As Aragon St. Charles watched footage of the tsunami triggered by the March 11th earthquake in Japan sweeping across the landscape from his still shaking Tokyo home, he could hardly believe his eyes. This land, some of Japan’s richest and most productive, stood soaked with the tsunami’s salty toxic cocktail mixed as it rushed over agricultural, urban, and industrial areas alike or covered with a fine layer of radioactive fallout. Such soil then, was rendered unsuitable for growing. In a country with a food self-sufficiency rate of less than 40-percent, this was bad news indeed.
“Straightaway it came to me that this (Aquaponics) was something that could be used in Japan,” said St. Charles. As he draws diagram after diagram of fish tanks, alternative energy sources, of grow beds and their crop arrangements throughout our conversation, it’s easy to see that just under the tidy chinos and button-down shirt of the legal recruiter he is by day rests a farmer just waiting for his moment.