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Review of Jeff’s Aquaponics & Farm by TexasRealFood
Jeff's Aquaponics and Farm opened in November 2012. Since then, the small scale farm has improved through the different mishaps in aquaponics. Before beginning the farm, the owner had a complete hydroponic system. Unfortunately, the whole system was lost due to a hurricane in 2008. It was a blessing in disguise as it allowed the farmer to get rid of the mixing chemicals involved in hydroponics. Today, the farm produces pesticide-dree greens, lettuces, herbs, and veggies that they can offer fresh at the market. Moreover, the farm provides eggs from their happy chickens. Their chickens have lived in pastures for the rest of their lives.
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil, by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment, where the plants benefit from the nutrients produced by the fish excrement. Many have turned to these forms of agriculture as land availability becomes increasingly scarce. Hydroponics is not considered a sustainable form of agriculture, as it continuously requires nutrient inputs, without returning them back into the soil or in another form. Aquaponics is considered to be a more sustainable option, as the fish and plants operate in a symbiotic relationship. Both of these methods require highly regulated variables and usually operate in closed systems.