Hooked on ‘ponics

The weather is always perfect here, 68 degrees. Pristine plants flourish all year long in crisp, refreshing air. Even the water tastes better here. It’s a piece of heaven carved into a hilltop in Lenoir City.

Whoever wrote “Corn won’t grow at all on Rocky Top” obviously never met Ryan Cox. “We can grow 600 types of crops,” he says. Right now, corn isn’t one of them, but there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables growing here, along with several species of fish that thrive in an aquaponic paradise he calls HATponics.

“HAT” stands for “Hydro-Aqua-Terra.” A combination of fish, water, soil and plants creates a containable, self-sustaining environment. The symbiotic relationship of fish and plants differentiates hydroponics from “aquaponics” because it eliminates the need for additives required in water alone. They foster the natural processes that occur in every lake, stream and river, cultivating an ecosystem that reduces the impact on global resources and provides clean, nutritious food in a seemingly unlimited supply.

Read more at Cityview (K. Diahn Oakley)


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