Integrating Traditional Foods with Aquaponics in the Desert Southwest

Created with SARE support

Aaron Cardona set out to grow tilapia and traditional Mexican greens in a greenhouse using an integrated aquaponics system powered by solar energy in the Chihuahuan Desert of Southeastern Arizona. In a rural area of very conservative and traditional farming, the project looked to test the viability of aquaponics in the area, introduce a fresh water fish in the desert, and provide two water heavy crops, berros (watercress) and verdolagas (purslane), traditionally eaten by the Hispanic population of the area. It also looked to build a more economically viable system that could be replicated by the local low-income population of the area or by those looking to utilize space efficiently in their greenhouse while utilizing renewable energy to fuel the system. This video takes you through the basics of aquaponic growing at his farm.


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