ZERO IMPACT FARMING!
Zero Impact Farming means farming with the smallest impact on your environment. Make your footprint small!
Minimally Invasive to the Land
Kunia Country Farms is currently operating on two acres of agricultural land in Kunia, Hawaii. Aquaponics, like hydroponics, is a soilless farming technology. Fish tanks and grow troughs are constructed above ground, so we do not deplete the soil composition, nor do we apply chemicals or sprays to the ground. In fact, an aquaponic farm could be entirely constructed anywhere, even on an asphalt parking lot. If the farm were ever de-constructed, the land and soil would be the same as before we arrived.
As a related benefit, we are not concerned about the soil's previous history. Any contaminants or lingering pesticides or pathogens are isolated from our fish tanks and grow troughs.
Reusable Growing Materials
Construction materials for our recirculating system are all organic compliant. We use polyethylene tanks and trough liners, schedule 40 PVC for all of the plumbing, and standard lumber (untreated for any parts possibly in contact with the water) for troughs and seed tables.
The inert growing media is derived from coconut husk, and is also reusable. The only parts of the system that will eventually require replacement are the 2# density styrofoam rafts, and the 2 inch netpots. Thus far, replacement has been minimal.
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Careful Use of Resources
There are two main components of natural resource inputs: water and electricity.
Our system currently operates with about 100,000 gallons of recirculating water. If you look closely at the pictures, the troughs are covered with styrofoam floats, so there is minimal evaporation. In the past year, at commercial growing scale, we have not had to add water to the system. In fact, rainfall will typically overflow the sump tank. One inch of rainfall into the troughs is equivalent to adding over 7,500 gallons to the system. Growing lettuce without adding water, we are operating water-neutral!
Hawaii has one of the highest electricity rates in the Country. Our focus has always been simplicity and efficiency: one pump, two blowers, and one reefer. We are planning to install a new photovoltaic system at the Farm this year to operate grid-neutral as well!