AquaponieBXL: wasteless urban farming, where food grows on water using nutrients from fish waste

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Laurence Vanneyre
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AquaponieBxl - Laurence Vanneyre

Aquaponics, the combination of aquaculture (fish-breeding) and hydroponics (soil-less plant growing) provides a far more sustainable alternative to traditional irrigation systems. Aquaponics allows for fish and plants to be grown together: while the fish grow in the water filtered by the plants, the latter use the fish waste as organic nourishment - the video below (in French) illustrates how aquaponics creates a closed loop:

Such aquaponic gardens do not require any inputs after installation. With little water usage and low power consumption, aquaponics is a technology especially suited to cities, where it reduces the farm-to-fork distance to almost zero.

AquaponieBXL is perfecting this technology and building aquaponic systems across Brussels to contribute to the production of healthy and sustainable food. These systems are both indoors and outdoors, and range from small (for schools, restaurants, etc.) to big (public gardens, grocery gardens, companies, etc.) systems.

At Recy-K, where all actors have embraced the circular cause, AquaponieBxl also organises training courses and workshops for citizens and schools.

Main results
  • Three aquaponic systems of different sizes have been built in different Brussels neighbourhoods, where local citizens use them to grow plants.
  • These aquaponic gardens are also used to provide hands-on training to adults interested in sustainable farming innovations and as a backdrop for school visits.
  • All plants grown in the (semi-commercial) big orchard are sold locally to Epi, a collaborative grocery shop.