A Greenhouse or a Growhouse???

The best way to grow food indoors is with an Aquaponics system. Aquaponics is a cross between Hydroponics (growing vegetables in water) and Aquaculture (farming fish). You get the best of both worlds and you don’t have to deal with dirt. An Aquaponics system needs to be placed in a protected environment where you, the gardener, can control the atmosphere both in the the environment and in the water tanks where you are raising your food fish. The fish are an important component of the two-part system, grow beds and fish tanks. The fish fertilize the vegetables and the vegetables clean the water for the fish. It’s a cross-linked system that uses 90% less water than soil gardening. All of the water stays in the system except the water that evaporates out and the water that the plants take up as they grow. If you’re a vegetarian and don’t want to eat the fish, you can simply turn them into pets.

So what kind of indoor environment is best for setting up an Aquaponics system? A Greenhouse or a Growhouse? First I need to describe what I mean by Growhouse. A Growhouse is an enclosed indoor environment that has walls rather than glass or polycarbonate sun-friendly windows, so a Growhouse needs to have grow lights. You can place an Aquaponics system in a basement, garage, metal shed or even below ground and you’ve got a Growhouse. Unless you live in a tropical environment like Hawaii (Florida is being challenged in that department these days), it’s more cost efficient to use a Growhouse over a Greenhouse. Why? Because in areas where there’s a big range in temperature between summer and winter, there’s a big electric bill that has to be paid to keep your Greenhouse temperature constant. You have to cool it in the summer and heat it in the winter, not to mention the cooling and heating of the water in your fish tanks. Now, the most popular fish to grow among Aquaponic farmers is Tilapia; and they are a tropical fish that originated in Africa. Tilapia like hot water that is over 80 degrees. They grow best and mate profusely in that degree of water.

If we could start over here in the high desert of Southern California where summers are an average of 95 F and winter nights go down in the 20’s F, we would have put our Aquaponics systems in a Growhouse instead of a Greenhouse. We’re planning to close in an eight foot wide back porch where we’re going to place another series of FOOD FOREVER™ Growing Systems, install a gas heater and grow lights and have more control of our growing environment with a lower utility cost.

Growing food has become more important than ever. So always remember our motto:
“Time To Grow Food!”

2 comments on “A Greenhouse or a Growhouse???

  1. At my experience level I cannot contribute anything yet but I sure appreciated this article. Attracted to greenhouses because of the beauty of sunlight and outdoors but your points are solid about temperature considerations. I am so anxious to get started. Thanks.


    • Dear John: I know exactly what you mean by the “attractiveness of the greenhouse” pull. I’m an artist and I love beautiful things; and our greenhouse is really lovely to look at and show off to our Tour people. But knowing what I now know, I would be willing to give it up for more cost effective efficiency.

      Thanks for the response


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