The experimental aquaponics on the rooftops: tilapia and lush gardens

Urban agriculture is gaining in popularity in New York, but the company of Brooklyn takes the green practice to new heights literally. Inconspicuous, located on the roof of the warehouse on Johnson Avenue between Bushwick and East Williamsburg, specially designed aquaponics system (called Farmlab) capable of producing lush greenery in a compact space of 800 square feet.

In contrast to the concrete jungle on the street, the roof space is filled with a lush garden, thanks to the set on top of a two-tier structure, whose tanks filled with fish tilapia.

The founder of the company, whose full name is Jason Green (Jason Green), started an innovative enterprise-garden in 2013 when he took part in the competition Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Almost three years later, with $ 900,000 of seed capital, Green and his co-founders Matt La Rossa (Matt La Rosa) and Ben Silverman (Ben Silverman), along with a team of 13 people (eight people working full-time, five - part time day, as well as several student interns), diligently working to make the dream become a reality on Farmlab. Although innovation Farmlab quite complex, the ultimate goal of Green’s simple: “to inspire people to produce their own food.”

“We’re trying to change the food supply chain and not to change consumer behavior,” explains Green.

After hundreds of sample design team settled on “LEGO or Ikea” model, which allows you to build a large farm of the same building blocks.

“The design that we came up with, makes it very easy to build large systems,” says Green. “We realized that it makes sense as the improvement of infrastructure for the commercial-scale farming.”

By combining engineering, architectural, engineering and even neuro-scientific knowledge of the team, the project is a system of full cycle production using hydroponics.

At the bottom of the multi-level system located aquariums populated by tilapia, which provide water and nutrients to the garden. When water rises to the top of the system, it is filtered, purified from bacteria and transformed into fertilizer, which feed on the plants. After the plants out clean water, which is pumped back into the lower tank where the process begins again.

8 October 2015

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