Talk Examines Aquaponics, Agriculture

Clayton Garland (left) and Julian Cantando (right) own Eco-Conscious Aquaponics (Kathryn Barnes/KCRW)

Clayton Garland (left) and Julian Cantando (right) own Eco-Conscious Aquaponics (Kathryn Barnes/KCRW)

Clayton Garland, local farmer and aquaponics expert, explores ways to grow environmentally conscious produce in a talk, “Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture and Aquaponics,” Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 3:30 p.m. in Westmont’s Founders Room. The lecture, part of Westmont’s Sustainability Speaker Series, is free and open to the public.

Garland founded Eco-Conscious Aquaponics, a Santa Barbara County company that uses aquaponic technologies to grow highly efficient organic produce with a fraction of the water that conventional agriculture uses.

Eco Conscious Aquaponics uses Unlike other aquaponic operations that grow and harvest fish for food, Eco Conscious Aquaponics uses fish to supply nutrients to the plants

Eco Conscious Aquaponics uses Unlike other aquaponic operations that grow and harvest fish for food, Eco Conscious Aquaponics uses fish to supply nutrients to the plants

“I’m excited to have Clayton explain aquaponics, which grows fish and plants together in one integrated system, and sustainable agriculture with the Westmont community,” says Michelle Aronson, Westmont’s sustainability and marketing coordinator. “I’m also looking forward to hearing how Clayton, as a young entrepreneur, was able to start a small farm business in Santa Barbara County.”

Garland, a veteran of the Coast Guard, developed an interest in backyard gardening that eventually evolved into a drought-tolerant tree collection. He currently farms a third of an acre of aquaponics vegetables at an orchid ranch near Goleta.