This idea combines two of my favorite urban food growing solutions – vertical gardening, and aquaponics. Can they be friends? Of course they can!
Charlie from Ecolicious in Sydney has been trialling a funky combo of these techniques in various urban gardens he’s been designing of late. Vertical growing space of edible vegies and herbs, irrigated by a solar powered pump. And beneath it all, an aquaponics system which cycles fishy nutrients to grow the plants above…
In the Aquaponics workshops that we run with Charlie in Sydney, it’s been clear that some students want to design and create vertical systems, to save space and to catch available light.
The modular products that Charlie is now working with are one way to go about it, but there’s lots of scope for DIY vertical solutions here too.
Above is a great Windowfarm-esque design created by a student at a previous aquaponics workshop (but maybe even better than Windowfarms, in theory, as it’s using aquaponics, not hydroponics, so no nasty chemicals or high inputs).
I think there’s also lots of scope to integrate the pallet gardens that are popping up everywhere into this type of design idea… don’t you think?
A pallet garden with a small tub (or beautiful nearby pond) of fish beneath it. That’s sounding like my type of small-space garden…
We’re also now looking at the aquaponics system we installed with Charlie at Alexandria Park Community Center, and we’re looking at that wall behind the growbed. Hmm. I think it needs a bit of vertical gardening love, don’t you? Maybe next workshop we can get that happening…
Our upcoming aquaponics workshops are here…
Many thanks to Charlie of Ecolicious for the photos and his ongoing enthusiasm and commitment to urban food production, and to all things aquaponic-ish!
Brilliant stuff- I’ve bee playing with some ideas for vertical gardens over my pond. Thanks for more inspiration!
This is such a fantastic idea. I especially LOVE the pallet garden. Hmmmm might just have to try some of this out 🙂
yeah the pallet gardens are a great little idea, when done properly – Vicki also have a look at this pallet garden photoset, if you’ve not seen it? http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.251366384888422.71215.201805699844491&type=3
Do you know whether the commercial pallets are made from treated wood that may leach toxins?
Good question Denise – I got told that some are and some aren’t depending on the industry they came from… Will find that info and report back?
Yep Aquaponics looks like a real winner – Can’t wait to get into it myself (At the top of my ‘to do’ list).
And I thought pallets were a way of organising gumboots. Very cool.
Aquaponics is one of the best things to happen recently. It has appeal on so many levels. I love to see all the new innovations like what you are doing here, taking a great idea and making it even more interesting.
I just wonder about the pallets… I really like the vertical garden ideas, esp in conjunction with the aquaponics but wonder about what might be in the pallets (ie are they treated), in terms of growing edibles?
yes I wonder too. I would be putting a non-permeable membrane between the pallets and the soil myself, and just using the pallets for their structural integrity…
WHY ARE WE NOT TALKING TO GREECE ABOUT PERMACULTURE ….. OR ARE WE ?
i have told so many people about the ‘peak oil ‘ film ….why does it seem that my lips are moving and no sound is coming out ….. permaculture could be our single most important export in these troubled times ….
fantastic post! loving the pictures, i will definately be recommending that my readers take a look at your site, keep up the good work
encourage you to look at woolly pockets for a good vertical gardening system – they are made from recycled plastics plus they are made ethically (ie no cheap labour) – plants love them and they last – a great marraige with aquaponics
Love this idea! I’m doing my best to make small changes at a time. Still learning a ton. When I have a place I will definately be using this!!!!!!
That’s genius! I’d love to have something like this. I’ve seen the ponds at woodvalefishandlilyfarm.com.au, but I never thought of using a vertical garden for a water source.
Dear Milkwood, Do you know where i could find some really practical information with photos for setting up growing greens in limited space with limited income in the slums in Uganda?
I’d suggest researching ‘worm wicking beds’ (as opposed to wicking beds) which is growing directly in the top of worm farm systems- good for limited space growing of crops with high input needs (greens) …
Hi there, where can I buy the pots from? Would love to add a green wall to my existing aquaponics setup