We’ve been exploring! Julian and Jan have completed their first day in the field, heading to nearby area Vila Nova de Milfontes where they looked at local ecosystems. They first investigated a marshland area populated with cow herds, but had more luck when they stumbled across an old, abandoned aquaculture. This opened up a lot of fresh questions and ideas.
The system we’re creating doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific aquaponics system. In response to the fact that the aquaculture is shut down, what if we could reinvigorate sites like this? We could use a post-anthropocenic design approach where we take an area within the local ecosystem that has been heavily mediated by humans – and has failed – and then reinvigorate it. We could create a system using local flora and fauna, because the farm already has a flow in from the local river, and use this to grow crops. Why reproduce nature when it is already here? This is one of the big questions of the project.
To the right of the aquaponics farm was a resort, so instead we turned left and discovered some local tidal pools, perfect for collecting samples to use in the site-specific tank.
We collected water samples, plant samples, crab and fish samples, and decided to build a simulated environment back at the Cultivamos Cultura home base. We want to see if we can maintain it on a small scale, to then consider how it could be replicated within an aquaculture farm on a larger scale.