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Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together Paperback – October 11, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


This isn't just another book for dummies; this is a comprehensive handbook on how to grow real meticulously documented, that failure is not an option. --Jeff Edwards – President, Progressive Gardening Trade Association (PGTA)

I have always wanted to put my money where my mouth is and figure out how to do sustainable aquaculture in the context of my home garden. Finally I’ve got the book to help me do it. --Paul Greenberg - Best Selling Author, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food

This is a delightful book to read! ... I’ve been involved with hydroponics and aquaculture for 30 years and still learned from reading this very thorough how-to book. --Henry A. Robitaille, PhD - Former General Manager, The Land Exhibit, Epcot Center

Learning how to garden through the creation of a completely balanced ecosystem is now clearly understandable, even to inexperienced gardeners. -- Michael C. Metallo, President and CEO, National Gardening Association

Sylvia Bernstein has provided the "aquapons of the world" with a clear, impassioned, and elegant "Bible" to spread the good news about aquaponics. --James J. Godsil, co-founder Sweet Water Organics Sweet Water Foundation

Aquaponic Gardening is an excellent primer for anyone considering home-scale aquaculture. Whatever your location or methods, the information should prove invaluable. Fish are within reach! --Peter Bane, Publisher of Permaculture Activist magazine

Now the thousands of people who are discovering aquaponics every day have a resource for moving from the dream to the step-by-step reality of raising fish and food in their homes, yards, and even businesses. --John Thompson Sr. VP Sales and Marketing (and Basement and Backyard Aquaponist) AeroGrow International, Inc.

This book is a vital resource for urban homesteaders. --Sundari Kraft, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading"

The science is so well explained, it is easily understood. I am ready to start. I love this book! --Jeff Lowenfels, Author, "Teaming With Microbes"

About the Author

Sylvia Bernsteinis the president and founder of The Aquaponic Source and the co-Founder and former Vice Chairman of the Aquaponics Association. She also manages, the largest US-based online forum site dedicated to aquaponic gardening. An experienced speaker and internationally recognized expert on aquaponic gardening, Sylvia writes and blogs on the subject for the Aquaponic Gardening Blog, Maxiumum Yield and more. Her inspiration is a large, thriving aquaponic setup in her backyard greenhouse in Boulder, CO powered by tilapia, catfish, bluegill and other creatures-that-swim.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; Original edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780865717015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865717015
  • ASIN: 086571701X
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (440 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sylvia Bernstein is the President and Founder of The Aquaponic Source, the leading U.S. based company focused entirely on the home aquaponic gardener. She runs the Aquaponic Gardening Community, the largest online community site dedicated to aquaponic gardening in North America, and is the co-Founder and former Vice Chairman of the Aquaponics Association. She also writes for the Aquaponic Gardening Blog, Maxiumum Yield Magazine and other publications about aquaponics and its exciting potential.

In her recent past life Sylvia was the VP of Marketing and Product Development for AeroGrow International, the makers of the AeroGarden. She was one of the company's original founders and was instrumental in developing the plant growth technology.

Sylvia has a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, Alan. They have a large, thriving aquaponic setup in their backyard greenhouse in Boulder powered by tilapia, catfish, bluegill and other creatures-that-swim.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

278 of 296 people found the following review helpful By S. C. Johnson on October 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just finished this amazing book. I already knew a good deal about aquaponics - at least I thought I did - when I decided I had to read this book to see what the buzz was all about. What a great decision and what a great read. Here's why.

My first impression when I opened up the box I received from Amazon was this is a beautiful cover. I also noticed from the logo on the cover, that the book is a Mother Earth News book selection. Then I flipped it over and immediately spotted that two experts with whom I am personally aware, loved and endorsed the book. This caused me to immediately flip to the Table of Contents.

I found that the list of topics with lots of promised detail was all that I was hoping for. Because the Table of Contents is not visible from within Amazon (publisher and author, I suggest you fix this), I provide some detail here. The book is organized into five main Sections each with two or more chapters (there are 15 chapters in all) plus seven appendices intended as reference resources and a full index.

