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5 Ways to a Sustainable Garden

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5 Ways to a Sustainable Garden

Few activities connect us to the environment and our planet the way that gardening connects us.  The process of gardening requires a respect and understanding for plant life, as well as continuous and thoughtful care; gardening is considered both a science and an art, and for some even a meditation. 

While for most people the idea of gardening conjures up images of nature and earth, not all gardens are completely natural, sustainable or even earth-friendly.  For this reason, we are sharing five ways to make your garden a sustainable one:

  1. Go Indoors – Outdoor gardens are great, and abundant, but not everyone has access to land or favorable climate conditions.  For this reason, it is important to explore options for an indoor garden.  Indoor gardens such as those offered through AquaGrove aquaponics, enable gardeners to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs in nearly any climate and all year long.  Having a reliable and controllable food source in place can benefit growers by providing higher yields and greater opportunity to grow greens that meet ongoing demands.
  2. Go Solar – With indoor gardens of any kind, a power source will more than likely be required.  In order to go off-grid and have a sustainable source for power, look no further than the sun.  Just check out the solar-powered AquaGrove system at Everglades University in Sarasota, Florida; as the only system of its kind, the pumps and lighting system run completely from solar power, with battery back-up to keep it going during rainy or overcast conditions.
  3. Conserve Water – Did you know that aquaponics uses up to 90 percent less water than traditional gardening?  It’s true, and with resources becoming more limited, it is important to conserve as much water as possible in the gardening process.  According to the World Resources Institute, 45 trillion gallons of water are wasted every year worldwide; this figure represents 24 percent of all water used for agriculture. Agriculture is already the world's biggest user of freshwater, with the sector accounting for 70 percent of all use around the world according to the World Water Assessment Program (source: NPR). 
  4. Limit the Waste – In addition to conserving water, a sustainable garden should also limit the number of resources wasted.  For outdoor gardens, you may choose to make your own compost to fertilize your garden and use natural, recycled and upcycled materials.  With aquaponics, there is little to no waste at all, and any solids collected from the system and filter can be added to compost or applied to other gardens.  Any unharvested plant material from the system can be fed to animals or composted, and very little (if any) water needs to be discharged.
  5. Skip the Toxins - Traditional gardening often uses manufactured chemical and synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Production of such fertilizers tax natural resources, cause significant pollution, and don’t offer a sustainable model for gardening. Since aquaponics mimics a natural ecosystem, it produces many nutrients that plants need without added chemicals.  Additionally, it is guaranteed to produce an organic final product as fish would not survive any foreign or toxic additives.  To keep your system, plants, fish and the environment healthy, seek and adopt organic gardening methods.

By taking the time to implement sustainable and eco-friendly gardening techniques, we can make a positive impact on our environment and reap the rewards of a healthy food source. Keep these basic gardening tips in mind to create a sustainable garden that will decrease your carbon footprint and give back to you, and the planet.