I slutet av Maj deltog Hemmaodlat i ett EU-projekt vars syfte var att lära mer om CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Läs mer om våra iaktagelser.
Hemmaodlat åkte tack vare ett samarbete med Malmö stad till en CSA Workshop i Polen. Läs om Henriks och Henriques resa.
Träningsläger i Aquaponics på Island
Iceland is about 2000 km away from Sweden, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. It has a landscape as beautiful to behold as its weather is dangerous to the beholder.
In this barren land, where agriculture is very hard if not impossible, 15 participants from 9 different countries came together to a COST Training school in Sólheimar Eco-Village to learn about the business side of Aquaponics, and it’s opportunities and challenges.
Aquaponics is a developing technique that combines aquaculture and hydroponic (or soilless) cultivation, by using filters and bacteria to convert the fish waste into nutrients for the plants, in a constructed ecosystem. Iceland currently grows its vegetables in green houses, and implementing aquaponics systems in these would both reduce dependency on fishing as well as increase the sustainability of Iceland’s agricultural system.
Our first stop was in the organic farm Akur, where they not only grew organic tomatoes and cucumbers, but where we visited a pilot aquaponics system, combining aquaculture Tilapia with Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)grown tomatoes, salad, okra and kale. In the end, we barbequed the Tilapia and we prepared a big delicious meal with all that food that was grown right there in the greenhouse!
In between field trips, we had lectures on the state of commercial aquaponics solutions in Europe, and all participants briefly presented their projects to everyone. We then selected a few of the projects and dwelved deep into writing business cases for them, receiving also lectures on analyzing costs of aquaponics systems, contracts, and managing teams.
We also visited Friðheimar, a tomato farm with an interesting new business model. There, we were able to hear about their production method, and how they integrated a restaurant and shop experience right inside their greenhouse. We experienced this first-hand by enjoying tomato soup from the greenhouse’s tomatoes while looking at cucumber and tomato plants growing right in front of us. The owner’s love for growing tomatoes could be felt in their taste but also in the popularity of the farm, receiving many thousands of visitors every year.
Our last visit was to a smaller aquaponics system in Reykjavik, where they were also growing Tilapia but this time only cultivating Pak Choi in a raft system (DWC). Both this system as the one in the organic farm (Akur) they incorporated crayfish to help recycle the fish waste, but also to grow a second organism that can be consumed. This could be especially interesting for Swedes as you love your crayfish parties more than anybody!
Article by Henrique Sánchez, Pictures by Henrique Sánchez & Oliver Halsey