We design our aquaponic systems to maximize efficiency and grow highly flavorful, nutritious produce without the use of artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Being aware of the harmful chemicals that play a role in our everyday lives (via toxic plastics, household products, pesticides etc.), we strive to build the 'cleanest' aquaponic systems possible. Throughout every design process we consider all suitable materials and always choose the safest options. For example, instead of potentially toxic PVC plumbing we use potable-water-safe HDPE pipe. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is widely considered the safest, most durable plastic available. Polypropylene (PP) is also a good choice. Instead of using styrofoam rafts (the norm in the industry) that may leach styrene and impregnated fire retardants (and other chemicals), we grow greens on solid, FDA-approved HDPE boards. And although it is unlikely, if we ever need to replace equipment the HDPE and PP plastics in our system are easily recycled -- not so with PVC. These better plastics do cost significantly more to use but in our opinion there's no question -- they're worth it.
On a bigger level, the concept of 'food miles', the distance food travels before it is eaten, has also gained much recent attention. On average, the food Americans eat travels 1,500 miles from farm to table! Besides the enormous carbon footprint, the produce is often picked long before it is ripe so that it can survive the trip to the supermarket before spoiling. Premature produce is then often gassed in large facilities to give the appearance of being ripe just before it is distributed for sale. Because many vegetables develop their vitamins and minerals during the final stages of ripening on the vine, much of the store-bought produce we eat is FAR less flavorful and nutritious than it should be. In order to save a bit at the register, we are sacrificing our health and that of the planet.
Generations ago, most of the produce people ate came from their own gardens and neighborhood farms. Today we rely on worldwide, industrial-scale monocultures. We felt the need to return to our roots, to return to local farming, in a way that conserves our resources with modern efficiency. This is why we started Local Roots Aquaponics LLC.
We grow using non-GMO and native seeds, with a focus on beautiful and flavorful heirloom varieties. Our aquaponic systems guarantee natural growth by design -- no artificial fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics or hormones are used. We are serious about producing pure, nutrient-packed food that is as delicious to look at as it is to eat!
Our customer base is growing largely by word-of-mouth and through the use of social media. Please help us spread the word about aquaponics and Local Roots in Tucson!
Thank you for your support!