In the world of urban agriculture big ideas can often come from small beginnings and the enthusiasm of one person to explore the potential of something they believe in. Here we take a look at an aquaponics initiative that we've been excited to see evolve since its launch three years ago.
Introducing Alice Archer, founder of the Bristol Fish Project. Alice started the project in 2012 as an experiment into the commercial viability of 'closed loop' urban agriculture via community-supported aquaponics. As well as making aquaponics accessible, one of its key objectives is to train entry level practitioners in a holistic manner to help counteract challenges to the socioeconomic sustainability of the aquaculture industry in Europe.
Bristol Fish Project began with the piloting of a 5000L aquaponics unit which ran with the support of volunteers, providing data for the design of a larger system for which the project has now been awarded £50,000 to build in 2015. In parallel to this the Fish project is utilising our popular FishPlant™ system to grow ingredients for the Phoenix cafe in Bristol to use in its asian dishes and salads.
Alice is part way through teaching a 12 week 'Introduction to Aquaponics' course including practical sessions on how to build an aquaponic system, visiting speakers and field trips. She also offers evening classes on Community Supported Aquaculture and Urban Agriculture as well as bespoke day or weekend course for individuals, groups and businesses.
Visit www.bristolfish.org for more info or to see a video update on the Bristol Fish Project (Dec 2014).
The city of Bristol was selected to be the European Green Capital for 2015 in recognition of its high environmental standards and commitment to further improvement and sustainability, so watch this space for more exciting developments!