|We have successfully grown a wide variety of vegetables namely – Tomato, Cucumber, Bitter Gourd, Bottle Gourd, Kohlrabi, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Red and Green Spinach, Chilly, Capsicum, Cherry Tomato, Basil, Green Bean, Brinjal, Ridge Gourd, Pumpkin, Lettuce , Turnip, Papaya, and a whole bunch of herbs and seasonal flowers as well. And the best of all Tilapia and Catfish!!|
From the Urban Gardener
Welcome to Urbagrow. It is with the deepest gratitude to Mother Nature that we welcome you to our very special aquaponic garden of abundance in the city of Kolkata, India. Our Urban Food Garden showcases the fruits of almost 3 years of concentrated independent research in aquaponics. Carrying a 20th century twist to an age old science this is a method of growing vegetables and some fruits on one’s very own self, in cyclical, self balancing natural systems that function without the necessity of Soil and notably, without any requirements for additives of a chemical nature – be it fertilizers or pesticides or from the contamination of soil. Once you are able to wrap your head around the wonder of what is being proposed, the question arises HOW can that be?!!. The answers have existed in Nature’s Nitrogen Cycle for millennia and contrary to popular belief the science was known to ancient Indian and Babylonian Civilizations. The knowledge once lost in time, is making a re emergence as the necessity has arisen for mankind and Aquaponics is now suitably adapted to work with modern day materials and the wonders of electricity!
The rampant use of uncontrolled, misunderstood and non-sustainable industrial methods in agriculture has replaced almost all traditional growing techniques and age-old sustainable practices. Greater food miles, yield additives, pesticides and warehousing has increased the price of every single food product for all Indians and myself, the Kolkata resident. If we count the additional cost of long term damage to our health en masse to all who eat to survive the picture carries an air of gloom. The call is to realize it is time to take matters back into our own hands, small steps at first but it will take strides to take back our ability to grow all our food cleanly and sustainably !!.
On the internet the aquaponics gurus describe this young rediscovered science as follows: “Aquaponics is a combination of Aquaculture & Hydroponics. Aquaponics uses the water from the fish tank to circulate through a grow bed where the plants are grown. Nitrifying bacteria convert fish wastes into plant-available nutrients. The plants use these nutrients as their main nutrient supply. The fish benefit from this process also, as the water is filtered by the plants, giving the fish clean water to live in. With aquaponics, both the fish and the plants not only grow well, they flourish.”
“Aquaponics can be loosely described as the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics and this is where the name aqua-ponics originates. Aquaponics is one of the most productive and sustainable food production systems in the world.”
“Aquaponics uses highly nutritious fish effluent that contains all the required nutrients for optimum growth. Instead of discharging water, aquaponics uses the plants and the media in which they grow to clean and purify the water, after which it is returned to the fish tank. This water can be reused indefinitely and will only need to be replaced when it is lost through transpiration and evaporation. It’s basically about growing fish and plants in a symbiotic system. Fish and plants growing happily together”.
A few years ago we decided to see just how much food we could actually grow on a small roof in Kolkata of about 1000 sq ft using aquaponics, I have been pleasantly surprised almost everyday since then, as our video updates and pictures show, its been a truly amazing journey , challenging and bountiful.
Now, we build systems for others, Aquaponic Systems for small spaces with our Indian adaptations, and they function very well in Kolkata, bang in the middle of the urban environment that we live in. We offer a limited but efficient array of urban Aquaponic systems, all tried and tested in our own food garden and on display for all to see and get used to. The systems are all made by hardworking hands, from materials available locally making them scalable and easy to maintain, and are the appropriate sizes and priced for Kolkata, our city of home gardeners with flat roofs and balconies. The systems are all Soil Free ( the plants grow in gravel beds or cocopith ), that means all you need is a limited amount of space, a limited supply of water and a little power to start growing good clean vegetables and fish. In our urban food garden in Kolkata we continue to grow a wide range of local vegetables in various quantities all powered by Tilapia and some Catfish.
Consider this an invitation to your curiosity, Visit Us or use the contact us page to ask us your questions yourself. Spare a few hours and learn from one of our informative Learning Sessions, buy or build yourself a small system to believe how real the possibility is, we assure you, soon, there will be no looking back , the first steps will have been well taken and they will not be in vain when for the coming decades you will continue reap the harvests of nature’s benevolence from your own roof top food garden and like us, get better at it each year.
TThank you for visiting this site. Be sure to check back for our latest update from the Garden!