Living within the mountains we looked for alternative ways to farm without cutting down the trees. We have planted an apothecary garden, butterfly gardens and there are lots of medicinal herbs that are naturally growing on the property. We have St. Johns Wort, Passion Flower, Black Cohosh and Goldenseal all under the canopy of our trees.
It's hard to improve on a farming method that has been in existence since the time of the Aztec's although at that time they referred to it as Chinampas.
The term aquaponics came around the 1970's but it's interesting to note that one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, "The Hanging Gardens of Babylon", was built by Nebuchadnezzar and was an early use of aquaponics.
Is the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium. The nutrients in hydroponics can be from fish waste, duck manure, or normal nutrients.