Thursday, February 12, 2015

Feb update

I am going to try and keep this blog more updated, but we will see how well that goes with all the projects

We started our first set of seedlings yesterday inside. Some of these are for the aquaponics system out front and some are for the ground.


Started work on the goat property with sealing up the new goat shed with a set of dutch doors and installing a new shelf for storing hay, etc.

Goat shed before work
Installed the rock retaining wall in the front yard as the first step for the new food garden. Next steps for that are finish laying the cardboard base and cover it with manure from the goat property, so we can make the Eastern berm.

Close up of the wall
Larger view of wall
We have big plans for the front year after owning it for over 10 years and having it be just a either a water suck or a patch of dying grass. There are plans for fruit and nut trees, bee hives, an herb spiral, and a variety of annuals.

Overall plans for the yard
Current state




Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Celebrity or target

I recently was interviewed by our local paper about how the city can support Winter cyclists and man, did the trolls come out. What I am advocating for is to have the city step up and support cyclists as an important and valid part of the transit system instead of wanting to segregate them to greenways to nowhere and unsafe bile lanes. We will see where this goes, I guess

Friday, April 4, 2014

New trailer

We designed this cool trailer based off of some BAW trailers I have seen and used. I would like to have bought a real BAW trailer, but at 1K, it would not a viable option for us. We will use this for Bicycle Longmont events, farmers market, and other car-free tasks.



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Update

This weekend we canned several quarts of homegrown and made sauerkraut using this recipe. We will see how it is in a few weeks.
















On the aquaponics side, things are growing like banshees. Here are some pics


Entire system


Raft with greens

Medium bed with basil, peas, etc.



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Aquaponics and Spring

It is almost March in CO, which means Sunna is at a higher angle and providing more Sun and warmth, but it also the snowiest month of the year, so only the Gods know what will happen.

Our system is working nicely, which both a raft system and a grow medium bed. We had quite the episode of trying to get the bell siphon working and while it is still not working as well as we would like, it is working. We have greens, peas, and radishes growing in the beds.

We transplanted our 40 tomato plants last weekend and sowed some more peppers and other seeds we got from the Baker Seed Company who specialize in heirloom and non-gmo seeds. Please support them if you need seeds that are non monsanto virus seeds.

On the garden side of things, now that the ground is soft enough to dig in, we are working identifying the plumbing for the in-ground sprinkler system, so we can replace the heads with drip irrigation heads and hose to mitigate water loss during watering.

We will be building companion beds for planting around our fruit trees with swales in between them. In middle will eventually be a pergola area for relaxing and holding Blots. On the outside along the whole food forest will be 4 sets of hops.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Aquaponics

We are getting into Aquaponics as another way to grow food with less resources that will provide through the Winter. We will also be raising Talapia fish as a way to get some protein from the fish we will be using for producing our fish fertilizer.

We have a 30 gallon tank where we will start with 2-3 fish and we will using a system to pump water from the task through a 15-20 gallon grow bed with a gravel bed as medium for the plants to grow on. The medium displaces about 60 percent of the volume of the bed, so we will be cycling through ~6-9 gallons of fish water through the bed before it returns back the task cleaned by the plants.

For now, we have created a raft style system floating in our fishless tank that is being used as an experiment to see how well the bio-filtering works. Here is a picture of the raft in the tank. We have planted 17 pots with different greens ranging from lettuce to green onions.












The next step is to run the plumbing from our tank and pump to a grow bed filled with medium and then a tube coming back to the tank from the bell siphon used to drain the bed. We also want move the raft to a bed and use a sump type system for this, where we will use an auto-siphon to siphon water from the tank to a tub where we will the raft floating in water with shrimp underneath. From the tank, we will pump water to the medium filled grow bed  and back to the fish tank via the siphon again. We will post pictures as time progresses.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cool idea to save money

I saw this on a minimalist site I get emails from and decided to try it. I just made the next 2 weeks deposits, as I get paid tomorrow and every two weeks.
We will see how it goes.

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