Interview with Geoff Lawton: Can Aquaponics Be Part of Permaculture?

Comments: 5
By: James Fry
October 16, 2012

I was recently in Melbourne Australia to do a PDC with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton. Here is a short interview I did with Geoff Lawton, master permaculturist and founder of the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI), Australia. In the video I ask him three important questions on how aquaponics relates to permaculture and how the two disciplines are related. We also had a special guest, Latifa 🙂

Enjoy the video, and let me know what you think. I’m curious to hear the opinions out there on how aquaponics and permaculture are related. When commenting, specify whether you consider yourself an aquapon or a permaculturist… or both!

(Yeah, the sound isn’t great on this one, so I will be providing a transcript at some point)

Interview with Geoff Lawton: Can Aquaponics Be Part of Permaculture?

5 thoughts on “Interview with Geoff Lawton: Can Aquaponics Be Part of Permaculture?

  1. Hi James, I certainly think that Aquaponics can be considerered part of Permaculture but dependent on how you apply it. If the nutrients and materials, energy inputs are natural and contain minimal embodied energy then, i would consider it part of Permaculture, but if the nutrients and materials, energy inputs are artificial and contain high embodied energy then not. It also depends on how you can increase the functionality and integration of the system to reduce these external inputs.

    1. Hey Gregory,

      Great to hear from you.

      I agree 100% and oddly enough (this post is old) I don’t advocate aquaponics anymore. In fact, I steer people away from it, and towards my much improved growing method I call Revolution Garden which involves no fish, and instead recycles nutrients and “Wastes” 🙂

      Keep growing!

  2. When I initially saw aquaponics and started reading up on it, it sounded awesome and I wanted to do it. But after more research, I realized it’s not the most sustainable thing, and requires such a delicate balance to keep both fish and plants alive, that it probably isn;t the best idea for most people.

    My thought is to raise fish in ponds or whatever containers and oxygenate the water if needed, but better under open air if one has the room for it. Then periodically use pond water and waste from the bottom of the pond or fish container as a soil amendment. Maybe siphon water/sludge from the bottom. That would also keep the water cleaner for the fish.

    This would combine well outside with ducks that have access to the pond. Their waste would also be good for the garden.

    Growing water and bog plants in and around the pond would increase the food available from the pond.

    Doing things nature’s way is less work and more sustainable. That is Permaculture.

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October 16, 2012

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james-fry-permaculturist Hi, I'm James! Here you can find resources and inspiration to help you grow your own REAL food with LESS time, money, and effort than you thought possible.