Aloe vera in Aquaponics
Recently while filming in Murray Hallam’s Aquaponics greenhouse we noticed a few odd plants that were growing in the corner of his grow bed.
While most people use Aquaponics to grow fresh vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes in their systems, Murray likes to experiment a fair bit and think outside the square, to see exactly what the limits of Aquaponics systems are.
By trying to grow some unusual plants like fruit trees and various medicinal herbs and even flowers the evidence seems to point to the fact you can grow almost anything in these systems and even have fun challenging some popular held notions of what kind of environment a plant will actually grow in.
Take Aloe vera for instance. This is a medicinal plant, a succulent that originates from the dry desert climate of Northern Africa. It is reported to be an excellent plant to use for burns, wounds and other skin infections.
Many herbalists claim that it is useful as an aid to the digestive system, as poor digestion can be responsible for many diseases. Most gardeners will tell you that Aloe Vera will only thrive in low rainfall rockeries and dry garden beds.
Well here it is thriving in Murray’s Aquaponics system as you can see in this video clip:
The limits of what will and won’t grow in an Aquaponics system seems to be changing every day thanks to people like Murray who are privately conducting their own research and discovering new plants that thrive in fish poop and water.
Rather than just grow fish and vegetables in Aquaponics grow beds, the way most people do, there seems to be new research, like the Aloe Vera story, thats pointing to unlimited opportunities for people to diversify into niche markets such as cut flowers in Aquaponics and medicinal herbs and even exotic fruit trees that are all growing well, and smell and taste like they should.
This is all new stuff and people are discovering new things to try like this every day. It seems the assertion that “if it can grow in dirt, it will thrive in an Aquaponics system” may be true for certain types of plants.
Do you have an Aquaponics system? Have you grown some exotic plant that have done very well? Let us know your thoughts.