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Tank Farm for Growing Vegetables in a Backyard Farm

"It's scrumptious to eat fresh greens the same day they are picked," says Laurie Roberts of Backyard Aquafarms.

You don't have to have acres to farm anymore! You can create a productive backyard farm whether you are an urban or suburban gardener. The secret is high productivity processes coupled with an effective watering system.

The best time to start planning your expanded-season gardening adventure is... well, NOW. :-) I don't know about you, but January is my favorite garden planning month. The seed catalogs start arriving. The choices in the fresh produce section are wimpy at best...and I can't wait to wiggle my toes in the soil. Well... this new twist to gardening offers something else -- ease of gardening and the ability to go away for a few days without gardening woes creeping in.

Earth Tanks : Self-Watering Farms

Backyard self watering garden
Tanks plus a plastic cover, equals a miniature greenhouse that extends the growing season

Backyard self watering garden
Add self-watering capability and you make gardening easy.

Backyard self watering garden
Simple design with no moving parts to ventilate and control the temperature... that's my kind of greenhouse!

"The Earth Tank is a concept Aquafarms developed after seeing how effective Earth Boxes are in growing vegetables. The Earth Tanks are self-watering, non-porous containers that have a reservoir in the bottom of tank which, by way of simple soil hydraulics and a wicking system, keeps the recommended soil medium moist but not wet," she explains.

Earth Tanks are a great for backyard farming because once food is harvested, the clock starts ticking on its nutritional value and live enzyme availability. Flavor is also best when fresh -- sure beats vegetables imported from thousands of miles away.

Eating food picked the same day insures you get the most enzymes which are important to good helath and fighting disease.

Aquafarms introduced the Earth Tank to the public at California's Del Mar Fair in 200 in our exhibit about backyard food production. It was very well received and Aquafarms was given top honors for their display and won 7 awards:

  • Paul Ecke Sr. Award
  • Sustainability Award
  • Distinguished Gardens Award
  • Excellence in Horticulture Award for Best Expression of Garden Education
  • Edible Garden Award
  • Environmental Award
  • Pat Welsh Award for 2009

Environmental Impact of Gardening

You would think that ANY gardening would be environmentally friendly....but that's not quite accurate. Heavy use of water, pesticides and fertilizers aren't truly "green". This system minimizes water use -- nothing is lost with sprinklers or irrigation. And it uses minimal impact materials in the container.

Tanks made from steel have lowest overall environmental impact of other water holding tanks including concrete and plastic. The annual environmental burden of an average size steel tank is equivalent to one 100 watt light bulb switched on for approximately one week.

When you add a "fish tank" to your system and develop an aquaponics system... you eliminate the need for fertilizers. And can raise a second food crop. Got your attention?

Be sure to ask about aquafarming, too. Aquaponics is an absolutely fascinating closed-system fertilization and watering system that produces both vegetables AND fish!

CONTACT: Backyard Aquafarms