Aquaponics on campus: a university dining hall with a 250-gallon tank to grow veggies, herbs

Last time I posted on aquaponics, people asked me if it was some newfangled way to grow drugs.

That was less than three years ago. It’s both startling and heartening to see how quickly aquaponics have entered the mainstream, now widespread and even a regular feature on mainstream news.

The soilless, city-friendly and ultra energy-efficient vegetable growing method has been slower to find adoption in mainstream physical settings, however.

The 250-gallon tank will be unveiled in Wagoner Dining Hall at UNCW. (Source: UNCW) via WECT

 

Which is why I was inspired, and fascinated, to see an announcement from the University of North Carolina Wilmington last week and figured it deserved a shout-out.

decent-sized aquaponics setup will be placed in the campus dining hall, co-maintained by the very students who eat there. These same eaters will, of course, benefit from its veggies, herbs and (possibly?) fish.

According to UNCW, the public aquaponics system is a:

joint project between UNCW’s departments of sociology and criminology, marine biology and biology, and environmental studies, the tank combines aquaculture and hydroponic technology, allowing plants and fish to coexist. Campus dining will utilize the vegetables and herbs grown, furthering the availability of sustainable foods on campus.

Another report on the UNCW system can be read on WECT news.

Congrats to UNCW for this great step in a progressive direction, bringing aquaponics further out of basements and backyards and into “normal” everyday settings, allowing students and members of the public to get to know what it can do for their own food sovereignty.

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