Realising a dream with urban aquaponic farming
For years, Louis and Nadine Kuys toyed with the idea of producing their own nutritious food and living off the grid.
This, however, was not possible on their 45ha farm on marginal land near Hopefield in the Western Cape.
Finally, in early 2016, they sold the farm and bought a house with 1ha of land in the small town of Vredenburg, closer to the coast. Here they decided to break new ground with an aquaponic farming venture.
“We always wanted to do tunnels, but Hopefield is just too hot, so we decided to try urban farming because our market is all around us in town,” explains Louis.
Louis has been researching and planning aquaponics systems since 2014. While investigating a new filtration system for a water feature, he stumbled upon the aquaponic concept, which is a system in which aquaculture and hydroponic farming methods are combined.
He built his first aquaponic system using a reusable bulk industrial container that measured 3m x 4m. “We grew a ‘forest’ in there: thyme, tomatoes, artichokes, strawberries, dill, fennel, oregano, sweet peas, peppers, turnips, okra and beans.”
After this initial venture, Louis felt confident enough to expand the system with a professionally built tunnel system.
Read their story here.