I’ve always liked pasture, especially with real, native, mixed species hedgerows and the occasional mature native tree in the field.
There’s lots of beef and sheep farming hereabouts (North Cornwall), which is fine, but:
a. In an overpopulated world, 500 lbs of of meat per acre every other year seems a small crop;
b. Small farms are failing, because the profit per acre is miniscule with large supermarkets driving the price down. Hence less people are able to farm, and there’s the danger that agriculture will follow the U.S.
Grass Carp photos
Cold-blooded fish are the most efficient means of turning vegetable protein into animal protein, and most fish are low-fat, healthy alternatives to lamb, pork, most beef (exceptions being silverside, top rump … which are very lean).
Imagine a small grass farm, cutting grass to feed a large pond of grass carp. An electric pump to aerate the water; another pump to pump the soiled water back onto the grassland and fertilise it.
The fertility in the pond water would keep the grass growing organically with no need for chemical fertilisers.
A fresh water supply would be necessary to keep the pond toppped up, and both pumps could be powered by photovoltaic cells, because in the winter the grass hardly grows and carp barely feed.
Young grass carp can be bought in the U.K. for about £3 each. The price is lower when buying more fish.
They prefer fairly slow running water or ponds, except for breeding, and can grow very quickly in ideal conditions: from 8 inches (20 c.m.) to 18 inches (45 centimetres).
Adult grass carp can reach 40 lbs (about 17 kilograms) bodyweight.
Typical U.K. supplier
Of course, if you have a lawn, you could probably keep your own grass carp, and farm your own high-quality protein.
Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together
Grass Carp photos
A highly rated book by Sylvia Bernstein, released in March 2013, and already on offer at Amazon.
The publishers blurb says this:
Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilising them with the waste water from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of the best of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponic gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic vegetables, greens, herbs and fruits, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. On a larger scale, it is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans. This is the definitive do-it-yourself home manual, with an introduction by Charlie Price, head of Aquaponics UK. It focuses on giving you all the tools you need to create your own aquaponic system and enjoy healthy, safe, fresh and delicious food all year round. Starting with an overview of the theory, benefits and potential of aquaponics, this book goes on to explain: system location considerations and hardware components; the living elements – fish, plants, bacteria, and worms; and, putting it all together – starting and maintaining a healthy system. Aquaponics systems are completely organic. They are four to six times more productive and use 90 percent less water than conventional gardens. Other advantages include no weeds, fewer pests, and no watering, fertilising, bending, digging, or heavy lifting – in fact, there really is no down side! Anyone interested in taking the next step towards self-sufficiency will be fascinated by this practical, accessible and well-illustrated guide.
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Saraband (14 Mar 2013)
The average review is 5/5