Our aquaponics garden is providing fresh organic food for the 7 de Laan community, and, with our new expanded area, soon a source of income too.
What is aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a great way to grow vegetables, salad and herbs. It has two parts which work in harmony: plants which grow in water (not soil), and fish ponds. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants filter the water for the fish.
Why did we start aquaponic farming at 7 de Laan?
There are four things which really make this a great project for our community.
1. An easy, natural way to grow food
Aquaponics uses only one tenth of the water of soil-based gardening and no chemicals or pesticides. It is also involves much less work than traditional farming. The little water needed for the garden is harvested from our rain catchment system, which means we have 100% water savings. This is a huge achievement in sustainability, especially given the drought our area is currently suffering from.
2. Healthy food for the kids
The garden provides fresh tasty vegetables for the school children’s lunches and for the many children being fed by the soup kitchen several times a week. It also means the kids can see first-hand how food grows – they even have one bed to grow their own veggies in – and learn to appreciate it more.
3. Testimony to God’s goodness and creativity
When we started our ministry in 7 de Laan we received a word from God saying “You will provide them good food to eat”. Seeing all this fresh food and all the kids enjoying it day in day out really feels like a fulfilment of this word. Despite all the dry land around us God is helping us grow and provide food for his people, and showing his amazing creativity in action.
4. Source of income
We have just built a new 16 by 4 metre section of the garden, with new fish ponds and plenty more space to grow food. With this extended space we will be able to grow enough for the school and soup kitchen, and still have enough left to sell at local organic stores. The money made will help us to cover HOSA’s running costs and help us become more self-sufficient.
Special thanks to the Christian Broadcast Network www.cbnafrica.org whose generous support made the garden possible. They also made this fantastic short video
More about the project.