In the beginning (about 40 years ago), there was Integrated Aquaculture.
The New Alchemists were probably the people most responsible for integrated aquaculture as we currently know it.
Aquaponics is an offshoot of Integrated Aquaculture……with a particular focus on fish and plants.
When I first set out to develop a concept of small-scale integrated food production, I called it Integrated Backyard Food Production (IBFP). Like aquaponics, it’s a descendant of integrated aquaculture. With its inclusion of micro-livestock, however, IBFP has retained a more direct relationship with integrated aquaculture.
Integrated Backyard Food Production became too much of a mouthful and so it became Microponics. The name suggests its own origins…..the combination of micro-livestock, micro-farming and aquaponics. I subsequently discovered that the name is also used to describe an obscure grafting method using in hydroponics.
Microponics differs from mainstream aquaponics (aside from its integration of micro-livestock) in a number of ways and we’ll explore those in detail in subsequent posts.
The conviction that Microponics might be of interest to other people arose from experiences that I had on the Aquaponics forum that I co-hosted.
From the outset, I encouraged discussion about “aquaponics and related food production matters”……including chickens, ducks Japanese quail, rabbits and other micro-livestock.
Interestingly, one of the most popular threads on the forum was one on Japanese quail. Several other non-aquaponic threads (meat chickens, Black Soldier flies, etc) also attracted substantial patronage.
This satisfied me that there were other people out there who (like me) were interested in food production in a broader (and more traditional) context than just aquaponics.
Microponics is for those people.