Growing one’s own food is a key aspect of the ‘Have More For Less‘ concept…and I’ve been doing it for much of the past 40 years. For the past 12 years, I’ve also had an enduring commitment to integrated agri-aquaculture…and I’ve been writing about it for much of that time.
Suffice to say, I have a substantial body of work on DIY food production to share with you. To simply dump it in front of you would be a little overwhelming – so I’ve created the following links to enable you to access the material in a structured manner.
I developed a small-scale food production regime that, in 2008, I described as Microponics. Essentially, Microponics embraces the integrated production of fish, plants and micro-livestock…in an urban backyard. If this all seems a bit confusing, at this stage, just bear with me and I’ll help you through it.
The first thing to understand is that there’s no need to do everything that I talk about. If you do nothing more than grow your own salad greens, you’ll be in front. If, however, you want to make a big difference to your food bill…and your health…the sky’s the limit.
Let’s begin with why we should grow our own food…and then we’ll look at what’s involved in producing enough food for our own kitchen.
If we try to mimic commercial food producers, the food that we grow will be more expensive than food bought from a supermarket. To eliminate the need for commercial fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides – and to offset the cost of live-stock food – we use something called integration to give us a financial edge while, at the same time, preserving our health and the well-being of the environment.
Now, Microponics is the integration of fish, plants and micro-livestock and it operates on the premise that the one thing that all food organisms have in common with each other is water – so we’ll introduce you to integrated aquaculture in its various forms.
Of course, one consequence of growing fish is that we end up with nutrient-rich water that we can use to grow fruit and vegetables for us – and fodder for our micro-livestock.
When people think of growing plants, things like forks, shovels, hard work and sore backs quickly enters their mind. There are lots of very interesting ways that you can grow food plants that have nothing to do with hard work so we’ll be exploring things like the Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System (iAVs), aquaponics, wicking beds, square foot gardens – and much more.
A constant diet of fish and salad would quickly become boring so we’ll also look at backyard egg and meat production…and that’s where the micro-livestock enter the picture. There’s a long list of those for you to choose from including:
The links in this article are just a taste of what’s to come as we venture forth into the world of Microponics and integrated backyard food production.