November 15, 2010

Visiting an Aquaponic Farm Near my Home in Bedford

I had a pleasant lunch recently, with my friend Nancy Kohlberg who, along with her husband, Jerome, developed the Cabbage Hill Farm Foundation, located in Mount Kisco, New York.  Nancy and Jerome are dedicated to the preservation of historic farm animals, to the practice of sustainable agriculture techniques, and to aquaponics.  I am always interested in seeing how various farms operate and it was fascinating to visit Cabbage Hill Farm’s aquaponics greenhouse.  Unlike hydroponics, this method of growing plants is dependant on the simultaneous raising of fish, creating a mutually beneficial environment.  Basically, schools of fish swim in tanks.  Water from the fish tanks pass through a bio-filter, converting fish waste to nitrate, which is what plants need to grow.  The plants are fed this nutrient-rich water, in turn, cleansing that water for use back to the fish.  There is very little waste with this method of farming and, in addition to growing beautiful crops of vegetables, the fish can also be sold as food to the restaurant and market trade.