Industries including GrowUp Urban Farms and Urban Organics have brought forth a new method of producing salad greens and fish to grocery stores and restaurants through what is called the “GrowUp Box.” It is a 20-foot container where tilapia are farmed in tanks designed to make sure the fish have enough room to grow while greens are cultivated in vertical columns on the top of the container. So how do these two aspects come into play to make the box beneficial? The water from the tilapia tank circulates through the columns, where the fish waste acts as a fertilizer to the greenhouse held atop. Each box holds about 400 plants and uses just 2% of the water of conventional agriculture.
The first commercial-scale aquaponics farm was built in London. Although the project may seem most beneficial to the food industry, it can grow to impact our own communities. Food desserts have been a leading cause of obesity most seen in low income communities. Having our residents exposed to a healthier alternative will also increase economic stability and lower the environmental impact of agriculture. The GrowUp Box will produce a year-round harvest of fresh fish and greens using a combination of aquaponic and vertical growing technologies that will provide a healthier lifestyle and promote urban sustainability in an ecofriendly way.
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