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Episode 013 - What is Aquaponics? How a circular urban agricultural system can provide social and environmental benefits. - an Interview with Aaron Flora

Environmentality. with Brendon Anthony

Science & Medicine

In this episode of Environmentality. I sit down and chat with Aaron Flora, Renewable Farms Founder and CEO, about aquaponics. Aquaponics is an urban agricultural system that combines: aquaculture, the production of aquatic species like tilapia, catfish or shellfish, and hydroponics, the production of plants without soil. We chat about aquaponics as a tool in the toolbox for sustainable agriculture and international development, but not a one-size-fits-all solution, as it has some drawbacks. Aaron discusses how in it's appropriate context in urban areas, such as Orange County, aquaponics can and has led to generating local produce for  food insecure areas, along with numerous social benefits. At the Riverbed Farm, a local mega-aquaponics farm, operated by Aaron and Renewable Farms, there are several after-school, volunteer, internship and employment programs for kids, students, homeless, people with disabilities, veterans and the elderly. The Riverbed Farm in Anaheim, followed by two new farms opening up in Aliso Viejo and Fullerton, in the coming year, will continue to serve both people and planet, by creating a space for people to get married, hold events and interact with nature and farming, while it produces tons of food (both fish and veggies) for local food banks and educational/therapeutic opportunities for all.Aaron and I also chat about our converging paths, when he took me to Panama as a kid, and then later in college, employed me and taught me about aquaponics. Aaron continues to mentor and train numerous people in OC about this urban ag technology. To learn more about Renewable Farms and the Riverbed Farm in Anaheim, click here.Check out their instagram here: @TheRiverbedFarmIf you are interested in learning how to farm aquaponics or applying to work at any of the farms, contact Aaron at: Aaron@renewablefarms.com


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