Fab Farm is a partnership between the Nerve Centre’s FabLab and the Playtrail which sees students from the Playtrail and Ardnashee college designing, building and running their own digital Aquaponic farm.
The FabFarm is built using 3D printing and Digital Fabrication to create the ideal environment for the Aquaponic production of salad vegetables and fruit. Aquaponics uses fish and their natural environment to provide a clean, sustainable and highly efficient environment for the growing of plants. The FabFarm sees young learners running their own Aquaponic Farm as a social enterprise to build jobskills and employability, develop practical learning around STEM, wellbeing and healthy living, and to provide high quality locally produced ingredients for the North West’s growing food sector.
The FabFarm is the first project of its type in the world and has developed a partnership with the Sooty Olive Restaurant to provide fresh local produce for the kitchen on a Social Enterprise basis. Produce will also be available at Artisan Markets in Derry~Londonderry and the North West.
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. The third participants are the microbes (nitrifying bacteria) and composting red worms that thrive in the growing media. They do the job of converting the ammonia from the fish waste first into nitrites, then into nitrates and the solids into vermicompost that that are food for the plants.
Plants grown in the FabFarm are delicious, nutritious and made with love by local students from the Playtrail and Ardnashee College!