An ecosystem farm for the future of food
Jonathon Fletcher and Paul Nicholson have created a sustainable agriculture food production system called the Apod Project.
The Apod is a repurposed shipping container that stores a system to produce healthy non-genetically modified organic foods using aquaponics, Fletcher said. Aquaponics is the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, recirculating ecosystem utilizing natural bacterial cycles to convert fish waste to plant nutrients.
“We think of this invention as the future of food. This is George Jetson and how they would be growing food,” Fletcher said.
The system can be a standalone unit that can operate in a field, a parking lot, the side of a mountain or wherever you need it, he said.
The system overproduces the amount of power it needs to run using solar energy. The food is produced through aquaponics, and the only input into the system is through the fish. The fish are fed and their waste is processed into nutrients for the plants, Fletcher said.
It’s a continuous, self-regulating system with its own natural ecosystem.
The Apod Project is displayed inside of a durable shipping container on the Northbank Riverwalk directly in front of the Hyatt hotel. It contains catfish, goldfish, koi, algae eaters and an array of plants inside the shipping container.
It is ideally set up to have edible fish — anything that resides in fresh water, Fletcher said.
The Apod does not damage the environment. The product features technology that can make plants grow faster without altering the plants themselves, he said.
The starting cost to purchase one would initially be $40,000 and it will feature a three kilowatt system, wind turbine and battery bank, Fletcher said. This product can produce up to $15k a year and after two-three years the initial investment will be earned back.
A unique feature of this system is that it can operate with no petroleum, unlike everything in conventional agriculture.