How are fishes and plants grown together in the same environment? How are plants grown without soil? How can both of these horticultural techniques be optimized and made profitable, even in a challenging environment?

For the answers to these questions and more, tune in and explore:

  • The main tradeoffs between greenhouses and field-grown crops
  • Different hydroponic systems and how to determine the best for different purposes
  • Which four vegetables are grown in greenhouses worldwide
  • The benefits of decoupled aquaponics (and how it works)

As an associate professor and researcher at Auburn University in Alabama, Daniel Wells’ work revolves primarily around controlled environment agriculture like hydroponics (greenhouses) and aquaponics in the Southeastern U.S., where the hot and humid climate poses unique challenges.

He discusses the ins and outs of his most recent research projects, leading to a discussion about the factors to control for in hydroponic systems, the biggest challenge in aquaponics, ways to develop sustainable and profitable aquaponics technology, why it’s essential to separate certain species in greenhouse operations (e.g., salmon separate from lettuce), the nutritional quality of local crops, and how to get a backyard aquaponics system up and running.

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