Gardening System Using Fish - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Gardening System Using Fish

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Glen Miracle, owner of Laughing Frog Farm, has a gardening system using fish in his greenhouse. 

From the outside it looks like any other greenhouse, but inside could just be the future of growing food.  It's all playing out on Glen Miracle's small Hempstead farm. 

Hundreds of tilapia swim around in the tank here beneath a host of plants. 

"These are plants we grow that are in the water all the time," said Miracle.

It's a gardening system known as aquaponics. 

"Aquaponics is growing fish and using the ammonia that comes from the fish waste to fertilize the plants," he said.

The plants grow amazingly fast in pea gravel by soaking up the ammonia and converting it to nitrate. 

Sally MacDonald:  "I guess this has been a lot of trial and error right?"

"That's what aquaponics is all about.  Like so many things there's no book to explain what I'm really doing here," said Miracle.

Disgusted by the Gulf oil spill two years ago, Miracle got hooked on his hobby in hopes of inspiring others to grow their own food, too.

"A lot of people are suspect of what comes out of the ocean these days, and farm raised fish are being fed massive quantities of antibiotics.  To get food that's really good for you, sometimes you just have to grow it yourself."

He feeds his fish greens grown organically on the farm along with organic alfalfa pellets.

"If you feed a fish corn and soy it comes out heavy on omega 6 fatty acids and low on omega 3 fatty acids.  That's what you want fish for.  If you want omega 6 you can eat corn fed beef," said Miracle.

Miracle hopes to grow his tilapia to more than a pound by early next year and begin selling them at farmers markets.

"I think most of my farming experience has been learning by mistake.  I've killed more plants than most people.  I'm just trying not to kill more fish."

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