Some questions answered
For anything else please drop us an email.
What is GrowFarm?
GrowFarm is a concept that involves modular shipping containers utilises vertical farming techniques, aquaponics and hydroponic grow systems and mushroom cultivation into one unique environment.
Modular Stackable Shipping Containers
Vertical Farming to grow on 4 levels
Aquaponics for Nutrients Hydroponics for Lighting
Mushroom Cultivation for Co2 enrichment.
How did it all start?
The initial idea was thought up in 2013, we started in 2014 when we acquired a perfect piece of land and have since battled with finances to get growing. The project has been self funded with friends and family support so towards the end we we’re really running on empty and had to find other work to fund the farm. Thankfully it has all been worth it.
Where do you sell?
All our produce can be purchased online, we offer a local delivery service or Nationwide via Royal mail.
Quite simply to provide the general public with nutrient rich organically grown produce all year round.
Vegan or Not? You decide?
as per definition
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
That said all our produce has been grown using natural fertilisers, mainly from Fish in the form of their waste, but also supplemented using natural, organic certified substances like Seaweed Extract and Rock Phosphate.
With regards to our fish, they are our babies, and they do most of the work, so being cruel to them or raising them in a harsh or cruel environment doesn’t make sense.
Based on this we will let you make the decision but feel free to ask anymore questions or request any further info.
Plans for the Future?
From converting old containers to place in to Schools for education or just simply for organisations to use within their surroundings to help others, we believe the Growfarm Concept can be adapted to suit any requirement.
We also have plans to upscale and create an all year round Pick Your Own store, more on this in the future.
The order process?
Once we have received your order we will be in contact to arrange a suitable delivery time.
Once this has been agreed your goods will be picked on the day prior to delivery with a time stamp placed within your order as verification of picking times.
You can expect to see your goods picked and delivered within an hour or 2.
How can i help?
Whether an individual or business we would love to hear from you, if you feel you may have resources that could help in our mission we would love to work with you to achieve these. Please get in contact for further information.
Aquaponics in General
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the combination of recirculation aquaculture and hydroponics. In aquaponics, you grow plants and fish together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides a food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. This creates a sustainable ecosystem where both plants and fish can thrive. Aquaponics is the ideal answer to a fish farmers problem of disposing of nutrient rich water and a hydroponic growers need for nutrient rich water.
How does it work?
The key to a successful aquaponic system is the beneficial bacteria which convert the fish wastes into nutrients that the plants use.
More than 50% of the waste produced by fish is in the form of ammonia, secreted through the gills and in the urine. The remainder of the waste, excreted as fecal matter, undergoes a process called mineralization which occurs when Heterotrophic bacteria consume fish waste, decaying plant matter and uneaten food, converting all three to ammonia & other compounds. In sufficient quantities ammonia is toxic to plants and fish. Nitrifying bacteria, which naturally live in the soil, water and air, convert ammonia first to nitrite and then to nitrate which plants consume. In your aquaponic system the nitrifying bacteria will thrive in the gravel in the fish tanks and in the growing medium in the grow bed. The plants readily uptake the nitrate in the water and, in consuming it, help to keep the water quality safe for the fish.
Is aquaponics organic?
Aquaponics is a completely natural process which mimics all lakes, ponds, rivers and waterways on earth. The only input to an aquaponic system is fish food. The fish eat the food and excrete waste, which is converted (by beneficial bacteria) to a form that that plants can use. In consuming these nutrients, the plants help to purify the water. You can not use herbicides, pesticides or other harsh chemicals in an aquaponic system, making the fish and plants healthful and safe to eat.
This process could not be more organic but getting an organic certification for a culture system that does not use soil is tricky, to date we are not aware of any organic certification standards for fish/aquaponics.
What are the benefits of growing Aquaponically?
The combination of aquaculture and hydroponics is quite new and the potential for using aquaponics to grow high quality food around the world is tremendous. Here are some of the many advantages of aquaponic food production:
- Aquaponics utilizes the nutrient rich water from aquaculture that otherwise would have been a waste product or would need to be filtered in a costly manner.
- Aquaponics eliminates the cost and time involved with mixing traditional hydroponic nutrients.
- Aquaponics provides a truly organic, natural form of nutrients for the plants.
- By eliminating the soil in vegetable production, you eliminate all soil borne disease.
- Aquaponics uses a fraction of the water that traditional field production does because no water is wasted or consumed by weeds.
- In aquaponics, plant spacing can be very intensive, allowing you to grow more plants in a given space.
- With high stocking densities in the fish tank, plants will quickly grow and develop in an aquaponic system.
- In aquaponics there cannot be any pesticides or herbicides used, making the end product healthier and safer.
- If your climate permits or if you are growing in a greenhouse, you can grow crops in an aquaponic system year-round.
What fish do you use?
We use Tilapia, a fresh water that is fast growing and has firm white meat when filleted, is most commonly raised in aquaponics because it is very hardy and can tolerate a wide variety of water quality conditions. Other fish, such as crappie, brim, bass, carp, goldfish and koi can all be raised in aquaponics.
What plants can you grow?
Lettuce, chives and other leafy crops were first considered for aquaponics but, more recently, commercial growers and researchers have had great success with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, melons, flowers and many other crops.
Is aquaponically grown produce safe from E. COLI and Salmonella?
Yes! Because fish are cold blooded animals their waste does not, and cannot, contain either of these pathogens. In fact, there was a recent study done by the College of Tropical Agriculture in Hawaii titled “A Preliminary Study of Microbial Water Quality Related to Food Safety in Recirculating Aquaponic Fish and Vegetable Production Systems” that explored this very question and concluded that in general aquaponically grown food is even safer than soil grown food