifference. Communities dedicated to the welfare of their communities, through providing for, the creation of sustainable resources and the sharing of basic resources, based on principles of charity and responsible action espouse the highest principles of freedom. To save a man from slavery is to allow him to share. A warrior fights in vain if he has no home to return to. These times are challenging but they provide great opportunities as well.



G. Goldberg, MD

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