Urban farming starts at home in in Goonellabah, Australia
Wayne Wadsworth with his aquaculture tank in the backyard of the Reversing Greenhouse House in Goonellabah.
His 1000 litre tank can hold 10-20 perch or 40-60 crayfish
By Liina Flynn
Northern Rivers Echo
21st October 2010
Wayne believes if more people can produce food in urban areas then rural land could be used for growing large-scale grain crops, or crops to make products currently made out of oil such as bioplastics, or hemp for clothes.
In the backyard in his 1000 litre tank, Wayne currently has a few perch, but said it can hold 10-20 perch or 40-60 crayfish. There are plant pots sitting in the pipes running around the tank, which are watered with the nutrient rich tank water. Deep-rooted plants are planted in the garden to pick up nutrients deep in the soil and are even used in the tank to filter the water. He has created a biological cycle where everything is used: from food scraps which feed the worms, which in turn feed the garden and the chooks.
On the roof of the house, Wayne has installed a three kilowatt solar energy system and said the household only uses half of the power generated from it, with the rest being fed back into the grid and generating about $3000 a year in income. Next to it is an efficient solar tube-style hot water system that only needs two hours of sunlight to generate hot water for showers and washing clothes.
“For a $20,000 investment, people can have a sustainable house,” Wayne said
Future plans include installing more water tanks and a grey water system to reuse kitchen and shower water in the garden.