Here is an article describing a method of producing vegetation and fish in a symbiotic relationship all without dirt. Could this, as the title of the article suggests, revolutionize the way we eat?

Aquaponics is a method of combined fish and vegetable farming that requires no soil. The farmer cultivates freshwater fish (aquaculture) and plants (hydroponics) in a recirculating water system that exchanges nutrients between the two. Wastewater from the fish serves as organic fertilizer for the plants, while the plants clean the water of fish feces and urine. The net result: a 90 percent reduction in freshwater use compared with conventional fish farming, and a significant reduction in added nutrients such as fossil fertilizers. The system can be run without pesticides and, because the fish environment is spacious and clean, without antibiotics.

At the very least this might open up a new avenue for producing food in cities with limited farmland but plenty of space on rooftops.

h/t Tyler Stockton

Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture


  1. Rooftops are for people. If the environment is so congested as to suggest using rooftops for farming, then there is even more need for open space for people to fly kites or sunbath and picnic or what ever.

    The method of farming is desirable, albeit not up on rooftops, but down on the ground where water belongs. In metropolitan areas there is always lots of commercial land and vacant land that can be used for efficient enclosed farming where greenhouses are permitted within the zoning code.

  2. Aquaponics can be great. The ranch where I live raised some tilapia that fertilized collards, purslane, and tomatoes. If we’d been more rigorous with planting and tending it, our rig might have been ble to feed a dozen people, and it took up it could have easily fit in even a small back yard. Ive often wondered if a similar system could be used to feed residents of the “rust belt,” where abandoned homes and gutted homes can be breathtakingly cheap.

    One thing to remember, these systems still require fish food, which is often processed corn and soy shipped through the supply lines that give us local food folks conniptions. But nothing’s perfect…

  3. Skyler Reidy writes : “where abandoned homes and gutted homes can be breathtakingly cheap.”

    But only if the tanks are put on the second floor so as to increase the entertainment value of watching the house implode on itself when the tank makes its way to the basement.

    Putting the tank on the first floor level will likewise destroy the house, but the implosion wouldn’t be as dramatic.

    Water belongs on the ground because it’s rather heavy and structures, including buildings, are not typically designed to carry the load.

  4. Love the Girls,
    Yes, load analysis is important but there is a tremendous potential in rooftop crops, both for viable production but for rainwater retention/detention/filtration as well as cooling the heat island effect.

  5. DW Sabin writes : “there is a tremendous potential in rooftop crops”

    No there isn’t. What there is, is a tremendous potential to use conventional methods of farming. Conservatories get built on rooftops. Greenhouses of the type conducive to farming are built on the ground because that is where its most practical to build them.

  6. Just a note of interest, it’s commonly illegal to retain rain water, the water belongs to those who own the water rights to it. Retention ponds are designed to let the water drain off slowly.

Comments are closed.