Section One introduces Aquaponics and puts it into perspective not only relative to other growing methods, but also with regard to the ever increasing issues and challenges that our global population is encountering with food supplies, food safety, food cost, and the impact of agriculture on the planet. This section closes with several pages on the idea of producing food right at your home. Some may think they want to skip the introduction. I think doing so would be a lost opportunity to see just how important aquaponics may prove to be to all of us in the years to come.

Section Two is called The Plan. Ultimately, this book is about how you can become an aquaponics gardener at home.
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134 of 144 people found the following review helpful By Bob on October 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've built and operated two large hobby system this last year and this is THE book I was looking for when I started.

Everyone seems to make Aquaponics (AP) a DIY project. Although its not hard to build, operate and grow your own produce, there are a lot of places where you can make it challenging if you don't have access to good info. Learning AP from the Internet is a mixed blessing. Too much conflicting and misleading and even mis-applied info for a beginner.

Sylvia's book takes the guess work out of building your first or 50th system and rapidly makes it a success. It will be an invaluable resource for you, whether you are the novice, the follow-the-instruction type, the impatient ADHD prone, or the Do It Yourselfer.

All the info is in the book, well categorized, and easy to understand so you can be eating back yard grown, natural, organic, and delicious produce ASAP!

This book will help you create your own customized AP system, that will work and work well.

Aquaponicfun dot com
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246 of 278 people found the following review helpful By soil sommelier on November 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is nothing here that an hour with Google can't replace. Her "science" is lacking at best, and completely false everywhere else. Core issues of the process are given a very biased and cursory treatment. There is however a good bit of time spent trying to lay not so subtle support for her $1,300 packaged "system" (two tubs and a pump on a T.V. stand).

"The covers of this book are too far apart."
- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

A quick example of the author's depth of wisdom:
Her comparisons of artificial lighting choices refer to lumens, which are a unit of measure that is relative to what the human eye can register. Were aquaponics a system for growing or impairing human eyes I suppose this might be useful. Plants "see" light differently. They use different parts of the spectrum for different things, and this is pretty much completely ignored.
She continually refers to the process of water draining and being replaced by new solution provided by a pump, as a process that sucks oxygen into the media. Physics and fluid dynamics be damned.
Her contention that magnetic drive pond-type pumps are the obviously superior choice just adds to her credentials as a bloviator of the first order. The multitude of reliable circulating pumps available that are more efficient, longer lasting, more reliable, etc. is but one more example of just how limited her knowledge and/or research on the subject is.
On one hand she champions "earth friendly" practices, while forgiving her own system's and suggested practices that don't even begin to fill the bill. Me thinks her an opportunistic fraud.
Her suggestion that her methods will result in a system that never needs cleaning is complete idiocy.
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83 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Arnold on September 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
After much research on what resources are available I purchased Sylvia's book on Aquaponics based on the many high reviews it has received on Amazon. It seemed like a good resource to add to the information I've been compiling regarding aquaponics. I was immediately dissapointed in that the first third of the book is spent telling the reader how the world is falling apart and that food production in America is dangerous and driven by greed. Since I purchased a book about Aquaponic Gardening and not the state of food production in America I quickly grew tired of reading about her opinion on the state of food production. Is the subject relevant in a book about Aquaponics, sure, but not near to the extent Sylvia chose to spend. Those who are studying and developing aquaponics are already well aware that things need to change when it comes to feeding ourselves and others.

What was also disappointing is that when she got around to explaining aquaponics her approach was narrow and misleading. In her book she teaches her opinion on what works in aquaponic development and not what is being practiced and producing all over the world. She completely ignores certain aspects of design and function while confidently stating that her way is the only way. I may it three fourths of the way thru the book and simply couldn't take it anymore. She either is purposefully leaving out a great deal of information or simply doesn't understand aquaponics enough to be writing an authoritative book on the subject.
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