Retired educator sees potential in aquaponics

Doug Hiscox isn’t a salesman, but he’s found that aquaponics has a way of opening up conversations when he stops at local markets and restaurants to pick up new business.

People are naturally fascinated by the agricultural system that combines aquaculture, or raising fish, and hydroponics, growing plants in water instead of soil. “We grow three things: fish, bacteria, and lettuce,” Hiscox said.

Together with his wife, Linda, Hiscox started Cave Creek Aquaponics. It’s a second career for him. He retired from his job as a school administrator three years ago. They sold their first cutting of lettuce about a month ago.

Hiscox sees a lot of potential in aquaponics. It conserves resources. There’s no soil required, and most of the water used is recycled back through the system. It doesn’t require much land to operate. It doesn’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides. You’re not reliant on good weather and other uncontrollable factors for a good crop. “This is another way of farming that has a lot of potential,” he said.


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