Aquaponics is one of the most promising technologies and practices that offers self-sustainability for individuals and free associations, so you bet I’m excited when I read a story about a restaurant in Arkansas that is using aquaponics to grow its own herbs and spices that it prepares and sells to happy customers. One thing is certain if you want fresh food, go to Slye Gardens.
CONWAY, Ark.(KTHV) – From tank to plate, a Conway restaurant is changing the way they get their herbs and spices.
Aquaponics is a system where fish are raised in tanks and plants are used to clean the water.
“They fertilize the plants and the plants clean the water,” said J.D. Slye, owner of Slye Gardens. “The third element is beneficial bacteria that does the converting.”
Slye is trying to revolutionize the way we grow our food. The all organic and sustainable system sets on the back patio of Roux’s Cajun Creole Restaurant in Conway
“Four basil plants on each corner, a nice rosemary back here, sage in the back, I have a hot and spicy oregano, some thyme and some parsley and a golden oregano,” Slye explained.
“I’m able to just walk out of the kitchen, go pick some basil and put it in my étouffée base and bam you got it on the table and you’re eating it,” said Executive Chef Keith Booker. “I know exactly what I’m getting from aquaponics system.”
Booker said he hopes the use of fresh herbs and spices comes as a relief to his restaurant patrons.
“So many things are going on with food being processed improperly. I’m able to go outside and see it exactly what it’s fertilized with,” the chef said.
Slye thinks aquaponics is the “future of farming” because he said “current agriculture practice are not sustainable.”
UCA is also using these aquaponics systems in their Interdisciplinary Leadership program, which helps teach younger generations about sustainable farming.
From tank to plate, a Conway restaurant is changing the way they get their herbs and spices.