Need to Know

Go Fish

FYI: Green

August 2014

Talk about local food: With AquaFarm, you can grow your own salad right in the office. This desktop fish tank is actually a self-contained sustainable farming system—and you don’t even have to clean it. Your fish fertilizes the plants, plants clean the water, and you get to eat the whole harvest.


“We want to make locally grown food more accessible and fun,” explains Nikhil Arora. Arora started Back to the Roots—the company that makes AquaFarm—with Alejandro Velez while both were students at the University of California, Berkeley, after growing gourmet mushrooms together in Velez’ fraternity kitchen.

Today, an AquaFarm sells for US$59.99 and comes with everything you need to start your own microfarm—even seeds and a coupon for a Betta fish. Leafy greens and herbs grow best, according to Arora, who grows basil in his own tank. To learn more, go to

Photography by Shutterstock