Farm Photos

Monday, January 21, 2013

Joy to the Fishes

One of my main intentions with this blog is to be solution-based. So, instead of always talking about the problems in food production,...I would really like to talk about solutions as well. I ate some tilapia the other night, wishing that I could grow them myself. Up here in the northwest, you can grow tilapia seasonally...but they are a warm weather fish and like water temperatures of around 80 degrees. Most backyard aquaculturists this far north go with trout or perch as they are more cold weather hardy. More about backyard aquaculture in the future, at this moment I was thinking about Veta La Palma...which is by no means a backyard pond.

This 28,000 acre fish farm in Seville, Spain may be a true example of how we can feed healthy, sustainable fish to the world. This farm is located within The Donana Nature Preserve on the Guadaimar River and claims to help rehabilitate and operate sustainably within both of these natural resources after years of abuse. According an article by the chief biologists at Veta La Palma, Miguel Meialdea, featured as one of the Proceedings of the 2008 TIES Workshop in Madison, Wisconsin:
"Veta la Palma is much more than a fish farm. Extensive aquaculture ponds and surrounding marshland pastures effectively support a number of environmental services for the hydrology and ecology of the River Guadalquivir marshes and the area as a whole. The aquaculture operation has been managed to restore the damage to the original wetland produced by former land-uses, minimizing its own ecological footprint and combining the economic benefits of aquaculture with conservation objectives"
Read Full Article: A New Approach To Ecological Sustainability 

Food Studies instructor and gastronomy PhD student at Concordia University in Montreal wrote an article titled Stick it in Our Mouths: Towards a Performative Co-Authoring of Food (click title to link to full article), in which he says the following about Veta la Palma: 
"Further to the south in Spain, on the estuary of the Guadalquivir river, another human/non-human assemblage is co-authoring a similar food performance. Veta la Palma is an extensive fish-farming facility, annually producing 1,200 tons of sea bass, bream, red mullet, and shrimp. It is also part of the most important bird sanctuary in Europe, a natural water-purification plant, and though human-constructed, an integral element of the successful local ecosystem."
Head chef and owner of Blue Hill restaurants in New York gives an unforgettable TED talk on Veta la Palma and aquaculture in general:

Also, learn more about the farm from their website:

Veta La Palma Website

and visit the farm with Al Jazeera English:

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