Next week a group of students will decide the date to put in an aquaponics system next to the Gaia House.
Aquaponics is a system of farming that uses a symbiotic relationship between crops and fish. The plants clean and filter the water for the fish and the fish provide fertilizer for the plants.
Juniors Kate Kolden and Annie Wolf are leading this project, with the help of fellow students Risa Gearhart, Neel Rana, Ruby Fisher, Julia Spencer and Biology Professor Sarah Swope. Kolden and Wolf hope to have the system in by the end of the semester.
“It’s a concrete plan; we just have to have a date to decide to build it,” Wolf said. “We’ll be working on it throughout the semester — at least get it built.”
The aquaponics system in the greenhouse uses a 30 gallon tank for the fish. The aquaponics system that they want to build next to the Gaia House would be almost twice the size, with a different species of fish.
There will be many possibilities for how to use the garden system, and Kolden already knows she would like it to be used as a source for research on how viable aquaponics could be on a large scale for agricultural production.
“Right now, I’m working to enter all the data that we’ve collected from the system that we have and analyze it and do a cost analysis of what it takes to run this size system, and then scale that to a larger system and a smaller system both for home use and industrial use,” Kolden said.
If you would like to join the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.