We here at MNN have long sung the praises of aquaponics — a small space-ideal farming method that combines aquaculture with hydroponic gardening — as it combines a few of our favorite things: DIY ingenuity, self-sufficiency, and, of course, hyperlocal, pesticide-free food production.
In a new video filmed by Johnny Sanphillippo for our friends at faircompanies, we're treated to a tour of Whisper Farms, an aquaponics venture in the backyard of Scott Henley's suburban Pasadena, Calif. home. It's a great watch for those unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of how aquaponics works (it's simpler than you might think) as well as burgeoning aquaponic farmers looking for a bit of inspiration on how to go about it in a suburban backyard setting.
And in addition to his backyard aquaponics set-up, Henley, who sells produce to a handful of local restaurants, CSAs, and a farmer's market to offset costs and generate a small amount of income, is growing a variety of crops (daikon radish, carrots, leeks, and more) in his front yard — and apparently without incident. "Pasadena has some restrictions. I think really what it is if you get along with your neighbors and everybody kind of looks the other way ... It's not that restrictive. You do what your neighbors tolerate, you know? My neighbors probably weren't too excited last year when I had a 15-foot-long pile of compost in my front yard for a month but I think with a little neighborly communication all that stuff can be dealt with."
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