Widely used in Africa and the United States, aquaponics is now arriving in France. It is a form of market gardening that consists of growing vegetables in water that comes from fish farm tanks.
It should not be confused with hydroponics, since in aquaponics, there are no inputs used but only natural products. "It is by feeding the fish that we will indirectly feed the plants," explains Matthieu Geyelin, a market gardener at the Terr'eau farm in Noth en Creuse.
After staying in the middle of trout and carp in fish farming basins, the water loaded with fish effluent is filtered and then assimilated by the plants.
"We will sow directly into the substrate where there is a stream of water passing through," explains Elise Geyelin maraichère, Terr'eau farm. The young plants are then transplanted, not into the soil, but directly into the water enriched by the fish. There is therefore no need for soil or weeding. And apart from root vegetables, everything grows whether it is salads, aromatic plants, tomatoes or strawberries...
Once filtered by the roots, the water flows back to the fish. "It is a significant saving, we will use 85% less water compared to open field market gardening. A technique that is almost unknown in France but which works," concludes the farmers' couple.