Sunday, August 29, 2010

Backyard aquaponics ... the adventure

On to my new project ... AQUAPONICS! Aquaponics is the cross between hydroponics (growing plants in a water medium) and aquaculture (growing fish for food). It's a rather ingenious idea, actually, and is really catching on by those who want to grow their own food and to remain sustainable. Basically, one grows vegetables using fish poo, which is high in nitrogen. The fish water is piped to vegetable growing beds where bacteria break down the ammonia to nitrites and then nitrates, which is a form plants can take up. In doing so, the plants clean the water, which is then circulated back to the fish!

I've started building my three grow bed benches and have already finished the table for my 100-gallon fish tank. Thanks to Donna and Tracy, the Vierra's, and donations from church, I have enough recycled wood for my construction projects. And bless you Dennis for cutting the 2x4s to length for 2 tables! It helped tremendously!

Oh, did I tell you that I am running all of this on solar power? The generator is purchased and ready to install! I'm so excited! More pics soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Home grown

I love the recruits from my worm bin! This papaya started sprouting in my flower bed after applying my worm compost to the soil. Just like my other crops that have come before, they were from kitchen scraps that I had thrown into my worm bin. After a year of doing nothing but watching the tree grow, I finally got to enjoy the "fruits" of its labor for breakfast this morning! :D Yum ... strawberry papayas are the best!

I'm really enjoying being able to eat the things I've grown myself. I know for a fact that I have not used any pesticides, are picked at the peak of ripeness, and well, I know I can share them to feed the people I love. There's a lot of satisfaction in that. :)