THE BEAUTY OF HIGHLAND AQUAPONICS
Updated: Jan 18, 2020
Highland Aquaponics hits close to home and I mean that both literally and figuratively. I can't believe I'd be able to discover the wonderful world of Aquaponics just minutes away from where I reside. Also, living smack in the middle of an agricultural community, I've grown to somehow understand and relate with farming and gardening.
Aquaponics may not be unheard of but it's certainly not quite common. For us here in the highlands, some of us are very much resistant to change. Why fix something that isn't broken, right? We would usually just follow traditions and continuously adhere to what is already "nakasanayan". Change, may it be good, is seldom welcomed and often met with strong reluctance. That is seen as the main hindrance why Aquaponics is not yet very well-spread no matter how great it's potential is. Furthermore, there is still very limited learning resources with regards to this method. I believe lots of people would still crease their brows in confusion whenever the word Aquaponics is mentioned.
If you're interested to know what Aquaponics is all about, then read on.
Aquaponics is the process of combining Aquaculture (where you raise aquatic animals) and Hydroponics (the process of farming or gardening using water in lieu of soil). Sounds cool, isn't it? However, it's a bit more complicated than simply growing plants in your aquarium.
For an Aquaponics garden to work, it is necessary to have the following things. First of, your fish. Among all of the warm and cold-blooded fishes out there, Tilapia was found out to be the one who thrives best. It is for the reason that they are more tolerant of the fluctuating water conditions. They can also survive past the sudden changes in the water pH level. In the long run, it may also serve as an added income as once you've got adult Tilapias, then they can be harvested and sold along with the vegetables. Second, you have to consider what plants you'd like to add to your garden. Most people would prefer green leafy vegetables but for Highland Aquaponics, not only did they brazenly add Cherry Tomatoes, they are planning to add Strawberries and other fruits in their future gardens as well. Lastly, for Aquaponics to work, you'd have to follow a system. This may be a little bit more complicated but for Manong Ronnie, a traditional farmer who now manages the Highland Aquaponics, they were able to build their own system even with the limited resources and supplies that we have here in the Cordilleras.
Personally, that short trip to this odd little garden blew me away. I never knew such alternative existed. Well, I am familiar with Hydrophonics a bit but not to this extent. What's more impressive to me is the thought of pairing Aquaponics with a Solar Off-Grid System. With that, you could possibly build a long-term, self-sustaining business with an even greater potential. Won't that be an amazing solution for our small farmers living in the far-flung boondocks? They would be able to earn more than what they do now without the fear of frost bites, ravaging storms or animals and insects since they could protect their produce with a greenhouse. Furthermore, with their plants' shorter harvest and growing time, they could easily save the plants before a bad weather. Not to mention that Aquaponics requires only 1/3 of the water being used in traditional farming. The water can also be cycled every time since the plants would serve as the filters before they go back to the fishes.
I understand that just like any other changes that we go through, this would take time. But here's to fervently hoping that in the future, people would be more open to these possibilities and that the government would help out in the information dissemination of these revolutionary systems that could make our farmers lives easier and more financially stable.
xx, The Highland Mama
You can also learn more about the Highland Aquaponics through their comprehensive website.