Friday, December 7, 2012

Turn Fish Poo into Pesto

You too could turn fish poo into pesto! Okay, wait, I skipped a few steps. Let me start from the beginning. I recently came across a cool project on Kickstarter: Back to the Roots' Home Aquaponics Kit. The Home Aquaponics Kit is at its essence a closed-loop ecosystem small enough to sit on your kitchen counter. Plants on top, fish beneath.

Besides the great ecology lesson for your kids, what's great about the Home Aquaponics Kit is you won't need to clean the aquarium. The fish poo gets broken down by beneficial bacteria into nutrients, then that waste-water from the fish is then pumped up & upcycled as an awesome organic fertilizer for the plants. The plants take up the nutrients &, at the same time, clean the water which then falls back down for the fish. There is no soil - the plants are growing on rocks - all the nutrients coming from the fish. With no need for any artificial fertilizers, it's all organic!

I said closed loop, but I lied. Just a little. You will still need to feed the fish, but that's about it. The Home Aquaponics Kit comes fully assembled, with everything except the fish. Here's what's included:
  • The tank & garden top - food and pet safe! 
  • Air pump to bring your nutrients up & oxygenate the water
  • Five pots with pebbles (growing medium for the plants)
  • Organic seeds (a mix of various herbs)
  • Fish food & water conditioners to get started right away
Just add water, a fish & watch your system grow! Though the fish you see above is a betta, there are many other kinds you can have in the system. 

So where does the pesto come in? Well, one of the plants you can easily grow on top of your aquarium is basil, which you could now make fresh pesto out of. Mmm... pesto.

If you think this is really cool like I do & you're raring to get one, I've got good news & bad news for you. The good news: you can order one right now! The bad news: it won't arrive before Christmas.

Remember I said it was a Kickstarter project, right? If you didn't know what I meant by that, it's basically a website that allows entrepreneurs to crowdsource funding. Nikhil & Alejandro, the guys behind the Back to the Roots Home Aquaponics Kit are looking for funding to produce the first run of kits in the spring of 2013. The great thing about Kickstarter is that pretty much anybody can back a project: the minimum pledge is only $1. For a pledge of $50, you could get yourself your own aquaponics kit including shipping to the US. (add $50 for shipping to Canada) The future retail price will be $75, so it's a good deal to get in early. :)

Wfm_bttr_506.largeThere are only seven more days to help fund this project, so don't wait. Check out the Kickstarter page of Back to the Roots' Home Aquaponics Kit now!

For more information on Nikhil & Alejandro's project or their company, you can check out the website of Back to the Roots, on Facebook, on Twitter or on Youtube.

Disclaimer: Back to the Roots is sending me a mushroom kit as a gift, & I will be receiving an Aquaponics Kit to review when they come out in the spring. I haven't yet seen the kit, the information above comes from Back to the Roots. The words & opinions are mine, however.

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