Monster Carrots & Other Aquaponic Treats

carrot-collageINMED’s cement aquaponic system at Pudumo Primary School (the first such system in South Africa) is producing gargantuan vegetables without the use of fertilizer or pesticides—only the fertile waste from a small batch of fish. The latest jaw-dropper is an experimental crop of carrots, grown to enormous size in just 7 weeks. The size and rapid yield of this particular crop is amazing even seasoned aquaponics experts.

“I am impressed that they were grown so quickly,” notes Paul Barrett, Program Manager of INMED Caribbean, which also operates a robust aquaponics and adaptive agriculture program in Jamaica. “Usually carrots take 3-4 months [to grow to this size]. This means two crops could be grown in the same time period.”

All the harvested produce at Pudumo Primary School is used for the school’s meals. On some occasions, the aquaponic system and school garden have been the only source of food for the kitchen staff to serve when government provisions have been delayed. The bountiful harvests have been due, in large part, to the dedication of the garden keeper, Busi. Of Zulu descent from a very rural part of KwaZulu Natal, Busi speaks no English. But thanks to INMED’s adaptive training program, which does not require traditional text books and classroom learning, Busi has become an expert at maintaining INMED’s system. She often tends the gardens with her granddaughter tethered to her back and is a shining example of how INMED’s Adaptive Agriculture program can help indigenous populations thrive in the era of global climate change.

To learn more about INMED’s Adaptive Agriculture program in South Africa, visit